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St Carantoc's Church, Crantock.jpg
St Carantoc's Church, Crantock
Grid reference: SW790603
Location: 50°24’4"N, 5°6’40"W
Population: 764  (2001)
Post town: Newquay
Postcode: TR8
Dialling code: 01637
Local Government
Council: Cornwall
St Austell and Newquay

Crantock is a village on the north coast of Cornwall, found some two miles southwest of Newquay. It stands on the south side of the River Gannel which forms a natural boundary between the parishes of Newquay and Crantock.

The Gannel flows along Crantock Beach to the sea. It is tidal and unbridged and ferries operate on a seasonal basis from Fern Pit to Crantock Beach.

The village can be reached from the A3075 road by way of the junction at Trevemper. The hamlets of Treninnick and West Pentire are in the parish.

Large parts of the parish are now in the ownership of the National Trust, including West Pentire headland which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest noted for its wild flowers and rare plants.


Crantock dates back to 460 AD when a group of Irish hermits founded an oratory there.

The older part of the village is situated around its church which is dedicated to St Carantoc, founder of the village. At one time the parish was known as Langurroc which means "The Dwelling of Monks". There is a Langurroc Road in the village. Langurroc was infamously (among locals) covered up in a sandstorm and may well lie beneath the sand dunes which back Crantock Beach.

St Carantoc's Church was founded in Norman days and was originally cruciform, but was reconstructed in the 14th and 15th centuries, and restoration was carried out by E H Sedding in 1899–1902. The font is Norman and the rood screen is much restored. The church was collegiate from ca. 1236 to the Reformation.[1]

About the village

The village hall (expanded in recent years with the help of Lottery funding) is three times larger than it was. It is the centrepiece of the annual "Jazz in the Park". The village also hosts a street fair known as the "Crantock Summer Fiesta" which has a coconut shy, tombola, raffle and many other stalls.

The village holds an annual "big bale push" involving locals pushing tightly packed straw cylinders around the roads of the village, which are closed for the event. Crantock now holds the Guinness record for bale pushing.


Like several other sandy beaches in the Newquay area, Crantock Beach is popular for surfing. There are car parks at Crantock Beach and West Pentire. The beach is backed by sand dunes.

At the left hand side of the beach, low tide reveals a carving into a rock, featuring a picture of a woman's face, and the inscription 'Mar not my face but let me be, Secure in this lone cave by the sea, Let the wild waves around me roar, Kissing my lips for evermore'

The story goes... In the early 20th century a woman was horse riding along Crantock Beach. She and her horse got cut off as the tide came in and the rough seas swept them away drowning them both. Her distraught lover carved a poem into a rock, in a cave on the beach, along with a portrait of his lost love and her horse. The carvings are said to be the work of a local man Joseph Prater.

The South West Coast Path skirts all along the west side of the parish. Walking from Crantock the path leads to a sandy cove called Porth Joke, the name of which comes from the old Cornish words for "Jackdaw Cove": Pol-Lejouack'. This cove is entirely surrounded by National Trust land and virtually unchanged over the centuries. Further along the coast path is the village of Holywell, with a larger sandy beach at Holywell Bay.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Crantock)


  1. Betjeman, J. (ed.), Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches: the South (London: Collins, 1968) p. 147
  • Henderson, Charles (1928) St Carantoc
  • Doble, G H (1965) The Saints of Cornwall, Part 4. Truro: Dean and Chapter
  • Bowen, E. G. (1969) Saints, Seaways and Settlements in the Celtic Lands. Cardiff: University of Wales Press