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An idyllic location on the south coast of Cornwall, Charlestown Harbour is an original Grade II Listed harbour that is famous for its unspoiled natural beauty. As a key location for filming many television series including Poldark and Taboo, it has also been pivotal to the south west's economy over the years.



Charlestown Harbour has a fascinating history dating back to 1791, when entrepreneur and landowner Charles Rashleigh began its construction as a working port - a project that was completed in 1801. Prior to the development, the town which was then known as West Polmear had a population of just nine people, who made their living through fishing.

The harbour project started with the pier to provide shelter for the fishing vessels. The basin was then constructed by cutting the bedrock to enable sailing ships to enter the harbour. Local roads were paved and widened so wagons could enter and carry cargo.

Named after its creator, Charlestown was initially used for exporting copper and importing coal and then later for exporting china clay. Charlestown soon became a Georgian "new town" and during the 19th century, other industries sprang up including shipbuilding, pilchard curing, lime burning and brick making. These operated from warehouses and sheds around the harbour.

The population grew rapidly to around 3,000 as a result and new properties were built, including fishermen's cottages and Georgian houses. The harbour remains much the same today, staying true to its fascinating Georgian character.


Filming Location

Charlestown is a popular location for film and TV series including Poldark, starring Aiden Turner. The lush Cornwall coast provides the ideal backdrop for the brooding 18th century drama revolving around Captain Ross Poldark and his struggles, as he returns home following the American Revolutionary War to find everything is much changed.

The BBC1 drama series Taboo starring Tom Hardy was also filmed in Charlestown in 2016. Set in the early 19th century, it stars Hardy as James Keziah Delaney who returns home from Africa to inherit his father's shipping business.

Mansfield Park, the 1999 film based on the Jane Austen novel, tells the life story of impoverished Fanny Price who goes to live at her uncle's estate. Set in the early 19th century, the film used Charlestown to portray Portsmouth Harbour.

It has also been seen in Alice in Wonderland, Dr Who, Moll Flanders, The Onedin Line, The Three Musketeers, Rebecca and a host of other films and series.


Tall Ships

Reminiscent of a bygone era, Charlestown is also known for its fleet of square riggers - there is normally at least one of the tall ships anchored in the harbour.

The location also features the Shipwreck, Rescue and Heritage Centre in one of the old China clay buildings. It is full of exhibits charting Charlestown's maritime past and it also exhibits other shipwreck salvage collected from Cornwall's coastline.

Coruba stocks a large range of products which are useful in a harbour location, such as our rubber fenders to provide a cushion for vessels as they approach a dock and our rubber boat matting to help prevent slipping accidents on any type of boat. Please contact us for further details on our range of marine and wet environment products.

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