Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for LANDS-END

LANDS-END, a headland in the SW of Cornwall; the most westerly point of England; 10 miles, by road, SW by W of Penzance. It is the Penwith of the ancient Britons, and the Bolerium of the Romans. It consists almost wholly of granite; has an elevation, at the extremity, of only about 60 feet; is pierced there by a natural tunnel; rises on each side, into cliffs of much greater altitude than the extremity; exhibits, all round, a broken, shattered, cavernous, and gloomy aspect; and commands, in times of storm, a sublime or even appalling seaward view. The character of the headland is described as follows by Davy:—

On the sea
The sun-beams tremble; and the purple light
Illumes the dark Bolerinm; seat of storms.
High are his granite rocks; his frowning brow
Hangs o'er the smiling ocean. In his caves
The Atlantic breezes murmur; in his caves,
Where sleep the haggard spirits of the storm.
Wild, dreary, are the schistine rocks around
Encircled by the wave, where to the breeze
The haggard cormorant shrieks; and far beyond,
Where the great ocean mingles with the sky, .
Are seen the cloud-like islands, grey in mists.

The Longships lighthouse stands on a cluster of rocks, 1¼ mile from the shore; was erected in 1797; and is a granite tower, of similar construction to the Eddystone lighthouse, 62 feet in circuit at the base, and 52 feet high from the rock to the lantern-vane. A tract inland from the headland, 13 miles long and about 5½ broad, has been called the Land's End peninsula; and about nine-tenths of its surface are granite.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a headland"   (ADL Feature Type: "capes")
Administrative units: Cornwall AncC
Place: Lands End

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