The parish of Penwerris, (Cornish: Pennweres), was created from the northern part of Falmouth in 1848 to serve an increasing population, although this land was then part of Budock parish. Most of Penwerris's Beacon estate was built in the early part of the 19th century to house the 3,000 employees of Falmouth's once thriving docks, which now employ only 300 casual workers. The residential area was built up with council-provided accommodation. In 1995 the Beacon and Old Hill estate was the poorest in Cornwall.
The Beacon Community Regeneration Partnership was set up in 1995 as a multi-agency group, led by the tenants. The results are now there for all to see. The low-rise blocks on Old Hill are now painted in vibrant colours, all chosen by the tenants who want to re-name it Rainbow Hill. The grim terraces are no longer grey, but have been transformed by bright cladding. Recladding and energy conservation measures have been carried out on the properties and most of the homes now have central heating.
The parish is situated on the south coast of Cornwall and is now really part of Falmouth town. Falmouth is the largest port in Cornwall and is sheltered by the natural harbour of Carrick Roads.
Most parish and church description(s) on these pages are from Lake's Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 - 1873)
Census information for this parish (1841 - 1901) is held in the Cornwall Record Office. The Cornwall Family History Society offers a census search service for its members.
Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:
1841. In the 1841 Census, Penwerris was enumerated as parts of Falmouth and Budock.
1851. The 1851 Census of Penwerris (HO107/1911), Enumeration District 2a, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
Anglican. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW8032 and was originally dedicated to the Holy Trinity. It is now dedicated to St Michael & All Angels.
It is a plain rectangular building of stone erected in 1827 and opened on 9th January 1828. It consists of a nave only and a western gallery. The registers date from 1848.