Gunwalloe, Cornwall

Gunwalloe, Cornwall

Gunwalloe is a fishing cove with a scattering of fishermen's cottages at the eastern tip of Mounts bay. Gunwalloe village was originally owned by the Penrose family but was eventually sold, mostly to sitting tenants and the National Trust. In the past fishing was important from a shingle beach with the name of Fishing Cove, but this has largely died out.

Gunwalloe Church Cove with the parish church of St Winwalloe is in a separate cove just to the south at in the sand dunes beside the beach. The bell tower is separated from the church, and the whole edifice is surrounded by a tamarisk hedge.

Gunwalloe Cornwall, church St Winwalloe Church, Gunwalloe

The St Anthony, the King of Portugal's treasure ship was wrecked in the cove in 1527. The Schiedam, a Dutch ship of 400 tons sank here in 1684 - she appears to have been transporting cannon for the English army from Tangier to Portsmouth. In 1739 Rev. Thomas Whitford, rector of Cury was caught with 4 casks of wine looted from the wreck of The Lady Lucy on the rocks at Gunwalloe.

Another wreck, in Dollar Cove, just north of Church Cove, is of a Spanish ship, laden with silver dollars, which came to grief on the cliffs half-way along the north side of Poldhu Cove in 1669. And even today silver dollars are said to be washed ashore after storms. The San Salvador was said to have been carrying two tons of Spanish coin. Although documentation on the ship is very poor, treasure-hunting has gone on for centuries. Efforts were made in the early 1800s to dam the undersea gully into which the coins were believed to have spilled from the wreck. This failed and as did the attempt in 1847 by a group of tin miners to sink a metre-wide shaft under the wreck so that the coins would drop into the tunnel - their tunnel was flooded by the sea before they could get any coins. Divers have tried for the jackpot many times in recent years, but no great discovery has been reported.

The Primrose, a "sloop of war" was lost in 1807, with all her crew except one boy, in Gunwalloe Cove.

Marconi transmitted the first trans Atlantic radio signals from Podhu Head to the south of Gunwalloe in 1901.

Gunwalloe, Cornwall Genealogical information from Genuki


Return to Map of Cornwall - Gazetteer