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Mousehole - Cornwall

Postal Town: Penzance (TR19)

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Mousehole, pronounced Mouzel, is a beautiful south-coast Cornish village that deserves a visit if you are in the area. It has a lovely harbour with a sprinkling of shops, restaurants and, of course, a pub.

ŠPaul Harris

Mousehole, history and present-day details

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Mousehole, pronounced Mouzel, is a beautiful south-coast Cornish village between Penzance and Lands End. It is a fishing village with a harbour. Its breakwater walls resemble two strong arms arched around the moored boats in the harbour, protecting them and the village from the stormy seas. The entrance to the harbour is boarded up during the winter months to provide more protection.

The harbour and the pilchard fishing background gave rise to the famous story, the Mousehole Cat, by Antonia Barber and illustrated by Nicola Bayley. It is the story of Mowzer, the cat and Tom the fisherman, who brave the wrath of the sea to save their village.

Mousehole, as it was named in the 13th century, was originally named Porthenys. It was named so because it was an island cove to the isle of St Clements, some 400 metres off the shore. Aside from fishing, the village is also near to many tin and copper mines, which are as old as 2000 years.

Mousehole was burned to the ground in 1595 by the Spaniards, except for Keigwin Manor House, which still stands to this day. Thankfully, the village was rebuilt with a wonderful charm, which was described by Dylan Thomas as the loveliest in England.

Dolly Pentreath was said to be last the person to only speak the Cornish language over two hundred years ago. The language is now undergoing a revival.

1981 marked the sad loss of eight Penlee lifeguards, who went to the rescue of the Union Star off of nearby Lamorna.

Christmas time is special in Mousehole and the harbour front is lit up with lights, which is well worth a visit. On the anniversary of the Penlee lifeboat disaster the lights are switched off for an hour as a mark of respect and remembrance.

ŠPaul Harris

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