Friday 26 August 2022

Photos and a Brief History of Charlestown, Cornwali

A few photos today of Charlestown Harbour, one of my favourite haunts. Always a pleasure to visit, well I think so.

It's hard to imagine that, way back in 1790, this was a very small fishing village with just nine fishermen.

 Charles Rashleigh, however, saw other possibilities.

Copper, and later china clay, needed to be exported from the local area. So Rashleigh decided to build a harbour with the help of a few friends which included John Smeaton, well known for constructing lighthouses and harbours.

The harbour and port were constructed between 1791 and 1801.

Eventually, under Rashleigh's guidance, a village was also developed around the harbour. The name was changed from Porthmear to Charlestown in honour of Rashleigh. 

Business boomed. 40,000 tones of copper ore were exported between 1810 and 1813.

Unfortunately life and the harbour became too small for modern shipping and the final load of china clay left the dock in 2000.

Today Charlestown is very much a tourist destination and is very popular during the summer season. It's fame has spread because the harbour, and local area, has been used for filming the likes of the very popular Poldark television series and for various films.

Nowadays you never know what you might see on a visit to Charlestown!

A tall ship below in the harbour.

As the the scene may well have looked  once upon a time

You'll find details of Charles Rashleigh's grave stone in my post: Following Your Nose in St. Austell to the Cemetery Park and Other Places and some vintage photos of Charlestown on my blog post : Old Vintage Photos of Charlestown, Cornwall

... and that's about all for today, enjoy the weekend and the week ahead. Good wishes ~ Mike.


  1. I regret not visiting Charlestown on our one & only holiday to Cornwall. Your description of how it developed and was eventually renamed in honour of Charles Rashleigh adds interest to the superb photo's. Good to see some blue skies, I enjoyed the last photo and yes, it does reflect the atmosphere of the era. Enjoy the Bank Holiday Mike, we shall be keeping well away trom our beach area. 😊 🐕 🐢

  2. Hello David, thanks, we won't be venturing very far on the Bank Holiday, especially as the weather forecast is good. Just too many people (and cars) about. Hope you enjoy your weekend. All good wishes.

  3. We love to visit Charlestown when in Cornwall. As you say, Mike, there is always something interesting to see. Those Valerian flowers look amazing. We had a good show earlier in the summer, but they are dry stalks now. Still, they attracted a Hummingbird hawkmoth into the garden ...

    1. Hello Caroline, Charlestown is a special place for us. We've stood on the harbour walls early in a morning. It feels like stepping back in time with dampness in the air and no one else about. All good wishes.

  4. Hello Mike, Charlestown always looks very handsome and you have taken wonderful photos of it. It really is amazing to think there used to be just nine fishermen before Charles set to work with his buddy Smeaton (a good friend to have), and that the last china clay export was as late as 2000!

    1. Hello Lulu, thanks. I have a soft spot for Charlestown - we even saw in the new millennium (2000) standing on the harbour walls - it was like stepping back in time.



A Walk to Pentewan Village, Beach and Harbour

It was a sunshine day so we decided on a walk to Pentewan along the Pentewan Trail starting from the bridge as shown above. ...