The parish of Perranarworthal, (Cornish: Pyran ar Woethel), is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Kerrier; it is bounded on the north by Kea, on the east by Restronguet Creek and Mylor, on the south by St Gluvias and Stithians, and on the west by Gwennap. The name is composed of the saint's name, Piran, plus the name of the manor, Arworthal. This parish contains the ancient village of Perranwell, described in Murrays Hand-Book of 1865 as a village romantically situated in a deep bottom or dell at the head of Restronguet Creek, which is here joined by the Kennal, a small stream rising near Carmenillis.
The other village of note in the parish was Perranwharf. Until the creek silted up, there was waterborne trade in copper ore and pig-iron, the Perran Wharf Foundry being managed by the Fox family of Falmouth. These Iron Works were the first of any considerable capability in Cornwall.
The old Norway Inn on the A39 from Truro recalls the days when Scandinavian timber was imported.
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. The 1841 Census of Perranarworthal (HO107/138), Enumeration Districts 6 to 8, is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.
The New Zealand Society of Genealogists have compiled separate surname indexes of the 1851 Census for each Cornish registration district; Perranarworthal is listed in Volume 22. The booklets are available in Cornwall at the Cornwall Centre, (formerly known as the Cornish Studies Library), and is also available in the Cornwall FHS Library from which it can be purchased.
The parish of Stithians has been linked with the village of Perran-ar-worthal since the 12th century and, although they are only one ecclesiastical parish, they operate as two, both serving populations in excess of two thousand souls. The churches in Perranarworthal are:
Parish Church. The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SW7738 and was dedicated to St Piran. It consists of a chancel, nave and south aisle. The chancel was rebuilt in 1841/42. The arcade comprises five low, obtuse and two modern pointed arches, the material of which is granite. The tower is of three stages and is finished with battlements and crocketed pinnacles, the latter surmounted with balls and crosses. The belfry contains six bells.
Ponsanooth. There is a chapel-of-ease at Ponsanooth; the chapel is a building of granite in the Gothic style, consisting of a chancel, and nave and has 130 sittings. It is dedicated to St Michael and All Angels.
There was anciently a chapel at Cosawes, near here, dedicated to St Mary Magdelene.
In the late 1970s the parish of Gwennap was added to the benefice, and the three churches are now served by a Vicar, a NSM Curate, a reader and a retired priest.
Non-Conformist. The Wesleyan Methodists and Bible Christians had neat chapels here.
The parish of Perranarworthal was originally in the Falmouth Registration District; there were sub-districts at Constantine, Falmouth, Mylor and Penryn, but these have now been abolished. It is now in the Truro Registration District. Parishes in the Falmouth registration district were: Budock, Constantine, Falmouth, Mabe, Mawnan, Mylor, Penryn, Perranarworthal, St. Gluvias
The address of the Superintendant Registrar in Truro is: Dalvenie House, New County Hall, Truro, TR1 3AY.
Tel: 01872 322241.
Description and Travel
You can see pictures of Perranarworthal which are provided by:
The parish and town tithe maps, and accompanying survey books of c1840, provide a fascinating snap-shot of land use and ownership in the 19th century. In order to preserve the documents and improve access to them, the Cornwall Record Office are digitising these maps and survey books. The CD ROM tithe package include a map and survey books, together with a reader, for this parish; it is now available from the Cornwall Record Office. Details are on their website.