Golant Cornwall

Cornwall is host to a small village known as Golant and if you head east you will come to its focal point: The River Fowey. The family du Maurier once lived in a second homestead about one mile from the river, close to Golant. In the month of May of the year 1907 author Kenneth Graham penned his famed novel: “Tales of the Riverbank” and common conventional wisdom suggests that the novel was inspired by the River Fowey. June of 1908 saw the book “The Wind in the Willows” being published and the River Fowey was further inspiration for this work.
The village of Golant is nestled among the Parish of St. Sampson. The town boasts a stunning 110 homes and a population of just about 220. The Church of the town was built in the 13th century and is meant for Saint Sampson. The town also has among its buildings the Cormorant Hotel as well as a fine arts gallery, hostel for weary travelers and a part time post office. Public transportation is really at a minimum. Unlike other villages that are primarily fishing or farming only seem to be “open” several months of the year during their seasonal times. Golant is not such a village.
Both the town and the church look down over the forested, winding Estuary of Fowey which lies less than 2 miles up the river from Polruan and Fowey. An area of natural beauty, Golant is full of wonderful natural scenes all day and all year long and the east bank of the river is owned, in fact, by the National Trust which preserves the natural beauty of the area. During the hotter months the River Fowey is owned by many fishermen as the boating activity increases exponentially. If you happen by during the winter you will find that the avian population owns the area.
Many a pleasure boat makes the port of Fowey a regular stop on their agenda. You may also take canoe and small craft trips to the tiny hamlet of Lerryn which is merely just 2 miles up the river. A railway exists in the town as well and is just a single track which runs alongside the river. If you sit for a spell you can see the daily cargo being moved by the waiting ships on the quays at Fowey.

Cornwall’s easternmost part was heavily mined during the Bronze Age but it wasn’t until the 1800’s that tin was also mined. Both close to the St. Sampson parish. There were only two recorded attempts to mine for these minerals in that parish with the latest being in 1843 which found William Rashleigh of Menabilly giving the permission to search for the minerals in Golant for 21 years. Total collapse, however, faced the industry as it was cheaper to import the minerals. The decline hurt the parish of St. Sampson, but not nearly as much as the other parish’s.

In a stunning turn about of coincidental events the collapse of the tin and copper mining led to the depression in the farming industry. This was mainly due to the importing of cheap corn from the United States. Cornwall was saved unlike a great chunk of England as the climate favored dairy farming. Golant currently offers a mixture of active dairy and farms.

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