The Manacles

          'The Manacles' are a collection of rocks situated between a quarter of a mile and a mile from the shore, beginning a little south west of Porthoustock and extending for a mile to the south. Each rock is named and all except on, Carn du, are covered at high water and many lurk just beneath the surface. Their name is derived from the two Cornish words maen eglos, or 'church stones'.

          It is said that in the early part of the last century, when mails were carried in the face of great dangers, a Falmouth packet, run close by a French frigate, was taken through the Manacles and thus the French vessel was lured to it's destruction.

          The area has been referred to a 'the grave of a thousand ships', the identities of many ships lost not known.

          Those that are known are too numerous to detail here, but include the transport 'Dispatch' and the Brig-of-War 'Primrose' which both sank in January 1809 with the loss of almost 200 men. The 'Dispatch' was transporting 3 officers, 72 non-commissioned officers and
the manacles
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privates, and 36 horses of the returning of 7th (Queen's Own') Regiment of Hussars, returning from fighting in Spain. The 'Primrose' carried 125 officers and men. There were 7 survivors from the former and one boy from the latter.

          Between 24th January and 2nd April, 110 bodied were buried at St. Keverne Church. Other wreck include the 'Bay of Panama' (1891), 'Andola' (1895), and 'Mohegan' (1898).

Special thanks to Billy Moyle of St. Keverne for a fascinating tour and invaluable information.

Additional Ref: "The Cornish Magazine No 6, Vol 1, Edited by A.T.Quiller-Couch (1898)"


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