Before the pier and dock were built, there was a tiny fleet of local sail-powered fishing vessels based on the main town beach that tied up on the seafront quayside.
The Plymouth estate office retained control over the planning, building and development of the new town, offering 99-year leases and remaining the ground landlord.
To the south of the town centre, imposing detached villa residences along the cliff tops looked across the Channel to the Somerset coast and the islands of Flat Holm (Welsh: By 1861, the number of people in the five parishes had increased to 1,898 and to 3,382 by 1871.
In 1875, three of the constituent parishes - Penarth, Cogan, and Llandough - were merged into the Penarth Local Board, giving a population of 6,228 persons by 1881.
All householders in Penarth were tenants of the Plymouth Estates, paying an annual ground rent.