Take a trip into Cornwall’s past and visit a hidden and unexpected anomaly in time.

Less than an hour’s drive west from Falmouth you will find a private estate on the coast of Mount’s Bay and four small coves with Arthur Ransomey names – see my title, above. This is Porth Legh, more romantically named Prussia Cove after an infamous 18th-century ship-wrecker and smuggler John Carter (born 1738) also known as ‘The King of Prussia’. A terrace of seven listed coastguard cottages (built in 1826), just above the cove, still on lookout for contraband.

Prussia Cove once had a small fishing industry. Mackerel were caught by seine nets like the one in the Dining Room of The Captain’s House, and seven of its small fleet of fishing boats were destroyed by a storm on 7 October 1880 – the sea has always been a dangerous place to ply your trade. In April 1947 HMS Warspite ran aground here before being beached and broken up at Marazion.

Built above and overlooking the coves is a Victorian house built in 1885 for a former Archbishop of Cornwall in his retirement. There is a small car park, leading to the coastal path that passes through a “circus” formed by the listed buildings of Porth-en-Alls which includes a crescent shaped “Lodge”. The complex was designed and built in 1911 but never completed due to the Great War.

It is worth a visit because a Mermaid’s spell has frozen it in time. The unexpectedly fine houses dotted along the shore give the impression of a commune for the gentry, artists or musicians – a Cornish Charleston. It is a familiar film set but there is only one film I know of – In 2004 the British film Ladies in Lavender, staring Judi Dench, was filmed here. It is also the home of an international music festival which takes place annually.

An unusual and thought-provoking place. Well worth a visit and enroute to St Michael’s Mount, and Penzance. It’s about 45 minute drive from The Captain’s House Falmouth.

Prussia-Cove, Cornwall
Prussia-Cove, Cornwall