Charlestown (Cornish: Porth Meur, meaning "great cove") is a village and port on the south coast of Cornwall, England approximately 2 miles (3 km) south east of St. Austell town centre. Since 1974 it has been located in the parish of St Austell Bay.
The port at Charlestown developed from what was in the late 18th century the fishing village of West Polmear. Whereas other areas within the conurbation of St Austell have seen much development during the 20th century, Charlestown has remained relatively unchanged within this expansion. There are deposits of china clay in the area. Particles of mica quartz in the sea near Charlestown give it a turquoise-blue colour. The same colour is imparted to flooded china clay quarries.
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Charlestown from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:
Charlestown has always been considered to be part of both the ecclesiastical and civil parish of St. Austell.
One of the many maps available on A Vision of Britain through Time is one from the Ordnance Survey Series of 1900 illustrating the parish boundaries of Cornwall at the turn of the 20th century. This map blows up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets.
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