Rame History Group Rame Maker Cawsand Kingsand Millbrook Southdown Cremyll Picklecombe Pier Cellars Penlee Rame History Whitsand Polhawn Tregonhawke Freathy Tregantle Foss Anderton Empacombe Tamar Hamoaze Plymouth Cornwall history parish Edgcumbe

index sitemap advanced

Go to content

An Introduction

The Sea

THE SEA Introduction:

DONATING YOUR MEMORABILIA - lots of local information, collections and memorabilia will be 'lost' when an estate is passed from one generation to the next. How often do we hear of that 'suitcase of old photos' which was thrown out or rotted away in the attic? You can now ensure your collection of books or postcards etc, if not wanted by your successors, are passed into our archive for safe-keeping and for use by those researching local history. Click here to see HERITAGE DONATION FORM. Just complete and keep with YOUR estate documents.

NEW 2023 RAME GIG CLUB - A LITTLE HISTORY a compilation by Gillian Gibson with contributions from Tony Carne, John Shepherd and other local historians

NEW 2022 Indentures of John Cork, as apprentice Boat Builder, Shipwright to Mashfords 1946

NEW 2022 The Breakwater - images

NEW 2022 A breakwater for Cawsand Bay - some possible schemes that never materialised

NEW: JUNE 2016 an extract here and link to three deaths at Tregonhawke in 1878
(Edward Reginald and Sidney Spender)

The Tragedy of Tregonhawke Bay

Edward Spender Memorial

Tregonhawke Memorial (Photo: Henry Spender)

When I was a youngster, I was taken by my father to see a memorial at Tregonhawke on the cliffs above Whitsand Bay in Cornwall. The view from the memorial is quite lovely, a long sandy beach, some rocks and the white-crested waves lapping rather than crashing into the shore.

Perhaps it isn’t the best water for surfers – there are better places in Cornwall – but it is highly inviting for swimmers. On a hot summer’s day nothing could be more perfect than to pick your way down the steep path and stretch out on the sand. Enjoy the sun. Take a swim.

Except. Maybe not for my family. Not if they cast a glance at the granite memorial with the Celtic cross. For on it there is a legend.

“In the beloved memory of
Edward Spender
Aged 44 years
And of his sons
Reginald and Sidney
Who were drowned whilst bathing
Beneath this cliff
On Whit-Sunday June 9 1878”

The story of the family tragedy was that my great-grandfather, Edward Spender, had died in quicksand one sunny summer’s day on a beach in Cornwall, along with two of his young sons,

FOR THE FULL STORY PLEASE GO TO: https://barneyspender.com/tag/cornwall/

(a record of local boats, owners, skippers and boat transactions)

NEW: TRINITY PILOTS IN THE RAME PENINSULA in 1871 there were eleven pilots living in Maker and Rame..........

The Rame Peninsula is in a unique position.

Geographically it marks the eastern most limits of the county - so a chapel on its promentary would mark entry or departure from what was an un-governable, bleak and un-attractive peninsula - far from the political intrigues of the capital. A land swept by high winds and battered by channel and ocean storms, a land of little interest before its underground riches were discovered.

Strategically - to command the estuary of the River Tamar at a point where it is known as the 'Hamoaze' would have obvious advantages - especially with a dockyard up-stream and 'three towns' to defend.

Militarily Plymouth Sound with its Western border edging the Rame Peninsula made an obvious base for naval sailing vessels seeking to limit, in the main, French activities in the English Channel - especially when Falmouth and Portmouth were either too far from the action or did not provide adequate shelter/ access or provisioning capabilities for a large naval fleet undertaking that job.

Economically the three towns of Plymouth would flourish with many waterside facilities to encourage trade locally and afar. Surrounding any large population centre would grow a ring of satellite communities mindful of the trading opportunities of the nearby 'town' and so, taking advantage of their location at creek head or in sheltered bay.

The sea has played a major role in the shaping of our heritage on the peninsula.

The sections which follow, present a reference point for fishing, smuggling and naval activities which affected those alive at the time - and which provide us now with a useful link to the past of our Peninsula.

What was it like when the Hamoaze was 'littered' with wooden hulks,? When a dozen trading ketches lay against the quays of local brickworks - or when a cloud of sail ruffled in Cawsand Bay and prepared to up-anchor and defend the realm?

Please click on one of the following:






Trinity Pilots

A Bibliography of Shipwrecks an extensive booklist of relevant publications

Brian Williams - master model maker from the Rame Peninsula - article and image gallery below - click on image to see enlarged picture

The 'Quest,' the returned Antarctic expedition vessel anchored in Cawsand Bay. It had left Ernest Shackleton, having died of a heart attack, buried on South Georgia. A local resident, Mrs Carne climbs on board...........


Using the 'search function' at the top of each page, you can also search all the attached PDF files on this website which are linked to our pages as well as searching the pages themselves.

Back to content | Back to main menu