This fascinating little port dates from the end of the 18th century and takes its name from Charles Rashleigh, the local mine owner who financed the venture. The port was designed by John Smeaton, the builder of Eddystone lighthouse.
Copper was the main export for several years, but Charlestown soon became an important outlet for china clay from the huge workings north of St Austell. The white dust of the china clay mingled on the harbourside with black clouds swirling up from coasters discharging coal. The narrow dock is still used, and in 1971 the gates were widened from 27 ft to 35 ft and maximum depth of water retained by them increased to 18 ft. The outer harbour is flanked by low tide beaches of sand of shingle. Behind the dock, old anchors and naval guns stand outside a visitor’s centre whose exhibits concentrate on shipwrecks and scenes from Charlestown’s history.
Nothing is off the shelf at Cornwall DMC everything we do is bespoke, tailor made travel to your requirements and budget. We can create special interest tours for groups and individuals on any theme so you can follow your passion.