Francis Frith visited Watergate Bay twice, adding to his vast collection of photos of the Cornish coast. Watergate Bay stretches from Trevelgue Head at Porth, past what we now see as Watergate Bay and beyond the Hotel. As the Hotel is the only really truly accessible part of Watergate Bay it’s often overlooked that once the tide goes out the sand does stretch a whole two miles from Porth, past the Hotel and up to the next Headland.
Frith’s first visit was in 1887, when the photograph he took was from the Newquay end of the Bay.
In 1955 Frith took a lot of photos, some of the beach, some of the hotel and one of the cave. Others showed people sitting on rocks, or standing at the water’s edge.
Francis Frith Photos of Watergate Bay
Reproduced courtesy of Francis Frith.
The Francis Frith collection is invaluable in seeing how places have changed in such a short period of time. They also make a great “Then and now” set if you’ve matched the original Frith photo to your own visit, to snap exactly the same scene, then frame them for your wall. Or, as a holiday activity it can be great, when visiting different places, to see if you can find the places in the photos and see how they’ve changed today.
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