ST MICHAEL'S MOUNT
St Michael's Mount is a picturesque rocky island that has been described as the 'Jewel in Cornwall's crown'. This, the most famous of Cornwall's landmarks, has a fascinating history and is steeped in both legend and folklore. It boasts a picturesque harbour, with panoramic views across Mounts Bay to Lands End and The Lizard.
St Michael's Mount with it's spectacular castle dates from the 14th Century. Now in the care of the National Trust, the Mount's castle and magestic gardens are open to the public during weekdays from April to October, and most weekends. Access is on foot across the causeway at low tide, or by short ferry crossing at high tide. The castle is floodlit on some evenings and the lights reflected in a calm sea, make it appear as if it is floating in the air.
Thousands of years ago, the island was a busy port, trading tin with Europe and is widely believed that the island was known to the ancient Greeks as Ictis. In 495, St Michael is said to have been seen by fishermen on top of the island and by the sixth century, it is thought that the island was a major religious centre.
An abbey was built on top of the island and granted to the Benedictine monks from Mont St Michel in France.The island has seen several battles for its ownership. In 1588, the first beacon was lit on St Michael’s Mount to warn of the arrival of the Spanish Armada – seven years later, the Spanish returned and burned most of Penzance, Newlyn, Mousehole and Paul. Marazion and the Mount escaped unscathed from the invasion.