Carn Brea, St Just

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Carn Brea
View from Carn Brea towards St Levan
Elevation 198 m (650 ft)
Location Penwith, Cornwall, England, UK
OS grid SW385280
Coordinates 50°05′38″N 5°39′25″W / 50.094°N 5.657°W / 50.094; -5.657
Topo map OS Landranger 203

Carn Brea is an elevated Hercynian granite outcrop, owned by the National Trust at the southern edge of the civil parish of St Just, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The hill is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of St Just and 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) east of Sennen Cove, and just to the north of the A30 London to Land's End road which runs through the village of Crows-an-Wra. It should not be confused with another Carn Brea, the hill overlooking the Camborne–Redruth area.[1]

Carn Brea is often described as the first hill in Cornwall (from a westerly perspective) and rises 198 metres (650 ft) above sea level. The hill is an important historical site showing evidence of late neolithic and early Bronze Age activity, as well as the remains of the thirteenth century chapel from which it is named. The chapel which was pulled down in 1816 was said to be the home of holy men or monks. A manuscript from 1396 kept at the County Records Office, Truro records the ′beaconage′ received from fishermen for the burning an ′ecclesiastical light′, normally a brazier or fire basket. This is the earliest record of a navigational light in Cornwall. The Old Cornwall Society continues to light a beacon fire for the summer solstice on 23 June each year.[2]

During the second world war the summit housed a Royal Air Force radar, a plaque, near the car park is dedicated to those that served there.[2]

Plaque about Chapel Carn Brea, the highest point in St Buryan parish
Neolithic remains at the summit of Carn Brea


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
  2. ^ a b Jones, Robin (2011). Lighthouses of the South West. Wellington: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 107 4. 

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