Picturesque old buildings flank the step and extremely narrow streets of this ancient fishing port, popular with visitors in the holiday season. Established in the Middle Ages, Mevagissey developed in the 18th and 19th centuries when its inner and outer harbours provided shelter for a large fleet of boats whose main catch was pilchards. Many were cured and exported to Italy. Another important customer was the Royal Navy who called the fish ‘Mevagissey Duck’. Smuggling was a popular and profitable sideline for many years.
Shops selling everything from fish and chips to souvenirs and antiques now account for much of the village’s trade, but fishing boats still share the harbours with fleets of pleasure craft.
The Mevagissey Museum is in an old boatyard, dating from 1745, and has roof supports made of ships masts. Boat trips and fishing for sharks and other fish takes place.
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