Area & History

St. Michael's B&B is nestled in the historic market town of Marazion, gateway to St. Michael's Mount. We are just 12 miles from Lands End and 8 miles from beautiful St. Ives.Being a little further down the Cornish peninsular means that the area remains largely unspoiled by the ravages of mass tourism.

West Cornwall is famed for its beauty and incredible light, our sunsets are completely stunning and the air and sea are some of the cleanest anywhere in Europe. What's more the nearby Gulf Stream means that we enjoy a mild climate all year round.

Marazion has some lovely individual shops and galleries where you can browse or buy locally crafted wares and exclusive items of art. There are some great pubs and restaurants to eat and drink or just dream the time away, and a wonderful locally run museum with three thousand year’s worth of history!

St. Michael's Mount, considered to be the ‘Jewel in Cornwall’s crown’, is just 300 metres from our B&B. This beautiful, magical and historical landmark is now in the care of the National Trust with the St. Aubyn family still resident. The Mount can be reached at low tide by the famous cobbled causeway and at high tide by local ferry boatmen. (Please check opening times - in general the Mount is closed to the public on Saturdays and has reduced opening in the winter). There are also several other magnificent National Trust properties and gardens and in the area.Cornish coastal and moorland scenery is amongst the most stunning in the UK. The southwest coastal path runs past our door on its epic track around the coast from Poole in Dorset in the south to Minehead on the north coast of Somerset. There are isolated beaches to be discovered all around our coast. Prussia cove is very close and from the cliffs at Porthcurno you can sometimes see seals and basking sharks. The RSPB sanctuary at Marazion hosts a variety of wildfowl and birds.

From a cultural perspective a visit to Porthcurno’s Minack Theatre, even out of performance times, is a must. Some have called it the ninth wonder of the world! St Ives is renowned for its art and hosts the famous Tate Gallery and Barbara Hepworth Sculpture park

Water sports, including sailing and sea fishing are catered for in Marazion and for those who like more extreme sports, the sandy beach and clean waters provides excellent wind surfing and kite surfing. National sailing and board competitions are held her most years.

St Michaels also provides a convenient stop over for those catching the helicopter from Penzance to the Isles of Scilly in 20 minutes, (or by ship in 2½ hours). Whatever your bag, your stay at St. Michael's will be an unforgettable experience you will want to repeat!

History

Marazion: Marazion is distinctive by name and by nature. While St. Michael's Mount may hold centre stage, the town holds a much broader appeal for the visitor because of its great antiquity, its variety, and its range of excellent services. It is one of the oldest chartered towns in Cornwall. The first charter of incorporation was granted by Henry III in 1257 and was reaffirmed on 13th June 1595 by Queen Elizabeth. It was the major town in this part of Cornwall until the late medieval period when it was challenged for commercial supremacy by an upstart Penzance.

Its modern name derives from the important fairs and markets that were held here, the earliest recorded being in 1070. Marazion had two significant markets - Marghas Byghan (Small Market) and Marghas Yow or Jew (Thursday Market). Time has blurred the pronunciations to Marazion. Marazion has always attracted visitors, many of whom came as pilgrims to the Benedictine Monastery on St. Michael's Mount and who stayed in the town until the causeway was revealed by the ebbing tide. Men of commerce conducted their business here because, until more recent times, the main trunk road from London terminated here with minor roads leading on to Penzance and Helston.

In 1660 the packet post delivered to the town twice a week after leaving Truro via Penryn. The town even had its own sorting office until 1986. With the development of the railway in Victorian and Edwardian times, people sought the mild climate and sea bathing as a respite from city life. Artists and walkers, two very fashionable pursuits at the time, came for the clear light and beautiful scenery. Fishing was an industry that provided an income for locals, and although Marazion did not have a harbour the one on St. Michael's Mount was used to land the catches. George Blewitt, a wealthy merchant, improved the island harbour during the 18th century and so enhanced an already booming industry, making the town an even greater centre of commerce. For centuries, mined ores were exported from both Marazion and St. Michael's Mount by traders and shippers. The town was surrounded with many mines, some having such enigmatic names as Wheal Prosper, Wheal Crab, Wheal Rodney, Tolvadden and South Neptune. These and other mines in the area remained active until the depression in the tin and copper industries in the late 1800s. However, many of the mine names are still preserved in some form or other today. Because of the mild climate, an important industry in the area is agriculture. Crops such as potato and broccoli can be harvested early in the season. Bulbs are another major part of the local economy and flowers add to the beauty of our stone hedged fields. Today, of course, we have another significant industry, tourism. All year round we welcome visitors from all over the world who come to enjoy our climate, our beaches and our spectacular scenery.