Porthcurno

Porthcurno Beach

Porthcurno

Porthcurno lies in a valley that reaches down to the sea on the south coast of the Penwith Peninsula.

For such a small village it attracts many visitors, some would say too many at times, but it’s understandable why people find Porthcurno such a magnet.

Lying about half way between Lamorna Cove and Land’s End, Porthcurno would be an obvious stopping off point for people walking along this section of the South-West Coast Path without its own attractions.

The white shell beach sits in a small bay that is sometimes called Porthcurno Bay. The colour of the sea depends on the weather, state of the tide and the time of the day, but when the sun’s shining the white sand is reflected by the sun to make the sea a perfect aquamarine colour.

The bay is protected to the east by a headland that is renowned for its ‘Logan Rock’ and to the west by Pedn-men-an-mere, or Wireless Point as it’s sometimes called.

It gets its name of Wireless Point from the receiving station that was set up here to eavesdrop on Marconi’s successful wireless telegraphy operation which was in direct competition with Porthcurno’s underground and submarine cable communications.

The bay under the protection of the Logan Rock

The village was the main hub for the UK’s involvement in worldwide communications during the evolvement of telegraphy from its infancy right up to the modern day, and the Telegraph Museum is a must see, even if you don’t understand the science of it all.

Porthcurno’s telecommunications industry ended up in the hands of the Cable and Wireless company and when it was time to relinquish their involvement in Porthcurno they did the right thing and set up the museum and in 1993 handed the land over to the National Trust.

The Telegraph Museum
The Telegraph Museum

The communications business hasn’t been the only thing to put Porthcurno on the map: A remarkable woman called Rowena Cade has also made the village a place to come to for a very different reason.

In the early 1930s she set about building an amphitheatre amongst the rocks at Minack Point in which she created her very own theatre. Today the Minack Theatre attracts an audience from all four corners of the globe.

The Minack Theatre
The Minack Theatre

Porthcurno with its beautiful beach, telegraph museum, and open-air theatre also sits amongst some of the most glorious coastline in Cornwall, so can anybody really blame people for wanting to come here?

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6 thoughts on “Porthcurno

  1. Liz Morley - Barbara

    Thanks for the memories of the lovely holidays we spent in this place in the early 60’s – some time before it attracted the crowds who flock there now in summer. Your photos really bring it to life.

    Reply
    1. Malcolm Post author

      T’m always pleased to hear someone say that it brings back memories. Thanks for taking a look Barbara

      Reply
    1. Malcolm Post author

      The rivalry was really down to the threat of Marconi’s new wireless system of communication against the existing cable network. The museum has all sorts of stuff in the WW II tunnels

      Reply
  2. Syl Somers

    Although I previously had never heard of Porthcurno, since reading your wonderful posts about it I am convinced I’d very much like to visit it someday. The museum sounds very interesting along with the Minack Theatre which I’ve just read your posting about, but the natural beauty of the beach and water here is just stunning. Nice write up and photos, Malcolm!

    Reply
  3. Malcolm Post author

    Thanks Sylvia. I like to try and be honest about places, but it’s difficult for me to be critical of Porthcurno, but it is becoming more popular, which could just be its downfall, which I sincerely hope it doesn’t

    Reply

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