Polperro in Cornwall

Saturday, 1 July 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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© Chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Polperro (Cornish: Porthpyra, meaning Pyra’s cove) is a large village, civil parish, and fishing harbour within the Polperro Heritage Coastline in south Cornwall, England. Its population is around 1,554. Polperro, through which runs the River Pol, is 7 miles (11 km) east of Fowey and 4 miles (6 km) west of the neighbouring town of Looe and 25 miles (40 km) west of the major city and naval port of Plymouth. It is a noted tourist destination, particularly in the summer months, for its idyllic appearance with tightly-packed ancient fishermen‘s houses which survive almost untouched, its quaint harbour and attractive coastline.

Smuggling is understood to have prospered since Polperro developed as a port in the 12th century. It reached its zenith in the late 18th century when Britain’s wars with America and France precipitated the high taxation of many imported goods, making it worthwhile for the local fishermen to boost their income by the covert importation of spirits, tobacco and other goods from Guernsey and elsewhere. By the late 18th century, much of the success of the smuggling trade through Polperro was controlled by Zephaniah Job (1749–1822), a local merchant who became known as the ‘Smugglers’ Banker’. A more organised Coast Guard service was introduced in the 19th century together with the deterrent of stiff penalties, leading to much less smuggling. Part of the South West Coast Path was originally used by Revenue Officers as they patrolled the coast in search of smugglers. Whilst the South West Coast Path is maintained by the National Trust, the foreshore belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall.

Tourism became Polperro’s main industry during the 20th century. The village is accessible by air via Plymouth or Newquay, by train via Looe railway station, by road and by boat. It was estimated that the village received about 25,000 visitors a day during summer in the 1970s. Visitors are no longer permitted to drive cars into the village, having to leave them in the main car park at Crumplehorn to the north of the village and walk through the half-mile length of the village to its harbour. The village’s quaint but narrow streets make driving difficult. There are horse and cart rides and milk floats disguised as trams for those who prefer not to walk. Attractions of Polperro include the South West Coast Path, the 630-mile (1,010 km)-long and established walk from Dorset to Somerset which passes through the village, and offers day walks along the local scenic coastline, in particular to nearby Talland Bay on the coast path heading East. Westwards, the path passes three large beaches en route to Fowey: Lansallos Beach, Lantivit Bay and Lantic Bay. Within the village is the Polperro Heritage Museum of Fishing and Smuggling, situated on the harbourside in an old fish processing warehouse, which houses interesting photographs of the village’s history among other popular displays. Guided walks are available in the village, and boat trips can be taken from the harbour to view the coastline which can offer sightings of dolphins and seals. The village has several restaurants as well as seven pubs. A holiday and caravan park is situated outside the village to the northeast at Carey Park.

© flickr.com - Bryan Ledgard/cc-by-2.0 © Chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Mick Knapton/cc-by-sa-3.0 Couch's Great House © geograph.org.uk - Jo and Steve Turner/cc-by-sa-2.0 Crumplehorn Inn and Mill © geograph.org.uk - Jo and Steve Turner/cc-by-sa-2.0 Cornish Pisky & Jewellery Shop © Joan The wad Polperro/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Crumplehorn Inn and Mill © geograph.org.uk - Jo and Steve Turner/cc-by-sa-2.0
Fishing was traditionally the principal occupation of Polperro families. For centuries the village has been a pilchard fishing and processing port. Fish are drawn for feeding off the South Cornwall coast in late summer bringing rich pickings for local fishermen. Once ashore, the fish were salted and pressed and the oil was collected as a by-product and used for heating and lighting. Polperro pilchards were exported throughout Europe. Shoals of these fish diminished in the 20th century and pilchard fishing died out as Polperro’s mainstay in the 1960s, however approximately twelve commercial fishing vessels still operate from the harbour catching flatfish, scallops, crabs, monkfish, ray, pollock, bass and cod. Fresh fish and seafood are available for purchase at the quayside from time to time.

Other than traditional festival days, The Polperro Festival has been held annually since 1996, being a community festival run by volunteers beginning on the 3rd Saturday in June which helps to promote business for the village. It started as an Arts and crafts Festival, and has developed to include live music of many genres, dance, street entertainment, theatre and children’s entertainment and local food. Most of the entertainment centres on Big Green, the village square, and for the last few years under a covered marquee. After 9 pm, for noise considerations, the festivities at Big Green disperse elsewhere.

Read more on Cornwalls.co.uk – Polperro, Wikivoyage Polperro and Wikipedia Polperro (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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