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TIMELINE: Porthleven Time Line

Time Scale

Porthleven Time Line    Search  http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/CON/Porthleven/

Porthleven parish comprises of 1749 acres of land

Porthleven is a compound of two words: 'porth' and 'elvan'. The word porth in the Cornish language mean port and elvan is the Celtic Saint who came to these shores in the 

5th century along with many others to preach the Christian faith.

St Elvan was about one and a half miles from Porthleven on the road to Sithney and there is still an area to the north of Porthlevan called St Elvan.

5th century

St Elvan -  a Celtic saint  takes us back to the period around the 5th century. 


Methleigh Farm, Porthleven was built before 1066 appears in the original Domesday Book. Before the Norman Conquest it was owned by the Bishop of Exeter.

There is no mention of Porthleven in any format within the book


The earliest reference to St Elvan is found in the registers of the Bishops of Exeter in 1257 - 1280 when a chapel dedicated to St Elvan in the parish of Sithney, is found. In 1270

Porthleven is probably named after the Celtic saint St Elvan and there was a chapel dedicated to St Elvan in Sithney parish near Porthleven


Porthleven, first occurs with this place name spelt as today in a Court roll . Earliest records indicate Porthleven was a little fishing village in the shelter of a tiny creek


The place is spelt as 'Port Levan'


Documents show mining in Wheal Rose and Wheal Penrose areas during this period. The area was listed as Port Elvan


Porthleven was mentioned in documents as Port Levan


Original Lime Kilns produced lime for use in construction of early cottages. 


Fishmongers Arms (The site of the Institute Buildings) was thought to have been built this year.


Mid summers day - 21 persons drowned off Porthleven while in a boat of pleasure.


The first mail from London to this area was lost by a very drunk postman


The old habit of smuggling in Mount’s Bay dates back over 200 years. In the early 1800’s it was estimated that 7,000 ankers of smuggled brandy successfully landed annually.

An anker = 10 gallons.

The Methodists made great inroads in Porthleven in the early 19th century, and the first Chapel was built around 1800

The Ship Inn is thought to have been built during this decade. Originally the Ship tavern, it is the oldest pub still standing in Porthleven.

Early 1800s

Schools were instituted in Porthleven duing the early 1800s

Around this time there was a water driven mill where Kota stands today.

It is believed the cillage consisted of 63 dwellings with a population of 220


December 29th HMS Anson was wrecked on Loe bar with the loss of about 100 lives. This was to result in the structure of the Price of Wales Harbour,Porthleven


The survey shows Porthleven as having 63 dwellings mainly inhabited by fishermen and miners with a population of 220

This year and Act of Parliament was passsed for the construction of Porhleven Harbour. The sum of £30,000 was deemed sufficient for the formation of the Harbour.


Act of Parliament amendment Harbour and Dock


The Warehouse on Breageside was built using granite.

The Lime Kiln was built during this year and was used to burn rock lime. This was built by Archibald Blair, a director of the harbour and Dock Company. He died shortly after completion

and the kiln was purchased by the Harbour and Dock Company


March - Archibald Blake the resident director of the Porthleven Harbour died aged 93.


Act of Parliament amendment Harbour and Dock

At the end of 1816 it was reported that 24 vessels had unloaded smallo quantities of cargo during the year.

The Salt cellar was built during this year for the storage of cargoes landed including salt from Norway. Giant blocks of ice was stored in the Ice House on the other side of the harbour.


59 casks of port were rescued from the wreck of the London Brig The Resolution. Custom's officers impounded the cask in the warehouse.


Act of Parliament amendment Harbour and Dock


On the 18th October, 1825, the magistrates in quarter session assembled certified that Porthleven Harbour was completed to admit

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