AT THE END OF CORNWALL  
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PENBERTH VALLEY AND THE SURROUNDING AREA
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Penberth Cove (meaning "bushy headland" in Cornish), is a beautiful natural inlet that has been in use as a fishing cove for many generations. In the early 1800's a thriving pilchard industry was situated here, with a fleet of small boats using the cove. Remnants of this important industry can still be seen in the valley through the presence of large cellars, which were used for pressing the pilchards for their valuable oil. Today they are still used for storing fishing equipment. At the top of the cliff opposite Shell Cottage the remains of a stone-built structure can be found amid the gorse, which is the "huer's hut". This overlooks the sea, and was used for watching for shoals of fish in the past. Once a shoal was seen the hue and cry was raised, and the boats were taken out from the cove - hence the name "huer". Today the main catch is mackerel, which are still caught with hand lines, as well as lobster and crab and sometimes bass.  Fish can usually be bought from the fishermen as they land, but this is at a different time each day.

The boats are pushed down the slip and are pulled up by an electric winch. Before this was installed, the boats were pulled up manually using a capstan which is still in place.

The cove is ideal for swimming, although there can be strong currents so care is needed.

 
St. Levan Church

St. Levan is the local church of the parish, and unlike its neighbour of St. Buryan is not the centre of the parish in the conventional sense, instead being situated in an isolated position at the bottom of a wooded valley. Togther with Sennen, St. Levan was a daughter church to the Royal Deanery of St. Buryan until 1864. St. Levan himself was probably from a Cornish noble family and lived in the 5th century.

Within the churchyard is a natural granite boulder that has split into two parts, the fissure being about a foot wide. This is St. Levan's stone and it is said that when this split is wide enough to allow a packhorse with panniers through, the world will come to an end.

There is a Eucharist there every Sunday at 9.30am and every Thursday at 10am, and weekly services also in the other two churches in the benefice, both of which are ten minutes away by car.

There are full details of all services, both Anglican and Roman Catholic, in Shell Cottage.

 
St. Levan's Holy Well
   
The valley between the church and the sea is called Porthchapel and here the remains of St. Levan's Holy Well and hermitage can be seen. These are connected by a flight of steep granite steps which were excavated in 1931 by Dr. Vernon Favell. Water from the well is said to have healing properties and is still used for baptisms at the church.

Beneath the hermitage is a beautiful sandy beach.
 
The Surrounding Area
Penberth is situated in a stunning stretch of coast, with many walks in both directions and much to do and see. Over the cliffs at Porthcurno is the world famous open-air Minack Theatre with performances every night from May to September. There is an interesting visitor centre at the theatre and an excellent café, which is open all the year. There is another beautiful expanse of sand below the theatre, with relatively easy access from Porthcurno.

Also at Porthcurno there is the award-winning Telegraph museum, a reminder of the Cable and Wireless Telecommunications college that was once here.

Land's End is a good three hours walk along the cliff from Penberth, or ten minutes in a car. This complex offers a variety of attractions, as well as a number of gift and craft shops. The stretch of cliff between Penberth and Land's End is exceptionally beautiful with many little coves and bays on the way.

Further inland there are numerous archaeological sites in the rough moorlands of West Penwith. Traces of a variety of different type-sites can be found, dating from the mesolithic through to medieval times. Worked flints can be found in dense scatters near the Logan Rock headland, which itself shows obvious lines of defences as part of a cliff-castle constructed in the Iron Age. The spectacular courtyard houses of Chysauster and Carn Euny are near Penzance and are very well preserved.