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Mullion church st mellanus 001.JPG
The church of St Mellanus
Grid reference: SW678192
Location: 50°1’37"N, 5°14’28"W
Population: 2,114  (2011)
Post town: Helston
Postcode: TR12
Dialling code: 01326
Local Government
Council: Cornwall
St Ives

Mullion is a village on the Lizard Peninsula in southern Cornwall. The nearest town is Helston some five miles to the north.

The wider Mullion parish encompasses Mullion itself, which is the churchtown of the parish, and four smaller settlements: Mullion Cove and Predannack to the southwest; Trewoon and Meaver to the east.

The parish also includes Mullion Island, a uninhabited island approximately half a mile off Mullion Cove which is home to large colonies of seabirds and owned by the National Trust.


The parish name has evolved over the years, with references in the parish records to St Mullyon, St Mullian, Mullian, Mullyan, Mulion, Mullyon and St Mullion. In the Valor Ecclesiasticus carried out in 1535 the village name is recorded as Melyan.[1]

The parish takes its name from St Melaine, the Breton Bishop of Rennes[2] who supposedly took office in 519. He was a man of many aliases including the Latin version, Saint Melanius. Early publications and the 1908 Ordnance Survey maps show that the parish church was officially known as St Melan's until at least the start of the 20th century.[3][4] In the late 19th century, Edmund Harvey, Vicar of Mullion, proposed that the parish take its name from 'Mellon' which he believed was an alias of St Malo.[3] Malo was a Welshman who moved to Brittany (possibly with his cousin, St Samson) where he became Bishop of Aleth (the region now called Saint-Malo) around AD 541. Harvey's ideas have since been discredited, but the name remains in place.


The village stands in the north of the parish about a mile form the coast. It sits at the end of two river valleys which run southwest from the village, descending steeply to meet the sea at Polurrian Cove and Mullion Cove. North of the village is a third river valley descending west to east and meeting the sea at Poldhu Cove. This river defines the boundary between Mullion and the neighbouring parish of Gunwalloe.

The land around the village and on the upper slopes of the river valleys is mostly fertile land cultivated for arable crops and livestock grazing. The small hamlets of Trewoon and Meaver are situated about half a mile to the east of Mullion village.

Today Mullion is the largest village on the Lizard Peninsula and is a centre for local services and amenities as well as a popular tourist destination.

Predannack Downs

The coastline at the edge of Predannack Downs

To the south of the village the land gently rises and levels out onto a plateau at a height of around 280 feet above sea level. In contrast to the northern part of the parish this area remains as semi-natural heath, the growth of which is encouraged by the change in geology south of Mullion Cove to serpentine rock. Known as Predannack Downs, it is part of the Lizard National Nature Reserve. In the centre of the downs lies the Second World War, Predannack Airfield, currently a satellite of nearby RNAS Culdrose.

The southern extent of the parish is marked by a steep, narrow river valley cut into the downs, meeting the sea at Kynance Cove. The coastline along the edge of the downs between [[Kynance Cove and Mullion Cove consists of high dramatic sheer cliffs with the exception of a deep narrow cleft cut into the Downs at Gew-graze, also known as Soapy Cove. This cove is named after Soapstone (or talc), a type of serpentine rock found around the cove. Talc was quarried here in the 18th century.


  • Cricket: Mullion Cricket Club
  • Football: Mullion AFC
  • Golf: Mullion Golf Club, founded in 1895, is the most southerly golf course in the United Kingdom.

See also

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Mullion)


  1. Valor Ecclesiasticus, 1535. "National Archives Series E 344"
  2. Doble, G. H. (1962) The Saints of Cornwall, Part II. Truro: Dean and Chapter
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harvey, E. G. (1875) Mullyon, its History, Scenery and Antiquities. ISBN 0-907566-70-7
  4. Ordnance Survey Second Edition, 1908, Cornwall Sheet L080. S.E.