Smeaton’s Pier

Every time I head in to St Ives I cannot get over the colours of the water there. This day I managed to time it right so that the tide was in the harbour and the boats were afloat. I wanted to stroll along the pier as it has been a long time since I did that and get a little closer to the lighthouse on the end.

View of the harbour and pier from the Malakoff

Smeaton’s Pier is a rubble and masonry pier extending south from the coast at St Ives, on the east side of the harbour’s south entrance. Designed by John Smeaton in 1766 the Georgian era pier was built by Thomas Richardson, who had been Smeaton’s foreman mason on the construction of Edddystone Lighthouse.


Once one of the most important pilchard landing ports in Cornwall the harbour would have been crammed full of fishing boats and the wharf side bustling with fish wives and traders. These days the harbour is still thriving and the quayside as busy as ever but fishing is no longer the main industry here.


Smeaton’s pier was originally 360 feet (120 metres) long with the elegant Smeaton’s lighthouse sitting at the end. However, in the 1890s the pier was extended to almost double its length and a new lighthouse added.


The diminutive chapel of St Leonard’s stood at the base of an older pier since medieval times. The chapel is where fishermen would pray before setting out to sea. It is said a proportion of their catch was paid to the chapel friar on their safe return.

Now it houses a collection of model fishing boats and a memorial to St Ives fishermen who have lost their lives at sea.


When the tide is low the sand extends all the way to Porthminster beach to the north and sometimes you can even walk around the pier to the elusive Bamaluz beach.


  1. Not just the colour of the water but the sky, Jude! Beautiful. That’s such a little lighthouse. Is it just to stop people bumping into the pier?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Reminds me a lot of New Zealand colours down here. The lighthouse is really more of a lookout and navigational aid for fishing boats, so yes. Stops them bumping into the pier 😉

  2. Pit says:

    Fantastic pictures! 🙂

  3. Tish Farrell says:

    Bliss and double bliss. All those blues. They charge the mind and spirit. Lovely shots, Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Every time I visit I cannot get over the colours. The views just stop me in my tracks.

  4. Chillbrook says:

    A lovely day. St Ives is magnificent in the sunshine! 🙂

  5. Heavenly blues! Your camera is really working overtime these days, Jude. Marvellous captures. The lighthouse looks as though it’s seen better days, but is so photogenic. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes there is a lot of rust on that lighthouse, I love walking along a pier and seeing what is going on.

  6. beetleypete says:

    That pier is such a distinctive feature of the town. Nice tribute, Jude. And lovely colours in the sea indeed.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  7. Sherri says:

    So beautiful. I still can’t believe I have never been to St Ives. How hard does it have to be, especially living in the West Country? At least I can experience it vicariously through you now Jude…but I really need to get down there! Having a little getaway near Bude soon with my Mum and daughter…looking forward to that! Hope things are settling down 🙂 xx

    1. Heyjude says:

      Well it is a bit like being in another country down here – SO far from anywhere! Bude is nice, I’d like to explore that area some time. How is your mum doing?

      1. Sherri says:

        Sounds heavenly! I’ve not been to Bude before, looking forward to it. Will take pics 🙂 Mum is doing better thanks Jude. She’s driving now, just short distances. Went through a sticky patch, but on the up and up again 🙂

      2. restlessjo says:

        So glad Jude asked, and that the news is good, Sherri. 🙂

    2. Heyjude says:

      So glad she is getting back on her feet. Such a shock for all of you.

      1. Sherri says:

        Yes, it was a horrible shock. I hate to sound selfish saying it, but I realised recently just how much it took out of me with the worry of it all. But…such a relief to know she is okay and getting back into life again… Thanks so much for your concern Jude… xx

        1. Heyjude says:

          Not selfish at all. I think it is very hard when you have elderly parents to be concerned about. I think my 40s were very stressful with parents and children causing me worries.

        2. Sherri says:

          Thanks Jude…it’s not an easy time but we do what we have to do. I need to come and stay with your cows!!! 🙂 ❤

  8. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Ahh lovely, lovely St Ives, before the season really begins! Have you walked around the pier at low tide? If not, get your tide table out.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I haven’t walked around it yet Gilly. The tide has to be really low, and to be honest St Ives is already busy!

  9. I hope the weather is as beautiful as this when we visit. It’s all so pretty and the colour of the water…fantastic.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Well it won’t be as warm as where you are Carol, so bring a sweater!

      1. I don’t know about that. After a long hot dry autumn we are having a wet chilly winter so far. We do need the rain though. I am looking forward to a bonus summer in UK!

        1. Heyjude says:

          Bring that hot dry weather with you!

  10. restlessjo says:

    It’s just like Whitby but warmer and bluer, Jude. 🙂 Superb shots and my absolute favourite is peering over the rope edge of the boat at the beach. I was on the beach this afternoon, peering into rock pools. Sans camera! Unheard of 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      No camera? No phone? Why not? Hope you escape the storms that are threatened in the east of the country, they should peter out before they get as far north as you. We had a dullish day here, but the evening was lovely and the sunset magnifique. I sure hope summer is on her way…

      1. restlessjo says:

        It’s going to be another patchy summer, I think. Grabbing anything that comes my way with both hands. Greedy girl! 🙂 🙂 (the phone was home on charge and the camera was full to busting from a garden visit on Tuesday- and if I’m honest, I was in a mini-strop at the time and flounced out without it 😦 ) Greedy AND bad-tempered 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          I take every sunny day as it comes. Still need to visit some gardens, the trouble is on a nice day I am out in my garden and still cutting and digging! Almost got it tamed. Just the fatsia japonica to prune and a few weeds under the hazel corkscrew tree. Then I have to tackle the rampant Virginia Creeper in the courtyard! But I shall get to at least one of the gardens on my list before the grockles arrive 😉

        2. restlessjo says:

          Hazel corkscrew! Fun 🙂 I think Lisa has one if I remember rightly.

        3. Heyjude says:

          It’s quirky alright! Also needs a haircut 🙂

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