In 2013 Peter Nicholls, as part of his MSc at Camborne School of Mines, investigated the factual basis for the commonly held belief that Helston was historically a port town with access to the sea.
Peter Nicholls successfully achieved his aim, of determining if Helston was historically a port town, through rigorous primary data collection cross referenced with available remote sensing information, as well as interpretation of large amounts of secondary evidence.
Primary data collection was undertaken in the summer of 2013 using topographical surveying apparatus, including both optical and GNSS equipment made available through Camborne School of Mines. Secondary evidence involved consulting with private contractors who had undertaken work within the area of interest, as well as publically available historical and geological information.
The paper concludes that because the Loe Bar might likely have allowed sea-water access to fill the valley, albeit infrequently and sporadically (because of the fluctuating topography of the bar over the course of centuries), the valley has the topographical composition to support a tidal creek/estuary system if sea access were to be maintained.
The full MSc dissertation can be read here: