St Mawes

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For the former parliamentary borough, see St Mawes (UK Parliament constituency).
St Mawes
Cornish: Lannvowesedh
St Mawes Castle Cornwall.jpg
St. Mawes Castle (foreground) and Pendennis Castle in Falmouth (background)
St Mawes is located in Cornwall
St Mawes
St Mawes
 St Mawes shown within Cornwall
OS grid reference SW845330
Unitary authority Cornwall
Ceremonial county Cornwall
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TR2
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Cornwall
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
List of places

Coordinates: 50°09′29″N 5°01′05″W / 50.158°N 5.018°W / 50.158; -5.018

Riviera Lane, St Mawes (May 2004)
View of St Mawes

St Mawes (Cornish: Lannvowsedh) is a small town opposite Falmouth, on the Roseland Peninsula on the south coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It lies on the east bank of the Carrick Roads, a large waterway created after the Ice Age from an ancient valley which flooded as the melt waters caused the sea level to rise dramatically, creating an immense natural harbour, often claimed to be the third largest in the world. It was once a busy fishing port, but the trade declined during the 20th century and it now serves as a popular tourist location, with many properties in the town functioning as holiday accommodation.[citation needed] The town is in the civil parish of St Just in Roseland.

A year-round ferry provides a service to Falmouth, which is less than a mile away by boat, but due to its proximity to the Fal estuary it is some 30 miles away by road. The Place Ferry links the South West Coast Path and operates from Good Friday to the end of October.[1]

History and geography[edit]

The town takes its name from the Celtic saint Saint Maudez (Mawe), who may have come from Ireland but is mainly venerated in Brittany.[2][3]

St Mawes lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Almost a third of Cornwall has AONB designation, with the same status and protection as a National Park.

St Mawes Castle is a well-preserved coastal fortress from the time of Henry VIII, built to counter the invasion threat from the Continent. Charles Henderson, writing in 1925, says of St Mawes, "an ancient fishing town which in late years has assumed the different and more sophisticated character of a watering place". The seal of St Mawes was Az. a bend lozengy Or between a tower in the sinister chief Arg. and a ship with three masts the sail furled in the dexter base of the second, with the legend "Commune Sigillum Burgi de St. Mawes al Mauditt.[4]

Just outside the town is a closed British Leyland garage on Polvarth Road which retains the British Leyland logo on a hoarding outside.

Royal family[edit]

There have been frequent private visits to St Mawes by members of the Royal Family including HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, HRH Princess Margaret and more recently the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall who ended their stay in July 2008 by naming the new St Mawes ferry The Duchess of Cornwall. HM The Queen visited St Mawes in 1977 during her Silver Jubilee Tour.[5] In June 2002 for The Queen's Golden Jubilee and, with a brand new cast in June 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee, The Queen's Coronation was re-enacted in great detail by the young people of the village in a ceremony entitled "The Children's Coronation".

Church history[edit]

The name of the town comes from Saint Maudez, a Breton saint, and there was a chapel here dedicated to him with his holy well nearby. Its existence in 1427 is mentioned in George Oliver's Monasticon and it remained in use until the reign of Elizabeth I when it was abandoned. From that time until ca 1838 there was no chapel for the townspeople until a private chapel built in 1807 by the Marquis of Buckingham was licensed by the Bishop. This was on a different site and was rebuilt in 1881. St Mawes continued however to be in the parish of St Just in Roseland.[6]

Cultural associations[edit]

The Agatha Christie film Murder Ahoy was filmed here, as was the 1964 film Crooks in Cloisters.[7] An episode of the TV series Hornblower was also filmed here.[citation needed]

In March 2012 a new limited edition of Monopoly was published, with ferries replacing railway stations and a variety of property for sale from the butcher, the harbour office, the sailing club and several hotels and guest houses, to three beaches and Lamorran gardens.[citation needed]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ "King Harry Ferry". Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Into Cornwall, St Mawes, Information about St Mawes
  3. ^ Doble, G. H. (1964) The Saints of Cornwall: part 3. Truro: Dean and Chapter; pp. 57-73
  4. ^ Pascoe, W. H. (1979). A Cornish Armory. Padstow, Cornwall: Lodenek Press. p. 134. ISBN 0-902899-76-7. 
  5. ^ "Protected Jubilee tree is left dying after act of vandalism". Thisiscornwall. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  6. ^ Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; pp. 115-16
  7. ^ [1] Filming locations for Crooks in Cloisters on the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ "Barry Bucknell". Making the Modern World. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  9. ^ "West Country property: the enchanting village". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  10. ^ "West Country property: the enchanting village". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  11. ^ "West Country property: the enchanting village". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Pollard, Chris (2007). The Book of St Mawes. Wellington, Somerset: Halsgrove. ISBN 978-1-84114-631-7. 

External links[edit]