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St Just

This is the last town in England and the only one where the mayor’s chain of office is made from Tin! Perhaps no huge surprise as this was the main centre for mining in West Cornwall. A granite town with terraces of granite cottages offering the best choice of facilities since St Ives, this most westerly of towns has bakers, cafe’s, shops and several pubs including that legacy of the mining days, The Commercial Hotel, all set around a bustling ‘triangular’ square. 


The former mining town now supports a growing colony of artist’s, potters and sculptors drawn to it by the stunning surrounding area and there are several studios displaying some excellent local work.


The Parish Church is worth looking in on, its highlights being a 5th century Selus Stone and medieval wall paintings of St George tackling the dragon.


Close to the church the Plen-an-Gwarry is a unique medieval amphitheatre said to be the oldest surviving theatre in Britain. It still puts on plays during the towns festivals - for more information about events and future plans see The Plen Project on Facebook. Oldest theatre or not, it’s worth noting that the amphitheatre is over 100 years older than Shakespeare’s Globe and still becomes the centrepiece of the town on Lafrowda day in July at the end of a week of entertainments and spectacular community based street parades. 


For an evening wander from St Just you are spoilt for choice, down towards the coast you have the fascinating Kenidjack and Cot valleys and between the two it’s an easy walk down to Cape Cornwall, where you can be one of  the last in the country to see the day’s sun set. Inland, the Tregeseal Stone Circle is close to town, and still used by pagans today for ceremonies. High above this is the Haunted Hooting Cairn, a stunning spot with fabulous views in all directions but perhaps one to avoid at dusk given the tales of devils on horseback, sprites, wee people and dancing lights at midnight.

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