200 BC to 43 AD Readymoney at the mouth of the harbour was possibly an early trading post

700 to 800 A time of church building around the harbour

1260 Fowey is the most important port in medieval Cornwall

1300 to 1400 Tin, wool, fish and the pilgrim trade

1347 Fowey and Polruan provide more large ships than London for Royal service

1371 John of Gaunt, the most powerful landowner in England and brother of the Black Prince arrives in Fowey with his new bride, Constance of Castile.

1380 The blockhouses are built to defend the port

1415 100 archers sail from Fowey to take part in Battle of Agincourt

1433 & 1450  Mark Mixstowe and his ship Edward of Polruan are implicated in acts of piracy

1456 & 1457 Fowey is ransacked by French raiders. Elizabeth Treffry defends Place

1474 Edward IV orders arrest of Fowey pirates and confiscates the chain between the blockhouses

1498 Over 143,400 lbs of tin exported from harbour

Tudor Fowey Harbour

Tudor Fowey Harbour

1540 St Catherines castle built as part of Henry VIII’s coastal defences

1571 Under Elizabeth I Fowey is granted the right to elect two MP’s

1578 & 1585 Philip Rashleigh’s ship Francis of Fowey sails with Frobisher to the Arctic and with Drake to the West Indies

1644 During the Civil War King Charles I narrowly misses being killed by a parliamentary sniper as he stands on Hall Walk

1667 During the wars with the Dutch the Dutch fleet threatens the harbour

Fowey Charter


1686 Fowey gets a Royal Charter and Rashleigh’s ship Francis forms part of new town arms

1693-1713 In the reign of Queen Anne, due to war, the valuable tin convoys from the harbour are escorted by the navy to London

1747 Shipwrights from Fowey harbour are recruited to work at the new navy dockyard in Plymouth

1824 During the political battles in Fowey, the Mayor of Fowey is accused of smuggling

1832 With the Reform Act Fowey loses the right to send  two Members to Parliament

1846 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visit the port

1860 The first cottage hospital opens in Webb Street, Fowey. It is only the 3rd in country

1864 Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian patriot, arrives to see his friend, Colonel John Peard, and is greeted by large crowds

1869 The railway reaches Fowey and the first shipment of china clay is made from new jetties. Fowey Harbour Commission established

1870 Ship Jane Slade is launched from Polruan

1864 Local row over illegal passenger ferries from Polruan is reported in Cornish Guardian newspaper

1922 Lifeboat station moves from Polkerris to Fowey

1929 First of the Troy Class yachts built by Archie Watty for Sir Charles Hanson. Du Maurier family buy a home at Bodinnick

1939 to 1945 RAF opens air sea rescue base. The US Navy establishes training base. Port bombed in daylight raid and becomes base for D-Day ships

1962 Visit of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

1965 Fowey passenger railway closes

1986 1.6 million tons of china clay handled by Fowey docks

2000 Over 7000 craft visit Fowey Harbour from all over the world

2011 Roman steelyard weight found in Bodinnick is identified as part of an archaeology day