The name derives frae the Manor o Arworthal which haes haed a number o spellings in the past includin Hareworthal (1187), Arwoethel an Arwythel. Bi the 18t century twa names appear on maps “Perran Arworthal” meanin St Piran’s bi the creek or estuary.
William Penaluna described the settlement in 1838.
The oreeginal 15t century Anglican kirk o Saunt Piran wis replaced bi a buildin designed bi James Piers St Aubyn in 1884. Housomeivver, the oreeginal granite-built touer remains frae the 15t century kirk. Pevsner described the church as "indifferent".
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It wis the hame o the Perran Iron Foundry, an innovative concern, run bi the Fox family o Falmouth an ither Quaker business families. It wis set up on the site o a tin smeltin wirks in 1791. The foondry wis later operatit in pairtnership wi the Williams family, an in 1858, it wis sauld tae them.
The creek servin the factory siltit up an minin in Cornwall declined. The wharf haed been uised tae import timber for the minin industry frae Scandinavie. The slump in the minin industry durin the 1870s hit Perran Foondry badly an it closed in Mairch 1879 wi the loss o 400 jobs, causin great distress in the parish. In Aprile 1879, the 'Royal Cornwall Gazette' reportit that a soup kitchen haed been open since Januar: '793 fowk haed attendit an 1,240 quarts o soup wur distributit'.
The buildings includin Manor Mill on the opposite side o the road wur later adaptit bi the Edwards Brothers for the millin an storage o grains an animal foods, an an' a' cloth dyein; anither waterwheel wis addit. Ower the past few years there hae been ambitious plans which hae come an gane, but little haes chynged at the foondry site apairt frae the gradual deterioration o the buildings.
The site haes been uised for various purposes since but closed in 1986. In 2005, the awners, North Hill Estates Ltd., applied for plannin permission tae redevelop the site. The proposal is for a mix o live/work units an residential accommodation. Further consultation on their proposal is ongoin (2007).
The Norway Inn  wis kent oreeginally as the Norway Hotel an the name derives frae the Norse vessels which ance brought loads o timber tae Perran Wharf, lairgely for uiss in the mines. The timber woud be saisoned bi being 'pickled' for several months in shallow tidal ponds. The Norway Inn wis built in 1828/1829 at the same time that the main Falmouth tae Truro road wis reroutit tae cross the Carnon River on an embankment juist abuin the veelage o Devoran.
Notable fowk frae Perranarworthal include Charles Fox (scientist) an Barclay Fox, managers o the Perran Foondry; the poet Jane Crewdson, née Fox, wis born here; William Jory Henwood, minin geologist who wis born at Perran Wharf; William Lobb (1809–1864), a plant collector who wis responsible for the commercial introduction tae Ingland o the "monkey puzzle" tree Araucaria araucana an the Sequoiadendron giganteum.
William Golding, the novelist, dee'd here in 1993, haein lived in the veelage for the last echt years o his life.
- Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 204 Truro & Falmouth ISBN 9780319231494
- An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall, Etc.: In Two Volumes By W. Penaluna Volume 2, pages 157-158. Google Books - Harvard copy, formerly owned by Davies Gilbert
- Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall; 2nd ed. Penguin Books; p. 139
- Cornish Mining History website article on Perran Foundry an Cornwall Industrial Settlements Initiative Report: Perranarworthal
- Barton, D. Bradford (1968). The Cornish Beam Engine (2nd ed.). Truro, Cornwall: D. Bradford Barton. pp. 152 – 159.
- "Further consultation on foundry scheme" article by Melanie Jago in The West Briton July 12, 2007, p. 33.
- Carrick District Council Planning Application PA16/2574/05/M
- West Briton 27 September 2007, p. 30 "Foundry go-ahead".
- Norway Inn website
- Perran Wharf photographs
- The Village o Devoran
- Hawkes, John G. "William Lobb in Ecuador and the Enigma of Solanum lobbianum". www.jstor.org. Retrieved 12 December 2008.
- Cahill Partnership & Historic Environment Service, Environment and Heritage, Planning, Transportation and Estates, Cornwall County Council Cornwall Industrial Settlements Initiative; Perranarworthal (Truro area) 2005