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Coordinates: 50°24′04″N 5°06′40″W / 50.401°N 5.111°W / 50.401; -5.111
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Crantock is located in Cornwall
Location within Cornwall
Population801 (Civil Parish, 2011)
OS grid referenceSW790603
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townNEWQUAY
Postcode districtTR8
Dialling code01637
PoliceDevon and Cornwall
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
50°24′04″N 5°06′40″W / 50.401°N 5.111°W / 50.401; -5.111
St Carantoc's Church, Crantock

Crantock (Cornish: Lanngorrow) is a coastal civil parish and village in Cornwall, England, two miles (3 km) southwest of Newquay.[2]

In 460, a group of Irish hermits founded an oratory there. The village lies to the south of the River Gannel, which forms the boundary between the parishes of Newquay and Crantock. The River Gannel is tidal and ferries operate on a seasonal basis from Fern Pit to Crantock Beach. The River Gannel runs along Crantock Beach and joins the Celtic Sea. The village can be reached from the A3075 road via the junction at Trevemper. The hamlets of Treninnick and West Pentire are in the parish.[3]

Large parts of the parish are now in the ownership of the National Trust, including West Pentire headland which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest noted for its wild flowers and rare plants.

History and antiquities


The Gannel Estuary, Cornwall: Archaeological and Historical Assessment, published by the Cornwall Archaeological Unit concluded that human activity around the Gannel could be dated to the Mesolithic period.[4] The earliest development in the area is Treringey Round, a roughly-rectangular area enclosed by bank 1 metre high and an outer ditch 1.3 metres deep. It is of unknown pre-historic date. Treringey Round is located at the end of an ancient route at the head of the (then) navigable Gannel estuary.[5][6]

The older part of Crantock village is situated around its church which is dedicated to St Carantoc, founder of the village. At one time the parish was known as Langurroc which translates as – The Dwelling of Monks. There is a Langurroc Road in the village. Langurroc was infamously (among locals) covered up in a sandstorm and may well lie beneath the sand dunes which back Crantock Beach.

St Carantoc's Church was founded in Norman times and was originally cruciform, but was reconstructed in the 14th and 15th centuries: restoration was carried out during the period 1899–1902 by E. H. Sedding, who died in 1921 and is buried in the churchyard. The font is Norman and the rood screen is much restored. The church was collegiate from ca. 1236 to the Reformation.[7]

Village hall and annual events


The local village hall has recently[when?] undergone a transformation, with money from the National Lottery, the awarding of which was featured on ITV's Westcountry Live television programme. The playing field on which the hall is situated was also given a new lease of life and now includes a basketball hoop, climbing facilities, and cricket and football pitches. [citation needed]

The village hall is now three times larger than it was and was the centrepiece of 2007's annual "Jazz in the Park". The village also hosts a street fair known as the "Crantock Summer Fiesta" which has a coconut shy, tombola, raffle and many other stalls.[8]

In 2006, the village held its second annual "big bale push" involving locals pushing tightly packed straw cylinders around the roads of the village, which are closed for the event. The first event raised over £800 and in the ensuing years the total has grown to over £50,000 which has been donated to key charities close to the heart of the local community.


Crantock Beach
Crantock Beach
Crantock Beach carving
Crantock Bay sand dunes

Like several other sandy beaches in the Newquay area, Crantock Beach is popular for surfing. There are car parks at Crantock Beach and West Pentire. The beach is backed by sand dunes. In 2014 storms caused the collapse of a retaining wall which caused the River Gannel to change course, meandering across the beach.[9] This has resulted in erosion of the base of sand dunes, with the danger of collapse. Since January 2016 the Gannel estuary, including the beach, as far as the tidal limit, has been part of the Newquay and the Gannel Marine Conservation Zone, and the headland, above the beach, at West Pentire is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[10][11] In June 2023 part of the beach was closed after the collapse of a section of the 65ft (20m) high dunes.[12]

Rock carving


At the left hand side of the beach, low tide reveals a carving into a rock, showing a picture of a woman's face, and the inscription "Mar not my face but let me be, Secure in this lone cave by the sea, Let the wild waves around me roar, Kissing my lips for evermore". Supposedly, in the early 20th century a woman was horse riding along Crantock Beach. She and her horse were cut off as the tide came in and the rough seas swept them away, drowning them both. Her distraught lover carved a poem into a rock in a cave on the beach, along with a portrait of his lost love and her horse. The carvings are said to be the work of a local man, Joseph Prater.[13]

It is unclear who Joseph Prater was. The brothers Joseph and William Prater are known to be two members of an artistic family who rented a couple of studio huts on the cliff top above Crantock beach. Another candidate for the artwork is Joseph Henry Prater who worked and lived as a dairyman on his father’s farm just above the cave. The identity of the woman depicted in the carving is also not known, though an Ethel de Medina Greenstreet nee Spender, a journalist, drowned on Crantock Beach in 1904. One source attributes the carving of the horse to be the work of a local man, James Dyer, who created the carving in the 1940s.[14][15][16]

Coastal footpath


The coastal footpath skirts all along the west side of the parish. Walking from Crantock the path leads to a sandy cove called Porth Joke, also known as "Polly Joke".[13] Its name comes from the Cornish "porth lojowek" meaning "cove abounding in vegetation". In later Cornish this became Por Lejowak.[17] This cove is entirely surrounded by National Trust land and has been virtually unchanged over the centuries. Further along the coast path is the village of Holywell, with a larger sandy beach at Holywell Bay.



See also


Places also associated with St Carantoc include:


  1. ^ "Crantock Parish Council | Home".
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 200 Newquay & Bodmin ISBN 978-0-319-22938-5
  3. ^ Cornwall; Explore Britain
  4. ^ "The Gannel Estuary, Cornwall. Archaeological and Historical Assessment". archaeologydataservice.ac.uk. 25 June 2023. Archived from the original on 25 June 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  5. ^ "Enclosure known as Treringey Round, Crantock - 1004460 | Historic England". historicengland.org.uk. 25 June 2023. Archived from the original on 25 June 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  6. ^ "Archaeology Data Service: Treringey Round". archaeologydataservice.ac.uk. 25 June 2023. Archived from the original on 25 June 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  7. ^ Betjeman, J. (ed.), Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches: the South (London: Collins, 1968) p. 147
  8. ^ "Summer Fiesta success". Western Morning News. 13 July 2000.
  9. ^ "More rescues at 'unpredictable' storm-damaged Crantock beach". BBC News. 22 October 2019. Archived from the original on 27 October 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  10. ^ "Gannel (Lower) | Catchment Data Explorer | Catchment Data Explorer". environment.data.gov.uk. 25 June 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  11. ^ "Crantock Parish Council | Home". Crantock Parish Council. 25 June 2023. Archived from the original on 25 June 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  12. ^ "Warning to Crantock beachgoers over 'sheer cliff' of sand". BBC News. 16 June 2023. Archived from the original on 16 June 2023. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  13. ^ a b "Exploring Crantock Beach │ Cornwall". National Trust. 22 June 2023. Archived from the original on 22 June 2023. Retrieved 22 June 2023.
  14. ^ esdale77 (7 April 2016). "Crantock's hidden rock carvings & the mystery lady". The Cornish Bird. Archived from the original on 8 May 2023. Retrieved 22 June 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "Crantock's Secret Carving". Cornish Secrets. 28 April 2020. Archived from the original on 8 August 2022. Retrieved 22 June 2023.
  16. ^ Gizauskas, Rosie (1 February 2018). "Romantic beach in Cornwall hides a heartbreaking secret". News.com.au. Archived from the original on 22 June 2023.
  17. ^ Weatherhill, Craig (2009). A Concise Dictionary of Cornish Place-Names. Evertype.
  • Henderson, Charles (1928) St Carantoc
  • Doble, G. H. (1965) The Saints of Cornwall, Part 4. Truro: Dean and Chapter
  • Bowen, E. G. (1969) Saints, Seaways and Settlements in the Celtic Lands. Cardiff: University of Wales Press