Saturday, 5 February 2011


The port of Charlestown has a long history as a trading post, but it was developed into a proper harbour with quays in Georgian times. The original settlement here was called West Polmear, but the present name derives from the local man responsible for this development, Charles Rashleigh. His legacy lives on to this day, including in the name of one of the port’s pubs, The Rashleigh Arms. The main business of the port when the Cornish mining industry was still in full flow was the transport of copper, but this was later replaced by china clay.

For those interested in shipwrecks, Charlestown plays host to a Shipwreck and Heritage Centre, a fascinating collection of artefacts including a display from the most famous shipwreck of them all, the Titanic. The necklace worn by Kate Winslet in the film Titanic is one of the items shown. There is also a collection of Nelson memorabilia. Meanwhile, the harbour itself is a Grade II listed harbour. Because its appearance has remained largely unchanged over the years, it has been used in a number of TV and film productions, such as the 1970s series Poldark, and the film The Eagle Has Landed, for which Charlestown and surrounding area was used to depict Alderney. Just to the east of Charlestown is Carlyon Bay, a popular holiday spot, while a bit further to the east again is Par Sands, with a popular caravan park.

Map of the area.

File:Dock Gate and Cottages, Charlestown, Cornwall. - - 397081.jpg
Photo by Gary Radford, via Wikimedia Commons

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