Ancient Monuments

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Coastguard look-out tower and landmark 240m north of Portreath Harbour

A Scheduled Monument in Portreath, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2641 / 50°15'50"N

Longitude: -5.2916 / 5°17'29"W

OS Eastings: 165507.790822

OS Northings: 45636.746

OS Grid: SW655456

Mapcode National: GBR FW9Z.QXY

Mapcode Global: VH12B.7MDF

Entry Name: Coastguard look-out tower and landmark 240m north of Portreath Harbour

Scheduled Date: 12 May 1973

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005456

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 914

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Portreath

Built-Up Area: Portreath

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Saint Illogan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a coastguard look-out tower, situated on the northern tip of cliffs, to the north of Portreath Harbour south of Horse Rock coastal stack. The tower survives as tapering circular stone-built structure with a blocked doorway. There is a decorative finial for a weathervane on the conical stone roof. The tower stands to a height of approximately 7.6m and is painted white. Built in the late-18th or early-19th century as a landmark for mineral ships, it is known locally by several names including 'the Landmark', 'The Lighthouse' and 'The Pepper-pot'. A notice over the doorway reads 'HM Coastguard Board of Trade'. It is recorded in 1830 as 'Coast Guard Watch House'.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-426076

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Coastguard look-out tower and landmark 240m north of Portreath Harbour survives well and is an intriguing structure perched on steep cliffs and clearly visible from both land and sea. It was used for navigation by shipping and as a shelter for the watching Coastguards on land. It has been misidentified in the past as a true lighthouse although the watchmen may have signalled from the cliffs with torches or lanterns. It clearly has social, political and economic importance as part of national protection for shipping and for guarding against smuggling.

Source: Historic England

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