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28 October 2014
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Pictures of Fowey
Looking down the Fowey Estuary

The Fowey Estuary captures a setting of unspolit cornish natural beauty.

Enjoy photos of Fowey and discover more about this ancient Cornish town.

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Daphne Du Maurier
Find out more about the world famous author who fell in love with Fowey.

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FACTS

+ Fowey Estuary started to develop at the end of the last Ice Age.

+ In the early 1900s dredging of the harbour was started. This allowed vessels to use the docks.

+ Fowey is preparing its annual tribute to its beloved author. The 7th Daphne Du Maurier Festival runs from 9th-18th May
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The beautiful landscape of the Fowey Estuary started to develop at the end of the last Ice Age, around 12,000 years ago.

Bodinnick Ferry
Bodinnick Ferry heads towards Fowey

At the end of the First Millenium the sea level rose considerably and flooded the lower reaches of the river valley.

As the climate warmed the forests started to spread over the landscape. Certain parts of the forest area were cleared by Cornish people 6000 years ago to allow for farming. The ancient forest areas were eventually restricted to the steep sides of the Fowey estuary.

Fowey across the water
Looking across to Fowey from Polruan

In the early 1900s dredging of the harbour was started. This allowed vessels to use the docks. Fowey today remains the main China Clay Port of Cornwall.

It manages to combine a busy commercial port with a popular yachting harbour. Since 1869 the harbour including the estuary has been managed by the Fowey Harbour Commissioners.

More than 7000 yachts and pleasure craft visit Fowey during a typical season. Usually at the time of the Fowey Regatta Week the town can see as many as 2,700 visting yachts.

The annual event is a magnificent feast of racing and high spirits which takes place in the third week of August. The event also includes a famous carnival and racing in traditional Cornish gigs.

Church
The Parish Church in Fowey

The wonderful Parish Church of Fowey soars out above the town's buildings. It dates chiefly from the 14th and 15th Centuries.

Writers, poets and artists have found plenty of imspiration for their work in Fowey. The most famous is Daphne Du Maurier. The author first saw Fowey in the 1920s when on a family holiday with her mother and sisters. She was just 19 years old at the time.

As the following quote shows Daphne Du Maurier fell in love with Fowey at first sight:

'like the gateway to another world. My spirits soared.'

In 'Vanishing Cornwall' from 1967 there was the following piece from the author on her first impressions of Fowey.

'...Here was the freedom I desired, long sought for, not yet known. Freedom to write, to walk, to wander, freedom to climb hills, to pull a boat, to be alone...'

Today Fowey is preparing its annual tribute to its beloved author. The 7th Daphne Du Maurier Festival runs from 9th-18th May and includes a rich tapestry of musical stars, authors, comedians and walks through the places that inspired Du Maurier's classic novels.

Find out about the author and the festival

Bodinnick
Bodinnick, the house to the right of this picture was Daphne Du Maurier's home.

By the water's edge at Bodinnick a 'Swiss Chalet' syle house stands proud. This is called 'Ferryside' and was Daphne Du Maurier's house.

It was originally a boatbuilder's yard and sail loft. The house remains in the Du Maurier family to this day.

Daphne Du Maurier was not the only famous person to fall in love with the magic of Fowey.

Polruan on the left and Fowey on the right

A generation before Du Maurier's writings, Fowey was already known thanks to the works of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. He was born in Bodmin in 1863 but adopted Fowey as his home for most of his life. The town and the harbour featured in many of his novels under the name of 'Troy'.

Kenneth Grahame spent some of his honeymoon in the Fowey area. Many believe that Grahame's descriptions of landscapes in 'The Wind in the Willows' was inspired by carefree times in Fowey.

Lifeboat
The Fowey lifeboat

Fowey has had a lifeboat stationed in the town since 1922. Now Fowey's sophisticated lifeboat 'Maurice and Joyce Hardy' is a very different vessel to the one used back in the 1920s. Before 1922 sea rescues in the area were dealt with by a rowing boat. Soon after a lifeboat was bought which was orginally stationed at nearby Polkerris.

Polkerris Beach
Polkerris Beach just around the corner from Fowey

The Rashleigh Inn at Polkerris is also known as "The Inn on the Beach". It is on the Saints Way Coastal Path and is featured on the Daphne Du Maurier coastal walk. Her famous novel 'Rebecca' features local scenery, including Polkerris Bay itself.

Head across the estuary to Polruan

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