A Poldark Fan Visits Cornwall: Charlestown
Hello my friends,
It has been a while since I’ve written on here, and for that I can only apologise. I hoped that the lockdown would encourage me to create more content on this blog, but for some reason, the opposite was true. I couldn’t think of anything worth writing, and despite having a huge amount of free time, never found the time to sit down and write! (I’m sure I’m not alone in this strange counter-productive dilemma).
But not anymore, because I now have Something To Write About.
The question is, dear readers, what connects pasties, pixies, and Poldark?
Cornwall, of course!
Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark (BBC Poldark)
Yes, I was very lucky to have a week away with my family in the beautiful Cornish town of Looe, down on the southern coast. My family actually used to holiday in Cornwall regularly, towing our trusty caravan for around six hours, every summer for the first ten years of my life. But after one particularly soggy summer, (when a town very close by completely flooded), my mother declared she wanted some sun and we began holidaying abroad, on Mediterranean islands. We would have been doing the same this year, but a little old thing called Covid-19 happened and so we joined the numerous other brits who made new plans to take a staycation this year. And that is how the History-Rambler-Family ended up back in Cornwall for the first time in over a decade!
And while the beautiful Cornish countryside and coastline remain unchanged, there is one key difference you should note between child Rebecca and 2020 Rebecca. That is that child Rebecca had never heard of Poldark. 2020 Rebecca, meanwhile, is quite honestly obsessed with Poldark, and even re-watched all five series again ahead of this trip. (I have a lot of thoughts on it).
Anyway, as you can imagine, the return to Cornwall was most exciting.
Cornwall has a rich mining and maritime history, which is really interesting and, of course, inspired the events of the Poldark books and series. As I began my research into Poldark filming locations (because that's the content we wanna see) I was a little disappointed to see a lot of them were right at the very bottom of Cornwall, down in Penzance and Lizard area. These were just too far to make my parents drive to, so I settled on a few that were within an hour of the town we stayed in.
First of all, we spent a few hours in the historic harbour at…
This place really is spectacular. It’s just like stepping into a scene in Poldark.
As you descend the hill down to the sea, you get a view of the historic dockyard, which was filled with numerous boats, including some very old looking ones, that wouldn’t be out of place in Poldark or Taboo. It often doubled as Truro and it’s also where we see Captain Blamey set sail, and the Warleggan ship, The One and All.
You’re free to walk along the pathways which form a sort of U shape, reading the information panels, and taking beautiful pictures. When we first arrived, one part was shut off, as it was owned by a restaurant, but it opened later in the day.
She do be lookin' for Cap'n Ross
After our first walk around the dock, we headed back up the hill to the Shipwreck Treasure Museum. They certainly do have a lot of objects inside, from many different ships, but I did find there was almost too much. The cabinets were filled with hundreds of items and I didn’t know where to begin looking! One object I did spot was a prop from the movie Titanic: none other than the Heart of the Ocean necklace! The very one worn by Kate Winslet in the film! So that was quite exciting.
It’s a great place if you’re interested in maritime or naval history, but I do think little ones might struggle a bit with the long text panels.
After the Museum, it was time for lunch (always a good time) and we had our sandwiches and got coffees from a café. I also had potentially the best chocolate brownie ever there, but that’s besides the point.
We then walked around to the other section of the dock, a sort of pier/walkway that lead out to sea and formed the harbour. This was also used a lot in Poldark, when the characters went to Truro. Walking along it you can almost hear Ross telling Dwight about some risky idea he’s had, Dwight telling him not to do it, and Ross doing it anyway. (That’s pretty much how every episode goes, right?).
Luke Norris as Dwight Enys (BBC Poldark)
There are some very nice shops in Charlestown too, I’d especially recommend The Craft Kiln for handmade gifts!
And that concludes our little trip to Charlestown. It is an absolute must for any Poldark fan, but it's also just a very cool place to explore for a couple of hours, great for discussions about mining ventures.
That;s part one of this little Cornish adventure, there'll be another soon, so keep an eye on my Instagram!
safe history ramblings,