This film is part of Free

Artist Mecca of Polperro

Historic fishing village of Polperro is mecca for artists

Non-Fiction 1930 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Polperro is captured as a quiet fishing village famed for its 19th Century salted pilchard industry and for drawing in the artist. The quaint and charming village sits with pride and veneration where the steep valley of the River Pol meets the protected inner harbour beyond which lies a sandy beach and Willy Wilcox Cave. The Polperro gaffers are all but gone although the salted pilchard industry continued to the mid-noughties in Newlyn, Cornwall.

Laudadio Teglio with his sons took on the pilchard business in the 1860s. Originally from the Genoan Jewish Community, they set up in Polperro, Plymouth and Newlyn exporting pilchards to their native Italy. Tourism is the mainstay of today’s Polperro and a coastal fishery exists with 13 registered boats from trawlers fishing for pollack, cod, sea bass, mackerel, monkfish and flatfish to scallopers and crabbers. An Arts and Crafts Festival is held annually and galleries abound. The harbour fishing village remains an inspiration combining untamed Cornish landscape with the historic and untouched fishermen’s cottages by the sea conjuring up images of a smuggling past.