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Cape Cornwall
This dramatic headland, crowned by a handsome mining stack, is the only one in the country to be known as a cape (i.e. a promontory that marks the meeting-place of two oceans or channels). As far as mediaeval navigators were concerned, this was the true Land’s End, the most westerly point of Britain and the point where the English Channel met St. George’s Channel. Although it is now known that the two channels actually divide at Gwennap Head (known as the Fisherman’s Land’s End) eight miles to the south, Cape Cornwall keeps its proud appellation nonetheless. The Cape was bought for the nation by H.J. Heinz Ltd. in 1987 and given to the National Trust. It now forms the central point in a four-mile stretch of magnificent Trust-owned coastline, rich in archaeological and mining remains.

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Cardinham
This small village and its surrounding parish on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor, where steep wooded valleys plunge down from the moorland heights, is unusually rich in relics of the past. The lovely church has two of Cornwall’s finest Celtic crosses in the churchyard, one of which is well over eight feet tall and beautifully decorated. Nearby is the privately-owned site of the important early-mediaeval Cardinham Castle; a little further away is a Romano-British inscribed stone. The Forestry Commission provides a series of forest trails in Cardinham Woods to the south of the village.

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Charlestown
The harbour village of Charlestown was a Georgian ‘new town’, a port development planned by local landowner Charles Rashleigh (after whom it was named) and built between 1790 and 1810 for the export of copper and china clay. Throughout the 19th century the little dock was packed with ships and the harbourside sheds and warehouses thronged with complementary businesses: boatbuilding, ropemaking, brickworks, lime burning, net houses, bark houses and pilchard curing. Today there are two remarkable things about Charlestown. One is that, against all the odds, it has survived as a working port and a small amount of china clay is still exported in an average of 30-40 ships a year. The second is that – again, against all the odds – it has largely escaped ‘development’ and remains one of the finest and most fascinating places on the Cornish coast.

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Coverack
This lovely village on the east coast of the Lizard, with its tiny harbour wall of 1724 made from local hornblende and serpentine, seems a peaceful and sheltered place on a sunny summer’s afternoon – but the photographs in the bar of the Paris Hotel show just how devastating a storm here can be. The hotel is named after an American passenger liner which ran aground off Lowland Point in 1899. There was no loss of life on that occasion, but only a year before that the steamship Mohegan was wrecked on the dreaded Manacle Rocks beyond Lowland Point and 106 people were drowned. Soon after that a lifeboat was stationed at Coverack (and the stout lifeboat house built just by the harbour) because, as was said at the time, ‘the fishermen at this village are familiar with the Manacles and the boat could be launched in all waters’.

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Click here for Cornish Towns, here for Myths and Legends and here for Cornish History.

Coming soon, the Cornish Accommodation Directory......

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