Cornwall Industrial Settlements Initiative
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Carrick Borough Council
Main period of  industrial  settlement growth: 1790-1850
Study Area: Truro Area
Location: On the south coast, 4 miles north of Falmouth and 5 miles south of Truro

Main industry: Wharfs, foundry and lime kilns

Industrial history and significance

Perranarworthal’s industrial significance lies in its close relationship to the development of the Perran Foundry complex, reflected in the local name of the village – Perranwharf. The Foundry never employed huge numbers of people and the nearby village of Perranwell, itself much expanded as result of local industrial activity, contained by far the greater range of chapels, pubs, school, shops, post office and so-on, as it still does to this day

However, Perranwharf became a favoured place for large houses for the owners and managers of local industry – largely the result of its scenic qualities. The resulting close juxtaposition of workers’ and owners’ housing laid out like this is unusual in such a small Cornish settlement. There are three recognisable zones: the roadside industrial village, the large houses on the slopes above, and the ancient churchtown - the focus of ancient routes through the valley, but now sidelined by the 19th century turnpike. As in so many Cornish examples, the impact of transport improvements, particularly turnpike roads in a county where the roads had been notoriously poor, had an immense impact on the forms and scale of industrial settlement.

It differs from many other Cornish churchtowns affected by industrial expansion in that the relatively limited industrial settlement remained largely separate from the churchtown – the focus was down by the river and particularly at the bottom of Cove Hill. The apparent size and connected nature of the settlement now is a function of its mid 20th century expansion.

As an example of an industrial settlement, it demonstrates how Cornish industry, and industrial settlement, could be on a small scale physically but hugely important on the global stage.


The downloads offered below represent the different elements of the CISI Perranarworthal Report including the core text and the four illustrative map figures.
 Title Description Format Size
CISI Perranarworthal report Report text. Format type: PDF


Figure 1 Location map Format type: PDF 524kb
Figure 2 Historical development map Format type: PDF 445kb
Figure 3 Surviving historical components map Format type: PDF 498kb
Figure 4 Gazetteer sites, existing designations and recommendations map Format type: PDF 376kb

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Last Updated: 16/12/2004. © Cornwall County Council, Historic Environment Service.