Cape Cornwall

Cape Cornwall

Kilgoodh Ust


The only cape in England

Three miles north of Land's End


Long thought to be the most westerly point in England, Cape Cornwall lies on the Atlantic coast about a mile west of the old mining town of St. Just. This dramatic headland, crowned by a handsome mining stack, is the only one in the country to be known as a cape. Formerly owned by Francis Oats - who died in 1918 and built Porthledden House nearby - the Cape was purchased for the nation by H. J. Heinz Company and was given to the National Trust in 1987, commemorated by a Heinz Baked Beanz label-shaped plaque set into the base of the chimney.

The area was mined extensively for tin and copper from about 1600. The chimney stack built in 1864 and crowning the promontory belonged to the Cape Cornwall Mine which opened in 1838, and was renovated in 1986. It was erected to improve the draught to the boiler house, now converted into a private house. The mine manager or 'captain' lived in the square-built house close by.

In the privately owned field below the Cape are the remains of a small medieval chapel, known as St. Helen's Oratory, possibly standing on an earlier Celtic site. Pottery found in cists on the Cape have been dated to the Late Bronze Age. Due south of the Cape is Priest's Cove where, for centuries, local fishermen have launched their small boats. About a mile south-west of the Cape are two jagged slate rocks known as The Brisons, said to resemble General De Gaulle lying in his bath. They have wrecked many ships over the years.

One mile from the Cape is the westernmost school on the British mainland, Cape Cornwall School. This is Cornwall's smallest secondary school with about 450 young people aged 11 to 16. Commonly known as "Cape", it is Cornwall's only school that specialises in art, photography and music. Most of its pupils come from the town of St. Just and the nearby villages of Pendeen, Sennen, St. Buryan, and St. Levan, but more than 10% travel to the school from Penzance and further east.

Right out on the end of the headland is the National Coastwatch Institution lookout, giving amazing views up and down the coast.

Only a five minute walk away is Cape Cornwall Golf & Country Club which has a licence for civil ceremonies and leads to a large sun patio that welcomes guests for reception drinks looking out to The Cape and the sunset.


Cape Cornwall Circular. Distance five miles. A walk through a tumbledown landscape of old mines and mills, as well as ancient forts, barrows and a fifth-century oratory. Starting in St. Just - a small town with a rich mining heritage and England's most westerly town - the walk joins the Coast Path at Kenidjack Castle, the site of an Iron Age fort. From here it travels on around Cape Cornwall, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the English Channel, to Porth Nanven, also known as Dinosaur Egg beach.


Cafes in Cape Cornwall

Land's End       Levant Beam Engine       Geevor Tin Mine       Pendeen Lighthouse

Botallack       Botallack Mine       St. Just       Sennen Cove       The Coastal Footpath