Wednesday 6 March 2019

The Hue and Cry Made From A Huers Hut At Newquay, Cornwall

Huers Hut, Newquay, Cornwall - a hue and cry

The photos are of a Huers Hut overlooking the sea at Newquay, Cornwall. It is said to date from the 14th century - but could well be older - and was used as a look-out when shoals of pilchards were expected in the bay.

The huer would sound his horn raising a hue and cry alerting townsfolk to the arrival of the fish.

Inside Huers Hut, Newquay, Cornwall

By means of hand signals the huer enabled the fishermen to position their boats and encircle the shoals into their nets.

Inside the Huer's Hut, Newquay, Cornwall

Previous to being used by a Huer the hut may have been a hermitage. Externally the building has a large, typically Cornish, late medieval chimney and a narrow stairway leading to the roof.

Huers Hut overlooking the sea at Newquay, Cornwall

Though I have used the words hue and cry above there are other suggestions as to how the phrase originated. Wikipedia, for example, suggests the following:

By the Statute of Winchester of 1285 it was provided that anyone, either a constable or a private citizen, who witnessed a crime shall make hue and cry, and that the hue and cry must be kept up against the fleeing criminal from town to town and from county to county, until the felon is apprehended.

See alsoNewquay Harbour in 1875 and 2019


  1. The whitewash and blue sky remind me of Mykonos. It’s an interesting structure and I’m sure the view is wonderful.Ive never heard of a Huer or of this means of enhancing fishing. It was a very interesting and clever plan. I know now that radar can detect large schools of fish that indicate larger fish are feeding nearby and the appearance of the water can be different to the human eye when this happens as well. I suppose the huer could see this change from above. Thanks for the lesson!

    1. Thanks Ann. Yes there is a look of a Greek island about the building. Standing on top of the hut would have given the huer a clear view of the sea below. Nowadays Newquay is a tourist destination, heaves with people in the summer season.

  2. What an interesting.building, I bet the kids love it. We still have some concrete WW2 bunkers along the East coast but this one is luxurious in comparison. Yes, the whitewashed Huer against the deep blue sky is very much like a Greek landscape.

    1. Thanks David. Children unfortunately can't go inside, the huers hut as it is locked. I was lucky to go inside. Great views from the top of the hut.

  3. I love it for its down to earth most beautiful and fitting architecture



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