St Just Penwith, the most westerly town in Britain, grew prosperous from tin and copper mining. The town has all the usual tourist necessities of hotels, campsites, Youth Hostel, tea rooms, cafes and restaurants and pubs. The large public car park does not charge for use.
St Just Penwith has grey granite houses and inns, two Methodist chapels and a 15th century church. The Plain-an-Gwarry, a grass covered enclosure at its centre, was used to perform miracle and mystery plays in the middle ages.
The St Just Penwith medieval church had its high altar dedicated by Bishop Grandisson e on the 13th of July, 1336, but nothing now remains of that church. The final portion of that church, the east end of the chancel, was taken down to be rebuilt in 1834. The rest of the church was erected late in the fifteenth century. When the east end of the chancel was taken down in 1834, an inscribed stone was found marking the grave of an important cleric, plus fragments of a piscina and the capital of a Norman pier. The arms decorating the church are those of Ardwenack, Boscawenrose, Bray or Brea, and probably of Petit. The tower is of three stages and is finished with battlements and pinnacles; it contains three bells and a clock.
St Just in Penwith town web site
Close to Bank Square, St Just Penwith, is the remains of an amphitheatre, called Plan-an-Guare ("the place of the plays"). In the Middle Ages miracle plays were performed here and later in the eighteenth century it was used for games. It is one of only two such ampitheatres remaining in Cornwall (the other is at Perranporth)
Cape Cornwall, owned by the National Trust is a few miles west. There are sandy beaches at Gwynver and Portheras, plus small rocky beaches around Cape Cornwall.
The 19th century tin and copper mines are of course now closed. But scattered all around the landscape are mining remains, particularly between Cape Cornwall and Levant. North at Botallack Head are the Crown Engine Houses of the nineteenth century Botallack mines, whose mine shafts following tin and copper lodes out under the sea. Kenidjack Valley at Levant, and Geevor.
From Land's End airport at St. Just, you can take a flight to the Isles of Scilly. Land`s End Airfield lies between St.Just and Sennen, just southeast of the village of Kelynack.
St JustPenwith local history web site
St JustPenwith, Cornwall genealogical information from Genuki