Black and White Sunday: Charlestown

A port built around 1791 by Charles Rashleigh to service the then thriving fishing and China Clay trades. Upon completion, Charlestown was a model Georgian “new town”. By the 19th Century various associated businesses were established in sheds and warehouses around the harbour such as pilchard curing, shipbuilding, brick making and lime burning, and the population exploded to close on 3,000. Many attractive period properties sprung up in the village, ranging from elegant Georgian houses to squat fisherman’s cottages.

The harbour hasn’t changed much. The houses are still as they were when they were originally built. However, gradually over time these trades slowly declined and the harbour was hardly used by the early 1990s.

The port has featured in many films and TV programmes including Poldark and you can often see tall ships moored in the harbour. The village is also home to the Shipwreck, Rescue and Heritage Centre. Located in one of the old China Clay buildings, the centre contains a number of exhibits relating to Charlestown’s maritime past along with more general shipwreck salvage from Cornwall’s coast.

And if you would like to see more Traces of the Past images then please visit Paula.


  1. Paula says:

    You gave it a lovely vintage treatment 🙂 Glad to hear that it hasn’t changed much. In any case you managed to show it in your photograph. Thank you, Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Nice to see some places staying the same. It is a very small village though and not much room to expand.

  2. THis looks like a 1791 photo, had such things of course been possible, down to the vignetty edges. A perfect contribution to Paula’s challenge.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Glad you like the treatment Meg, I tried out a few, but this looked the best.

  3. restlessjo says:

    I’ve never even heard of Charlestown! Thought it must be in the Boston area. Big black mark for the ignoramus 🙂 🙂 Fabulous treatment of the shot, Jude. I would have this on my wall.

    1. Sue says:

      Brilliant Trace of the Past with the vintage treatment, Jude!

      1. Heyjude says:

        I tried a variety of treatments and this seemed to suit it the best.

        1. Sue says:

          I must try it with some old mine stuff!

        2. Heyjude says:

          It would work.

        3. Sue says:


        4. Heyjude says:

          Fun experimenting anyway.

        5. Sue says:


    2. Sue says:

      You and me both, Jo…you aren’t alone!!

    3. Heyjude says:

      It is only a small harbour near St Austell. We visited a couple of years ago in really stormy weather and had a good lunch at the Rashleigh Arms. We did look at a house for sale there too, but it was too small.

      1. restlessjo says:

        Which reminds me- has OH had his birthday lunch yet? 🙂 🙂 I was planning a couple of days in Northumberland for Mick’s birthday next month, but somehow we ended up booking a week in the Algarve 🙂 His choice!

        1. Heyjude says:

          Today. Sun shining, wind calmed down. Causeway open at 12:25 so we are off to the island (after a quick drop-off at the tip) for the afternoon. Crab sandwiches here we come…

          Algarve in July?? Won’t it be baking hot? Or are you people who love that sort of heat? I’m not so keen, but my daughter loves it.

        2. restlessjo says:

          Too hot for me but he loves it cos he only wants to lie on a beach. I’ll have to suffer. His treat! Enjoy your lunch! I’m off to meet a friend in our marina while himself works xx

        3. Heyjude says:

          You’ll have to sit under a parasol, reading a book and sipping G&Ts. We had a lovely day, sun still shining and not a cloud in the sky! St Michael’s Mount was heaving though!

        4. restlessjo says:

          Caipirinha- I hate G&T 🙂 🙂 But I’d love to see St. M’s Mount.

        5. Heyjude says:

          That’s rum isn’t it? Don’t think I have tried one of those.

        6. restlessjo says:

          Yes, but I don’t indulge too often. Daytime it’s more likely to be sangria with lovely berries in, if I can drag him over to my favourite island. 🙂

  4. beetleypete says:

    That worked so well, Jude. And Poldark is back!
    I watched it on Sunday, looking for you in the background… 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      Heehee… you won’t find me down the mine that’s for sure!

  5. So interesting. Poldark starts here on Sunday night. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Started here on Sunday. I keep trying to work out where they have filmed some of the coastal sequences!

      1. I’m looking forward to seeing more of beautiful Cornwall. Oh and more of the divine Ross too 😁

  6. Elizabeth says:

    When we visit St. Austell next year we will have to drop in here. I love the idea of the shipwreck and rescue museum.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Mmm… it sounds interesting, but I haven’t been inside.

  7. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Perfect, this photo could be a hundred years old!

    1. Heyjude says:

      The boat certainly looks older.

  8. I like the sepia effect on this very much. Great photograph for the challenge.
    Isadora 😎

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