St. Michael's Mount
A captivating tidal island and historic landmark located just off the southwest coast of Cornwall. This iconic site is renowned for its stunning castle, picturesque gardens, and a rich history that dates back centuries. The island's history is deeply intertwined with legends, religious significance, and a remarkable blend of natural beauty and human heritage.
The history of St. Michael's Mount can be traced back to ancient times, with evidence of human habitation dating as far back as the Bronze Age. However, it gained significant historical and religious importance during the medieval period. The island was dedicated to St. Michael, the patron saint of fishermen, and a chapel was built on its summit in the 12th century. The medieval priory that surrounded the chapel played a crucial role in the island's spiritual life.
In the 17th century, during the English Civil War, St. Michael's Mount was transformed into a formidable fortress by the St. Aubyn family, who acquired the island in the 17th century and have continued to maintain it for generations. The St. Aubyns still reside on the island today, maintaining their ancestral connections and ensuring the preservation of this historic site.
Visiting St. Michael's Mount is a unique experience, as it can be reached on foot during low tide or by boat when the causeway is covered by the sea. The castle and gardens are open to the public, offering a glimpse into the island's storied past and its breathtaking natural surroundings. Visitors can explore the medieval castle, stroll through the lush terraced gardens, and take in panoramic views of the Cornish coastline.
The site is co-managed by the National Trust, who woks closely with the St. Aubyn family to maintain and protect the island's historical and environmental assets.
Tickets need to be purchased in advance, either online through the official St. Michael's Mount website or on-site at the island's ticket office. It is advisable to check the opening times and tide times in advance, as accessibility to the island depends on the tides. During low tide, visitors can walk across the causeway from the mainland, while during high tide, a short boat ride is necessary.