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Gwinear lies two miles east of Hayle, in Penwith. The village is situated on a hill with magnificent views over the Angarrack valley. In 1934 the parishes of Gwinear and Gwithian were combined to form the present-day parish of Gwinear-Gwithian, which is largely composed of scattered houses and farms. Some of these, like Lanyon farm and Polkinghorne farm, date back to the seventeenth century. Evidence has been found to suggest that there has been farming in this area since the second century.

The parish church of St Gwinear dates back to the thirteenth century and is thought to be named after the son of an Irish Pagan King, reputed to have been slaughtered by the Cornish Pagan King Theodoric.