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Crumplehorn History

Crumplehorn Mill is the name given to the present complex derived from the old mill, Killigarth Mill and Crumplehorn Farm. The hamlet of Crumplehorn is still shown on Ordnance Survey Maps today.

Crumplehorn InnOnce a corn mill and in use until the 1950s, the old wooden wheel collapsed with age. However, a similar wheel, made at the George Harris Foundry in Wadebridge, was brought from Tregonjohn Farm, near Grampound in Cornwall and carefully restored to working condition. The wheel is of the type known as 'overshot' and gives a wonderful sense of power as 12 tons of iron and timber revolves.

The Inn used to be a counting house during Elizabethan times when privateering was a legal occupation. Ships' captains could plunder Spanish and French ships legally and split the proceeds with the Crown. The Crowns part went to fund the Navy in further attacks against the French. The Queen's Treasury officer Lord Burleigh came to Polperro to 'count' the ship's cargo and take away the Crown's share. The Crumplehorn Mill was also home to Zephaniah Job, who was know as the Smugglers Banker and even issued his own banknotes, one of which is displayed at Truro Museum.

Records of the local area date back to the Domesday Book.

The Domesday Book was commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066. The first draft was completed in August 1086 and contained records for 13,418 settlements in the English counties south of the rivers Ribble and Tees (the border with Scotland at the time).

The original Domesday Book has survived over 900 years of English history and is currently housed in a specially made chest at London's Public Record Office in Kew, London.
The Domesday entry refers to Raphael and reads as follows:-

Polperro HistoryRaphael. Aelfeva held it before 1066 and paid tax for 1 v. of land; 1/2 hide there, however. Land for 3 ploughs; 2 ploughs there; 3 slaves, 2 villagers, and 2 smallholders. Pasture 30 acres. Formerly 10 shillings; value now 7 shillings.

In about 1212 documents regarding a mill and one ferling of land in Roddun (which seems unidentified) were witnessed by Richard de Kygad or Richard de Kylgat. (These are earliest renditions of the modern day name of Killigarth).

In the Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall, 1296/7 there is a latin record which reads:-

...Et de 5s de Thoma filio Pauli de La Metyn et socio et decenis de La Metyn et KILGATH pro assista fracta et concello

The next record is entry in the Survey and Loan of 1522:

Talland parish
Richard Coode lord of the manor of Kylgath John Jose steward there, 6 pounds.

Richard Carew of Anthony wrote a Survey of Cornwall published in 1602 and this too mentions Killigarth Mill:-

'It yeeldeth a large viewe of the South coast, and was itselfe, in Sir Williams time, much visited, through his frank invitings.

Early in the 17th Century, John Norden has a brief and similar entry:

Killigath, a howse sometimes Sir William Beiulls, now his late Ladyes. ...It is a very pleasant seate nere the sea side.

There is some debate over the origin of the name 'Crumplehorn'. Tradition has it that it probably originated from curly horned sheep or cows which grazed on the surrounding hillsides.

The Cornish Record Office has this entry:-

Tremylhorne 1565 HendMSS., Trembelhorne 1594 ib., Cremblehorne 1706 RecovR. Clearly a late corruption of some Cornish place name in Tre-. The second element might be a personal name such as Maelhorn, from O.British Maglo-isarnos, 'iron prince'.

Crumplehorn InnO. J. Padel, a place names expert, writes this:-

"There is a poor supply of early spellings for this name. The only ones that I know of were found by Charles Henderson, who cited the two spellings Temylhorne 1565 and Termblehorn 1594, from deeds. After that, there is Cremblehorn 1706, and the modern form first appears as Crumple Horn 1813 (OS. 1" Map).

However, even these forms are sufficient to give an idea of how the name originated and developed. The seemingly-English modern form is evidently misleading, being a reinterpretation or corruption of an ancient Cornish language name, which probably took the form Tre-melhorn, which would be 'farmstead (or estate, tre) of a man called Melhorn'. This Cornish man's name is not recorded, but it would have been the exact Cornish equivalent of the attested Old Breton man's name Maelhoiarn (dated 863), found in the Cartulary of Redon.

Such a place-name would, unusually, have been stressed not on the second syllable (as normally in Cornish place-names) but on the final one. In names which are thus stressed on the final syllable, the stress is liable to move to the first syllable. Thus we can legitimately surmise that an original name Tre-melhorn would have become Tremelhorn; and then seemingly Tremblehorn, or something like it (as suggested by the form of 1594). Later still, by folk-etymology (re-interpretation) the name became assimilated to an existing English phrase 'crumple-horn', meaning twisted horn, although that was not the original meaning of the name."