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28 October 2014
BBC Cornwall Attractions BBC Cornwall Attractions
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Tall ships and Peg Leg Pascoe greet you!
The Shipwreck and Heritage Centre
The Shipwreck and Heritage Centre has thousands of aretfacts.

Charlestown was built by Charles Rashleigh and for years was part of the thriving China Clay world.

Now its beauty and history attracts families and film makers.

WEB LINKS
Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre
This web page offers opening hours and more details about various sections within the centre.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
FACTS

+ The port of Charlestown is named after the man who built it, Charles Rashleigh.

+ It was built between 1790 and 1810 and used for the export of china clay.

+ The harbour has survived the many years since and is now used by film producers from around the world.

+ The harbour is home to many spectacular Tall Ships.

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The beautiful port of Charlestown has been attracting thousands of visitors for many years.

The Shipwreck and Heritage Centre stands above the old harbour and houses many artefacts ranging from the Titanic to diving equipment.

"I used to work in London, when I came to Charlestown I could not believe somewhere like this existed," says David Ettritch, the curator of the centre. "To me, this village is perfect. Outside you have the harbour and the lovely tall ships. Inside the museum there is the largest collection of shipwreck aretfacts there is in europe."

Models tell the story of Charles Rashleigh
A scene of Charles Rashleigh who built up Charlestown.

The harbour has attracted many film-makers since its exporting business started to decline.

"We have had the Three Musketeers, Moll Flanders, and many more filmed in Charlestown," explains David."It is a genuine port built around 1791. The harbour hasn't changed much. The houses are still as they were when they were originally built. There is very little cost to the film-makers as they don't have to make many changes.

Charlestown Harbour houses the old and the new as the Earl is given a face lift for television
The Earl Of Pembroke is being used in the Hornblower series.

When you walk up to the heritage centre you are welcomed by an old rogue who has been greeting visitors for more than 20 years. Peg Leg Pascoe is a pirate who is permanently in the jail at Charlestown.

The infamous Peg Leg Pascoe
Old Peg Leg welcomes visitors from his jail in Charlestown.

"Old Peg Leg has become a popular fixture at the centre," smiles David. "We have parents coming to us saying they remembered the pirate when they were children!"

The Heritage centre houses thousands of artefacts. The Titanic section is proving very popular as this year marks the 90th anniversary of its sinking.

"There is always a great fascination with the Titanic," says David. "We have had many people visit us who said they had relatives who died on the ship."

For children many of the exhibitions have moving models. A new addition is the super cruisers, these are model boats for children to move around the water. Adults find these appealing too!

Static ship controls in the Heritage Centre
Children can steer a static ship in the Heritage Centre.

"We have so many artefacts we could do with more room," laughs David. "We are like a gallon poured into a pint pot."

David recommends you allow an hour and a half to look around. If you are really interested in diving and shipwrecks you could easily spend all day there.

DIRECTIONS From St Austell, take the A3061 into Charlestown. The Shipwreck & Heritage Centre is on the left of the Harbour.

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