Par was developed as a mineral port by Joseph Treffry between 1829 and 1841. Fifty vessels of 200 tons could be accommodated in the harbour, and larger vessels could anchor in the bay and have their cargoes taken ashore by barge. New industries grew up round the harbour - wharves and store yards, a smelting plant, ship repairing facilities on the fifty acre site reclaimed from the sea.
Par harbour has been owned by English China Clay since 1964 when it was bought from Treffry Estates by ECC. It is one of the busiest smalls ports in Britain , with around a million tons of clay now being exported through the port, though the port is now in decline.
Shipbuilding was a major industry here, with schooners being built for the Newfoundland trade. The shipbuilding industry has now gone.
Today Par is perhaps best known as being the railway junction for the Newquay branch line.
Around Par, at Biscovey are the Mid-Cornwall Galleries. Mid-Cornwall Galleries is the largest gallery of contemporary arts and crafts in the West Country, featuring the work of artists and makers living in the UK. They have been in business here for around a quarter of a century.
The Village of Tywardreath or houses on the strand , which used to be on the sea before the port was built, and which is featured in the Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name. Dick Young has been lent a house in the village by a friend who is a professor of bio-physics. He has agreed to act as guinea-pig for a new drug that his friend has discovered. With no idea of what the result will be, he takes the prescribed dose - and without warning finds himself back in the fourteenth century, in this same Cornish countryside.
At Polmear there is a well preserved row of almshouses The Rashleigh Almshouses in Polmear, between Par and Fowey are a row of cottages, originally built around 1650 but were restored in 1977
The sandy cove at Polkerris has a small pier and Elizabethan pilchard cellar, perhaps the largest fish cellar in Cornwall. Its stone pier was built around 1750, also within the protection of the pier is an old lime kiln. The "Rashleigh Arms" (prior to 1956 known as the "Elliott Arms".) is on the beach here.
There is a red and white striped beacon on Gribbin Head. The day mark (red and white tower) is owned by the National Trust and is open on some Sundays.
Par, Cornwall Genealogical information from Genuki