The quay, as long ago as the 13th century, was a rudimentary quay. Built to allow a small fleet of Clovelly fishing boats to catch herring and mackerel in Bideford bay.
From the 13th until today, Clovelly is the only safe haven for boats from Appledore to Boscastle.
The quay was then lengthened in the 17th Century by the Cary family. The intention was to protect the ever-growing fleet of fishing boats. And to create a ‘fortress’ against the ravages of the sea. The building of the harbour wall was all done by hand and took many years to complete. Consequently it’s hard to imagine how such huge boulders could have been hauled across the foreshore to be hoisted into position. The result is a testimony of the skills and hard work of the villagers all those years ago.
You will see four bollards on the quay. These are four cannon barrels, said to have been taken from Spanish ships in the Armada along this coast.
Today our fishermen not only use the quay to unload their “catch of the day” but some, as entrepreneurial spirits, now use their boats for charters. Visitors can take boat trips along the coast – one of the best ways to view Clovelly and its spectacular coastal scenery. And there are also trips available to and from lovely Lundy.