Constantine Cornwall

All Washed up in St Agnes

February 2020

“All Washed up in St Agnes” was the theme of February’s talk to Constantine History Group by Roger Radcliffe from St Agnes Museum. The talk was informative and very well presented. Roger explored the history of Trevaunance Cove in terms of activity on the beach and the surrounding cliffs.

Mining contributed sand rich in cassiterite and thus streaming was worthwhile, whilst the cliffs contain numerous adits. Ships were built on the beach including Roger’s great-grandfathers three masted schooner whilst the the Tonkin family built the harbour in 1793. Unfortunately, the mine companies ceased to fund it when mining collapsed in 1919. Within three years it was destroyed by the sea, thus today it is a pile of blocks on the beach.

A huge variety of marine life arrive on the beach from Fin whales to turtles and bottles containing messages to lobster pot tags from the Eastern seaboard of the USA. Then there is the present-day activity of cove fishing and surfing, activities that sometimes require the services of the RNLI, the first boat being funded by Blue Peter.