Monday, September 19, 2011

Pentewan, Cornwall, England - September 8, 2010

The next stop on our eastward trek was a large campground near the almost forgotten village of Pentewan on the south coast of Cornwall. Thankfully, the weather had improved significantly, the rain had cleared up and the temperatures were back up in the sixties.
Pentewan is a small coastal village in south Cornwall, a one time port used by fishing boats and for shipping local products including tin, stone and china clay. The harbor is long since silted up and is now a hundred yards or so away from the edge of the English Channel. The village and its harbour date back to medieval times.
Since 1945, Pentewan has been dominated by the large 'Pentewan Sands' caravan and camping site that covers much of the beach to the west. The village itself contains the Ship Inn, a post office, and several shops. Pentewan Board School, designed and built in 1877/78 by Silvanus Trevail, is now a restaurant. Many of the older buildings, as well as the harbour, are constructed out of Pentewan stone. A second former village pub was named The Hawkins Arms, but has now been converted to a guest house called 'Piskey Cove'. Tourism is the only substantial industry remaining in the village.
Pentewan was originally known as 'Lower Pentewan', 'Higher Pentewan' being a separate and earlier settlement to the south-west of the village. In 1086, Higher Pentewan was listed in the Domesday Book as the Manor of 'Bentewoin', one of many Cornish manors held by Robert, Comte de Mortain.
During WWII a "pill box" gun emplacement was erected in the harbour and the beach was mined as part of the "Dragon's Teeth" anti-tank defences. An air raid on the port in August 1942 destroyed the Methodist chapel and damaged several houses.
More pictures of this fragment of history are here.

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