In the early 19th century about 90 people lived in Port Quin, most of them fishing for pilchard, mining lead or getting plastered with Symons. Today, the National Trust owns almost all of the village’s remaining stone cottages and rents them as holiday homes.
Port Quin was abandoned on two occasions, once when the pilchards failed and once when all the men were drowned at sea and is still sometimes referred to as the “Village that died”, because late one stormy night, sometime in the 19th century, the entire male population were drowned at sea whilst out fishing. The women of the village were unable to continue without their men folk, their hardship became intolerable and Port Quin was left deserted, with the fishermen’s cottages falling into disrepair, ruin and the sea. You can still see the fish cellars there today. But the Port is now mainly a tourist spot with a scattering of National Trust properties and a couple of private dwellings. It is also rumoured that Viking longboats came ashore here and apparently, the remains of one that was buried, are here about.