Roche in 2005

Roche (/r/, "roach";[1] Cornish: Tregarrek, meaning homestead of the rock) is a civil parish and village in mid-Cornwall, United Kingdom. The village gets its name from a granite outcrop east of the village. Roche is the Norman-French word for Rock. On the southern flank of the village is the 20-metre (66-foot) high Roche Rock, a large granite outcrop. The parish population at the 2011 census including Belowda, Bilberry, Carbis, Coldvreath and Criggan is 3,381,[2] and the ward population at the same census was 3,867.[3]

Nearby are the towns of Bodmin and St Austell, as well as the Eden Project. The civil servant Charles Knight was born in Roche and Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Matthew Taylor retired there.

Roche RockEdit

Roche Rock
Roche Chapel

Roche Rock (Cornish: An Garrek) stands out as a rocky outcrop some 20 metres (66 ft) high on the northern flank of the St Austell granite with an approximate area of 600 metres (2,000 ft) x 300 metres (980 ft).)[4] The rock is of interest to geologists as it is a fine example of quartz shorl; a fully tourmalinised granite, with black tourmaline crystals. The Rock itself lies approximately 500 metres (1,600 ft) north of the northern margin of the St Austell granite, which is the smallest of the five main apophyses of the Hercynian batholith of Southwest England. The presence of numerous pegmatites occurring as sheets and containing abundant miarolitic cavities carrying quartz, tourmaline, zinnwaldite, topaz. and a wide range of other phases, is why it is considered to have been close to the roof of the intrusion[5] The site is considered to be of prime importance for future research and notification by English Nature as a geological SSSI occurred in 1991.[6]

On top of Roche Rock is a ruined chapel (dedicated to St Michael) which is said to have been the abode of a leper or a monk. An 1881 description of the chapel, still had a considerable portion of the masony standing and one or two windows were faily perfect, although the steps up to the chapel are roughly cut. Roche Rock has many folk-lore tales associated with it, the two most famous being the legend of Jan Tregeagle, a 17th-century magistrate, who after death found refuge in the chapel and the other being part of the Tristan and Iseult tale.[7]

Parish churchEdit

Roche Parish Church
The churchyard cross

The church is dedicated to St Gomondas / Gonandus (Gonand or Goenandus): the tower is medieval but the rest of the church was rebuilt in 1822. There is a fine Norman font and a good churchyard cross.[8] Gonandus may perhaps be identified with the Breton saint Conan, connected to three places in the diocese of Vannes.[9]

There are two Cornish crosses in the parish: one in a meadow near the rectory garden is thought to be in situ; the other in the churchyard has ornament on the four sides of the shaft.[10] The churchyard cross is made of a massive piece of moorland granite; it has similarities to the cross in the graveyard at Merther Uny. Glebe Cross has crosses in relief on either face of the cross head.[11]


Roche railway station is located approximately 1 mile north of Roche, at Victoria on the Atlantic Coast Line. Trains are operated by Great Western Railway. The station has a single track, with a marker board showing direction of travel either to Newquay or Par.


The Victoria Business Park on the outskirts of Roche is an attractively landscaped estate consisting of 28 modern units. The units are designed for light industrial, warehouse and trade uses. Most of the units have a secure gated yard.


  1. ^ "Roche, Cornwall with the tiny hermit rock chapel". Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  2. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  4. ^ "ST AUSTELL AREA" (PDF). Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Geochemical Constraints from Zoned Hydrothermal Tourmalines on Fluid Evolution and Sn Mineralization: an Example from Fault Breccias at Roche, SW England". Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Roche Rock" (PDF). Natural England. 1991. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Roche Rocks". The Cornishman (133). 27 January 1881. p. 6.
  8. ^ Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; pp. 190–191
  9. ^ Doble, G. H. (1964) The Saints of Cornwall: part 4. Truro: Dean and Chapter; pp. 128–131
  10. ^ Langdon, A. G. (1896) Old Cornish Crosses. Truro: Joseph Pollard; 78–79 & 344–45
  11. ^ Langdon, A. G. (2002) Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall; 2nd ed. Federation of Old Cornwall Societies; pp. 63-64


  • Payne, H. M. Creswell (1948) Story of the Parish of Roche, ASIN: B004ITZBWG

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