The name may be derived from the Cornish word for little valley, is on the steep bank of the Fowey river.
On the hilltop above the village are the remains of an Iron Age fort at Castledore. This was also the site of an important battle (1644) in the Civil War of with a 10,000 strong Parliamentary force were surrounded by King Charles and his Royalists. Some surrendered and some escaped by sea.
Golant was on the Saint's Way for travellers journeying between the north and south Cornish coast since the 6th century.
Apart from the Saint's Way the much more important highway was the river with trade passing up to Lostwithiel. Tin and copper, limestone and manure being shipped in and out of quays in the village.
A railway was built down to Fowey in 1869, principally to transport iron ore and later china clay to large vessels in Fowey.
Despite its small and isolated nature Golant has a wealth of historical interest and is still a flourishing community.