Home Page The Rame Peninsula and Whitsand Bay - Cornwall

The Rame Peninsula is often known locally as "The Forgotten Corner". It is bounded by water on 3 sides: the rivers Lynher and Tamar and by Plymouth Sound. It is the south eastern-most part of South East Cornwall lying just across the border with Devon and the City of Plymouth. The name Rame means "The high protruding cliff, the ram's head" and Rame Head can be seen from many miles and has been a landmark for sailors for thousands of years. Right at the top of Rame Head, some 320 feet above sea level, lies the ruined chapel of St. Michael. The chapel, which was licensed for Mass in 1397, is believed to stand on the site of a much older Celtic hermitage. From 1486 Plymouth paid a watchman to maintain a beacon here to warn sailors and to inform the city of approaching important ships. The return of the Newfoundland fishing fleet used to be signaled from here during the 16th century and in 1588 the Spanish Armada was also sighted sailing up the channel. Today a coastguard station is still positioned on Rame head and the views of the approaches to Plymouth Sound, Wembury Bay, Great Mewstone Island, Polhawn Cove and the sandy beaches of Whitsand Bay remain as stunning as ever. Nearby lies Rame Church first consecrated in 1259 and dedicated to St Germanus.

To the southeast of Rame Head there is another coastal headland lying at the entrance to Plymouth Sound; this is Penlee Point (Cornish: Penn Legh, meaning stone-slab headland). At Penlee Point you can see a ittle grotto known as Queen Adelaide's Seat. In the eighteenth century, the cave that today contains the grotto was used as a watch house. The stone archways were constructed within its walls and dedicated to Princess Adelaide after she visited in 1827, four years later she was crowned Queen Consort having been married to King William IV. Also at Penlee Point there is an Atmospheric Observatory established by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in May 2014 for long term observations of ocean-atmosphere interaction.

Whitsand Bay lies south-west of Plymouth Sound with Rame Head forming its eastern boundary and the small village of Portwrinkle to its west. Polhwan cove is in the east of the bay, then long stetches of sandy beaches run to the west interspersed with rocky headlands and small bays, over Sharrow Point through Freathy beach to the wide expanse of Tregantle beach. Fort Tregantle overlooks Tregantle beach, still occupied by the Ministry of Defence, and Tregantle beach itself is closed when the firing ranges at the fort are in operation. The holiday settlement of Freathy, a collection of chalets, huts and shacks forms an haphazard settlement stretching along and down the cliffs, quite an eyesore to an otherwise dramatic view. The bay is popular with scuba divers because of its marine life and in 2004, HMS Scylla, the former Royal Navy frigate was scuppered nearby an existing World War II wreck, the Liberty Ship James Eagan Layne, to provide a new underwater reef for divers. The James Eagan Layne was built in 1944 in the United States of America. After only three month's war service, on 21 March 1945, she was torpedoed and sunk in Whitsand Bay by U-1195 whilst on a voyage from Barry, in Wales bound for Ghent in Belgium. Thankfully there were no casualties and the wreck has become of the most popular diving sites in the country.

Rame Rame Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay
Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Rame Rame Rame
Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay
Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay
Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay
St Michael Chapel Rame Head Rame Church East from St. Michael Chapel, Rame Head Interior Rame Church Rame Church
Rame Church The rocks Queener's point Rame Chapel Rame Chapel Rame Head
Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Rame
Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay
Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay Whitsand Bay