The tale of the Hermit of Perranporth is a story I first heard decades ago. He lived in a small cave on the beach and it’s still there today. They call these Hermit Cells and they can be found dotted around Cornwall.
On the south side of the beach, as you’re looking out to sea, you can see a hole that’s cut into the cliff. There are steps down from the cliff to the hermit’s cave – and you can even go inside sometimes – although, more recently, it has had a bolted door preventing access. I have actually been inside in the past.
It’s said that many years ago the hermit lived in his cliff cave – and, if he did, he picked a great spot. All the views, yet protected from the power of the ocean and the Atlantic gales in the winter. A view back over the length of the sand dunes and the town.
Of course, I’ll never know if the story was a romantic dream, or a story for “outsiders”…. there are a lot of mine workings on the rear of the cliff and, to be honest, it could’ve simply been a mine working that was started and never completed, or even an old form of “workman’s hut” for their mining equipment!
It’s equally possible that it could’ve been one of the miners themselves that fashioned the cave out of the cliffs to live in.
But, the hermit of Perranporth certainly knew the value of Location, Location, Location.
The area around Perranporth has a long-standing tradition hermits living in the area – and this hermit’s cell is within a stone’s throw of the old St Piran’s Oratory, which is in the sand dunes. Maybe the hermit was a follower of St Piran, or a “lesser” holy man that came later and wanted to be close to the Oratory.
Whatever the truth, the myth will live on…. Cornwall, land of legends!
What To Do in Perranporth:
More to see in Perranporth: http://newquaytown.com/exploring-perranporth