With its Georgian town houses converted into guest houses and small hotels, Falmouth has proven a popular holiday destination and it is now primarily a tourist resort. While Falmouth’s maritime activity has much declined from its heyday, the docks are still a major contributor to the town’s economy; and is the largest port in Cornwall.
Falmouth was the site where Henry VIII built Pendennis Castle in 1540 to defend Carrick Roads, and protect against invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire.
The town also has many literary connections, it was the birthplace of Toad, Mole and Rat: Kenneth Grahame’s classic ‘The Wind in the Willows’ began as a series of letters sent to his son. The first two were written at the Greenbank Hotel whilst Grahame was a guest in May 1907. Poldark author Winston Graham knew the town well and set his novel ‘The Forgotten Story’ (1945) in Falmouth. The docks area was also featured in some scenes with Sir John Mills for the 1948 film, ‘Scott of the Antarctic’.
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall, located in a harbourside building, opened in February 2003.The building was designed by the architect M. J. Long.