Portreath, Cornwall, TR16 4LA
Welcome to Portreath Harbour
Portreath Harbour has two tidal basins (Inner and Outer), together with a Turning Basin protected by a Finger Pier and Eastern Breakwater. It is currently a non-statutory harbour and there are no Harbour Orders.
The Harbour hosts Inshore Commercial and Leisure Fishing, Diving and Leisure Boating. It is owned by the Council but currently leased and operated by the Portreath Harbour Association although the Council maintains the structure of the harbour.
Portreath was one of Cornwall’s earliest industrial ports. The fact that there is a harbour here is due to the development of copper mining in the early 1700’s. Portreath was one of Cornwall’s earliest industrial ports and well used by the “Welsh Fleet”, a great flotilla of schooners, brigs and brigantines, mostly Cornish owned and manned, which took copper ore to South Wales and returned home with engine coal for the mines of Redruth and Camborne. The Portreath Tramroad, the first railway in Cornwall, was started in 1809 to link the harbour with the copper mines at Scorrier and St Day.
By the 1840s Portreath was handling a staggering 700 shiploads per year and handling an amazing 100,000 tones of ore. By the end of the 19th Century, this trade had seriously diminished although imports of domestic coal, cement, slate even potatoes continued until well after World War Two. As the copper trade collapsed by 1886 Portreath was nearly bankrupt. The future of the harbour was in the hands of David Wise Bain who was ‘general agent and harbour master’ for the Williams family of Scorrier House who themselves leased the port from the Bassets of Tehidy.
In June 1980 the Beynon Shipping Company donated the harbour to Kerrier District Council, which was absorbed by Cornwall Council from whom the Portreath Harbour Association lease the basins, slipway, quays and hard-standing along with the boat shed and the bait shed.
Photo credit – Droneman