Gulval is a quiet village of Victorian houses and cottages round a 15th century church. It is about a mile from Penzance overlooking Mounts Bay. Near the sea is the Penzance Heliport, that serves the Scilly Isles.
The name is probably derived from St Gulval, of whom we know nothing, but was believed to be a female.
Gulval developed around the church and had many thatched cottages, now the only thatched houses remaining are Trenow and Rosemorran.
Mining has come and gone. The quaintly named Ding-Dong mine in the north-west of the parish closed in1880 and there were smelting works at Chyandour, plus ice-works and the two water powered mills.
The Bolitho family were responsible for much of the late Victorian additions to the village. Mr R. F. Bolitho of Ponsondane House built many of the granite houses, the almshouses and Lanisley Hall. The almshouses around the green, have been modernised, and are now homes for elderly local people. Trevaylor (now a home for the elderly), Rosemorran and Kenegie (a holiday complex) were amongst the older manor houses. There is a 1910 granite drinking fountain in the centre of the square
The church is 12th century with later additions. There are eight bells in its 15th century tower (built in 1440). A large stone lych gate was added in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee. There are with several memorials to the Bolithos in the graveyard. And the graveyard also has a 'Pirate's Grave' - the gravestone is of John Thomas of Marazion, supposedly a pirate and smuggler who local parish, Marazion, refused to bury him and his family had to pay the Parish of Gulval to do the job.
Gulval Well, once one of Cornwall's most famous but now lost, was southwards of the church.
John Wesley preached in the village, and the first Methodist chapel was built in 1822 (it is now 'Wesley Villa', a private house). The current Methodist chapel was built in 1884.
The Gulval pub, 'Ye Olde Inn', built in 1895, became the Coldstreamer in memory of Captain Michael Lempriere Bolitho of The Coldstream Guards was killed in action near Oran, North Africa on 8th November 1942 aged 25 years following an S.O.E operation on HMS Walney.
A few miles from Gulval is Chysauster, a late Iron Age village now under the protection of English Heritage. It has nine courtyard houses, grouped on either side of the village street. It was inhabited from the first century BC , for the following four hundred years. This Celtic settlement consisted of eight stone-walled homesteads known as 'courtyard houses', which are only found on the Land's End peninsula and the Isles of Scilly. Each house had an open central courtyard surrounded by a number of thatched rooms.
Other Iron Age settlements in the area include Bodrifty Settlement and Castle-an-Dinas - which also has Roger's Tower, a 18th century folly. Castle-an-Dinas consisted of four concentric lines of defence. The inner most, a stonewall, has almost vanished, leaving little more than foundations. The next is another thick wall, tumbled but still 1.8m high in places. It is interrupted on the south-east side by a late eighteenth-century folly, Roger's Tower, built of stone from the castle walls. The third defence is a strong earth and stone bank; the outermost, another strong rampart of earth, reaches 2.3m in height, but exists only around the north-western half of the fort. Traces of an outer ditch can be see, but the position of the original entrance is not known.
Gulval, Cornwall genealogical information from Genuki