beautiful landscape of the Fowey Estuary started to develop at the
end of the last Ice Age, around 12,000 years ago.
Ferry heads towards Fowey
the end of the First Millenium the sea level rose considerably and
flooded the lower reaches of the river valley.
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.
across to Fowey from Polruan
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parish Church in Fowey
wonderful Parish Church of Fowey soars out above the town's buildings.
It dates chiefly from the 14th and 15th Centuries.
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.
the following quote shows Daphne Du Maurier fell in love with Fowey
at first sight:
the gateway to another world. My spirits soared.'
'Vanishing Cornwall' from 1967 there was the following piece from
the author on her first impressions of Fowey.
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...'
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.
out about the author and the festival
the house to the right of this picture was Daphne Du Maurier's
the water's edge at Bodinnick a 'Swiss Chalet' syle house stands
proud. This is called 'Ferryside' and was Daphne Du Maurier's house.
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.
on the left and Fowey on the right
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'.
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.
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.
Beach just around the corner from Fowey
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.
across the estuary to Polruan