Port Eliot was built originally as a priory with the adjacent St Germans Priory Church. Parts of Port Eliot are dated back to the 12th Century. During the 17th and the 18th Century, Port Eliot was significantly remodeled and altered by renowned architects, one of them being Sir John Soane. Today, Port Eliot serves as the Eliot family's seat and the present head is the 10th Earl of St Germans, Peregrine Eliot. The Eliot family heavily invested in this sprawling estate during the 18th and the 19th centuries and built several fisherman's cottages, farmhouses and other structures. Today, the house and its lush grounds are open for public visits during Spring for three months.