Hayle: South Quay

The south Quay/penpol creek runs alongside Penpol Terrace and runs into the Copperhouse Pool
October 22 2019. Click to enlarge.

A Potted History of Hayle:

Hayle’s sheltered wharfs encouraged human settlement from the Bronze Age and maybe even before. In the 18th century it was a town at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution. The port fed the mines of West Cornwall with coal and timber and the competing iron foundries at either end of the town, Harvey & Co in the west and the Cornish Copper Company in the east, both with talented engineers, produced a large percentage of the world’s steam engines between 1820 and 1870. The two companies gave their names to the two parts of Hayle: Copperhouse and Foundry. The port developed more wharfs and quays and a steam packet shipping service operated between Hayle and Bristol, it was once one of the busiest ports in the world.

On the sand dune system (Towans) that separates the estuaries from the Atlantic were once mines and an extensive explosion works and an imposing coal fired power station. One can only imagine how dirty and noisy this area once was with smoke and steam and horse-drawn wagons in this extremely busy port.

Today the historic harbour is being redeveloped; the demolished power station is the site of the pioneering Wave Hub project for testing wave powered energy; the Towans are now an impressive backdrop to the three miles of sandy beaches where people sunbathe, swim, surf and kite-surf andΒ  there is also a nature reserve which is where you’ll find the pyramidal orchid, glow worms and the silver-studded blue butterfly.

The estuaries (the only ones in the far west) are largely owned by the RSPB and managed as protected reserves where you can see birdlife all year round, but especially during the winter when migratory birds arrive such as Teal, Wigeon, Curlew, Shelduck and Dunlin.



  1. restlessjo says:

    I sense an impending visit from Becky πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Lovely shots, Jude! Sparkle on water and reflections. Happy Saturday!

    1. BeckyB says:

      hee hee you know me so well . . . . .

      1. restlessjo says:


    2. Heyjude says:

      Haha… it’s a gritty little town still. None of the cuteness of neighbouring St Ives, but also less busy. The beaches are stunning but not seen from the town.

  2. beetleypete says:

    I didn’t even realise we had glow-worms here. I have certainly never seen one.
    If they make another series of Poldark, they might have to feature all that industrial grime. πŸ™‚
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      I remember seeing glow worms in Newquay when I was a child. Haven’t seen them since, but I don’t tend to go out at night now.

  3. bushboy says:

    Love the photos Jude πŸ™‚

  4. BeckyB says:

    oh Jude I am in love with Hayle . . . never even heard of it before. Looks fabulous. Guessing though busy in summer?

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Wigeons are one of my favorite water birds. They always make me smile. Nice to know you have them.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I only wish I knew what they look like! I’ll have to look them up.

      1. Elizabeth says:

        That is too funny. I assumed from the list that you had seen them all.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I might have, if I knew what they look like πŸ™„

  6. Superb reflection, and a very neat potted history. Just the right number of photos. Teach me restraint please!

  7. penwithlit says:

    Reblogged this on penwithlit and commented:
    Great photographs in this post!!

  8. The redevelopments sound like they will improve the area. It looks very pretty.

  9. Tina Schell says:

    I can indeed imagine it in days gone by Jude. A lovely little spot now-glad they’re sprucing it up. Loved the little tugboat

    1. Heyjude says:

      There are big plans for development along the harbour, I just hope it doesn’t spoil the place.

      1. Tina Schell says:

        I know what you mean. I do think we are getting a bit smarter about preserving the feel of places as we update them. Fingers crossed!

  10. Jo Shafer says:

    Somehow I missed this visit the first time around. Glad I backtracked and found it

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