Fowey – Cornwall

Went to Fowey today with daughter Saskia, Eddie and cute grandson Arthur.

Going to Fowey is a bit like stepping back in time. A tiny very ancient fishing village built precipitously. Tiny streets like St Ives still full of very old houses, tiny streets and has a great big absolutely fabulous baptist church. Here’s a bit of history.

FOWEY, a town, a parish, and a sub-district in St. Austell district, Cornwall. The town stands on the right bank of the river Fowey, about a mile from its mouth, opposite Polruan village, 3 miles SE of Par r. station, and 28 W by S of Devonport. It belonged, at the Conquest, to the Earl of Mortaigne. It was, at an early period, one of the principal seaports of England. Many vessels were fitted out at it for the crusades; and a windmill, on the heights above it, was a well known sea-mark in 1296, and is believed to have been built by persons who had been in Palestine. Its mariners were famous, in the time of Edward I., for sea exploits; and they appear to have then, or soon afterwards, traded to most parts of the world. A fleet of 47 ships, with 770 men, was sent by the town, in the time of Edward III., to the siege of Calais. The ” gallants of Fowey, ” as its seamen were then called, carried on, in subsequent reigns, such a system of descent and spoliation on the coast of Normandy as provoked much wrath and retaliation.

The French made expeditions, at several times, against the town; and, in the reign of Henry VI., they effected a landing by night, set fire to the houses, slew a number of the inhabitants, and chased others into places of shelter in the neighbouring country, but were eventually driven back to their ships. The townsmen, in the time of Edward IV., were denounced by government for piracy, and deprived of their vessels; and they then sustained a blow which ever afterwards affected their prosperity; yet they rose, on several subsequent occasions, into prominent notice, for deeds of activity; and, in the time of Charles II., they so assailed a Dutch man-of-war as to preserve a fleet of merchant ships from capture.

Block-houses had been erected at the haven’s mouth, on both sides, in the time and at the command of Edward IV.; a strong iron boom also stretched across the harbour; a fort, called the Fort of St. Catherine, was erected, in the time of Henry VIII., on a magnificent pile of rocks, at the harbour’s mouth; and these strengths, both from their character and their situation, enabled the towns-men, with comparatively small numbers of hands, to perform comparatively great acts of bravery. St. Catherine’s fort, and two others of more modern erection between it and the town, still form a sort of defence, and have the advantage of being so much elevated that no ship could bring her guns to bear upon them; but they are much dilapidated, and have become more picturesque than useful.

The Earl of Essex was driven from Fowey by the royalists, in 1644, and escaped by sea to Plymouth; and Fairfax retook the town in 1646. A visit was made to Fowey by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1846; and this is commemorated by a granite obelisk, 23 feet high. The Prince and Princess of Wales also visited it, and Garibaldi embarked at it, in 1865.

We went to eat at Sam’s. Had Tempura red mullet and salad – lovely. Arthur wouldn’t eat anything. He almost seemed to be quite overwhelmed by the plate of food and wouldn’t even have a chip so he lay down on the cushion, kicked his mum (a bit – not hard) and sucked his fingers. He tries hard to be a fractious 2 yr old but doesn’t quite make it – he always seems to end up a bit cute and charming. He says sorry a lot and also no. He quite liked moving the little christmas tree decorations.

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