Newquay Harbour of Refuge

This is week one of the Newquay Museum and Newquay Library 2021 Local History & Community Month project. Each week a new video is being added that will share information that we hope will provide new information to views about lesser known aspects of Newquay.

Today large waves like the Cribbar off Newquay’s Towan Head are a mecca for surfers wanting to take on big surf. During the 19th century in the days of sail a storm with huge waves lashing the shore were a terrifying prospect to mariners. Cornwall’s north coast has always been a danger to shipping in the days of sail, with little availability for a harbour of refuge during storms. The only alternative was to either try to outrun the storm or beach the vessel on a sandy beach. As numerous historic documents and images testify both alternatives were often unsuccessful leading to loss of the vessel and the lives of the crew.

This video provides a brief overview of J T Treffry's attempts to build a Harbour of Refuge at Towan Head in 1850, where Little Fistral Beach now is.

J T Treffry's Harbour of Refuge at Towan Head, Newquay