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Port Isaac

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The origin of name 'Port Isaac', (Cornish: Porthusek), is obscure but is believed to have originally been Port Izzard; in early times it was known as Portissyk. This port dates from Saxon times, but by the 16th century, its trade was mainly in pilchard fish; this reached a high point in the 19th century for which extensive cellars were built. In 1850 there were 49 fishing boats here. Delabole slate was also exported from here. This quaint fishing village with narrow streets is on the north coast between Padstow and Tintagel. The pier was constructed during the reign of Henry VIII, and still visible, and the coming of the railway increased its prosperity. Although the railway was closed in 1966, it is still well served by a local coach firm. THe village grew steadily from the 18th century; John Wesley visted the village in 1750 when he complained that the Meeting House was too small.

With its sister port, Port Gaverne, Port Isaac is totally surrounded by open countryside and both lie in an area of outstanding natural beauty and is a Heritage Coast area. The character of the old fishing village conservation area, and its setting, is the subject of many planning and development constraints.

The ecclesiastical parish was created in 1913 from St Endellion. Other hamlets here are Trefeock and Trewetha. Today the parish is again part of St Endellion.

Cemeteries

The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 26 entries.

Census

Census information for this parish up to, and including 1901, is with St Endellion. The Cornwall Family History Society offers a census search service for its members. The Cornwall Family History Society have also published on-line census detail by surname on the FamilyHistoryonLine site.

Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:

Church History

Church Records

Civil Registration

Since its creation in 1913, the parish of Port Isaac has been in the Bodmin Registration District. There were sub-districts are Bodmin, Egloshayle, Lanlivery and St Mabyn but these have now been abolished.

The Superintendant Registrar of Bodmin can be contacted at: Lyndhurst, 66 Nicholas Street, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 2AG. Tel: 01208 73677.

Genealogy

OPC Assistance. The On-line Parish Clerk (OPC) scheme operates a service to help family historians; the OPC page for St Endellion (including Port Isaac) is available on-line, from where the OPC can be contacted by email.

Maps

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

The parish of Port Isaac became part of the Bodmin Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief on its creation.

Population

The parish was created in 1913 from St Endellion. Before this time, the population figures are included with that parish. Port Isaac is geneally enumerated with St Endellion.

  • Population in 1921 - 0 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 876 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 968 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 840 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 760 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 785 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 870 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 0 persons

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