Guide To Fowey, Cornwall

Fowey is a bustling small port in Cornwall, which has thrived for hundreds of years, initially as a trading and naval town, then as the centre for china clay exports. Today Fowey is busy with trawlers and yachts, providing attractive moorings for leisure boats.

Situated directly opposite the ancient fishing village of Polruan, the harbour in Fowey is flanked by fourteenth century blockhouses. Years ago in times of upheaval, these block houses suspended chains which closed the harbour mouth the enemy ships. You can still visit the Polruan blockhouse by foot today, from where you get a good view of the Fowey blockhouse, which is not currently open to visitors.

St Catherine's Point is on the Fowey side of the harbour entrance. In medieval times St Catherine's chapel stood on the cliff top, displaying a light and functioning as a lighthouse. The fort below, St Catherine's Castle, was built in the reign of Henry VIII to defend the harbour entrance.

To the south east of Fowey you will find Readymoney Cove, a beautiful sandy beach sheltered by cliffs close to the mouth of the estuary. This stunning little beach is cleaned daily during the high season and has a bathing platform moored in the bay. Above the cover is the former coach house which was the home of author Daphne du Maurier for a few years during the Second World War. Comedian Dawn French currently lives in a house overlooking the cove.


Daphne du Maurier is perhaps the most famous former resident of the town and the town holds a literary festival is now held here each May. The Daphne du Maurier Literary Centre is next to the church and contains information about all of Fowey’s literary connections.

During the Second World War, Fowey was the centre for air-sea rescue and also one of the places from which the D-Day invasions were launched.

The local church is dedicated to St Finnbarr who is said to have passed through Fowey early in the 6th century. The church was destroyed by French marauders in the 15th century and was later rebuilt by the Earl of Warwick. Place House is the tower, standing behind the church. It has been the home of the Treffry family since the 13th century and is not open to the public. The best view of the tower is from the river.

On Fore Street is the Old House of Foye, a medieval house built in 1430. It is one of the oldest buildings in Fowey and is now a shop. The walls, beamed interior and fireplace are scarcely altered from the original.

Also on Fore Street is the brand new Whistlefish Gallery (at number 30) so be sure to pop in if you are visiting the town to say hello, we'd love to welcome you!


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