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The Lizard, Cornwall

Historical Description

Lizard, The, a headland in the SW of Cornwall, 12 miles S by E of Helston. It is the most southerly promontory of England, and is generally the first land seen by ships on entering the English Channel. It is the Promontorium Damnonium or Ocrinum of Ptolemy. Its modern name is supposed by some to have originated in the shape or the variegated colouring of its cliffs as seen from the Channel, by others to have been derived from the Cornish word liaz-herd, signifying " a projecting headland." Its cliffs consist chiefly of serpentine, and the fields near it are based on hornblende and talco-micaceous schist. The coast at and near it abounds in striking and romantic features, the chief of which are the Bumble, the Lion's Den, Daw's Hugo, Househole, Penolver, Belidden, the Chair, Bass Point, Hot Point, Kilkobben Cove, Parnvose Cove, Raven's Hugo, Dolor Hugo, the Balk of Landewednack, Cadgewith Village, the Devil's Frying Pan, Caerthillian Ravine, Holestrow, the Yellow Cam, Tor Balk, Kinance Cove, the Rill Headland, the Horse, Pigeon's Hugo, the Soap Rock, Vellan Point, Pradanack Head, Mullion Gull Rock, Mullion Cove, Mullion Island, Bellurian Cove, and others. Two lighthouses stand at the Lizard, 222 feet asunder; they are fitted with the electric light and throw a light to the distance of 21 miles; there is also a fog signal of the " siren " type. One of the most important of Lloyd's signal stations is situated at Bass Point

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