The Poly

24 Church St, Falmouth : 01326 319461
The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society

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Explore // Falmouth History Archive

Welcome to the Falmouth History Archive!

We are a team of local volunteers who take great pleasure in looking after documents pertaining to Falmouth’s rich and fascinating history.  

The Falmouth History Archive holds a wealth of original historic records, documents, photos, maps and books relating to Falmouth and the local area.

Here is a taste of our extensive collection:

  • Find some significant World War 1 landmarks on our World War 1 trail
  • Look back at some of Falmouth's maritime history
  • Meet some local personalities
  • Visit some notable buildings
  • Browse our catalogues, indexes, and registers
  • See how the face of Falmouth has changed over the years

We’re here to help!

Whether you're investigating the history of your home, curious about your family tree, or conducting a research project about Falmouth's history, people or places, we're always happy to help. Just drop us a line and we can arrange a time slot for you to come to our office.

The Falmouth History Archive in open for pre-booked visits only on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10.30am to 12.00pm. Please email

Falmouth History Archive images

We hope you enjoy the images on our website. These are just a small selection of what we have available, and we hope to upload more images in the coming months. Should you wish to obtain copies, we would be happy to discuss this with you.

We are keen that our collections reach as wide an audience as possible and have recently added indexes for a couple of our collections to The National Archives. They can be viewed here: Browse records of other archives | The National Archives. More will be added in due course. Do have a look!

The Falmouth History Archive Team 

© Please note: All the photographs and images on this site are subject to copyright. All rights reserved. Our photographs are not licensed for gain, commercial or public use or use in the public domain. Requests for usage of copyrighted materials should be submitted to the Falmouth History Archive.


Falmouth and World War 1

Falmouth was not only a garrison town, with up to 14,000 soldiers at any one time, but also a defended port. Falmouth is the most westerly deep water port of the English Channel and Falmouth Bay was a strategic point for arrivals and departures. Early on in the War, photography and sketching became prohibited in the vicinity of the harbour and the coast for reasons of national security, so that we have very few visual records of the time. More

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Maritime History

Falmouth Quay Punt sailing in Falmouth's Inner Harbour ca 1900
(from Brian Osborne's 'Images of the Past' collection #551) More

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Local Personalities

An Edwardian Group ca 1908 (from Brian Osborne's 'Images of the Past' collection #1407)

Explore and discover some of our town's most interesting people, characters and visitors. More

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Notable Buildings

Arwenack Manor from the Harbour ca 1910 (from Brian Osborne's 'Images of the Past' collection #924) More

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Archive records

Index of the Ordnance Survey 1:500 scale map series of Falmouth of 1880 More

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The Changing Face of Falmouth

Post Office Yard with No. 49 Smithick Hill above More

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Contact us:

T: 01326 319461


The Poly, 24 Church Street, Falmouth, TR11 3EG

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© The Poly - The Poly is the trading name of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society Limited, a company limited by guarantee and incorporated in England and Wales with company registration number 03909555 and registered charity number 1081199, with its registered office at 24 Church Street, Falmouth TR11 3EG