Penryn Town Council has sixteen Councillors with its offices based in the heart of the town, opposite the iconic Town Hall and clocktower. Penryn was founded in 1216 and has had a Mayor since 1621 when the town received its Royal Charter. It is one of Cornwall's most ancient towns with a wealth of charm, character and history. Standing at the head of the Penryn River, it occupies a sheltered position and was a port of some significance in the 15th century.
Medieval Penryn owed its existence to its harbour as its promontory site sits between two river channels on a branch of a tidal estuary. It was a planted town designed to stimulate economic activity and was already a thriving port, with lively markets and fairs in the main square, by the late 16th century while neighbouring Falmouth was only beginning to develop.
With the founding of Glasney College in 1265 by Bishop Bronscombe of Exeter, Penryn became a seat of learning until its dissolution and demolition in 1549. Penryn has now come full circle with Cornwall's first university campus at Tremough which plays host to Exeter and Falmouth Universities. Little remains of the original Glasney College, but in 2015, the 750th anniversary of its founding, a project for the Penryn Arts Festival led by Penryn based artists Simon Persighetti and Katie Etheridge, recreated the original footprint on the site of Glasney College.
Penryn is twinned with Audierne in Brittany, France.