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Porthpean, meaning 'Little Cove', is a small village within easy reach of Charlestown and St Austell, consisting of the hamlets of Lower Porthpean and Higher Porthpean. Lower Porthpean has a family friendly, sheltered, sandy beach.

Nesting seabirds frequent the cliffs to the east of Lower Porthpean.

Porthpean's parish church is dedicated to St Levan and was originally built by the Sawle family as part of the Penrice Estate. In 1981, when Mrs Cobbold Sawle died, the church was given to the local parish.

Formerly Porthpean was a thriving fishing port, with fish cellars and a malthouse.

After World War II when Porthpean Beach was demilitarised, all the wartime defences were removed but a mine washed onto the beach and for the safety of beachgoers the local coastguard picked it up and carried it to the Watch House. At the end of the day the mine was carried back to the beach and detonated causing an explosion that sent debris into the air to a height that exceeded the cliffs. The coastguard was very lucky that he hadn't triggered the mine while carrying it as the metal badge on his hat could have upset the electromagnetic field sensors

Short, easy walk north along the coast path to Charlestown.
although now it is best known for its safe bathing beach, with shop and toilets.

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