Book; "A history of MULLION COVE Cornwall"

" A History of Mullion Cove Cornwall"

£9.99 plus P & P UK only.



1. A look at the Cove in the 19th Century through black and white photographs.

2. Mullion Mills- New information. How the landscape was managed to create a water course supplying local Mills worked in the valley hundreds of years ago from which the Cove took its name -"Porth Mellin". It identifies two new Mill sites in the Cove itself, which were not previously well known, and a photograph of an early 19th C painting which shows one of them with its overshot wheel discharging water from the leat into the cove.

3. The Mullion Harbour Story- The importance of the coast near to Mullion in the 18th and 19th centuries has never previously been fully explained. There were plans to build a small harbour and a Breakwater from the mainland adjacent to the Vro to Mullion Island in 1868 but this did not take place. Shipwrecks among sailing ships and Rescues in the "Mullion Roads" often occurred with loss of life.

The history of the construction of the current harbour piers began in 1890, and the circumstances which led to the creation of the Harbour. The West Pier, the first to be constructed, was built between 1890-1892, during the period which included the winter of 1891, the year of the Great Cornish Blizzard. The South Pier was built between 1895 -1897. This Chapter seeks to set the record straight by research into original records and accounts of the time which also show that the harbour was not just built for the Fishermen, but for the local community.

4. History of the Mullion Lifeboats Daniel J Draper, Edith and the Nancy Newbon. 1867-1908. An updated study, with old photographs generously donated.

5. The loss of William Mundy. William was the first Coxswain of the Mullion Lifeboat. In 1872 he tragically drowned in a sailing accident off Porthleven. With him were 2 of his sons and a local carpenter who was shortly to get married. It was a great loss for the village community of Mullion.

6. Mullion Coastguard. The origins of the Watch House on Predannack Head used in the Napoleonic War, Smugglers, plus the bravery of the men who effected a series of rescues with the invaluable Rocket Apparatus.

7. Smugglers and Wreckers. Sssh... pass the Brandy.

8. Guide to Mullion Pilchard Fishing, Crab, Lobster and Crawfish fishing. The Chapter explains the origins of Seine Fishing and the close business links between Mullion and communities across Mounts Bay including Newlyn.

9. Fishing stories connected to Mullion from the 18th, 19th, and 20th century taken from archived newspapers, written in the form of an annual diary.

10. Mullion Fishing in the 20th Century. The rise and fall of a changing industry, the introduction of motorised boats, the move from seine fishing to herring fishing, the decline, and the surviving Crab, Lobster and Crawfish fishing.

11. Copper Mine ... and Soaprock Quarries. Copper was periodically mined from the early 1700`s until the early 1850`s producing valuable and almost pure "Native Copper". There were two shafts in use during the period of operation. The most productive period was between 1807 and 1811 when the mine was known as Wheal Unity. In 1845 it was reopened as Wheal Trenance or Trenance Mine and remained open until 1852.

Soapstone or soaprock was also called Talc. It was quarried from nearby Kynance Cove & Gew Graze (Soapy Cove) in the 1740s. It was also quarried from Mullion Cove, and Pentreath from the early 1750`s and this helped to produce the first soft- paste porcelain ever made in this country. The addition of crushed soaprock provided the porcelain with the ability to withstand boiling water. This process helped small embryonic English factories to compete with Chinese Imports.

From 1752 the influence of the Worcester Porcelain Factory in the area was beginning and it lasted over 70 years. Tea drinking, initially by the wealthier classes took off for the first time in the UK, spreading to all levels of Society and by 1750 was the most popular drink in the country. The factories produced finely made and decorated porcelain teapots,and many people drank out of fine porcelain cups and these English wares were made using Soaprock from the west coast of the Lizard Peninsula.

12. The story of two brothers , William and Asa Walter Andrews, from Boston USA. One of the most amazing Atlantic crossings ever made in a small cedar sailing boat, named the "Nautilus".It had a hull only half an inch in thickness .... and they made their first landfall in Mullion Cove in August 1878 to the surprise of local residents. Their important, but "forgotten" story is here.

13. Victorian visitors to the Cove. What attracted the Victorians to the Cove? In particular, it was the "Sea-caves" including Torchlight Cave on the south side of the cove. With care these caves can still be accessed at low spring tides today.

14. Mullion Regatta 1890s to 1928. The story of the first Regattas which began after the building of the Harbour Piers. See the part played by famous Edwardian visitors when the storms almost wrecked the Mullion Cove Fishing fleet in 1905, and the beautiful silver Rose bowl, last presented in 1901.

15. Poem "Mullion Musings" If you love Mullion Cove, or poetry, you will appreciate this poem. Written in 1878.

16. A view from above the Cove. Why is there a cannon at the top of the cliff overlooking the Cove? A look from above at some of the early history, including the inauguration of the Cove Hotel in 1898.

17. Last, but by no means least ... The future for Mullion Cove.... What is the future for Mullion Cove ,will the National Trust approach of "Managed Retreat" prevail, and the Historic Piers be lost forever ?

Mullion Cove is an iconic location on the west coast of the Lizard Peninsula. Many say that it has one of the most unique, if not spectacular, views in the whole of Cornwall. A number of buildings associated with the fishing industry have Listed status. The harbour and Mullion Island were purchased by the Meyer family in the 1920`s.

In 1945 the Harbour, the Island and several miles of coastline were gifted to the National Trust. Perhaps not so well known, at that time the harbour already needed expensive repairs to both Piers.

The National Trust made a successful public appeal for money to finance the repairs. Part of the work after the Second World War involved restructuring the seaward end of the south pier by creating a sloping surface instead of a vertical end wall.This was not the end of repairs and damage has regularly occurred since that time. According to National Trust Reports and Surveys which have been commissioned by them suggest that the damage is likely to continue and be affected by Sea Level rise and Climate Change.

Much of the cost of repairs made to the piers by the National Trust is paid for by Insurance.

The National Trust plan prior to 2014 was for "Managed Retreat" but this is now (2014) known as "Managed Realignment".

The Harbour Piers became Grade II Listed structures in 1984 and since 2012 repairs have become "character changing" resulting in Listed Building Plans being required for the introduction of Mass Concrete into the repair process.

Other books- "Soaprock Coast- the origins of English porcelain" -Now £4.99 plus P &P (UK only)

Also Published August 2015 The Wreck of the Jonkheer at Poldhu Cove 1867 - Now £2.99 plus P &P (UK only)


January 2019 Repair to the damage caused to the Seaward end of the South Pier at Mullion Harbour continues towards completion. This part of the Pier has been subjected to similar damage several times since the storms of late 1929/1930s which caused several metres of the structure to fall into the harbour.

REPAIRS TO THE CLIFFSIDE ADJOINING MULLION HARBOUR. Summer 2018. These repairs included manual removal of loose material over several months by the Mullion GeoRats. The repairs caused the closure of the Northern Causeway and West Pier for almost the whole of 2018.

Above; The 2018 Fishing season never got off the ground. With the closure of the West Pier many fishermen were unable to access their boats and gear and only a few ventured out of the harbour to fish.

In 2016 the section of Cliffside above the point where the North Causeway and the West Pier join began to fall away and some of the rock landed on the walkway of the pier. Some rocks were large enough to cause serious injury and to assess the problem the Council Inspector was called in to make a judgement. A footpath immediately above the fall was closed but it was decided that there should be no closure of the harbour.

Two years later , in January 2018, a further fall occurred but this time the assessor decided that the north causeway and west pier should be closed for safety.

In July 2018 a local firm called the GeoRats were engaged by the National Trust to remove loose material which included large overhanging rocks and overburden.

The rock and overburden were left on the causeway to act as a platform for larger rocks. These will be removed at the end of the operation.

An Inspection by a Cornwall Council Inspector identified some extra work which needed to be done before the Harbour could be opened. This included "Scaling" the cliffside between the NW corner and the Leat where the watercourse enters the Harbour. That work is expected to be completed by the end of August.



There were a few problems over Easter in the Harbour.

After the cliff fall onto the NW corner of the Harbour in January the North Causeway and West Pier were closed owing to the risk of further falls of rock. The South Pier is still accessible and it was used by a much larger volume of people than expected. Some were caught out when the spring tides produced high water which washed over the pier. Anyone on the pier at the time went away rather wet. The risk has been identified to the National Trust and attention will be paid to it during the coming months to avoid injury where possible. PLEASE CHECK THE TIDES BEFORE GOING ONTO THE SOUTH PIER. 19.4.2018

EMMA- Another High Spring Tide- Another Storm 1.3.2018

Winter Snow hits Mullion for the first time since 2010

Cliff Fall at Mullion Cove Harbour- January 2018

A large Section of the Cliff above the West Pier/ North Causeway has broken away,slipped and begun to fall. Some of the rock has fallen onto the causeway with larger amounts in danger of slipping. As a result the West Pier and part of the North Causeway have been fenced off by the National Trust.

Large sections of the same section of cliff fell in March 2016 and it has become very mobile. (See Photographs for March 2016 below)

A footpath has already been lost.

21st October 2017

Brian - the name of the second storm to hit the Lizard in less than a week. The storm coincided with a high spring tide, giving everyone a reminder- if one was needed - of the storms of 2013/2014. How many storms are on their way this winter ? Currently the Met Office consider that there may be up to eleven.

October 2017

On 16th October the remains of Hurricane Ophelia swept into the Irish Sea and north towards Scotland. Ireland suffered coastal and inlamd damage from the high winds and strong sea.

Mullion Cove was also battered by waves which overtopped Mullion Island by 20 feet or more and huge waves fed in to the Cove through "The Gap" and on to hit the harbour walls again providing reminders of the 2013-14 storms. For several hours coast-watchers observed from safe locations the waves hit the harbour walls and wondered whether there was to be a repetition of the damage.

Photos below- Storm "Ophelia" hits Mullion Cove.

On the night of 20/21st October high winds returned bringing with them Storm Brian. A Met Office yellow warning was issued and winds gusting 50mph were expected.

5.9.17 For anyone who has any doubts whatsoever about the current and future intentions of the National Trust the presenter of BBC Countryfile Summer Diaries on 31 August 2017 , Margherita Taylor said the following " The decision has been made to let this piece of our heritage slip gradually into the sea"

Is it all over for Mullion Harbour after a century or more.? It seems so.

4th July- a visit by a BBC Film crew to Mullion harbour, asking local people what they think about Mullion Harbour being allowed to fall. They were from Countryfile Diaries.

See "A look at damage to Mullion Harbour in the 1930s"

The author has now researched the subject of the significant damage caused to Mullion Harbour in the 1930s leading up to the Second World war and a summary of the work is available to read here online under the side heading of "A look at damage to Mullion Harbour in the 1930s". This was a significant period in the history of the Harbour and a subject which has not previously been researched in this way. The evidence has been referenced by the author and will be completed shortly. 25.4.2017


Our changing weather- weather conditions appear to have have changed and the number of storms decreased

... is it about to change ? utm_source=traffic.outbrain&utm_medium=traffic.outbrain&utm_term=traffic.outbrain&utm_content=traffic.outbrain&utm_campaign=traffic.outbrain

It should be noted that the future of Mullion Cove depends upon the completion and implementation of a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 11.2016

The National Trust advertised in May 2016 for a Conservation Management Plan for the Harbour.

November 2016 Mullion Sunset from Henscath.

Damage which occurred during the winter of 2015-2016 has been repaired. It again includes an area of concrete repair

16.9.16 Working out how to put the wall back together again takes patience.

9.9.16 It is believed that the National Trust may not yet have arranged permission to complete Listed Building Repair to some of the damage to the harbour with the Concrete which they again put in their application. In that case they may have to repair using traditional stone. Certainly would look better than concrete.

Listed Building Consent is required for all works of demolition, alteration or extension to a Listed Building (includes a LIsted Structure) that affects its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

Collecting granite quoins washed off the pier in previous storms.

Below; Winter damage requiring repair on the west pier

19.8.2016 The South West is hit by a summer storm. The hot weather is interruptedby 50mph gusts of wind and high Spring Tides.

My new web site 2016


Over half a million pounds was put into the repair of the harbour at Mullion Cove after the storms of 2014, but after repair completion only a year ago there are signs of cracks now appearing in the surface of the south pier at the seaward end. This is a worrying factor in the future of the Harbour. 6.4.2016






With the storm systems moving south recently the change brought one of the largest and most destructive storms to the South West. On this occasion it was Storm Imogen. Again the storm coincided with the High Spring Tides. Wind speeds were recorded at 81 mph in the Scillies and 79 mph at Culdrose on the Lizard Peninsula.

Coastguards were put on stormwatch and lives were unfortunately lost in Cornwall.

There was more damage caused to Mullion Harbour by the storm. The southern end of the wall of the west pier lost stone near to the small storage building. It is not known if there has been further damage to the base of the pier which was once reinforced by steel piles in the 1950s.

More strong winds and stormy conditions are forecast for the coming weekend. 12.2.2016

The saga of the pink plastic bottles- a lost container from a passing ship broke open and deposited thousands of pink plastic bottles of what is believed to be a cleaning fluid on beaches of the west coast of the Lizard Peninsula and Mounts Bay. A clean up operation by the National Trust was begun and people were warned not to take the bottles home unless they filled in the appropriate forms.

Many of the lids, made of a different plastic broke up on the way to shore and left sharp plastic pieces which mingled with the other plastic driven onto beaches this winter.

Stronger winds and bigger waves along the west coast of the Lizard Peninsula yesterday as heavy showers move across from the west. Pics Poldhu, Gunwalloe Church Cove, and Mullion Harbour. 9.12.15

The storms continue to hit in the north of England and Scotland. The latest storm, named Desmond had an impact in the SW and Mullion Cove had bigger waves than previously this autumn/winter.5.12.15

Storm "Barney", The second storm of the week was far enough south to create some big waves off he coast of the West Country. For Mullion, high tide was about 8pm, too dark to photograph, so those below were taken with the sun behind Mullion Island between 3pm and 4pm on 18th November. Helicoptors from Culdrose still patrolling... 16.11.15

15.11.1015 With a new "Storm Season" approaching and with gales and heavy rain and flooding predicted to hit the Coastline do not forget the storms which hit Mullion Cove only 2 years ago.

... and the work which had to be done to repair it.

Below; Recent photographs of Mullion Cove and Harbour taken on 26th October 2015 at a late afternoon high "Spring Tide"