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Cornish: Pollkerys
Polkerris is located in Cornwall
 Polkerris shown within Cornwall
OS grid reference SX093522
Civil parish Fowey
Unitary authority Cornwall
Ceremonial county Cornwall
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town PAR
Postcode district PL24
Dialling code 01726
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Cornwall
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament South East Cornwall
List of places

Coordinates: 50°20′18″N 4°40′48″W / 50.3384°N 4.6800°W / 50.3384; -4.6800

Polkerris viewed from the cliff path, looking south.

Polkerris (Cornish: Pollkerys, meaning fortified pool) is a small village on the south coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. It forms part of the civil parish of Fowey.[1][2]

The village is part of the Rashleigh estate which is commemorated in the name of the pub, 'Rashleigh Inn'. The village essentially consists of a single steeply sloping road down to the harbour and beach, with side lanes soon stopping as they reach the steep walls of the narrow cove. Parking is very limited. There is a small sandy beach, with a curved harbour wall.


The original translation of the place name is obscure. However, the presence of a number of Napoleonic era cannons embedded in the harbour wall, muzzle first, does lend credence to one possible meaning 'Fortified Cove'.


Polkerris is on the east side of St Austell Bay, two miles west of Fowey and three miles east of St Austell. Fishing, mainly for mackerel, was the mainstay of the village's economy from the 17th century until the collapse of mackerel stocks in the late 19th century due to overfishing. From the 1950s tourism became significant in the summer. Today, the village has restaurants, water sports and some accommodation.

Polkerris is situated on the South West Coast Path, which follows the coast of south west England from Somerset to Dorset. The path follows the cliff tops from nearby Polmear, goes through the village, and onwards to Fowey via Gribben Head.[2]

Lifeboat station[edit]

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution established a lifeboat station in 1859. William Rashleigh provided a large donation of cash, land for the boathouse, and building materials. Volunteer crews for the lifeboat came from Polkerris, Par and Fowey. It was closed in 1922 when a lifeboat was stationed at Fowey for the first time. The boathouse has since been used as a café.[3]

Cultural references[edit]

The Rashleigh Inn was the setting for the 1972 film Doomwatch, a spin-off of the BBC TV series of the same name. The location of the film is wrongly described as Polperro but the harbour and interior of the pub are clearly seen. This has been confirmed by the existing landlord Jon Spode. Some residents of Polkerris also took part in the film as extras.


  1. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  2. ^ a b Explorer Map 107 - St Austell & Liskeard. Ordnance Survey. 2008. ISBN 978-0-319-24017-5. 
  3. ^ Leach, Nicholas (2002). Fowey Lifeboats, an Illustrated History. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. pp. 12–30. ISBN 0-7524-2378-9. 

External links[edit]