One of Cornwall's Old Chartered Towns

A Regional Winner - Britain in Bloom


Marazion Town Council


Marazion is located two miles east from Penzance just south of the A394 and boasts a delightful town, a wonderful beach, St. Michael's Mount and the Marazion Marsh, a large reed bed designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The population of the town was 1,440 at the 2011 census. The tidal island of St. Michael's Mount is half-a-mile offshore. At low water a causeway links it to the town and at high water passenger boats carry visitors between Marazion and the Mount. Marazion is a thriving tourist resort with an active community of artists who produce and sell paintings and pottery in the town's art galleries.

The most significant date in the history of any town is when it receives it's charter of incorporation from the Monarch of that time. Marazion was granted such an honour on 13th June 1595. In the Hundred of Penwith, Marazion was the first town to be granted a Charter and can therefore claim to be the senior borough in Penwith.

Marazion was originally two separate places which gradually merged into one and both names were Cornish. The one which became Marazion was originally Marghas Byghan or Little Market, and the one which eventually became Market Jew was Marghas Yow.

Marazion has always attracted visitors many of whom came as pilgrims to the Benedictine Monastery on the Mount and who had to stay in the town until the causeway was revealed by the ebbing tide. Markets and Fairs featured very prominently in the life of the town the first known recorded Market being in 1070. Richard, Earl of Cornwall confirmed that earlier royal grants of three markets and three fairs were given to Marazion and thus the town had much importance. Men of commerce conducted their business here for until recent times the main trunk road from London terminated here with minor roads leading to Penzance and Helston. Its only charter was granted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1595. In 1660 the packet post delivered to the town twice a week after leaving Truro via Penryn. A sorting office remained in the town as recently as 1986. With the development of the railway in Victorian and Edwardian days people sought the mild climate and sea bathing as a respite from the city life. Artists and walkers (two very fashionable pursuits at that 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 at this time the harbour on the Mount was used to land the catches. George Blewitt, a wealthy merchant, improved the island harbour during the 18th century and so improved an already booming industry thus making the town a centre of commerce.

Mined ores were exported for centuries from both Marazion and Mount by traders and shippers. The ores were hauled up from deep underground in the mines that surrounded the town with enigmatic names such as Wheal Prosper, Wheal Crab, Wheal Rodney, Tolvadden, South Neptune and many more. Many of the names are preserved in some form or another today. These and other mines in the area remained active until the slump of tin and copper in the late 1800's.

The graveyard of nearby Gulval church is home to the remains of local pirate and smuggler John 'Eyebrows' Thomas of Marazion.

The original parish church is at the nearby village of St. Hilary. In Marazion there was a chapel of ease dedicated to St. Hermes (recorded in 1308): by 1735 it had become ruinous and was re-built. In 1861 a new church (dedicated to All Saints) was built by J. P. St. Aubyn on the same site which became a parish church in 1893.

The RNLI opened a 'Marazion Lifeboat Station' in 1990, although the D-class inshore lifeboat was actually kept in a shed on the quayside on St. Michael's Mount. The station was closed on 31st October 2001 as it was proving to difficult find enough volunteer crew members. The boat was transferred to the neighbouring Penlee Lifeboat Station at Newlyn on the other side of Mounts Bay where there is a larger population to draw the crews from.

At the end of the Second World War a number of naval vessels, the most famous of which was the battleship HMS 'Warspite' (part of the fleet that sunk the German battleship 'Bismarck' ) were broken up on the beaches at Marazion. HMS 'Warspite' was beached and broken up in 1947.

The West Cornwall Railway opened Marazion railway station on 11th March 1852 and its goods yard handled a large volume of perishable traffic - fish, fruit and vegetables - from the surrounding farms and harbours. Marazion station closed to passenger traffic in October 1964 and to freight in December 1965. For many years the site of the closed station was home to Pullman railway carriages which were used as camping coaches.

The third important industry in this area is farming, again because of its mild climate, crops such as potatoes and broccoli, are able to be harvested early in the season. Bulbs are another major part of the economy and the flowers add to the beauty of our stone hedged fields.

The seaside town of Marazion enjoys a wonderful position on the shores of Mount's Bay. It is recognised as one of the top ten most beautiful bays in the world there are clean sandy beaches that offer safe bathing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, sailing and birdwatching. Marazion is now a thriving tourist resort with an active community of artists who produce and sell paintings and pottery in the town's numerous art galleries.

Notable Residents

William Foster Barham (1802–1845) was an English poet born in Marazion.

Simon Channing Williams (1945–2009) was a TV producer who died in Marazion.

Henry Clutterbuck M.D. (1767–1856) was an English medical writer born in Marazion.

John Cole (1758–1819) was an Anglican priest and academic administrator at the University of Oxford, born in Marazion.

John Cornwall, 1st Baron Fanhope and Milbroke, KG, PC, (1364—1443) was an English nobleman, soldier and one of the most respected chivalric figures of his era. He was born aboard a ship which was docked in Mount's Bay, and baptised at Marazion.

Pascoe Grenfell (1761–1838) was a British businessman and politician born in Marazion.

Pascoe Grenfell Hill (1804–1882) was a priest in the Church of England and an author born in Marazion.

John James (1772–1826), was an attorney and resident manager of of the Island of Barbuda, born in Marazion.

Richard Rooke Michell (1810–1872) was an English mines proprietor born in Marazion.

Art Galleries

Summerhouse Gallery


The Goldsithney Charter Fair is held nearby in early August.

The Marazion Follyfest - Mid August


Cafes in Marazion


Pubs in Marazion

Marazion can offer...

A clean safe bathing beach.

Beach-side car parks.

Some of the best windsurfing and easy launching.

Birdwatching (guided tours with R.S.P.B. warden).

Coastal walks on the Coastal Footpath and St. Michael's Way.

A town museum which is open daily from April to September.

Access by boat or on foot to the famous St. Michael's Mount.

Hayle       Penzance       Perranuthnoe       Praa Sands       St. Michael's Mount       St. Erth

The Coastal Footpath       Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens       Cornwall's Beaches