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Charlestown


Charlestown South Cornwall
Just a mile from the old market town of St. Austell, a walk through the Georgian port of Charlestown really is like stepping back in time.The harbour, built by local entrepreneur Charles Rashleigh in the late 18th century to export copper, coal and later china clay from nearby Cornish mines, is still home to a fleet of splendid square rigged ships. The towering masts and magnificent sails hark back to a bygone era of wind powered voyages and Nelson's victories over Napoleonic France. Further local maritime history is available at the Shipwreck, Rescue and Heritage Centre in the town, as well as stories of the infamous shipwrecks that have occured in the seas around this beautiful yet treacherous coastline.

Originally a tiny fishing village named West Polmear, Charlestown's population exploded from just 9 in the early 18th century to nearly 3000 by the 19th, with new businesses such as shipbuilding and pilchard curing becoming established in the town. With this boom came the construction of new homes, from quaint fisherman's cottages to fashionable Georgian houses. To this day, Charlestown retains much of its historical character making it a popular location for film and television; Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland' and the BBC's recent hit, 'Poldark', are just two of the many productions to have been filmed here.


The Cornish Riviera, in which Charlestown sits, is a beautiful stretch of coastline with arguably some of the finest beaches in the county, including Duporth, Porthpean and Polkerris. Local writer Daphne du Maurier immortalised many local sites - Menabilly
, otherwise known as Manderly from Rebecca,to name but one - and lived in several houses in the area. Other nearby attractions include the popular Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The fishing villages of Mevagissey and Fowey are also not far away and are definitely worth a visit.

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