Mullion Island

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Mullion Island

Mullion Island is a small, uninhabited island on the eastern side of Mount's Bay in Cornwall. It is approximately half a mile offshore from Mullion Cove and its location provides the cove with a sheltered water into which many a ship has run in heavy weather, though not all have been saved.

The island is a mile in circumference and the highest point is 118 feet above sea level.[1][2] It forms part of the Lizard Peninsula 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' and is within the Mullion Cliff to Predannack Cliff Site of Special Scientific Interest.[3]

The coasts of the Lizard were formed of an ancient lava flow perhaps 350 million years ago, and Mullion Island itself is believed to have been was formed by a later volcanic episode.[3]

Plants and birds

The soil is highly manured by bird droppngs, rich in nitrogen and phosphate, and sea beet (Beta vulgaris subsp maritima) and tree mallow (Lavatera arborea) are the dominate plants.[4]

Great black-backed gull (Larus marinus) breed on the island, along with common guillemot (Uria aalge), Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) and possibly razorbill (Alca torda). European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) were also on the island during a visit by West Cornwall Ringing Group on 16 June 2015.[5]


The island has always been uninhabited/ Before the First World War the Mullion pilchard fishermen posted a huer (a lookout) on the island to watch for the dark patch of a nearby shoal of pilchards.[6]

The island was owned by the Robartes family of Lanhydrock,[7] but they sold it to Meyer family in 1920's. The Meyers gave it to the National Trust in 1945.[8]



  1. The Channel Pilot: Part 1 (Hydrographic Dept., 1893), p. 79
  2. Bates, Robin; Scolding, Bill (2000). Beneath the Skin of The Lizard. Cadgwith: Serpentine Design. ISBN 1 898166 09 9. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 SSSI listing and designation for Mullion Cliff to Predannack Cliff
  4. Lawman, Jean (1994). A Natural History of the Lizard Peninsula. Redruth and Truro: Institute of Cornish Studies and Dyllansow Truran. ISBN 1-85022-071-9. 
  5. Grantham, Mark. "16th June 2015 Ringing marathon". Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  6. Simper, Robert (2003). The Lugger Coast. Laversham: Laversham Press Ltd. p. 21. ISBN 0 9538506 4 1. 
  7. Joseph Polsue, A Complete Parochial History of the County of Cornwall, vol. 3 (William Lake, 1870) p. 386
  8. Felce, Robert (2012). The History of Mullion Cove. Mullion: Westcountry Printing and Publishing.