Mounts Bay, Cornwall

Mounts Bay, Cornwall map Newlyn Mousehole St Michaels Mount Prussia Cove

Mounts Bay is one of the 'Most Beautiful Bays in the World'. It offers a spectaculat spectacular coastline that runs in a great arc from Land's End to the Lizard Point.

Mounts Bay is protected from the Atlantic storms that blow in from the west. The natural shelter made the area suitable as both a fishing and a smuggling centre. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the whole region was extremely isolated, and this helped smuggling. Rads were little more than cart tracks. Penzance was one of the first places in Britain to get a revenue cutter.

There was a Spanish raid on Mounts Bay in in 1595. Four Spanish galleys slipped into Mount's Bay and dropped anchor off Mousehole, where they ferried ashore a force estimated at 200 pike and shot, which burnt the village and some surrounding hamlets, including the village of Paul. The Spaniards now re-embarked, and moving slightly Eastwards, landed their full force of 400 men at Newlyn, and sent an advance guard of about 50 men on to the hill above the village, from where they could look down on the scenes of confusion and lack of preparedness in Penzance. Covered by fire from the guns aboard the galleys, the full Spanish force advanced along the shore towards the town. The Spaniards put Penzance to the torch. As Penzance went up in flames, local troops retired in haste about 2 miles eastwards around the Bay to the village of Marazion, intending to defend the causeway leading to St. Michael's Mount. At that point British reinforcements were sent, and the Spanish withdrew without any further action.

Mounts Bay was a Royal Navy warship. She was a Bay Class frigate, launched in 1945 and eventually was sold to Portugal in 1961.

St Michaels Mount owned today by the National Trust is the big attraction in Mounts Bay

Mousehole - Mousehole, pronounced Mouzell, it is another pretty fishing village with a long and colourful history.

Newlyn - Newlyn is about a mile west of Penzance, and now one of the largest fishing ports in England

Penzance - The ancient market town of Penzance is 10 miles from Land's End.

Marazion - Marazion is a pretty town facing St Michaels Mount, on Mounts Bay near Penzance

Prussia Cove - Prussia Cove is famous for its smugglars.


Return to Map of Cornwall - Gazetteer