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Fowey Harbour Heritage Society

Welcome to the Fowey Harbour Heritage Society Website

Fowey harbour, which includes the communities of Fowey, Bodinnick and Polruan, has been a significant international trading port since the medieval period and is still a working port today, exporting china clay. Our aim is to encourage you to explore the area and find out more about the places and people that have contributed to its heritage.

Fowey Harbour Heritage Society

Promoting the heritage of the Fowey harbour area

The Society introduces you to the rich and varied history of Fowey harbour and what you can see today by:

  • Organising talks
  • Publishing an annual journal
  • Presenting our annual heritage awards
  • Providing heritage grants to local organisations
  • Promoting guided walks
  • Working with other societies on heritage projects


We are sorry that the talk scheduled for 13 November, "14th Century Cornwall with a Focus on Fowey" had to be cancelled because of the illness of the speaker.
A ticket refund or transfer can be obtained by contacting Andrew Gardner

The previously cancelled talk on the History of Gigs is now scheduled for Friday 4 March. More details to follow.




The Fowey Harbour Heritage Society now has its own Facebook page where you can keep up to date with news and events

Fowey Harbour Heritage Society


'Nelson's Forgotten Surgeon' - Dr George Magrath. An illustrated Zoom talk by Barbie Thompson

'Nelson's Forgotten Surgeon' - Dr George Magrath. An illustrated Zoom talk by Barbie Thompson

Delivered by Zoom

Saturday 19 February. Zoom starts at 19.00

Cost: Free for FHHS members, £8 for non members.

Contact: Tickets can be purchased via or contact our Treasurer, Andrew Gardner 07769977116 or

George Magrath was for a time surgeon on board HMS VICTORY and was favourably considered by Nelson. Having dealt at Nelson’s request with an outbreak of Yellow Fever in Gibraltar, Magrath missed the Battle of Trafalgar. Instead, he was serving as medical officer at Mill Prison the Prisoner of War Depot at Millbay, Plymouth. It was therefore William Beatty, a fellow Ulsterman, who was present at the death of Lord Nelson. Later Magrath was transferred to Dartmoor Prison and was the Chief Medical Officer in attendance during the shooting of American POWs. He was knighted for his medical services.
Barbie grew up in Plymouth, Devon and is a historian with a particular interest in Napoleonic prisoners of war. She is a regular speaker on this topic and has spoken at various UK Conferences at University level – Exeter, Oxford and London. Following the success of the International Conference on the War of 1812, held at London University in July 2012, Barbie was invited to present her paper again on ‘The Role of Plymouth and Dartmoor during the War of 1812’ at the ‘From Enemies to Allies’ International Conference held at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in June 2013.

›› Download details of the talk on 'Nelson's Forgotten Surgeon' - Dr George Magrath. An illustrated Zoom talk by Barbie Thompson (pdf)

Do you have memories, information or pictures to share?

We would like to encourage you to contribute any material you may have about the history of Fowey Harbour. We would love to hear from you - to get in touch please click here .

We are pleased to be members of The Cornwall Association of Local Historians (CALH).

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