Location and its History
Zennor Chapel Guesthouse is ideally situated very close the the South West Coastal Path, making it an ideal place to stay whilst exploring this beautiful and fascinating area of Cornwall and all it has to offer.
The coastline around the whole of the West Penwith area of Cornwall in which the village of Zennor is located is spectacular, weather worn into coves and caves, cliffs and headlands, by the relentless sea.
There are beaches and secluded coves, fabulous views of the coast from the coastal path, ancient monuments including quoits and standing stones, as well as the remains of the ruined tin mine workings which dot the landscape providing a reminder of Cornwall’s mining past.
Zennor itself has the Wayside Museum, founded in the 1930’s and containing a collection of some thousands of items all illustrating the many aspects of rural life in West Cornwall in years gone by. There are relics of the Cornish mining industry, waterwheels, corn grinding wheels and tools dating from 3000 B.C. The museum is partly housed in an old mill building containing much original machinery and millstones, a collection of early agricultural implements and a Blacksmith’s Forge.
Adjacent to the Wayside Museum is Zennor Church, where the legend of the ”Mermaid of Zennor” continues to fascinate visitors. Inside the church stands the Mermaid Chair, a carving that is probably 600 years old.
The church is set in a circular graveyard. The circular graveyard is an Iron Age site overlaying the Stone Age and Bronze Age boundaries of this ancient area. It is believed that a small Celtic church was built on this site during the 6th century AD. The church’s patron saint, Senara, is link to Asenora, a legendary Breton princess. She may have travelled to Cornwall from Ireland in the wave of Celtic Christianity which occurred during this time.
The earliest record of the current church dates from 1170. The church was enlarged with the addition of an aisle built on the north side and a bell tower in 1450. The Victorians restored the whole church in 1890.
The bell tower contains six bells and the ring chamber is at ground level at the rear of the church.
The Zennor area is a walker’s paradise. Take an easy stroll down to Zennor headland for a breathtaking view across Pendour cove and Gurnard’s Head promontary. The coastal path east from Zennor heads along the cliffs towards St Ives, passing the Carracks where you can stop and watch the seals, before cutting back through Treveal and returning to Zennor along the field path through the ancient hamlets of Wicca, Tregerthen and Tremedda.
Walk west along the coastal path to the Gurnard’s Head promontary and beyond.
There are several inland walks including through the Foage Valley and up onto the windswept moors and rocky outcrops of Tremedda Hill where you will be rewarded with unparalleled views of our prehistoric landscape. Hidden nearby is Zennor Quoit which was once a very fine example of a quoit surrounded by a stone barrow 14 yards in diameter. The chamber is well preserved, whilst the massive capstone, which weighs an estimated 12.5 tons, has fallen and rests against it. The chamber itself consists of seven upright stones and was originally covered by a cairn.video of walk
The spectacular light and incredible scenary have attracted many artists to Zennor. Patrick Heron, Brian Winter, Terry Frost and others have all made their home here and found inspiration in the wild romantic landscape. DH Laurence lived here for a time and once wrote;
“At Zennor one sees infinite Atlantic, all peacock mingled colours and the gorse is sunshine itself. Zennor is a most beautiful place: a tiny granite village nestling under high shaggy moor-hills and a big sweep of lovely sea beyond, such a lovely sea, lovlier evan than the Mediterranian…..It is the best place I have been in I think”.
There are art/poetry classes/seminars