Perranarworthal is a civil parish and village in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The village is situated approximately four miles (6.5 km) northwest of Falmouth and five miles (8 km) southwest of Truro.
The name derives from the Manor of Arworthal which has had a number of spellings in the past including Hareworthal (1187), Arwoethel and Arwythel. By the 18th century two names appear on maps “Perran Arworthal” meaning St Piran’s by the creek or estuary.
William Penaluna described the settlement in 1838.
The original 15th century Anglican church of Saint Piran was replaced by a building designed by James Piers St Aubyn in 1884. However, the original granite-built tower remains from the 15th century church. Pevsner described the church as "indifferent".
It was the home of the Perran Iron Foundry, an innovative concern, run by the Fox family of Falmouth and other Quaker business families. It was set up on the site of a tin smelting works in 1791. The foundry was later operated in partnership with the Williams family, and in 1858, it was sold to them.
The creek serving the factory silted up and mining in Cornwall declined. The wharf had been used to import timber for the mining industry from Scandinavia. The slump in the mining industry during the 1870s hit Perran Foundry badly and it closed in March 1879 with the loss of 400 jobs, causing great distress in the parish. In April 1879, the 'Royal Cornwall Gazette' reported that a soup kitchen had been open since January: '793 people had attended and 1,240 quarts of soup were distributed'.
The buildings including Manor Mill on the opposite side of the road were later adapted by the Edwards Brothers for the milling and storage of grains and animal foods, and also cloth dyeing; another waterwheel was added. Over the past few years there have been ambitious plans which have come and gone, but little has changed at the foundry site apart from the gradual deterioration of the buildings.
The site has been used for various purposes since but closed in 1986. In 2005, the owners, North Hill Estates Ltd., applied for planning permission to redevelop the site. The proposal is for a mix of live/work units and residential accommodation. Further consultation on their proposal is ongoing (2007).
The Norway Inn was known originally as the Norway Hotel and the name derives from the Norwegian vessels which once brought loads of timber to Perran Wharf, largely for use in the mines. The timber would be seasoned by being 'pickled' for several months in shallow tidal ponds. The Norway Inn was built in 1828/1829 at the same time that the main Falmouth to Truro road was rerouted to cross the Carnon River on an embankment just above the village of Devoran/. As of December 1st, 2011 the Inn, after having had a refurbishment, is once again, after many years, offering accommodation with four rooms.
Notable people from Perranarworthal include Charles Fox (scientist) and Barclay Fox, managers of the Perran Foundry; the poet Jane Crewdson, née Fox, was born here; William Jory Henwood, mining geologist who was born at Perran Wharf; William Lobb (1809–1864), a plant collector who was responsible for the commercial introduction to England of the "monkey puzzle" tree Araucaria araucana and the Sequoiadendron giganteum. William Golding, the novelist, died here in 1993 having lived in the village for the last 8 years of his life
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