This film is part of Free

How do you say Mousehole?

The little harbour village of Mousehole with its Lamorna stone cottages is the subject of this report.

News 1971 4 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive

Overview

TV reporter Clive Gunnell is in Mousehole pronounced Mauzel. The fishing village was once an important trading port of Mount's Bay and has a fishing and tin mining heritage. Tom Bawcock's Eve is celebrated on 23 December by serving starrey gazey pie where heads and tails of pilchards pop through a pie crust. Legend says that Tom went out to fish in a storm after the village was beset by famine. Only the Keigwin Arms Pub survived when the village was burnt in 1595 in a Spanish raid.

On 19 December 1981 the crew of the Penlee Lifeboat the Solomon Browne was lost at sea attending the Union Star coaster in heavy storms. As a mark of remembrance on the anniversary of the loss Mousehole turns off its Christmas lights every year between eight and nine o'clock. The village has a Wild Bird Hospital set up by sisters Dorothy and Phyllis Yglesias in 1928 and made famous by saving sea birds covered in crude oil after the 1967 Torrey Canyon disaster. At Paul, behind Mousehole a memorial exists to Dorothy Pentreath who died in 1777 and is thought to be the last woman to speak old Cornish. Mousehole has the Cornish name of Porth Enys meaning port of the island and refers to the nearby Clement's Isle.