As we are celebrating 800 years of Penryn this year, we have of course been looking at the history books so perhaps we should start with an explanation of the first Charters that shaped the Town of Penryn.
Back in the C13th the area we now know as Penryn including Mabe, Falmouth, Mawnan, Constantine, Manacan and beyond was part of a much larger area known as the Manor of Treliever, Treliul, Trewel or Trelivel, there are several interpretations. In 1216, Bishop Simon of Exeter found that a small community had begun to form in the Penryn area of the 'Manor'. Under his instruction a number of houses were built, the community strengthened and thus, the foundation for the granting of future Charters was laid.
In 1236, a Charter of Enfranchisement by Bishop Brewer of Exeter, legally separated Penryn from the rest of the Manor by granting the inhabitants or, burgesses, their families and future generations the right to live freely within the borough at the cost of 12 pence per year. Bishop Bronscombe confirmed the charter in 1259, at the same time a Royal Charter of King Henry III, granted a weekly market, one annual fair and free warren to the Bishop of Exeter. The Market established Penryn as a Port and the power to hold a Court of Pye Powder, enabling the stewards of the Town to hold court over disputes and commercial matters during market days. The free warren granted the Bishop permission to keep wild game on Manor land.
On the vigil of Easter, March 26th, in 1275 Bishop Bronscombe once again confirmed Bishop Brewers Charter of 1236 and it was clear that the small community that Bishop Simon had developed in 1216 was very well established as the Manor of Penryn.