ABOUT

Bessy’s Cove (showing from left to right) The Haven, Willy’s Cottage, Cliff Cottage and Sea View.

Places to stay range from larger houses sleeping 12-25 to smaller cottages sleeping two to six.

You can come to get away from it all in complete isolation, have near neighbours or next-door neighbours, come as a family, couple or a gang for a get-together; or to get married.

Pets are welcome, including horses.

Only those staying at Porth-en-Alls have access to the coast by car so there is never any traffic. All one can hear is the sea and on a very calm day, only the birds.

The spacious accommodation is comfortable and relaxed; the kitchens are well equipped having all you need for good cooking and dining (there are no microwaves in the houses and cottages).

Flowers and excellent locally sourced fresh groceries can be delivered for your arrival. Domestic and catering assistance is available as desired. The management lives on site and is on call 24 hours a day in case any assistance is required.

Porth-en-Alls has its own bakery and small shop within walking distance of every place, baking croissants daily and arranging groceries, breakfast boxes, cream teas etc. for your arrival and throughout your stay. Lobster and crab can be ordered, live or cooked.

Superfast broadband wifi is available 24 hours in a dedicated room near The Bakery.

All the houses and cottages have at least one open fire or multi fuel stove, with logs, kindling and coal delivered to your door on arrival and thereafter on request. Additional heating is provided optionally by nightstorage and portable units. Electricity is not included in the rent, but metered and settled at the end to encourage economical consumption.

On the doorstep is safe bathing and diving at all tides, spectacular snorkelling, body boarding, angling, rock-pooling, climbing, moorings for boats, high diving/jumping, excellent tutored coasteering, coastal and inland walking, kayaking, sketching and painting. Courses at the Newlyn School of Art can be booked through the office. Some of the houses have a good piano, others not so good.

All your kitchen compost will be collected and used to grow vegetables. The water is sourced from a well, so you don’t need to buy it in bottles.

Within a couple of miles are acclaimed restaurants and pubs (including some with favourable terms if booked through the office) and, a little further, famous attractions including St Michael’s Mount, Botallack Mine, Tate St Ives, Iron Age Chysauster, the Standing Stones and Lanyon Quoit.

HISTORY

Prussia Cove owes its romantic name to John Carter who lived here, one of England’s most successful and notorious smugglers in the later 18th Century. As a boy playing soldiers with his brothers Harry, Charles, James and Roger, John would pretend to be the heroic contemporary Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. It seems John Carter was equally charismatic and his nickname rechristened the cove, or rather the area, since no one cove is actually called Prussia Cove.
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Such was the scale of operations that The Coastguard Cottages were built in about 1825 in an attempt to stamp out such nefarious goings on.

Since then, The Haven and Sea View were built and of course Porth-en-Alls house; but otherwise the place has hardly changed and the Carters might recognise Cliff Cottage, Willy’s Cottage and the extremely rare fisherman’s huts above the slipway at Bessy’s Cove. This lack of change is perhaps what makes Prussia Cove so celebrated, although it also derives fame from the wrecking of the WWI 33,000 ton battleship HMS Warspite which ran aground in a gale on 27th April 1947, remaining on the rocks for four years. And also from the International Musician’s Seminar (IMS) established in 1972, which takes place over the Easter period and most of September. The original Poldark was filmed here in the 1970s, as was Ladies in Lavender directed by Charles Dance in 2004, starring Maggie Smith, Judie Dench, Miriam Margolyes, Natascha McElhone, Daniel Brühl and David Warner. So too was Summer in February, directed by Christopher Menaul in 2012, starring Dan Stevens, Emily Browning and Dominic Cooper.

As regards its natural history, the local bedrock is not in fact granite but a combination of killas and a the best example in Cornwall of a mildly metamorphosed, differentiated tholeiitic intrusive greenstone. The slaty sedimentary killas that dives into the sea at Bessy’s Cove and forms the bedrock of the estate emerged from the southern hemisphere having been formed in the Devonian period, about 300 million years ago!

There is also a rare but prolific occurrence of Cornish wild cabbage brassica oleracea, well known to botanists who have made a study of it’s rare qualities.

As an estate, the place was a collection of many individual interests and parcels until gradually knitted together from about 1880 onwards.