A very old fishing village and where most of the
fishing boat building took place (and today there is still an active
boat yard, building and repairing boats of all types).
It is said that St Ruan was the first to occupy the
top of Polruan Hill, which is where St Saviours ruin stands today.
Polruan is very steep and well protected from the prevailing winds
and Polruan Pool is a haven for small boats. Polruan is part of
the parish of Lanteglos-by-Fowey and many of the residents are artists
and writers who are attracted to the quiet nature of the village.
Polruan Ferry crosses the river to Fowey
every 15 minutes every day of the year and is still the best way
in and out of the village, as the alternative is either a drive
to the Bodinnic Ferry or via Lostwithiel, a 40 minute journey.
blockhouse is comparatively well preserved due to the efforts of
various enthusiastic councillors and conservationists on the Polruan
side of the river. There were two (the Fowey side being ruined beyond
hope) which were built end of the 14th century to protect the harbour
from pirates and the French. A chain was pulled up across the river
between the two blockhouses to stop vessels entering the harbour
and conversely, to stop them leaving if they had the temerity to
"cross the line".
Saviours Ruin- Standing high on the hill overlooking Polruan,
St Saviours chapel was built long before any of the surrounding
churches and dates from the 8th century. The remaining buttress
indicates that the chapel was solidly built and was a prominent
landmark for ships. It would have been a good lookout point for
checking on approaching enemy vessels and the first monks would
have been effective coastguards providing a warning by ringing the
chapel's bells. St Saviours was enlarged by Sir Richard Edgcumbe
Cross (or Paunches. Pontius. Ponts. or the French Ponce' Cross)
- Lying at the eastern tip of the Fowey River below the cliffs to
the south-west of St Saviours Point, this cross is said to be associated
with Pontious Pilate as well as Jesus' uncle, Joseph of
Arimethea, who it is said passed this way with the young Jesus
to inspect his tin mines. It is marked on very early charts and
if the cross was damaged by storms, it was reinstated by monks from
Tywardreath. It is today under the responsibility of the Fowey Harbour
Commissioners. The true origin of the name is unknown but it may
be a corruption of Pontius. Whatever its real history, it is an
important warning, as when the tide is high, only the top of the
cross is visible, indicating that there are some very dangerous
Bay Dredger was built here in 1953 and is still working full
an isolated rock (hence the name) which is now incorporated into
the main building, which was a sardine factory in 1883 but liquidated
shortly after in 1887 (presumably through the lack of sardines).
The Freehold of the factory was purchased by the Fowey Harbour Commissioners
in 1926. The transition from sail to steam and later, diesel engines,
created the need for an engineering works and from this time, the
present complex, slipway and works was gradually built. The
This is the du Mauriers ' family home bought in 1927
and where Daphne du Maurier wrote her first book 'The
Loving Spirit", in l928/9, (published in 1931). It is also
where she met her future husband Boy Browning whom she married in
1932 and who was then a Major in the Grenadier Guards and later
became Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Browning.
du Maurier was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1969. The
house has, until recently, been lived in by Angela du Maurier and
is now occupied by Daphne du Maurier's son and his family. It was
a boat-builders yard and had water running right through what is
now an impressive sitting room, with magnificent views across the
harbour out to the sea. The back wall of the house is the rock cliff
face and has been incorporated marvellously into the house.
- A unique
and pleasant way to enter or leave Fowey, is to take the Bodinnic
vehicle ferry and cross the river. Bodinnic is on the east side
of the river, and, a short steep climb up through the village beyond
'The Ferry Inn', on the right-hand side, can be found the start
of the Hall Walk, which takes you over Pont Creek and ends in Polruan,
where a passenger ferry returns you to Fowey. Along this pathway
will be found the 'Q' memorial and at Pont, the old wharf is still
there and is part of a delightful cottage which is now a National
Trust property which can be rented for holidays.
- A small
hamlet named from the family 'Michelstowe' and corrupted to Mixtow
and, the site of Kit's House, mentioned in 'Q's "Astonishing History
of Troy Town". This part of the river still has deep water but is
completely sheltered from the prevailing winter weather and is a
favourite spot for yachts escaping the gales which affect the lower
St Cadix - Penpoll Creek- An
old Benedictine priory from the 12th century or earlier, set back
from the main creek by a separate spur of water called St Cyric's.
After dissolution in 1536 it was rented to a Bernard or Burcot Cranach,
a German entrepreneur responsible for converting the 14th century
flour mill at Lerryn as a smelting house for silver. The present
building dates from around 1710. It is today owned by the Trevelyan
family. Many swans inhabit this part of the Fowey River and Penpoll
Creek is an exquisite backwater ending up in Middle Penpoll.