Perranporth

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Coordinates: 50°20′37″N 5°09′17″W / 50.3437°N 5.1546°W / 50.3437; -5.1546

Perranporth
Cornish: Porthperan
Droskyn Point - geograph.org.uk - 23562.jpg
Perran Beach from Droskyn Point
Perranporth is located in Cornwall
Perranporth
Perranporth
 Perranporth shown within Cornwall
Population 3,066 
OS grid reference SW756540
Civil parish Perranzabuloe
Unitary authority Cornwall
Ceremonial county Cornwall
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Perranporth
Postcode district TR6
Dialling code 01872
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Cornwall
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Truro & Falmouth
List of places
UK
England
Cornwall
Perranporth Boating Lake
Perranporth Village Centre, with the beach in the background

Perranporth (Cornish: Porthperan)[1] is a small seaside resort town on the north coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is 6 miles (10 km) southwest of Newquay[2] and 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Truro. Perranporth and its 3 miles (5 km) long beach face the Atlantic Ocean.[3] It has a population of 3,066,[4] and is the largest settlement in the civil parish of Perranzabuloe.

The village's modern name comes from the Cornish for the cove of Saint Piran (Porth Peran), Saint Piran being one of the patron saints of Cornwall. It is believed that Saint Piran founded a church at Perranzabuloe near Perranporth in the seventh century. Buried under sand for many centuries, it was unearthed in the nineteenth century, and again early in the twentieth century, but again left to the mercy of the sands in the 1970s.

History[edit]

The Voorspoed, Perranporth, 1901, ran ashore in a northerly gale in Perran Bay, March 7, 1901, while travelling from Cardiff to Bahia. The wreck was one of the last to be looted.[5]

Perranporth Airfield, originally built during World War II as an RAF fighter station, is now a civil airfield located on the plateau above the cliffs.[3]

Until the 1960s, Perranporth was served by a railway line. Built as the Truro and Newquay Railway, the line ran from Chacewater to Newquay and the principal intermediate stop was Perranporth station.[6] Perranporth also had a second station, known as ' Beach Halt '

Geography[edit]

Perranporth is centred on a main street, St Piran's Road, which carries the B3285 Newquay to St Agnes road. The village centre has a various shops and cafés including a co-operative store, premier convenience store, the Camelot restaurant and a Wetherspoons pub, The Green Parrot, as well as six other pubs. The long-distance South West Coast Path runs past the village. There is a long-distance coach service provided by National Express (service 316) which runs between London and Perranporth.

Perranporth is a popular family holiday destination. A wide sandy beach, Perran Beach, extends northeast of the town for nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) to Ligger Point. The beach faces west onto Perran Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and is a popular surfing location.[3] There are lifeguard beach patrols from May to September and the beach is generally safe for bathing although there are dangerous rip currents around Chapel Rock at ebb tides.

At the south end of the beach are cliffs with natural arches, natural stacks and tin-mining adits. There is a youth hostel above the cliffs at Droskyn Point. Nearby is the 19th century Droskyn Castle, formerly a hotel and now divided into apartments.

Protected areas[edit]

Perran Beach is backed by extensive sand dunes which extend nearly a mile inland. Known as Penhale Sands, the dunes are used for orienteering competitions and there is an army training camp which includes a live firing range, over which Ministry of Defence byelaws apply[7] and a golf course on the dunes. The dunes are also unofficially used in the summer by naturists. They are also a valuable resource for wildlife with many rare plants and insects including Cornwall's largest colony of the Silver-studded Blue a Red Data Book species.[8]

Southwest of Perranporth, the coast becomes more rocky with cliffs rising to approximately 232 feet (90 metres) at Cligga Head. These cliffs form the Cligga Head SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), noted for its geological and biological characteristics.[9]

Annual events[edit]

Perranporth hosts an inter-Celtic festival each October, Lowender Peran, drawing people in from Cornwall and the other five Celtic nations. The " Perranporth Shout " Sea-song and Shanty Festival is held over the third weekend in April with performers from as far away as Scotland and Norway.

Places of worship, associations and clubs[edit]

The parish church, which in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church of England is in Perranzabuloe village, but there is an Anglican chapel-of-ease in Perranporth dedicated to St Michael which opened in 1872.[10]

Masonic and fraternal associations[edit]

The town's Masonic centre in Liskey Hill, is home to no less than sixteen Masonic bodies, which makes it one of the foremost centres for Masonic activity in Cornwall.[11]

In addition to the sizeable Masonic presence in the town, there used to be a Lodge belonging to the Independent Order of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity), who owed the Odd Fellows Hall, near to the Ponsmere Hotel, but due to declining numbers this Lodge closed and the building is now rented by Cornwall Council as the town's library. The Oddfellows building is owned by Perranzabuloe Museum which has a display gallery and research area above the library.

Sport[edit]

Surfing is very popular in Perranporth with its long sands and beach break. The Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club is one of the oldest in the country and hosts an extreme triathlon event every autumn. The beach is also a popular destination for Kite Surfing enthusiasts. There is a golf club, called Perranporth Golf Club, lying just north of the village, while the football team Perranporth A.F.C. play in Division One West of the South West Peninsula League.

Notable people[edit]

These include motor engineer and designer Donald Healey (who opened the first garage/petrol station in the village in 1919; a nearby cider farm run by a grandson of his has a detailed graphic display about his life) and the author Winston Graham (who lived in Perranporth for many years and whose Poldark novels are based on the area).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel. Cornish Language Partnership.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 200 Newquay & Bodmin ISBN 978-0-319-22938-5
  3. ^ a b c Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 204 Truro & Falmouth ISBN 978-0-319-23149-4
  4. ^ Cornwall County Council Statistics
  5. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/10397734/Shipwreck-photograph-collection-for-sale.html?frame=2711289
  6. ^ Reade, Lewis (1983) Branch Line Memories; Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Publishers ISBN 0-906899-06-0
  7. ^ http://www.scribd.com/doc/97852050/Penhale-Light-Anti-Aircraft-Artillery-Range-Byelaws
  8. ^ Wacher, John; John Worth and Adrian Spalding (2003). A Cornwall Butterfly Atlas. Newbury: Pisces Publications. ISBN 1-874357-23-4. 
  9. ^ "Cligga Head". Natural England. 1986. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  10. ^ GENUKI website; Perranzabuloe; retrieved May 2010
  11. ^ Province of Cornwall (2011)Cornwall Masonic Yearbook 2011/12 Truro:

External links[edit]