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Mount's Bay from helicopter
Mount's Bay
This page is on the geographical feature. For other meanings, see Mount's Bay (disambiguation).

Mount's Bay is a large, sweeping bay on the English Channel coast of Cornwall in the United Kingdom, stretching from the Lizard Point to the eastern side of the Land's End peninsula. The sheltered waters have been used as a natural harbour since ancient times. Towards the middle of the bay (and probably where the name is derived from) is St Michael's Mount.



Mount's Bay is the biggest bay in Cornwall. Its half-moon shape is similar to that of Donegal Bay in Ireland and Cardigan Bay in Wales, although, unlike the aforementioned bays, Mount's Bay is relatively sheltered from the prevailing Atlantic westerlies.

On the beach near Ponsandane, just to the east of Penzance, evidence of a 'submerged forest' can be seen at low tide, in the form of several fossilised tree trunks. Geologists believe that a forest may have existed here before the most recent sea level rise. This correlates with the Cornish name of St Michael's Mount, Carrack Looz en Cooz — literally, "the grey rock in the wood".

On 1st November, 1755, the Lisbon earthquake caused a tsunami to strike the Cornish coast at around 14:00. At Mounts Bay the sea rose ten feet at great speed and ebbed at the same rate. Little damage was recorded.


There are several coastal towns and villages dotted around Mount's Bay of which the largest is Penzance. To the west are Newlyn, Paul, Mousehole and Lamorna, and to the east are Marazion, Perranuthnoe, Praa Sands, Porthleven and Mullion. The bay also incorporates many beaches, coves and features including Prussia Cove, Loe Pool (and Loe Bar), Church Cove, Poldhu Cove and Kynance Cove.

In the churchyard wall of the church of St. Paul Aurelian in Paul is the 1860 monument to Dolly Pentreath, according to tradition the last native speaker of the Cornish language.

Mount's Bay gives its name to a local secondary school, which is located in Heamoor and serves Penzance and the surrounding countryside. Mount's Bay School and Community Sports College (formerly Heamoor Secondary Modern School ) is one of Penzance's comprehensive schools.

RFA Mount's Bay

Commissioned by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 2006, RFA Mount's Bay is the latest-design Landing Ship Dock, the Bay Class used by the Royal Navy. Mount's Bay has good affiliations with the Sea Cadet Unit TS Zephyr in Caterham, Surrey.

See also

External links

Coordinates: 50°03′29″N 5°25′13″W / 50.0580°N 5.4204°W / 50.0580; -5.4204



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