Fowey, Cornwall

fowey cornwall towns

Fowey, pronounced "Foy", it is a very picturesque little town (the town was originally Foye). The town developed with a nice range of architectural styles from Elizabethan to Edwardian.

There have been two foreign attempts to destroy the town, by the Spanish in 1380 the French in 1457. Drake, Raleigh and Frobisher have all sailed from here on voyages. Lieutenant James Cook surveyed Fowey harbour and his 1786 chart hangs in the Harbour Commissioner's Office. Queen Victoria visited the port in 1846,

The town tumbles down steep slopes to the west bank of the river. Interesting narrow streets and close to the waterfront,you will find a maze of pubs, restaurants, antique shops, plus chandlers catering for the large yachting community.

The Fowey deep water harbour and the railway have combined to make Fowey a major china clay exporting port, as 10,000 ton ships can reach the wharfs to the north of the town.

The author Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, "Q", lived here on the Esplanade. Fowey was thinly disguised as Troy Town in his writings. This former house is called the Haven, and is still here.

Daphne Du Maurier lived in Fowey in her twenties, and resided at Ferryside on the other side of the river, beside the Bodinnick Ferry. Every May there is a Daphne Du Maurier Festival, with readings from her novels and walks following in the footsteps of books.

Fowey Regatta week, in August, is a big local event event, with sailing races, street carnival, and other special attractions that change yearly.

There are a number of things to see: the Noah's Ark Museum in Fore Street, the Town Hall Museum in Trafalgar Square, the Ship Inn (once the home of the Rashleigh family) has foine Elizabethan plaster ceilings and panelling. "Old House of Fowey", which dates from 1430 claims to be, fairly obviously, the oldest house in the town.

St Fimbarrus Church, founded in the 6th century, and the present building dates from 1336.

There is a neo-Gothic building above the town called Place House, seat of the Treffry family - it dates from the 15th century, but was largely rebuilt in the 1840's, it is sometimes open to the public.

St. Catherine's Castle, a small fort built by Henry VIII at Readymoney Cove to protect Fowey harbour following the French raid in 1457. The castle is accessible by a footpath off the A3082. Entry is free.

The old Saint's Way was a 6th century footpath used by Celtic monks from Brittany on their way to Wales. It ran 26 miles to Padstow, and obviated the need to round Lands End by boat.

You can also take the Hall Walk along the river bank of the river to Polruan. The walk, which is about 4 miles long, was the scene of an unsuccessful attempt Charles II's life.

The car ferry to Bodinnick on the other side of the river is a convenient short cut to Looe or Polperro. The picturesque town of Polruan, is also on the other side of the river.

Fowey Lifeboats: An Illustrated History Nichols Leach


Return to Map of Cornwall - Gazetteer