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Fowey Harbour Heritage Society

Welcome to the Fowey Harbour Heritage Society Website

Fowey harbour, which includes the communities of Fowey, Bodinnick and Polruan, has been a significant international trading port since the medieval period and is still a working port today, exporting china clay. Our aim is to encourage you to explore the area and find out more about the places and people that have contributed to its heritage.

Fowey Harbour Heritage Society

Promoting the heritage of the Fowey harbour area

The Society introduces you to the rich and varied history of Fowey harbour and what you can see today by:

  • Organising talks
  • Publishing an annual journal
  • Presenting our annual heritage awards
  • Providing heritage grants to local organisations
  • Promoting guided walks
  • Working with other societies on heritage projects

Programme of talks 2023/24

The programme of talks for 2023/24 is as follows;
All on Saturdays at 2pm.
9 Sept. The History of Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. Malcolm Cross. Polruan Village Hall.
14 Oct. The Passmore Edwards Legacy. Dean Evans. Fowey Town Hall.
11 Nov. Robert Lenkiewicz, Artist and Teacher. Louise Courtnell. Whitecross Village Hall.
9 Dec. Lanhydrock and the Robartes family. Paul Holden. Squires Field Community Centre (Please note change of venue from Fowey Town Hall.)
13 Jan. Harvey's Forgotten Shipyard. Daisy Culmer. Fowey Town Hall.
10 Feb. The Rashleigh family, Charles and the creation of Charles' Town. Andy Trudgian. FTH.
9 March. The RNLI, 200 Years of saving Lives at Sea. Helen Doe. Delivered via Zoom.
13 April. Captain Lars Berg and the Timber Trade between Norway and Cornwall. Julie Tomlinson. Fowey Town Hall.


212_2054503003.pdf (pdf)



The Fowey Harbour Heritage Society now has its own Facebook page where you can keep up to date with news and events

Fowey Harbour Heritage Society


From Travellers to Tourists, the Story of Pre-1914 Visitors to Cornwall.

From Travellers to Tourists, the Story of Pre-1914 Visitors to Cornwall.

Fowey Town Hall

14 September 2024 at 2pm

Cost: Free for members. Non members will be charged £10.

Contact: All enquiries to Hon. Sec, Kath Pearce, on 07977 572268 or via Ticket Tailor

Louis Turner is writing a history of the Cornish tourist industry. In this talk he will tell the story of the early travelers who passed through us. These include an intrepid lady adventurer in the 1690s, Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria. With the coming of the railway, we started to see the arrival of families like Virginia Woolf's, coming for long summer holidays. Travelers had turned into tourists.

In this talk, Louis will discuss the places they visited, how they traveled, where they stayed, what they saw and what they thought of the Cornish. The picture is of travelers who marveled at Cornwall's rugged beauty, but were also aware of our mining prowess (trips down mines were part of an adventurous traveler's itinerary). Fishing villages were seen more as commercial sites than as today's picturesque destinations.

Louis lives in Falmouth, where he is a trustee of the Poly (Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society). Back in the 1970s, he wrote a book on the international tourist industry (Golden Hordes). After retiring back here (his wife is Cornish born) he discovered there is no proper history of this Cornish industry which is so important, technically successful, yet controversial. He has other lectures which cover the more recent story. He is happy to debate those who see the industry as a force which has destroyed Cornish culture.

Do you have memories, information or pictures to share?

We would like to encourage you to contribute any material you may have about the history of Fowey Harbour. We would love to hear from you - to get in touch please click here .

We are pleased to be members of The Cornwall Association of Local Historians (CALH).

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