This film is part of Free

School Visit to Falmouth

Pupils from a Teddington school visit the town hall and the docks of Falmouth.

News 1964 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Pupils from a Teddington school visit Falmouth Town Hall and the mayor, Francis Offord. Falmouth is the world's third largest natural deepwater harbour after Rio de Janeiro and Sydney and is the first and last port of call on one of the world's busiest shipping lanes known as the Western Approaches. The port serves as an international bunkering or refuelling port because of restrictions on fuel emissions in Europe.

The natural haven for shipping was originally called Porhan Withe meaning port of shelter. Henry VIII built Pendennis Castle in 1540 at the entrance of the Fal estuary and Carrick Roads' body of water and appointed its first governor Sir John Killigrew to protect the land from attack. The settlement around the Killigrew family estate at Arwenack grew into the town of Falmouth. From 1688 Falmouth operated as a Post Office packet boat station. Packet boats ran mail and bullion to outposts of the British Empire and were vital in keeping Britain's trading routes open. The docks continued to develop in the nineteenth century and ships carried Cornwall's mining exports around the world.