OS Grid ref:-SX 019 472
The popular holiday resort of Pentewan is known in Cornish as Bentewyn, which translates into English as foot of the radiant stream. The village is situated 3 miles (4.8 km) south of the busy market town of St Austell at the mouth of the St Austell River.
Pentewan is best known for its long sandy beach. The beach is but a minutes walk from the centre of the village, and is also the home of Pentewan Sands Sailing Club. Water sports are a populay activity and Pentewan has two shops selling everthing the water sport enthusiast requires from fishing rods to kayaks. There is also a gararage which sells groceries, newspapers etc. and a village Post Office
Pentewan is situated in central Cornwall and makes an ideal base for touring around the county. It is very close to such popular attractions as, the Eden Project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Mevagissey and Charlestown.
There are several walks around the village and the coast path provides wonderful views of St Austell Bay. The Blackhead Trail provides stunning views across to nearby Par and the hamlet of Polkerris.
The village spreads around a circular hill known as The Round. It is known that a settlement dating back to the Iron Age once existed on this hill as traces of the forts hut circles and an entrenchment have been unearthed.
Pentewan has a long history is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 which states, "The Manor of Pentewan was held by Osulf". During the thirteenth century the Manor was held by the Wise or Wyse family. In medieval times, Pentewan existed mainly a fishing village, with some stone-quarrying, tin-streaming, and agriculture. The antiquarian Leland, writing in 1549, referred briefly to 'Pentowan' as "a sandy bay witherto fischer bootes repair for socour".
Between 1818 and 1826, local quarry owner Sir Christopher Hawkins substantially rebuilt the harbour, partly to improve the existing pilchard-fishery and partly to turn the village into a major china clay port. At its peak, Pentewan shipped a third of Cornwall's china clay.
Continual problems with silting (caused by tin and clay mining) and the rise of the rival ports of Charlestown and Par meant that Pentewan's status as a port lasted for little more than a century. The last trading ship left in 1940. After that, the harbour entrance gradually silted up, though it was still possible for small boats to enter the harbour in the 1960s. Now, although the water-filled basin remains, Pentewan harbour is entirely cut off from the sea.