Charlestown, “October Evening” – Extra Info

The Port of Charlestown, Cornwall, England, near were the artist lived behind Par Beach for many happy years.

Charlestown, the port, ‘October Evening’, Cornwall

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Charlestown, was still a working port when I painted this.


The original painting :

this beautiful painting of Charlestown is long since sold, was 61 x 91 cm (24″ x 36″) and painted in 1989.



Charlestown, Cornwall, is still a working port as it appears when I made this Marine painting.

A popular and favourite subject of mine, I’d love to paint again from the studies I made then and subsequently.

I have a long relationship and great affection for this lovely port.


Charlestown :

inspired a series of my early paintings all of which have sold.

One of the paintings now belongs to my first wife who now lives in Charlestown.

I like that.


The painting and prints, “Charlestown, October Evening”, as you may have guessed was in turn inspired by one of my many sorties to the port.

The painting was created nearby when I lived nearby behind Par Beach in Polmear Parc, one of the few places where but for property prices, I’d happily return to finish my days.


The white brig :

The vessels in this painting of Charlestown are the barque “Marques” and the brig ‘Maria Asumpta“.

Charlestown was for many years their home port.



At the time ‘Maria Asumpta’ was the oldest operational sailing ship in the world having been built in 1858, in Spain and very traditionally outfitted except for the addition of powerful engines.


I knew Marques”, the brig ‘Maria Asumpta and their people well, socially and professionally including my voyaging on ‘Maria Asumpta’.

I still have pictures made on board and a sketch with every rope named, made while I was literally grasped the opportunity to learn the ropes.



To put her in perspective, ‘Maria Asumpta was built ten years before the world famous clipper ‘Cutty Sark’, another ship I know well and have painted more than a few times …



Charlestown has been the home of Square Rig Ltd and still often hosts spectacular old style sailing ships.

#Charlestown, #Cornwall, the port is little changed in the 25 + years since this painting was created.

Except it’s days as a commercial port shipping China Clay are now history.



Only a few of the drawings, described as “exquisite” by the head of the Mall Galleries, London remain with me unsold and many of the photographs I have made of this lovely port.

You can discover and buy the drawings on my website in the Ports section.


Charlestown, a port of Cornwall, England:

The port was built by Charles Rashleigh in 1795 to help the china clay export industry to grow.

For many years small ships would beach at West Polmear now known as Charlestown, to unload and load, a risky affair requiring fine seamanship and luck.

One of the first ships of the new port and the largest at the time within the 
Port of Fowey was built in the same year almost certainly by her initial owner the very productive ship wright Thomas Shepheard of nearby Mevagissey.

She was registered as “
Charlestown of Charlestown”, as a barge, a 70 ton sloop.
She may even have been built on the beach in a nearby cove, at Polmear as Shepheard was also building on Polmear beach (5 vessels) in 1794 until 1798.


As was customary at that time, Thomas Shepheard sold shares in “Charlestown” to Joseph Dingle, merchant, Richard Williams and John Nancollas described as mariners of Saint Austell.

The ship had a long life until finally she “went absent” in 1850.


Thomas Shepheard seems to have been involved in “the trade” – smuggling, a “black economy” which reached its peak in 1805, much favoured by the Cornish and Welsh, literally moonlighting.


During the French Revolutionary, Napoleonic and American wars over 20% of Port of Fowey ships were seized by the Revenue while less than 10% lost to enemy action.

Thomas Shepheard built many fast luggers, cutters and other fore and aft rigged craft, much favoured for “The Trade” for their speed, manoeuvrability, economy and ability to sail close to the wind thus to enter and leave more quickly than a square rigger.


During this period, the schooner rig gradually became more popular (see “I have urgent dispatches”) and unlike the American version, retained its square sails (see The Schooner Jane Banks leaving Fowey).


Nine of his vessels were sized and 4 went to the Port of Rye, East Sussex, another port notorious for smuggling gangs.

Perhaps curiously it was at Rye that I built boats at 18/22 Rope Walk, during the 1970’s, as M.D. of South East Boat Builders Ltd.


Available as a signed limited edition print via our Print Gallery page

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As with Par, Fowey and Pentewan, in the 1860’s the railways were extended to the port.
The copper mines in the area were very successful in the early and mid-19th century so the local ports and their ships thrived and expanded.

Large quantities of granite and china clay further contributed to the success of Charlestown port.


The port of Charlestown was for many years within the port and bounds of the Port of Fowey, Cornwall.

Today this delightful port remains largely as original and has been often used as a film set.


I can happily say,  “I was very fortunate to live near Charlestown. If you find yourself in the ancient granite kingdom of Cornwall be sure to take lunch at the Rashleigh Arms, Charlestown and I hope, raise a glass to my memory and that of Charles Rashleigh“.


The restaurant / hotel on the quay is highly recommended for it’s quaint, quiet, quality as is the Rashleigh Arms in the village at the head of the dock as a value for money pub, visit, enjoy!


You can acquire or commission an example of the art of Gordon Frickers 

October Evening, Port of Charlestown, Cornwall


Available as a signed limited edition print via our Print Gallery page

> with your credit card Purchase Now < via Paypal, in any currency, or £/, or bank to bank; or in instalments by arrangement, contact Gordon Frickers.

How much in my currency?

Try this free XE Currency converter.

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Gordon Frickers © updated 07.10.2020

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This Gordon Frickers art signature is on all my more recent paintings.