St Michael's Mount

Marazion, United Kingdom

St Michael's Mount is a tidal island in Mount's Bay, Cornwall, United Kingdom. The island is a civil parish and is linked to the town of Marazion by a causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low water. It is managed by the National Trust, and the castle and chapel have been the home of the St Aubyn family since approximately 1650.

Historically, St Michael's Mount was a Cornish counterpart of Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, France, with which it shares the same tidal island characteristics and a similar conical shape, though Mont-Saint-Michel is much taller.

St Michael's Mount may have been the site of a monastery from the 8th to the early 11th centuries. Subsequently, it ceased to be a priory, but was reduced to being a secular chapel which was given to the Abbess and Convent of Syon at Isleworth, Middlesex, in 1424. It was a destination for pilgrims, whose devotions were encouraged by an indulgence granted by Pope Gregory in the 11th century. The earliest buildings on the summit, including a castle, date to the 12th century.

Various sources state that the earthquake of 1275 destroyed the original Priory Church, although this may be a misunderstanding of the term 'St Michael's on the Mount' which referred to the church of St Michael atop Glastonbury Tor. Syon Abbey, a monastery of the Bridgettine Order, acquired the Mount in 1424. Some 20 years later the Mount was granted by Henry VI to King's College, Cambridge on its foundation. However, when Edward IV took the throne during the Wars of the Roses the Mount was returned to the Syon Abbey in 1462.

John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford, seized and held it during a siege of 23 weeks against 6,000 of Edward IV's troops in 1473–74. Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the English throne, occupied the Mount in 1497. Sir Humphrey Arundell, Governor of St Michael's Mount, led the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, it was given to Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, by whose son it was sold to Sir Francis Bassett. During the Civil War, Sir Arthur Bassett, brother of Sir Francis, held the Mount against the Parliament until July 1646.

The Mount was sold in 1659 to Colonel John St Aubyn. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the structure of the castle was romanticised. In the late 19th century, the remains of an anchorite were discovered in a tomb within the domestic chapel.



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Marazion, United Kingdom
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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mrs.B Bara (2 years ago)
It worth to see,and experience a part of history
David Fairest (3 years ago)
I have never visited this site, but have visited Mont St. Michel in France.
David Hartle (3 years ago)
No tickets no entrance, and no coffee.
Miguel Angel Castro Alonso (3 years ago)
Not dog friendly, even an small dog carried in a bag
Harjinder Kaur (4 years ago)
Worth the visit but book ahead online for both the garden and the castle
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