Mousehole Bird Hospital & Sanctuary

Mousehole Bird Hospital & Sanctuary

Raginnis Hill, Mousehole,
Near Penzance, TR19 6SR
Tel: (01736) 731386


Sanctuary for birds

This famous Hospital on the Cornish Cliffs was founded in 1928 by the Misses Dorothy and Phyllis Yglesias. Over the years the Sanctuary has become famous, especially so, during the Torrey Canyon shipwreck disaster in 1967, when over 8,000 oiled birds passed through the Hospital.

After the sisters found it had become too hard a task running the Hospital alone, they approached the RSPCA who finally agreed to take over the massive task of running the Hospital in 1953. Staff were employed and the financial burden was at last taken from the sisters' shoulders.

During the next few years the Hospital was run on the same lines as the sisters had run it for all those years before. However, at the end of February 1975 the RSPCA withdrew all financial support due to their own monetary difficulties. The Misses Yglesias and many of their friends were determined that the Hospital would not close and a public appeal was opened to which there was a tremendous response.

At a public meeting held in February 1975 a Committee was selected to run the Hospital again on the same lines as before.

On the 28th July 1976 the Sanctuary became a charity in its own right funded entirely by voluntary contributions. July 1978 saw a turning point when Mobil Oil Company presented a cheque for £10,000. This amount covered the expenditure for one year. In the same month Miss Dorothy's second book was published "In Answer to the Cry". Her first book was printed in 1962 and came out in paperback in 1989.

Sadly in 1977 the death occurred of Miss Phyllis or Pog as she was affectionately known. January 1980 saw Miss Dorothy's many years of dedication recognised when she was bestowed with the MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours List.

On February 14th 1980 came the saddest blow to the Bird Hospital when its Founder and president Miss Dorothy died.

She died as she had lived, still taking an active interest in the daily care of the birds and her ashes were laid to rest at the Hospital.

Mousehole Bird Hospital & SanctuaryMousehole Bird Hospital & SanctuaryMousehole Bird Hospital & Sanctuary

Our Aims

The Hospital accepts any bird in need of care, land or sea, to heal them and return them to the wild. If this is not possible and they take kindly to captivity then they are given sanctuary for the remainder of their lives. Those beyond help are painlessly destroyed.

During each year approximately 1,500 birds are treated at the Hospital. Plus, on average, 100 permanent residents. We have 4 full time members of staff caring for the birds 365 days a year in the same tradition as Pog and Dorothy. We are open daily to visitors and admission is free although a donation, no matter how small, is always welcome. Without the help of a caring and sympathetic public we could not keep this much needed Hospital OPEN.


A short 0.25 mile walk up Raginnis Hill from the harbour.

Mousehole Bird Hospital & Sanctuary



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