The Trist Family, Veryan and the Five Round Houses

We went off touring for a while down to Cornwall at the beginning of this month, and finally got to stay at the Camping and Caravan Club site at Veryan, what a brilliant site !
Not only that, but the village of Veryan is so beautiful and has lots of really interesting history, and many listed buildings of interest.
We have saved the St Symphorian Church, Veryan to investigate further the next time we visit…….

St Symphorian Church, Veryan

 In the village of Veryan are five very distinctive Round Houses,all listed, here are four of the five.




All the houses were built in about 1820 by Hugh Rowe, a Lostwithiel builder, for the Reverend Jeremiah Trist, reputed to be one for each of his 5 daughters.
But it seems they were lived in by his tenants or labourers of the village, there are several theories as to why they were round, one is that it is said to deter the activities of the Devil ! But it seems more likely to be for practical reasons and that it was just economical to build that way and to heat etc. Although they each have a cross on the roof.
The Trist Family
Reverend Jeremiah Trist succeeded his father John Trist in 1783 as the local vicar, John had installed two bells in the church and had planted many trees in his lifetime on the 600 acres the family owned at Veryan.

Portrait of John Trist

Jeremiah himself made an indelible mark on the church and its parish, establishing the first boys and girls schools 1814 and 1821, building the five roundhouses, and embellishing the church with the present tower clock (1800), placing two stone tablets of texts in the porch (1803) and removing the old singing gallery from the west end (1809).
He also built his own house Parc Behan as his vicarage.

Picture Copyright Mr George Egan on Images of England

Then he in turn was succeeded by his son Samuel Peter John Trist in 1830.
Jeremiah Trist was born on 30 September 1755, son of John and Jane, he died 23 September 1829.
He married Elizabeth Charlotte Fincher on 13 May 1783 in Veryan. She was born 22 May 1762 and died 22 July 1849 at Parc Behan, Green Lane, Veryan. The Vicarage now a house that Jeremiah had built in about 1802-10.
They had 5 daughters and 2 sons.
1) Charlotte Fincher b early 1784, m John Gwatkin in 1814, had 4 children, all b in India. She d 14 November 1869, buried in Veryan.
2) Harriet Ann b late 1785, m Richard Budd in 1813, had 2 children, and d October 1871 Bath, Somerset.
3) Caroline b early 1787, seems never married, 1851 census she was a visitor to a curate and his wife in Somerset and listed as ‘Annuitant’. Found possible death 1864 in Somerset.
4) Thomas b summer 1788, m Frances Grose, they had 2 sons and 1 daughter. And it looks like he lived in India from about 1807 to 1822 and was an officer in the Bengal Native Infantry, he died 4 April 1832.
In looking for information about Thomas I came across this great page from a reference book, Burke’s, about the Trist family….See below!
It shows that Jeremiahs wife Elizabeth was the daughter of the Vicar of Veryan, Rev Richard Fincher before him….how brilliant…they certainly kept it in the family! Also that Thomas (Eldest Son) was a 15th direct descendant from King Edward 111.

5) Samuel Peter John b late 1790, was christened on Christmas day 1790. He went to Oxford College Oriel at age 17 just like his father (Jeremiah also went to Oxford College but Lincoln).
No marriage found. He was Vicar of Veryan for 40 years
Samuel (the builder of Trist House and garden, a very grand new Vicarage)

Trist House

rescued a large quantity of medieval carved stonework from the derelict chapel of St Nun at Grampound. It is likely that some of the early features in the parish church came from this source and were added during the major rebuilding of the church undertaken by Samuel between 1847 and 1850.Samuel d 8 June 1869.
6) Louisa Jane b 1795 and d May 1809 aged 14 years.
7) Maria Elizabeth b early 1790 d early 1818 aged 28 years.
I don’t know the reason these two sisters died so young.
They are both buried in the family vault at Veryan.
The Trist family have a Tomb vault, it is thought built by Jeremiah in about 1800, close to the tower of St Symphorian, Veryan. Several members of the family are buried there.

Trist family Mausoleum……. RESURGEMUS’   ‘Sown in Corruption, raised in Incorruption’

More information on the Memorial Inscriptions at Veryan, follow link below……
Memorial Inscriptions at Veryan From Cornwall OPC online.

The village of VERYAN, more information about its buildings of note, follow link below……Listed Buildings in Veryan, Cornwall.

Till next time then ……………


  1. My 4x gr grandfather was Robert May who was murdered in Veryan in January 1850. It was a famous case. Rev Trist buried him

    Liked by 1 person

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