Morwenstow is the most northerly parish in Cornwall with the Atlantic Ocean to the west and Devon to the east. As well as the churchtown, other settlements in the parish include Shop, Woodford, Gooseham, Eastcott, Wooley and West Youlstone.
Morwenstow was the home of the eccentric vicar and poet Robert Stephen Hawker (1803–1875), who is credited with reviving the custom of Harvest Festivals. The church of St Morwenna and St John the Baptist is of the Norman period. The Vicarage was built for Hawker and has chimneys in the form of the towers of various churches associated with him. The nearby coast is hazardous to shipping and the corpses of drowned sailors were laid out in the churchyard and then buried. Hawker buried over forty who were washed up within the parish boundaries.