These pages provide short introductions to the people and places from Bodinnick, Polruan and Fowey who have contributed to the history of the harbour over the centuries.
Fowey harbour has long been a significant location. Medieval Fowey was the main port for Cornwall and a major port in the South West. Its significance can be seen in 1347 when Fowey and Polruan provided more ships than London to defend Calais. The Duchy of Cornwall has its headquarters in Lostwithiel 6 miles upstream and Fowey was the place for seagoing arrivals and departures. In later centuries Falmouth became the larger port but Fowey continued to play a significant role in shipping in Britain. As a mineral port, shipments of tin, copper and now china clay have been exported around the world and the harbour has seen shipping from many nations.
War has affected the area, from raids by the Spanish, Dutch and French, civil war skirmishes and as a departure point for the D-Day landings. In the 15th century the men of the area had a strong reputation for their seagoing skills. The Fowey Gallants were privateers who were infamous across Europe and often accused of piracy.
Ships built here in the local shipyards have sailed the oceans and local mariners have visited most ports in the world; while the beauty of the location has attracted artists and writers.
Today yachtsmen, cruise ships, holiday makers and walkers all enjoy the harbour area.
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