Lands End  Cornwall


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Lands End like this:

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.

Additional information about this locality is available for Sennen

Lands End through time

Lands End is now part of Penwith district. Click here for graphs and data of how Penwith has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Lands End itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Lands End, in Penwith and Cornwall | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 05th October 2022

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