Charles Rashleigh 1747 – 1823
Charlestown owes its very existence to this Georgian lawyer, businessman and philanthropist.
Before 1790, when Rashleigh embarked on building a harbour to serve the local mines and town of St Austell, Polmear as it was then known, was little more than a small fishing hamlet.
Within 10 years, Rashleigh had turned it into a bustling port. Supporting a whole range of industries from lime burning and tin smelting to ropemaking and boatbuilding. Copper ore, coal and the newly discovered china clay were the port’s main commodities.
In the early 1800s Polmear was renamed Charles’ Town in honour of its entrepreneurial founder.