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.
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)