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The River Kenwyn, which converges with the Allen and becomes the River Truro
Kenwyn ( ) is a civil parish in Cornwallmarker, Englandmarker, in the United Kingdommarker. Kenwyn is now regarded as a suburb of the city of Truromarker and gives its name to one of three rivers that flow through the city.

History and toponymy

It is likely that the church of Kenwyn is very early and in fact the mother church of Truro. The original dedication is doubtfully St Keynemarker (Keynwen is the earliest form of the name which would be 'Keyn' and -wen' (white/blessed): by the 15th century it was assumed to be St Kenwyn (no medieval records have it with the prefix 'Saint'). Subsequently the dedication was attributed to St Cuby. The manor of Kenwyn was held in the 12th century by Richard de Luci after it had been confiscated by the King. Apparently the borough of Truromarker was established by the lord in part of the manor and this was the beginning of Truro as a town, then called Triuereu. In Domesday Book the manor of Kenwyn appears as Tregavran (in later usage Trehaverne). It was in the possession over many centuries of the families of Lantyan, Beville and Grenville, and Enys.

The earliest form of the name is Keynwen (1259), from keyn ridge and gwen white but the modern Cornish form has been interpreted as "Splendid Chief".

Notable buildings

Kenwyn Parish Church is more or less 14th and 15th century in date: (south aisle and tower 15th century). Restorations (1820 to 1862) have reduced the interior to its present uninteresting state. The churchyard provides a fine view over the city of Truromarker and above the lychgate is an upper chamber (probably a schoolroom).

Lis Escop (the Kenwyn Vicarage of 1780) became after the establishment of the Diocese of Truromarker the bishop's palace.

Notable residents

Paul Robins, the Bible Christian pioneer in Canada was born in Kenwyn. Joseph Antonio Emidy, the composer and former slave is buried here, as is Charles Foster Barham, the physician and antiquarian. The Rt Revd Edward Harold Browne (Bishop of Winchester) was Vicar of Kenwyn, 1849-1857, and also held the living of Keamarker, and from 1854 the Norrisian Chair at Cambridge. Conrad Meyer was a later vicar who also went on to become a bishop.


  1. Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; p. 117
  2. Halliday, F. E. (1959) A History of Cornwall. London: Duckworth; p. 112
  3. Henderson, C. (1935) Records of the Borough of Truro before 1300, in Essays in Cornish History, edited by A. L. Rowse and M. I. Henderson. Oxford: Clarendon Press; pp. 1-18
  4. Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall, 2nd ed. Penguin Books; p. 84-85

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