Mevagissey

Mevagissey is a wonderful place for your holiday. A traditional Cornish fishing village, where there are narrow alleyways to wander around, gift shops and art galleries to browse.

The history

The first recorded mention of Mevagissey dates from 1313 when it was known as Porthhilly. Towards the end of the 17th century, Porthhilly merged with the hamlet of Lamoreck to make the new village. It was named after two Irish saints, St Meva and St Issey (the “g” comes from hag, the Cornish word for “and”). At this time the main sources of income for the village were pilchard fishing and smuggling and the village had at least ten inns, of which the Fountain and the Ship still remain.

Andrew Pears, the founder of Pears’ Soap was born in the village in 1768 and set up a barber shop here until he moved to London in 1789.

Mevagissey had a power station built in 1895, powered by pilchard oil, which provided electricity for the lighthouse and surrounding streets. Local sources claim that it was the first town in the country to have electric street lighting.

The current harbour is built on the site of a medieval quay. The first Act of Parliament allowing the new port to be built was passed in 1774. The inner harbour, consisting of the current East and West Quays, was constructed from this time. An outer harbour was added in 1888, but seriously damaged in a blizzard in 1891. The outer walls were rebuilt by 1897. The harbour was given charitable trust status in 1988.

Mevagissey today

Each year at the end of June, Mevagissey celebrates Feast Week, a week of family fun, music, and floral dances through the streets; finally at the end of the week there is a carnival and a fireworks display.

The harbour also offers tourist fishing trips and there is a regular summer passenger ferry to Fowey.

Mevagissey is within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which along with National Parks, are considered to be the most special landscapes in the country and belong to an international family of protected areas. It is a designation aimed at conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the area.


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