Every time I head in to St Ives I cannot get over the colours of the water there. This day I managed to time it right so that the tide was in the harbour and the boats were afloat. I wanted to stroll along the pier as it has been a long time since I did that and get a little closer to the lighthouse on the end.

View of the harbour and pier from the Malakoff

Smeaton’s Pier is a rubble and masonry pier extending south from the coast at St Ives, on the east side of the harbour’s south entrance. Designed by John Smeaton in 1766 the Georgian era pier was built by Thomas Richardson, who had been Smeaton’s foreman mason on the construction of Edddystone Lighthouse.


Once one of the most important pilchard landing ports in Cornwall the harbour would have been crammed full of fishing boats and the wharf side bustling with fish wives and traders. These days the harbour is still thriving and the quayside as busy as ever but fishing is no longer the main industry here.


Smeaton’s pier was originally 360 feet (120 metres) long with the elegant Smeaton’s lighthouse sitting at the end. However, in the 1890s the pier was extended to almost double its length and a new lighthouse added.


The diminutive chapel of St Leonard’s stood at the base of an older pier since medieval times. The chapel is where fishermen would pray before setting out to sea. It is said a proportion of their catch was paid to the chapel friar on their safe return.

Now it houses a collection of model fishing boats and a memorial to St Ives fishermen who have lost their lives at sea.


When the tide is low the sand extends all the way to Porthminster beach to the north and sometimes you can even walk around the pier to the elusive Bamaluz beach.


42 thoughts on “Smeaton’s Pier

    1. Reminds me a lot of New Zealand colours down here. The lighthouse is really more of a lookout and navigational aid for fishing boats, so yes. Stops them bumping into the pier 😉

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  1. So beautiful. I still can’t believe I have never been to St Ives. How hard does it have to be, especially living in the West Country? At least I can experience it vicariously through you now Jude…but I really need to get down there! Having a little getaway near Bude soon with my Mum and daughter…looking forward to that! Hope things are settling down 🙂 xx

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      1. Sounds heavenly! I’ve not been to Bude before, looking forward to it. Will take pics 🙂 Mum is doing better thanks Jude. She’s driving now, just short distances. Went through a sticky patch, but on the up and up again 🙂

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      1. Yes, it was a horrible shock. I hate to sound selfish saying it, but I realised recently just how much it took out of me with the worry of it all. But…such a relief to know she is okay and getting back into life again… Thanks so much for your concern Jude… xx


        1. Not selfish at all. I think it is very hard when you have elderly parents to be concerned about. I think my 40s were very stressful with parents and children causing me worries.

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  2. It’s just like Whitby but warmer and bluer, Jude. 🙂 Superb shots and my absolute favourite is peering over the rope edge of the boat at the beach. I was on the beach this afternoon, peering into rock pools. Sans camera! Unheard of 🙂 🙂

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    1. No camera? No phone? Why not? Hope you escape the storms that are threatened in the east of the country, they should peter out before they get as far north as you. We had a dullish day here, but the evening was lovely and the sunset magnifique. I sure hope summer is on her way…


      1. It’s going to be another patchy summer, I think. Grabbing anything that comes my way with both hands. Greedy girl! 🙂 🙂 (the phone was home on charge and the camera was full to busting from a garden visit on Tuesday- and if I’m honest, I was in a mini-strop at the time and flounced out without it 😦 ) Greedy AND bad-tempered 🙂

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        1. I take every sunny day as it comes. Still need to visit some gardens, the trouble is on a nice day I am out in my garden and still cutting and digging! Almost got it tamed. Just the fatsia japonica to prune and a few weeds under the hazel corkscrew tree. Then I have to tackle the rampant Virginia Creeper in the courtyard! But I shall get to at least one of the gardens on my list before the grockles arrive 😉


  3. The blues in these photos are beautiful. I have only been to St Ives once, for the afternoon, (the summer before last) and it was quite busy (all those tourists, tut) but we did manage a walk along the pier before exploring some of the little back streets with all the artists’ studios and holiday accommodations. It’s a lovely place.

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    1. it’s enchanting Elaine, but I couldn’t live there, not with all those tourists 😀 and the hilly streets, not to mention the parking issues and lack of gardens. Mostly holiday lets there now which is a shame. No I am more than happy enough to be living on the outskirts 🙂


  4. Gosh, this is so lovely. I don’t know what happened, I’m following you, but I don’t seem to get any notifications from this blog. I’ll unfollow and follow again, maybe that does the trick. WP can be annoying a times. Yesterday it took 6 hours before our post appeared in the reader and it only appeared after I had posted it again, but x#ysz#* then both posts appeared. Enough to irritate the reader and make me an unhappy blogger. 😦 Now I feel better, refreshed after my visit on the other side of this beautiful country.:-) If only Boris Johnson as a foreign secretary wouldn’t sit in the middle, but can you believe it, it puts a smile on my face as well. 🙂
    Have a lovely Saturday, Jude. The girls send you lost of fairy dust for your garden. ######


    1. WP has the habit of annoying me with the continual changes they make to the platform. I hope you get the notification for this blog now. Although I haven’t been doing a lot of posting recently apart from on the flower blog. Too many other things to do 🙂 Now I need to go in to the garden and mow the lawn, again, and finish off weeding the borders – actually that task will never be finished! Thank the girls for the dust, I shall sprinkle it on my herbs to make them grow bigger 😀

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