Discount Hotels Newquay
Historical interest: Newquay
Newquay looks back on 1600 years of history and a dramatic change of identity
from fortified cliff settlement, through tiny port to premier resort. During
the Iron Age the inhabitants smelted ore here for weapons and tools, while during
the Industrial Age Newquay became an important centre for the trade in tin and
china clay. But since then Newquay has found its hidden gold: the chain of 11
beaches that have transformed Newquay into a popular resort in less than a century.
In 1439 Bishop Lacey of Exeter allowed the burghers of what was then called
Towan Blistra to build a New Quay. It was the beginning of the Town's second
life as a fishing port culminating in the arrival of the great pilchard shoals
in the 18th century. When the pilchards left, the Industrial Revolution came,
turning Newquay from a fishing community to a commodity port loading tin, lead
and china clay.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, low wages from fishing and agriculture were
supplemented by smuggling and, more sinisterly, the wrecking of ships. Crantock
hid many a cargo of silks, spices, and brandy from the Revenue Men, and wreckers
used to swarm from the villages of St Columb and St Mawgan at news of a ship
in difficulties near the jaws of rock called the Bedruthan Steps.
Cornwall has its own language with a 2,000 year tradition and close ties with
the Welsh and Bretons. As late as the 18th century peasants resentful of English
ways and taxes would say My ny vynnaf cows sawsnek (I will not speak English),
but now the language is heard only in bardic revivals of verse or plays in Plen
an Gwary-open-air theatres.
Selection of hotels in this region:
Watergate Bay Hotel
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full list of hotels and online booking