St Ives, Cornwall

Historical Description

Ives, St, a bay, a seaport and market-town, a municipal borough, and a parish in Cornwall. The bay commences at the mouth of the river Hayle, adjacent to the town of Hay Ie; expands suddenly into half-moon form. with exposure to the NNW; measures about 4¼ miles across the entrance, between St Ives Head on the W and Godrevy Head and Island on the E; measures about 2½ miles from Hayle bar to a line drawn across the entrance; has anchorage, outside St Ives pier, in 6 fathoms; is swept by spring tides rising 20 feet 10 inches, by neap tides rising 15 feet 8 inches; lies all exposed, except at St Ives harbour, to N winds; and suffers impediment from moving sands. The view from the mouth of Hayle river is very beautiful. The sides of the bay, as seen there, have the form of two crescents; and they curve round in sandy shore, overhung by cliffs, and terminate picturesquely in the promontory heads of St Ives and Godrevy. The harbour in it for St Ives town is a recess on the S side of St Ives promontory, bounded on the S by Pednolver Point, but in former times was much choked with drifting sands brought in by NW winds. A small old pier ran into the harbour at the middle of the N side, but was very much exposed, and has disappeared. A commodious pier on the same side, but farther to the E, was constructed in 1767 by Smeaton, and has such direction as to give important shelter. By an Order in Council (1886), the works and property of St Ives harbour were vested in the Corporation, who were authorized to borrow, £32, 000 for the purposes of construction. Most of this money was spent in lengthening the pier originally built in 1767. There is also a pier on wood piles, erected in 1864-66, but this is now much decayed. A short arm, known as the-west pier, was completed in 1894 at a cost of, £8000. It is well built of granite, starting from the N side of the-churchyard. The main purpose of its erection was to check the scour of the tide, which, since the extension of Smeaton's pier, has done much injury to the fishing fleet. A lighthouse is on Godrevy Island.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient County Cornwall
Ecclesiastical parish St. Ives St. Andrew
Hundred Penwith
Poor Law union Penzance

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The Phillimore transcript of Marriages at St Ives 1653-1812, Cornwall is available to browse online.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for St Ives from the following:


Online maps of St Ives are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Cornwall papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

We have a copy of The Visitations of Cornwall, by Lieut.-Col. J.L. Vivian online.

RegionSouth West
Postal districtTR26
Post TownSt. Ives