Post No. 17 – Mousehole

Following on from our brief stay in St Agnes, we made our way west to Mousehole, an ancient fishing village just outside Newlyn in West Cornwall.  I usually make Mousehole my base when visiting the Penwith Peninsula, often staying at the Ship Inn by the old harbour.  We were there for three days, which gave me plenty of time to shoot on both the Atlantic Coast to the north and the English Channel to the south.

Mousehole, along with Marazion to the east of Penzance were, until the sixteenth century, the principal ports of Mount’s Bay.  Mousehole, together with Penzance, Newlyn, and Paul, were destroyed in the 1595 as a result of the raid on Mount’s Bay by the Spanish Armada led by Carlos de Amésquita.  The only surviving building in Mousehole is the former ‘Keigwin Arms’, a local pub. Outside the Keigwin Arms (now a private residence) is a plaque with the wording “Squire Jenkyn Keigwin was killed here 23 July 1595 defending this house against the Spaniards”.

Although a lifeboat had been available in Mount’s Bay for many years, a new lifeboat station at Penlee Point, on the outskirts of the village, was opened in 1913. On 19th  December 1981 all eight members of the  crew of the Penlee Lifeboat were lost during an attempted rescue of the MV Union Star in hurricane-force winds.  The lifeboat was moved to Newlyn in 1983 but continues to be known as the ‘Penlee Lifeboat’.  One of those lost on the RNLB Solomon Brown was Charlie Greenhaugh, the landlord of the Ship, who I had briefly met during my early visit to Mousehole.

Mousehole Harbour – A Panorama

A panorama of Mousehole Harbour at high tide.


Mousehole Harbour at mid tide

Mousehole was until recent times had a bustling fishing industry important for catching pilchards.  Today there are still a few fishing boats based in Moushole who go out on the  tide to catch a variety of fish as well as crabs and lobsters.


Mousehole West Beach

Mousehole is fortunate to have two small sandy beaches within the harbour walls and therefore protected from the elements and provide safe bathing when the tide is in.


Mousehole Harbour at Low Tide

At Low tide the harbour dries right out.


The Ship Inn

I have not been able to trace anything about the history of  this fine old hostelry – a project for the future perhaps.


St Michael’s Mount through the Harbour Wall

St Michael’s Mount gleaming in the evening sunshine, seen through Mousehole Harbour entrance.


Children at play in Mousehole Harbour


Mousehole Harbour Entrance


Man making Lobster Pots

This chap is making a withy lobster pot in the traditional way at the Newlyn Fish Festival, which traditionally takes place on August Bank Holiday Monday.



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