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28 October 2014

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Rich in history with a bright future
Earl Of Pembroke
Earl Of Pembroke rests in Charlestown harbour

The port of Charlestown was built by Charles Rashleigh to serve a thriving copper and china clay industry.

Today the port acts as a haven for holidaymakers and film producers.


+ Charlestown was built by the founder of the local china clay industry Charles Rashleigh.

+ The harbour was used to transport copper and china clay throughout the world.

+ Today the harbour is still busy with regular visits from tall ships and film producers.

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The port of Charlestown was once called West Polmear.

It had survived as a fishing village. Back then and to this day the fishing was carried out on the pebbled beach.

In 1790 only nine people lived in West Polmear but one man was to change that.

Charles Rashleigh saw that the expansion of the mining industry around West Polmear provided the need for a harbour on the coast.

In 1791 construction on Rashleigh's harbour started. Seven years later the spectacular Cornish harbour was completed.

"Charlestown" was named after Rashleigh and to this day the port remains faithful to this man. The nearby pub is called the Rashleigh Arms and you can find out more about the man himself at the Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre

The Rashleigh
The Rashleigh Arms is popular with locals and tourists.

Charlestown became the model Georgian new town. Day to day it handled much of the china clay which was being sent all around the world. As the business started to grow so too did the population.

In 1791 only nine people lived in the village. At the turn of the last century almost 3000 people lived in Charlestown.

The old chapel on the main street in Charlestown.

A Methodist Chapel was built in 1828 in Charlestown. This closed down in 1998. As Charlestown grew during the 19th century a parish was formed.

The harbour is still a magnificent sight today. The visits of large china clay tankers has been replaced by Tall Ships. The harbour area is a film-makers dream as the houses and surrounding area of the harbour has not changed much since the Georgian Times.

Harbour houses
The houses above the harbour have not changed since being built.

Charlestown has been seen in many disguises in the movies over the years. At the moment the Earl Of Pembroke tall ship is being modified so it can feature in the next series of Hornblower. This is being filmed in Charlestown in June.

You can take a walk from Charlestown over to either Carlyon Bay and Fowey in the east or Porthpean in the west of St Austell Bay.

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