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Charlestown in
Days Gone By
The Coastal Village
of "Charlestown"
and its History


Charlestown, is a small, historic harbourside village, just 1 mile south of St Austell,
which is situated at the north eastern corner of the tri-angular "Roseland Peninsula",
with St Mawes at the southern tip.

Charlestown is classed as a 'World Heritage Site', with its 'tallships' harbour and delightful village.
It has a cobbly/sandy beach and the coastal path is easily accessible for stunning coastal walks.
The village has its own pub, restaurants and shops and is well served by the local bus service,
with a regular service to local villages & St Austell for links to all areas
and the main line train directly into London.....



Historically, Charlestown was known as West Polmear, and in 1790 consisted of just a
few tiny fishing cottages with a population of just nine, who made their living from catching pilchards.
By 1911 the population had apparently reached 3184.....

Charlestown harbour, was purpose built in 1801, by local businessman Charles Rashleigh,
for the export of china clay from the local flourishing China Clay pits....
The harbour was built with inner and outer piers for protection and shelter of the ships
and a gun battery to protect the village, which also acted as a look out for guiding boats
to where the shoals of pilchards were...
The name of the village was changed in honour of Mr. Charles Rashleigh and thus the name became
Charles' town (Charlestown).....


Square Sail
Tall Ship

Around 1900

Today, Charlestown still remains a working port with one or two fisherman using it as their base, but,
mainly it is used as a base for the 'Square Sail Company', who own the three Tall Ships which are based here.

Charlestown has been used as a backdrop for many films including the
Onedin Line, Rebecca, Mollflanders, Alice in Wonderland and Darwin.
It has its own Shipwreck and Heritage Centre which houses a very interesting cross section of local
history-sea rescue-mining and shipwrecks, which occured around the West Country Coast....

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Tel: 01204 227869 or 07764760839
Copyright Stephanie Fleig 2008