Kingsand and Cawsand

Cornwall Information & Accommodation Guide

Kingsand and Cawsand are two small villages on Cawsand Bay

Cawsand Bay is a natural harbour.

Cawsand and Kingsand in History

Today always twinned, they were for many centuries on different sides of the border, the tiny stream acting as the boundary, with Cawsand located in Cornwall and Kingsand in Devon. In 1844, Kingsand rejoined Cornwall. The sign on one of the white painted cottages shows where the division occurred.

The villages have an interesting history with much involvement in smuggling and fishing. Remains of old pilchard cellars from the late 16th century can be seen on the shoreline just beyond Kingsand. These 'Pilchard Palaces' were for the storing and processing of this most prized fish.

Smuggling was rife in the 1700s and early 1800s and the villages were the main centre of smuggling in the West country during that period. Thousands of casks of spirits were landed here every year by the fleet of over 50 smuggling vessels which operated out of Cawsand Bay.

Richard Carew, one of Cornwall's most famous historians visited the villages and recorded in his Survey of Cornwall(1769)his discovery of "Kings Sand and Causam Bay ....... The shore is peopled with some dwelling houses, and many Cellers, dearely rented for a short usage, in saving of Pilcherd.....I have heard the Inhabitants thereabouts to report, that the Earl of Richmond (afterwards Henry the seventh) while hee hovered upon the coast, here by stealth refreshed himselfe; but being advertised of streight watch, kept for his surprising at Plymouth, he richly rewarded his hoste, hyed sppedily a shipboord, and escaped happily to a better fortune".

The name Kingsand was first used in the mid 16th century. It is believed to be English in origin, rather than Cornish, and to denote that the sands were owned by a family called King.

The first recorded mention of the name, Cawsand, was as Couyssond in the early 15th century. The name is believed to be English and to derive from the words 'cow' and 'sand'(beach).

General Information

There are good local facilities in the villages.

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