Helford is a pretty village on the Helford River. There are a number of oyster farms nearby. It was once a busy port before the river silted up. Trading ships once brought cargos from Europe to the quay and the duty was collected at the old custom house.
The Helford River has still got a number of small quays and a pedestrian ferry links the north and south banks of the river at Helford Passage (where you will also find the Ferryboat Inn.)
Also in the area is Frenchman's Creek, the inspiration of Daphne du Maurier's book of the same name. This was her only romantic novel and this was where she spent her honeymoon. You can discover this famous creek if you walk along a wooded track from the top of the village.
Near the mouth of the River Helford, the old church of St Anthony-in-Meneage is on the bank of Gillan Creek. It is first mentioned around 1170, as a possession of the Priory of Tywardreath, near St Austell. During the Civil War the Royalists constructed a small fort on the Dinas. It was surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax in March 1646, being the last place in Cornwall that held out, except for St Michael's Mount and Pendennis Castle.
One of the grandest houses in the area is Trelowarren, recorded in the Domesday Book. The earliest owner of this house is believed to have been Earl Harold, who died at the Battle of Hastings. Since 1426, the manor house has been occupied by the Vyvyan family. This is today a traditional working estate, run by the same family for 600 years. Large parts of Trelowarren are an 18th century designed picturesque landscape. There are Pleasure Grounds, a Mount, ha-ha's, avenues and terraces to explore. The Pleasure Grounds are being replanted to the 1750 plan of Dionysus Williams.
Helford has a thatched inn at
East of the Helford passage are the National Trust gardens of Glendurgan.
Helford Voluntary Marine Conservation Area is a voluntary organisation working to safeguard the marine life of the River by any appropriate means, to increase the diversity of its intertidal community and raise awareness of its marine interest and importance. The importance of the area was recognised in 1987 when the Marine Conservation Area was designated to help protect the diverse marine life of this beautiful estuary.
Helford: A River and Some Landscapes Tom Cross