OS Grid ref:- SX015448
A busy and characterful fishing village, Mevagissey is a captivating place with a charm and atmosphere all of its own, it is one of the oldest fishing ports in Cornwall.
The first recorded mention of the village dates from 1313, when Mevagissey was known as Porthhilly, although evidence exists of settlement dating back to the Bronze Age. Two Bronze Age Burial Urns were discovered at nearby Portmellon.
Towards the end of the seventeenth century, Porthhilly merged with the neighbouring hamlet of Lamoreck to form the new village. The curious name of Mevagissey derives from Meva and Issey, both of whom were Irish Christian missionaries in the sixth century.
Mevagissey's fleet of little boats was much reduced by the disappearance of the pilchard. The villages older, inner harbour dates to 1774, while the outer harbour was constructed in 1888. The Harbour Aquarium was opened in June , 2006 and contains displays of aquatic life found in local waters, it is housed in the old RNLI lifeboat house.
The village is a fascinating labyrinth of ancient narrow streets containing quaint shops, the streets, lined with characterful, old slate roofed cottages, radiate out from the village's harbour.
The village's characterful narrow streets contain many tourist gift shops, craft workshops, galleries, cafés and pubs. There are also several hotels and many restaurants.The interesting village church dates from the fifteenth century and boasts a soaring hundred and ten foot tower which dominates the village.
Places of Interest
The Mevagissey Museum, which is housed in an eighteenth century boatyard on the East Quay has a fascinating selection of old photographs and marine artefacts. (Open Easter - Oct, Mon - Fri, 11am - 5pm, Sat - Sun, 10am - 4pm.)
The interesting Mevagissey Aquarium is located in the old life boat house.
Noisy hordes of screaming seagulls accompany each fishing boat back into Mevagissey harbour, laden with their cargoes of mackerel, pollock and whiting. Boats are also available to take anglers out to sea. There is ample parking space within walking distance of the harbour.
The Fowey to Mevagissey Ferry links the two ports between the months of May and September inclusive. A ride on the ferry offers a fun, fast sea crossing for passengers only and a chance to enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of Cornwall's spectacular coastline from the water at a modest cost.
At the end of June Mevagissey celebrates its famous Feast Week, with dancing in the streets and local events.
During the Christmas period the village puts on an attractive display of Christmas lights.
The World of Model Railways
The World of Model Railways, situated in Meadow Street, set back 130 metres from the harbour of Mevagissey, is one of Cornwall's most fascinating tourist attractions and has over 2,000 models and a railway layout which has 50 trains running through various landscapes.
Over forty trains travel through a varied and highly detailed landscapes featuring operating lights, sounds and action, with cameo scenes from everyday life in the town and country landscape as town, countryside, seaside and even an Alpine feature. The scenery even includes more local features such as the china clay hills, a Cornish tin mine and even the fabled Beast of Bodmin lurking in the shadows. In the Alpine scene, there are skiers, chair lifts, cable cars and even mountain railway trains, operating as visitors watch. There are lots of tiny details such as a kingfisher perched on a 'No Fishing' sign. Elsewhere there are lots of other things happening: a wedding is taking place; cyclists are racing; people are losing themselves in a maze. When night time comes to the layout, the brightly lit fairground swings into action.
On the indoor garden layout visitors can be the engine driver and control the larger scale trains. Children can enjoy their favourite trains on the 'Junior Junction' layout, built especially for the younger spectators.
The model and toy shop stocks
a wide range for the enthusiast and modeller and includes childrens clothes and books too.