The parish name derives from Saint Branwalader. In the 17th century St Breward was two separate villages, Churchtown (higher) and St. Breward (lower). More houses were built and slowly the villages merged into one. There are several main parts to the village: Churchtown, Rylands, Limehead, Wenford, Penvorder, Higher Penquite and Lower Penquite. The parish includes a moorland area which contains Rough Tor and Brown Willy, which is the highest point in Cornwall.
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