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The charming village of Polruan stands on the east bank of the Fowey river with a wonderful view of the town of Fowey.

Long associated with the sea, the village has earned its living over the centuries from trading, fishing and other seafaring activities.

Historically, the men of Polruan engaged in piracy and in later centuries, during the 1700s and 1800s, smuggling was a popular feature of Polruan's history.

The sea is a harsh task master and Polruan men often lost their lives in the pursuit of their work. In 1911, Captain W. Smith, master of the coaster, White Rose, lost his life when the vessel disappeared without a trace, in a severe gale. Neither he nor any of his ten crewman were ever seen again.

An imposing piece of architecture stands on the rocky banks of the river - one of the block houses which were constructed in the 15th century to prevent access to the river and harbour after the invasion of Fowey by the French navy. The sister blockhouse stands on the Fowey side of the river and a chain was slung between them at times of danger to prevent the threat of further invasion.

Other points of interest in Polruan include a granite cross which stands at the head of the village, marking the original site of the village well.

The village forms part of the parish of Lanteglos by Fowey.

The name, Polruan, is thought to derive from the Cornish words for pool and river.

A foot passenger ferry operates between Polruan and Fowey.

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Located in mid Cornwall on the south coast.

IntoCornwall area map: St Austell-Fowey Area.

Accessed from Fowey by ferry or on the east of the river by minor roads from the A390 at Lostwithiel; or from the Polperro-Looe area of South east Cornwall by the A387 or B3359 and minor roads.

Road directions to Polruan



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