Priest Cove

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Coordinates: 50°07′30″N 5°42′22″W / 50.125°N 5.706°W / 50.125; -5.706

Priest's Cove, Penwith with Cape Cornwall in the background

Priest Cove (Cornish: Porth Ust, meaning St Just's Cove) or Priest’s Cove is a small cove one mile (1.6 km) west of St Just, Cornwall, UK.[1] The name is from the Cornish Porth Ust, the port or cove of St Just, which was shortened to Por’ Ust. The cove lies next to Cape Cornwall which was also linked to St Just, being called Kilgoodh Ust, meaning goose-back of St Just, in the Cornish language.[2] The cove and surrounding area is designated as part of the Aire Point To Carrick Du Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).[3] The South West Coast Path, which follows the coast of south west England from Somerset to Dorset passes by on the cliffs above the cove.

A small fishing fleet is based at Priests Cove and, for example, pollack (Pollachius pollachius) were landed in December 1879.[4]

Approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) out to sea are the Brisons, a pair of small islands to which an annual swim is held. In 1881 the Cape Cornwall Regatta was held in the cove. There were five races; 15 feet (4.6 m) and 24 feet (7.3 m) boats had to race the course over two rounds and 13 feet (4.0 m) just the once. The cliffs were lined with a large crowd of spectators.

The apostrophised name "Priest’s" is a spelling mistake and the site has no connection with the clergy.[5]


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
  2. ^ Weatherhill, C. (2007) Cornish Place Names and Language. Ammanford: Sigma Press.
  3. ^ "Status: Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) notified under Section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended. Local Planning Authority: Cornwall County Council, Penwith District Council National Grid Reference: SW 360279 to Area: 704.81 (ha.) SW 513410" (PDF). Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  4. ^ "St Just". The Cornishman (75). 18 December 1879. p. 4.
  5. ^ Joseph, P. 2006. "Cape Cornwall Mine". British Mining; No 79. Sheffield: Northern Mine Research Society, p. 111. ISBN 978-0-901450-60-9.