• Poldark comes to Charlestown

    Poldark comes to Charlestown

  • How good are you at steering your boat?

  • John Lethbridge’s wooden diving ‘barrel’

  • Climb aboard our lifeboat

  • This unique and interesting collection which has taken many years to collate

    Titanic a unique and interesting collection which has taken many years to collate

  • Ross Poldark

  • RMS Titanic

Shipwreck and Heritage Centre


Charlestown Dock shipwreck centre harbour st austell

As many more ships used the harbour and local businesses began to flourish, the population grew, bringing the need for more cottages, a hotel, inn, chapel and eventually a church.

Although many of the original industries are now non-existent in the area, Charlestown still remains a working port and has found itself a place on the tourist map.

The charm and appeal of the village and it's grade two listed harbour still attract thousands of people every year to visit this historical part of Cornwall.

Previously unknown to the English potters at the beginning of the 18th century, china clay and china stone were found in Cornwall. Once the clay was ready for marketing, it than had to be shipped out of the county.

The roads were inadequate and the railways non-existent until the latter half of the 19th century. With the construction of the harbour by Charles Rashleigh, Charlestown became the only shipping outlet for the St Austell area. In 1876, Charlestown shipped over 34,000 tons of clay and china stone to both foreign and domestic ports.

Also in 1813, 3792 tons of copper were shipped in the space of 4 months on 49 separate ships from the Crinnis mine alone.