The River Fal flows through Cornwall, England, rising at Pentevale on Goss Moor (between St. Columb and Roche) and reaching the English Channel at Falmouth. On or near the banks of the Fal are the castles of Pendennis and St Mawes as well as Trelissick Garden. The River Fal separates the Roseland peninsula from the rest of Cornwall. Like most of its kind on the south coast of Cornwall and Devon, the Fal estuary is a classic ria, or drowned river valley. The Fal estuary from Tregony to the Truro River was originally called Hafaraell (Cornish: Havarel, meaning fallow place).
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Tributaries of the River Fal include the Truro River, River Kennal, Penryn River and Carnon River. Several tidal creeks discharge into the River Fal including Mylor Creek, Pill Creek, Penpol Creek, the Percuil River and Restronguet Creek. The Fal/Truro waterway is navigable between Falmouth and Truro. The River Fal is crossed by the King Harry Ferry, a vehicular chain ferry that links the villages of Feock and Philleigh approximately equidistant between Truro and Falmouth. The river flows through the Carrick Roads, a large ria that creates a natural harbour.
In 1887, Colonel Arthur Tremayne of Carclew, gathered together some friends with the idea of forming a company to run a steam-driven ferry bridge across the Fal River in place of the old barge-like, man-propelled ferry which was then being used. The ferry also carried livestock and while a gentleman’s horse was allowed to travel on board, the farmer’s horse and his livestock had to swim alongside. Farmers worried about missing stock would often position small boats downstream to haul out strays. On April 18, 1888, the King Harry Steam Ferry Company was formed, to acquire the lease and charter for the operation of a steam ferry bridge across the Fal River at King Harry Passage, together with the land and property.
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There remains some dispute over the why the crossing is called King Harry and the two most common suggestions are both related to English kings. The first and least likely is that King Henry the VIII and one of his wives visited the area to inspect the castles that he had commissioned at St Mawes and Falmouth to protect the strategically important Carrick Roads from French and Spanish privateers and invasion. The second and more likely reason is that the in the woods to the North East of the crossing point, the local Lord of the Manor had a small Chapel dedicated to King Henry IV and his wife Queen Anne. The Chapel was known as the Chapel of King Henry and over time the Cornish name of Cybellys (crossing or ferry boat) was supplanted by King Harry Passage and thus King Harry Ferry crossing.
Fal RIver Cornwall