Henri Lloyd Falmouth England
Falmouth is a thriving Cornish town with the 3rd deepest natural harbour in the world. The Fal Estuary offers over 12 square miles of sheltered navigable water, with one of its many tributaries reaching as far as the cathedral city of Truro.
The town retains its importance as a port, providing dry docking and bunkering facilities for many large vessels, and is increasingly popular as a cruise liner destination. Falmouth Bay and the Carrick Roads provide sheltered anchorage for large vessels and Falmouth Port currently has a booming trade providing ‘low-sulphur fuel’ for commercial shipping entering European waters.
Pendennis Shipyard adjacent to the Docks complex is a state of the art facility with a worldwide reputation for excellence in building and refitting superyachts to the highest standard.
The MCA Coastguard Station at Falmouth, situated on Pendennis Point at the entrance to the harbour, is the principal Coastguard Station covering not only the local waters but also a large proportion of the North Atlantic Ocean.
Over the years Falmouth has been the start and finish port for many famous yachting personalities and races, including Sir Robin Knox Johnston, Dame Ellen Macarther, Mari Chaa IV, the J80 Worlds to name but a few.
The boating scene in Cornish waters is always entertaining – with tall ships, such as the Sedov, the world’s largest sail training vessel, and the Endeavour a replica of James Cooks’ original expedition ship, making regular appearances.
Falmouth hosted the start of the “Funchal 500”, a Tall Ships Race in September 2008 when the public hadthe chance to see these magnificent ships similar to those which used to trade with ports across the world. Cornwall’s picturesque south coast is a hub of yacht racing with plenty of competition at both Falmouth and Fowey Week regattas as well as on weekday evenings throughout the summer.
Henri-Lloyd Falmouth Week has developed into the largest regatta in the South West. It has a racing schedule to challenge the most competitive sailors, yet still retains a ‘fun and friendly’ feel which also attracts families and the less experienced.
Falmouth Week starts with the Falmouth Classics event, a superb spectacle to kick off the week. This is followed with six days of match racing for keelboats, traditional craft and dinghies in the waters of Falmouth Bay, and the Carrick Roads, each day being hosted by a different club. A Champagne Day on the final Saturday rounds off the week. Activity on the water is matched by a lively Shore side programme of daytime and evening entertainment, culminating in a magnificent firework display over the Harbour. There is a Skippers’ Reception party in the National Maritime Museum at the beginning, and Grand Prize Giving party in the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club at the end of the Week.
A Brief History of Falmouth, Cornwall
Sir John Killigrew created Falmouth in 1613 as a town and port. Penryn, further up the river was the market town previous to this, dating back to the 13th Century.
With the slow silting up of the inland, ports of Penryn and Truro, the advantages of Falmouth's situation in the deeper water near the mouth of the estuary gave rise to its importance as a Port in the years to follow.
Although there were objections from Penryn and Truro, Falmouth received a charter from Charles II in 1661 (a document granting the town occupants certain rights). In return a church was constructed dedicated to his father, King Charles the Martyr. The new church was consecrated in 1665.
Falmouth grew steadily in the following decades and it soon outgrew Penryn.
During the years 1540-1545 Henry VIII built 2 defensive forts, Pendennis Castle on the Falmouth Peninsula, and St Mawes Castle opposite on the St Mawes headland, which guarded the entrance to Carrick Roads. During the civil war of 1642-1646 Pendennis Castle was the second to last fort held by Royalists to surrender. Nevertheless, after the Civil War, Falmouth town continued to grow.
From 1688 Falmouth was made the Royal Mail Packet Station.
The Falmouth Packet ships began to carry mail to distant parts of the world and as a result Falmouth town boomed. In its heyday, Falmouth boasted 55 consulates and a rough working feel with ships & seaman coming & going to all corners of the empire.
Fishing has also long been a major industry for Falmouth. Fish Strand Quay was built in 1790. Falmouth is home to the only fishing fleet in the UK that still plies its trade under sail, the Falmouth Working Boats.
Falmouth developed rapidly until the 1820s when mail delivery was taken over by the Admiralty. The Post Office packet ships stopped leaving Falmouth in 1852.
The railway reached Falmouth in 1863. They brought with them a new kind of trade, tourism. Soon Falmouth was a thriving sea side resort as well as being a busy port.