Marazion, Cornwall

Marazion, St Michaels Mount

Marazion lays claim to be oldest town in Britain, called Ictis by the Romans.And certainly the oldest town in Cornwall with a charter granted by King Henry III in 1257. The name comes from the Cornish for "little market" ("Marghas Byghan", which became corrupted to "Marazion"), with the earliest records of fairs dating back to 1070.

Marazion faces St Michaels Mount, and the cobbled causeway snakes out from the village to the mount. You can walk or take a ferry, depending upon the tide, to St Michael’s Mount. The tower and battlements of the castle rise to some 230 feet above sea level. The island, run by the National Trust, also has a harbour, shops and a restaurant.The St Aubyn family still live in the castle under the deed of gift to the National Trust.

A pretty village, Marazion, but very busy today because of the numbers of tourists going to St Michael's Mount. It has a variety of small shops, pubs and eating places. There are several quaint narrow streets with views of the sea and the island of St Michael's Mount from many of them.

Car parking can be a problem, because of the number of tourists. You will find that you will probably need to use one of the car parks outside the town, on the road from Penzance. These are private car parks, and the cost tends to drop off, the further they are from the causeway to St Michael's Mount.

The main trunk road from London used to end in the town before splitting into minor roads on to Penzance and Helston. It became an important stop on the main London Paddington - Penzance railway route, however today Marazion railway station has been stripped of its platforms and awnings, and now stands alone in an ugly wasteland. The station was opened 11 March 1852 by the standard gauge West Cornwall Railway, and was absorbed into GWR on 1 January 1877. The current station building dates from the 1880s.The station was finally closed on 6 Dec 1965.

Marazion Marsh is on the Penzance side of the town. This is officially a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is an area of water and reed beds that is the host to wild birds, particularly migratory period in the autumn (the passage of flocks of starlings in particular is very spectacular). As well as native birds, there are also mink.The Marazion Marsh RSPB Reserve here is popular with birdwatchers.

On Marazion Green, there is the tale of the ghost of a lady in white who has apparently been seen to jump onto a horse gallop as far as Red River.


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