Construction of the harbour began in 1811 to supply the local tin mines, and also as a safe haven for the fishing fleet. Prisoners from the Napoleonic wars were drafted into the work force and the harbour was opened in 1825
In 1855 a deeper inner basin was created and massive timber baulks were used to seal it off in poor weather to protect the ships within. These baulks are still in use today and can be seen in the picture above, (centre left), across 'the gap' between the inner basin and outer harbour leaving the inner basin still and calm while the sea beyond rages.
There are still several working fishing boats in Porthleven whose main catch is shellfish, but the days when it was possible to walk across the harbour stepping from fishing boat to fishing boat have definitely gone.
Porthleven is a very picturesque place with lots of lovely walks along the cliff paths. It is also extremely well-served with hostelries which at the last count numbered 3 traditional pubs each of which serves excellent food, (the one above left is 17th century with resident ghost), 1 modern harbour side bar which also serves food, 6 restaurants and 2 fish and chip shops. We also boast a most excellent fresh fish shop the local proprietor of which has been voted the best fish monger in Great Britain, Quayside fish. Yet for all this Porthleven is totally unspoiled and remains a typical small, close-knit Cornish community.
All the information on this page has been taken with the kind permission of Peter Boyd, Secretary to Porthleven Food Festival www.qsl.net/m0pmb