OS Grid ref:- SW523306
The ancient and characterful market town of Marazion is situated 2 miles (3 km) to the east of Penzance. It occupies the shores of beautiful Mount's Bay, dominated by the fairy-tale castle of St. Michael's Mount which lies half a mile offshore The castle's tower and battlements rise dramatically to a height of almost 230 feet above sea level. Marazion is one of the claimants to be Britain's oldest town.
Left- Marazion from St.Michael's Mount and Right- Fountain sculpture at the sea front.
Marazion has a long and interesting history. It was known by the Romans as Ictis, its present name is said to derive from a corruption of the Cornish Marhasyow meaning Thursday market. Robert, Count of Mortain, half-brother of King William the Conqueror, granted lands to St Michael's Mount, the charter included a market on the mainland to be held each Thursday. Richard, Earl of Cornwall (1209 - 1272) the younger brother of Henry III, decreed that the three markets which had previously been held by the priors of St Michael's Mount on land they did not possess should in future be held on their own land.
On Marazion Green, the phantom of a white lady has said to have been observed mounting a horse behind a horseman and galloping full speed as far as Red River. This was where Sir John Arundell, Sheriff of Cornwall, was killed during the Wars of the Roses, whilst leading an assault on St Michael's Mount, after St. Michael's Mount had been seized by the Earl of Oxford in 1471.
Left- a Marazion Street Right-Marazion House where the future Charles II is reputed to have stayed
The town's characterful winding streets are filled with quaint gift shops, fisherman's cottages and several old seafarer's inns dating back to when Marazion was a thriving port, exporting tin, copper and other goods to Europe. The town offers a range of shops, hotels, pubs, restaurants and accommodation to suit all budgets. A thriving tourist deestination, it has a community of talented artists who produce and sell paintings and pottery in the town's numerous art galleries.
Marazion's clean golden beaches, which stretch to Penzance, provide stunning views toward the Lizard Peninsula and Land's End. The island fortress of St Michael's Mount is accessed via a causeway, which is revealed at low tide. It was once walked by medieval pilgrims in honour of the alleged appearance of Saint Michael.When the tide is in a boat service is available to the Mount for a small price.
The beach is a popular destination for surfing, swimming, kite flying and sailing. It has lifeguards in the summer season and there is a good children's play area on the 'Folly Field' green which backs the beach.
Left- St. Michael's Mount Right -Marazion Marsh
Marazion Marsh, a short walk west from the town overlooks the beach, the marsh is an R.S.P.B. reserve and a site of Special Scientific Interest, it boasts Cornwall's largest reedbed. Guided walks of the marsh are available from the car park nearby. The marsh is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, many indigenous to the area but some, such as the mink, are more recent additions. Autumn brings migrants from the north, twice each year thousands of starlings roost there and their arrival, as the sun sets, is reported to be spectacular. Egrets, wading birds, wheatears, wagtails and pipits may all be sighted in the sanctuary area.
Places to visit in Marazion
*Marazion Town Museum located in the Town Hall which is the former location of the town gaol, features a reproduction of an original cell.
*Wheal Rodney Leisure Centre Leisure complex with pool, spa and solarium.