Poldark Original Series Map

Map of film locations used in the 1970s Poldark

Whilst the recent television adaptation of Poldark may have captured the attention of the nation with its prime-time Sunday evening slot, many will remember a similar scene nearly 40 years ago. The original Poldark series ran from 1975 to 1978 and attracted up to 15 million viewers.

This early TV series helped define the location handbook for Cornwall with many of the spots becoming film industry standards. A fair few of these locations have been recycled in the new Poldark series, but many have not, yet(!)

Poldark 1970s film locations
Poldark 1970s film location map

Check out our original Poldark series map to see where filming took place, and for clues as to where the new series might be headed...

West Cornwall

View from Wheal Edward mine, Botallack
View from Wheal Edward mine, Botallack

1. Botallack and Pendeen

Much of Nampara was filmed in and around the villages of Pendeen and Botallack near St Just. The house itself was a composite of two local farm houses; Botallack Manor Farm and Pendeen Manor Farm. Many of the scenes featuring Nampara Cove were shot at Portheras Cove in Pendeen.

As with the new Poldark production, Levant Mine near Botallack was also used.

2. St Just

The old mining village of St Just was one of the last bastions of the mining industry. In the 1970s many of the cottages here were home to miners working at nearby Geevor Mine. With its permanent fog and characterful village square this provided an authentic backdrop for several scenes.

3. Porthcurno

Another location used in the new series, the stunning Porthcurno Cove was to be used in a scene described in the books where Demelza arrives by boat. However the strong tidal currents meant filming was too dangerous so an alternative location was found. Porthcurno does feature in the final scene of the first series where Ross and Demelza run together along the beach.

4. Lamorna

Lamorna, with its lush wooded valley and deep cove featuring a 19th century harbour were used as Sawle village in the 1970s Poldark series. In the books Sawle is near St Agnes, but the description is much like Lamorna.

5. Mousehole

Mousehole is where Winston Graham spent is honeymoon near the start of World War II. He had good taste as this is one of Cornwall's prettiest little fishing villages. This was not lost on Poldark's location manager who used Mousehole as the backdrop for the miners rebellion march.

6. Mount's Bay

Several locations were used in this sweeping bay which reaches from beyond Mousehole to the Lizard. Most notable were the dramatic, craggy headland of Cudden Point and the area around Prussia Cove, where Demelza's landing by boat was filmed (instead of Porthcurno as mentioned above).

7. Godolphin House

The Tudor/Stewart manor house of Godolphin is easily identified by its colonnade of granite pillars at the front of the house. Now owned by the National Trust it would have been in private hands when Poldark was filmed here in 1975. 

In the television adaptation Godolphin was used as 'Trewnith', the home to Francis and Elizabeth Poldark and later George Warleggan and Elizabeth.

8. Towednack Church

The squat little church of Towednack is located on the edge of the moors just to the west of St Ives. In the 1970s Poldark the wedding of Francis and Elizabeth was filmed inside the church whilst the graveyard here was used fpr the funeral of Francis's father, Charles.

9. Illogan Woods

Illogan is where Demelza Carne grew up, before being taken on by Ross Poldark so it seems fitting that the ancient woods here were used for filming. This was one of the poorest villages in Cornwall back in the 18th century and remains so to this day.

10. St Agnes area

Trevellas Porth Beach - St Agnes
Trevellas Porth - St Agnes

Like the old mining district of St Just, the cliffs around St Agnes have proved popular as locations for both old and new series of Poldark.

Located just around the headlands of Newdowns and St Agnes Head, before Trevaunance Cove is a huge sea cave known locally as 'Seal Hole cave'. In the television series this was used as "Demelza's cave". The next cove around is Trevellas Porth which was also used in filming. With its steep sided valley and slightly industrial landscape this might have been much like small-scale mining operations appeared in the 18th century.

One more location the production team couldn't resist was 'Stippy Stappy'. This row of miners cottages built on a steep terrace is one of the most photographed spots in St Agnes.

Mid Cornwall

Trerice House - Newquay
Trerice House - Trenwith

11. Trerice

The National Trust owned Trerice is an Elizabethan manor house just inland from Newquay. Once the seat of the powerful Arundell family the house was used in Poldark to represent certain scenes of 'Trenwith', along with Godolphin House.

12. Trelissick House

Trelissick is a fine country estate overlooking the River Fal just south of Truro in Feock. The estate and gardens were gifted to the National Trust in 1955 but the house remained in private hands until very recently. The house is rather ostentatious in design with huge classical columns at the front. This would have reflected the nature of its 18th century owner Ralph Allen Daniell, a second generation Truro merchant who acquired wealth from the mining boom. 

In the TV series both Trelissick and Daniell feature as themselves. Using real historic characters was something Winston Graham did on several ocassions. Interestingly Daniell's son managed to run up massive debts and had to declare bankruptcy.

13. The Roseland

St Mawes Castle
St Mawes Castle

Sitting across the river from Falmouth and a few miles from both St Austell and Truro, the Roseland is strangely difficult to get to. Probably for this reason the area has retained and abundance of its unspoilt charms.

Several locations on the Roseland were used in filming the 1970s series. St Mawes Castle, which stands guard at the mouth of the River Fal was used as the French 'Fort Baton' in Brittany where Dwight Enys is held a prisoner of war. Another spot on the Roseland used to represent France in the filming was Portholland Cove. In the original series Portholland beach was used as Roscoff.

Another Roseland beach used was Porthluney, with its dramatic backdrop of Caerhays Castle. At beginning of the second TV series here we see Ross Poldark galloping across the beach. Whilst later on it is the spot where Drake, Morwenna and Geoffrey Charles walked and explored the caves.

South East Cornwall

Tall Ships in Charlestown Harbour
Charlestown Harbour

14. Charlestown

It is easy to see why the Georgian harbour in Charlestown, with its permenant collection of tall ships, has become one of the most used film locations in Cornwall. Built to ship out copper and then China clay it gets its name from its creator, Charles Rashleigh.

Given the little port's authentic charms it is no surprise that it was used in both original and new Poldark adaptations.

15. Luxulyan

Just a few miles north of Charlestown is a little known slice of Cornish mining heritage - Luxulyan Valley. A beautiful, ancient wooded valley, Luxulyan is the location of a number of early mining sites. These include a huge old water wheel pit that once powered nearby copper mines and, perhaps the most striking feature, the Treffry aqueduct which straddles the valley.

With all its natural charms and historical relevance there are plenty of reasons Luxulyan was used as a film location.

16. Lostwithiel

Set on the banks of the River Fowey the old stannary town of Lostwithiel is not short of charm itself but it was the immediate area that much of the filming took place.

Two local churches were used for two seperate weddings. The 15th century Braddock church was used for the wedding of Drake and Morwenna whilst nearby St Winnow's Church was used for the wedding of Dwight Enys and Caroline Penvenen.

Also in the Lostwithiel area, not far from Braddock, is the impressive 18th century Boconnoc House. In the original Poldark series this featured as 'Penrice', the home of Aunt Agatha and later George Warleggan and Elizabeth.

A little further up the River Fowey is Lerryn Creek. This was used for filming the landing and escape from France.

North Cornwall

St Enodoc's Church
St Enodoc's Church

17. Lanhydrock House

One of Cornwall's great estates, Lanhydrock sits in the heart of Cornwall near Bodmin. The house itself has parts dating back to the 17th century although it is mostly Victorian. Lanhydrock's most iconic feature though is the 17th century gatehouse which perfectly frames the front of the house.

In the original Poldark series Lanydrock was used as the residence of Sir Francis Basset, another real-life contemporary character. The Bassetts were possibly the wealthiest family in Cornwall during the 18th century with a mining empire centred on Redruth and Camborne.

18. Polzeath area

Several scenes were filmed on the cliffs and coves around Polzeath. The closest of these was Pentireglaze Haven. Actually part of Polzeath beach at low tide, this sandy cove was chosen for a clifftop scene with Demelza and Hugh Armitage.

Just around Pentire Head and the dramatic Rumps point is Lundy Bay, a secluded little sandy cove. This was used in a couple of scenes; firstly for a shipwreck and then, nearby, when Ross Poldark destroys some of Warleggan's fences.

A short journey in the opposite direction, towards Rock, brings us to one of Cornwall's most easily recognised churches - St Enodoc's. Overlooking the mouth of the Camel Estuary, towards Stepper Point, this church was the scene for Rowella Chynoweth and Arthur Solway's wedding.

19. Port Isaac area

Heading further east along the coast from Polzeath takes us to Port Quin. This deep natural inlet was once home to a small fishing community which was abandoned after the collapse of the pilchard industry in the early 19th century. On the headland at the mouth of the inlet is a curious little castle-like folly which was built in the 1830s by businessman Samuel Symons as a holiday retreat. In the original Poldark series Doyden Castle featured as Dwight Enys' house.

Whilst itmight have been Doc Martin that really put Port Isaac on the map it was actually used as a location in the first series of Poldark 30 years before. The harbour was used as it has the perfect backdrop for a period drama.

Also near Port Isaac is another property used for Nampara's exterior. Roscarrock Manor Farm replaced the previous farmhouseses which were used in series one.