In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described St Buryan like this:
BURYAN (St.), a parish and a subdistrict in Penzance district, Cornwall. The parish lies 4¾ miles E by N of Lands-End, and 4¾ SW of Penzance r. station; and has a post office under Penzance. Acres, 6,964. Real property, £8,359. Pop., 1,428. Houses, 290. The property is divided among a few. ...
The surface consists largely of black granite hills. A small town, of ancient note, was here; but is now represented by only a few cottages. An oratory was founded at it, at an early period, by St. Buriena, a holy woman from Ireland. A secular college also was founded here in 909, by Athelstane; changed afterwards into an exempt deanery; and destroyed, in the time of the Commonwealth, by Shrubshall, governor of Pendennis Castle. A number of Druidical remains, including the Merry Maidens, the Boscawen-Un, and the Rosmodrevy circles, occur among the hills. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter; and till 1864 was united with Levan and Sennen. Value, £570.* Patron, the Crown. The church stands on a wild open eminence, 415 feet high; has a lofty tower, commanding a view to the Scilly Islands; is an ancient edifice, greatly altered by modern renovations; and contains a fine carved screen, and a curious coffinshaped monument with a Norman-French inscription. An ancient chapel, called the Sanctuary, stands about a mile to the SE. Attorney-general Noy, of the time of Charles I., was a native. The subdistrict contains three parishes. Acres, 11,592. Pop. 2,488. Houses, 502.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of St Buryan, in Penwith and Cornwall | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th March 2017
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