Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Polperro, Cornwall, England - September 10, 2010

Our last port of call (literaly) in the county of Cornwall was Polperro, an acient village and fishing port on the south-east coast of the county. The fishing harbour surrounded by old, tightly packed fishermen's houses makes it magnet for tourists. In fact, tourism grew to become Polperro's main industry during the 20th century with estimates of as many as 25,000 visitors per day during the summers of the 1970s.
Fishing was traditionally the principal occupation of Polperro families and for centuries the village had been a pilchard fishing and processing port. Once ashore, the fish were salted, pressed and canned with the by-product oil being collected and used for heating and lighting.
Smuggling also developed as a prosperous activity after Polperro established itself as a port in the 12th century and reached a peak in the late 18th century when Britain's wars with America and France resulted in high taxation on imported goods. This made it particularly lucrative for the local fishermen to boost their income by the illicit importation of spirits, tobacco and other goods from Guernsey in the Channel Ilses. A more organised Coast Guard service was introduced in the 19th century and this, along with stiff penalties, gradually deterred the smugglers.
For more views of this picturesque village, click here.

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