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Port St. Isaac, Cornwall–Doc Marten Country and a Fishing Village Since the Fourteenth Century

 Port Isaac Rooftops from the hill

Port Isaac Rooftops from the hill

In August, I visited Port Isaac, which was a prosperous fishing village since the fourteenth century until recently.  Declining fish stocks and EU quotas  were sending the village into a decline until it became widely known through television and the popular Doc Marten series.  Before Doc Martin, it had also been featured in the 1970s series Poldark, and in the Comedy Saving Grace in 2000.  (https://www.escape.com.au/world/europe/telly-tourists-flock-to-port-isaac-the-cornwall-town-that-doubles-as-portwenn-in-tv-show-doc-martin/news-story/964703812d7607088ad044afb38c6051)

When I visited the streets were crowded with tourists beating the heat and searching out some of the most popular spots featured in Doc Martin, but I did manage to find some places to steal away for less populated views.  After walking through the village I climbed a narrow road on the opposite side from where I entered and got some great views of older stone buildings juxtaposed against white washed cottages.  This has to be one of the most picturesque villages in Cornwall.

 Port Isaac Nestled in the Trees

Port Isaac Nestled in the Trees

Since it is so hilly, the angle of view constantly changes and the compositions your eye detects differ a great deal.  There are also lots of trees and other vegetation mixed in, creating the sense that it cold have looked like this for generations.

 Port Isaac, a Patchwork of Old Building Materials

Port Isaac, a Patchwork of Old Building Materials

Coming back down the hill, I was struck by this unusual patchwork of building materials where two structures were joined together. The big black stones at the bottom almost reminded me of a Henry Moore scupture they were so organic.

 Port Isaac Phone Booth, Email, Text, Phone

Port Isaac Phone Booth, Email, Text, Phone

One thing I very much enjoyed about Cornwall was coming upon old phone booths that had been freshly painted and bore signs saying, "Email, Text, Phone," a real sign of the changing times in a village where the old buildings lived on.

 Port Isaac Street Corner, Contrasting Edges

Port Isaac Street Corner, Contrasting Edges

The street corner above fascinated me.  The building on the opposite corner had a sharp edge,  while the white-washed bricks of the building closest to me curved and undulated going from a flat plane to a curved line almost like a Mobius Loop.  The way the red brick of the fireplace changed dimensions and bulged out in the middle created an interesting dialog of shapes.

 Port Isaac, Old Shingles and Pipes and a Window with Orbs

Port Isaac, Old Shingles and Pipes and a Window with Orbs

Old shingle and pipes were visible everywhere, telling tales of being worn by the elements and also of being lovingly restored.  When I looked into the window above, a group of pronounced orbs caught my eyes.  It made me wonder who lived here.

 Inshallah, If God Will's It All Doors May Open

Inshallah, If God Will's It All Doors May Open

Over the blue doorway above there was a sign that read, "Inshallah," which means "If God wills it."  In this village perhaps east and west were coexisting well.  My dream is that Port Isaac and all villages and cities on this planet will evolve to become more tolerant and will recognize that diversity is what makes life more interesting and will also help us to solve the problems this planet faces.

 Port Isaac, Old School Hotel

Port Isaac, Old School Hotel

The image above and below is of an old school in Port Isaac that has been converted to a hotel.  I wish I knew what the metal X above the window was put there for.  If anyone reading this knows why, I would be very grateful if you shared your knowledge.

 Old School Hotel with an X

Old School Hotel with an X

 Port Isaac House with Tarpon Weathervane

Port Isaac House with Tarpon Weathervane

There were many small details associated with the sea, like the tarpon weathervane above or this one-eyed pirate who is missing his eye patch and festooned with lightbulbs.  He appears to be sporting some kind of insignia as well, although again I am not certain of the meaning.  It is said that pirates used a small passageway next to the Golden Lion in the village for smuggling.  

 Port Isaac Pirate with Light Bulbs

Port Isaac Pirate with Light Bulbs

When I walked down to the working harbor, I was able to stand on the beach and look up since the tide was out.  The sun hit the church and illuminated all the plants on the cliffside, making the ancient village sparkle.  There were so many interesting textures everywhere I lived.  I could see why this village was so beloved.

 Port Isaac Church on the Hill

Port Isaac Church on the Hill

The rugged coastline beyond the village is stunning in both directions, and is accessible via the Southwest Coast Path which connects Port Isaac with Tintagel and other areas all along the coast.

 Port Isaac Coastline

Port Isaac Coastline

The image below shows tourists taking a break while others stream through the streets amid fishing boats and an old giant anchor.  

 Port Isaac Harbor

Port Isaac Harbor

Below are several black and whites of fishing gear, an alley behind the restaurants, and a seagull perched on one of the old walls that exist  on paths along the steeper parts of the cliffs.  Visiting this area was one of the highlights of my trip despite the crowds and well worth the walk in from the parking area outside the village.  

 Port Isaac, Fishing Gear

Port Isaac, Fishing Gear

 Behind the Fish Restaurants, Port Isaac

Behind the Fish Restaurants, Port Isaac

 Sea Gull, Port Isaac

Sea Gull, Port Isaac