The south Quay/penpol creek runs alongside Penpol Terrace and runs into the Copperhouse Pool
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 and 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.