The Lizard Point Cornwall

Malcolm Chant

Joined September 2008

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izard Point in Cornwall is the southernmost tip of the Lizard Peninsula. It is the southernmost tip of Great Britain, at 49°57’ N, and, with the exception of parts of the Isles of Scilly is the southernmost part of England. The tiny villages of The Lizard and Landewednack are located about half a mile (0.8 km) north of the point, but the nearest settlement of any substantial size is Helston, 11 miles (18 km) to the north.

Lizard Point is for many ships the starting point of their ocean passage and a notorious shipping hazard. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution operates a lifeboat station at Kilcobben Cove, two miles (approx. 3 km) northeast of the point. The station features a funicular line to transport lifeboatmen from the boathouse to the clifftop station car park. The Lizard lighthouse is situated at Lizard Point. Immediately below the lighthouse, situated in what used to be a hotel is the Lizard Youth Hostel.

The area is famous for its carved serpentine items, which range from ornaments to the pump handles in the local public house; The Lizard Inn. The geology of Lizard is fascinating, with a number of planned walks available from local tourist authorities in order to discover more about the local rocks.

The first sighting of the Spanish Armada on mainland Britain was off Lizard Point at 3pm on the 29 July 1588. This was one of the greatest invasion fleets in history and consisted of 120 ships with 29,000 men on board.

On 15 January 2004 the French fishing trawler Bugaled Breizh (child of Brittany) was sunk off Lizard Point with the loss of five lives. There were claims at the time by French marine accident experts that the vessel may have been pulled under when her nets became tangled in a British or Dutch submarine who were conducting NATO exercises in the area at the time.1

[edit] Biggest RNLI rescue
The biggest rescue in the RNLI’s history was 17 March 1907 when the twelve thousand tonne liner SS Suevic hit the Maenheere Reef near Lizard Point. In a strong gale and dense fog RNLI lifeboat volunteers rescued 456 passengers, including seventy babies. Crews from The Lizard, Cadgwith, Coverack and Porthleven rowed out repeatedly for sixteen hours to rescue all of the people on board. Six silver RNLI medals were later awarded, two to Suevic crew members.2

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