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St. Michael's Mount, Marazion, Cornwall, United Kingdom

St. Michael's Mount, Marazion, Cornwall, United Kingdom (Known places)

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St Michael's Mount (Cornish: Karrek Loos y'n Koos) is a tidal island located 366 m (400 yd) off the Mount's Bay coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is united with Marazion by a man-made causeway, passable only at mid to low tide, made of granite setts. The island exhibits a combination of slate and granite.

Its Cornish language name — literally, "the grey rock in the wood" — may represent a folk memory of a time before Mount's Bay was flooded. Certainly, the Cornish name would be an accurate description of the Mount set in woodland. Remains of trees have been seen at low tides following storms on the beach at Perranuthnoe, but radiocarbon dating established the submerging of the hazel wood at about 1700 (320 years ago) BC. The chronicler John of Worcester relates under the year 1099 (921 years ago) that St. Michael's Mount was located five or six miles from the sea, enclosed in a thick wood, but that on the third day of the nones of Nov. the sea overflowed the land, destroying many towns and drowning many people as well as innumerable oxen and sheep; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records under the date 11 Nov. 1199 (821 years ago), "The sea-flood sprung up to such a height, and did so much harm, as no man remembered that it ever did before". The Cornish legend of Lyonesse, an ancient kingdom said to have extended from Penwith toward the Isles of Scilly, also talks of land being inundated by the sea.

In prehistoric times, St. Michael's Mount may have been a port for the tin trade, and Gavin de Beer made a case for it to be identified with the "tin port" Ictis/Ictin mentioned by Posidonius.

Historically, St Michael's Mount was a Cornish counterpart of Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, France.

St Michael's Mount is known colloquially by locals as simply the Mount.


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