20th Century
Port of Fowey, Cornwall

Oil on canvas on board, signed bottom right
Signed and inscribed on reverse
Image size: 19 3/4 x 15 1/4 inches (50 x 39 cm)
Original frame


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This charming scene depicts the harbour of Fowey, a small town in South Cornwall. The port town has been in existence since well before the Norman invasion, with the local church first established some time in the 7th century; the estuary of the River Fowey forms a natural harbour which enabled the town to become an important trading centre.

A pair of ancient blockhouses defended the harbour during medieval times – the four storey towers were linked by a chain which could be raised across the harbour in the event of an attack. To this day, the entrance to Fowey Harbour is guarded by St. Catherine’s Castle. Built in 1543 it was constructed as part of Henry VIII’s chain of harbour defences, which ran along the English Channel coast. During the Second World War the fort became an observation post and detonation point for a controlled minefield, which was laid across the harbour entrance to protect from German invasion.

Unfortunately, little is known about G. B. Bruce other than what is noted on a hand written label on the reverse of this work that lists his address in Lee.