Perranporth (Cornish: Porthpyran) is a village on the north coast of Cornwall, England, in the United Kingdom, 6 miles (9.7 km) south-west of the surfing resort of Newquay and 6 miles north-east of that at Porthtowan.
The village has a fine links golf course and a civil airfield suitable for visitors arriving by private plane. Perranporth has a population of 3,066. The village, and its large sandy beach, face the Atlantic, with hundreds of miles of uninterrupted fetch producing large waves, making it one of the most popular surfing destinations, along with neighbouring breaks at Newquay, Chapel Porth and Porthtowan.
At low tide the sands extend up to Ligger Point, 2 miles (3 km) to the north. The village's name is Cornish for "Saint Piran's cove". Saint Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall and his white-on-black cross features on the county's flag.
It is believed that Saint Piran founded the church near to Perranporth (the "Lost Church") in the seventh century. Buried under sand for many centuries, it was unearthed early in the twentieth century, but again left to the mercy of the sands in the 1970s.
Plans are now afoot to make it accessible once more. During the 1999 solar eclipse, Perranporth was the one of the places in the country that was known to have a clear view of totality. Perranporth hosts an inter-Celtic festival each October, Lowender Peran, drawing people in from all six of the Celtic nations.
Perranporth is a family holiday destination. There is a lifeguard service on the beach from May to September. The beach is generally safe for bathing but there are dangerous rip currents around Chapel Rock on a falling tide. The sand dunes (Penhale Sands) adjacent to the northern part of the beach are used for orienteering championships.
There is also an army training camp and golf course here. The southern end of the beach is backed by dramatic cliffs, with natural arches and stacks, and tin-mining adits. This headland is called Droskyn Point, and on top of it is a youth hostel with views of the coast and a large sundial, situated beside the South West Coast Path.
The well-known motor engineer and designer Donald Healey was born and died in Perranporth. The author Winston Graham lived in Perranporth for many years and his famous Poldark novels, which were televised, starring Robin Ellis and Angharad Rees as Ross and Demelza, are based on the history of the area and its local families. "Hendrawna Sands" in the novels is Perranporth beach.
Cubert is an inland village with an unusual church in that its spire and tower are more or less equal in height. The village is named after the Welsh missionary St Cubert who, as a companion of St Carantoc, brought the Christian faith to this part of Cornwall, and to whom the church is dedicated. Unlike his companion St Carantoc - who travelled on to Brittany - St Cubert returned to Wales becoming abbot of his monastery and, according to the Welsh Chronicles, dying in 775 A.D. Started in the 14th century, the church of St Cuthbert has undergone various restorations, not least in the mid 1800s after lightening struck both the tower and the spire. Nearby is the holiday resort of Holywell Bay. As the name denotes, there is indeed a holy well here. In fact there are two. One spring can only be reached at low tide due to its location in a beach cave. Many people have come here over the years seeking its supposed curative powers. Another is accessed via two ornate arched doorways revealing stone seats where one can sit and listen to the gurgling water.
St Newlyn East
St Newlyn East (Cornish: Eglosniwlin) The parish of St Newlyn East, (usually abbreviated to Newlyn East) is about five miles south of Newquay.
The parish is named after the patron saint of the church, St. Newlina and has a small population (since last census) of 1390 people.
The Lappa Valley Steam Railway tourist attraction operates here. At Trerice is the Tudor mansion of the Arundells now in the care of the National Trust. The church was founded in Norman times and rededicated in 1259. Most of the present building is of the 14th and 15th centuries.
There is a fine Norman font. On 9 July 1846 a disaster at the East Wheal Rose mine was caused by an unusually heavy thunderstorm which lasted an hour and a quarter. It flooded the mine and thirty-nine of the miners - mainly inhabitants of the village and its immediate vicinity, were drowned.
The mine was eventually closed in 1881. After the disaster, villagers of St. Newlyn East worked together and dug a pit in remembrance of the miners who died. The pit is still there today, and has been used frequently for church meetings and tea gatherings etc. When the pit was actually made, it was also used for Cornish wrestling, and was recently re-dug and made more usable with funding from the National Lottery Fund.
The original name for Mitchell was Medeschole and the first mention of the village was in a court case in 1234, establishing the legal status of an annual market on St Francis's day.