Wednesday, 9 February 2011

POLPERRO

The streets of the impossibly picturesque fishing village of Polperro are so narrow and winding that if you are staying overnight, unless you are in a hotel with dedicated parking, you are obliged to leave the car in the large car park at the top of the village, in the marvellously named Crumplehorn. In summer, the hordes of daytrippers who are disgorged into the car park from cars and coaches have to make their way down to the harbourside on foot.  There used to be a horsedrawn carriage, but this has now been discontinued. There are boat trips available in the summer months. The Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing tells the history of the village and its smuggling past.

A number of interesting characters are known to have lived in or near Polperro. One of the most colourful was a financier, back in the days before banking became a dirty word, who went by the exquisite name of Zephaniah Job. Following his arrival in Polperro in the early 1770s, after fleeing from the scene of a vicious fight he became involved in during his previous existence as a miner on the north coast, Job did a spell of teaching, then ended up looking after the financial affairs of the local people. Among his more altruistic acts, he repaired the harbour after it was badly damaged by a winter storm. However, some of his activities were more dubious: for example he acted as a benefactor to the smuggling trade, even sending money to imprisoned smugglers. Meanwhile, he took the concept of printing money to giddy new heights by issuing his own Polperro bank notes.

For a list of events in Polperro, see here.


Webcam
view of the harbour.

Map of the area.

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