The source of china clay
St. Stephen Parish Council
St. Stephen village is four miles west of St. Austell on the southern edge of Cornwall's china clay district. It lies directly on the A3058. In medieval times the parish lay within the royal manor of Brannel. St. Dennis and St. Michael Caerhays were daughter churches. From the 16th century the rectors resided at the latter so that it came to be regarded as the mother church. Other settlements in the parish include Whitemoor, Currian Vale and Nanpean. The population of the village was 7.119 at the 2011 census.
The church was dedicated to St. Stephen by Walter Bronescombe, bishop of Exeter on 20th August 1261. The church has a nave and two aisles; the exterior stonework is all of granite. The tower is built of granite blocks and contains a peal of eight bells, originally cast by Taylor's of Loughborough.
The growth of the village meant that it soon sustained many services including: a police station, bank and bakery at different times. St. Stephen continues to grow, with new housing schemes being proposed and accepted. The need for affordable housing in the village has seen the use of greenfield sites surrounding the village, which has met with some controversy between residents and developers because of the impact on privacy and wildlife.
Amenities in the village include the Brannel Surgery, St. Stephen Churchtown Primary School, Brannel School (secondary), a community centre, two public houses, one of these, the Kings Arms has now closed and presently lies empty with the windows and doors boarded up. There are also two shops, one of which is also the post office. A new hair salon named Cutting Edge opened in November 2012.
In 2012, the post box outside the post office was painted gold by the Royal Mail to honour local Paralympic swimmer Jonathan Fox.
Mining has had a large impact on the growth of the area. St. Stephen grew with the discovery by William Cookworthy of china clay deposits in the surrounding area during the 18th century.
The recreation ground was opened in 1924, and houses a number of clubs and organisations including the village football, cricket and bowls teams, and also Telstar Youth Club. The ground is equipped with a football pitch, cricket wicket, bowls green, all weather pitch and sports pavilion which can be used for sports including football and tennis. In 2007 the recreation ground opened a new playground and skateboarding facilities after fund-raising to replace the old equipment.
The parish is home to many sports teams, societies and clubs. Sports clubs include a bowls team who play on the bowling green at the recreation ground, a cricket team who play their home games at the recreation ground and make use of the new pavilion opened in 2001, and two football teams within St. Stephen FC, who play their home games on their pitch in the recreation ground. There are also a number of other sports clubs which make use of the sports hall and other facilities at Brannel School. St. Stephen also has a Scout group, 1st St. Stephen, who share a meeting place with 1st Treviscoe-St. Stephen Guide group at Trethosa. St. Stephen Pantomime Company produce a show annually, which is performed in the community centre hall and can attract audiences of up to 200 people per night.
St. Stephen incorporates two schools, one catering for primary years and one for secondary. St. Stephen Churchtown Primary was opened in 1984, after the school moved from the centre of the village to a new school building, which has continued to grow over recent years. The school currently has over 250 pupils across eleven classes. Brannel School opened in 1961 and currently has over 700 pupils on roll. The school recently revealed plans for a new building, involving the demolition of structures on the old site.
The ancient hill-fort of Resugga Castle lies about one mile south of the village.
Jack Clemo (1916-1994) the poet and writer was born in the village.
The village was also home to the authors Silas Kitto Hocking (1850-1935) and Joseph Hocking (1860-1937).
St. Stephen in Brannel Annual Horse Show & Gymkhana - End August.
The Kings Arms
The Queens Head
Automobilia St. Austell William Cookworthy Truro St. Dennis
Cornwall's China Clay Industry