Chapel Carn Brea

Chapel Carn Brea is close to Land’s End in the far south-west of Cornwall, not to be confused with Carn Brea which is near Redruth. From the vantage point of the former on a clear day you can see all the way to the Lizard and sometimes to the Isles of Scilly.

Alas not on the evening my son and I climbed up there, hoping that maybe, despite the cloud and promise of rain, there would be a glimpse of a sunset. Instead we found some lovely, friendly horses and a view of the airport below. Oh, and this lovely beacon which is  is still lit every Midsummer’s Eve to celebrate the solstice, starting a series of beacon lightings across the county.

The hill is is riddled with remains of barrows. Of the original barrows, there are two of particular note: an entrance grave on the brow of the hill from the late Neolithic period and of a type only found in Penwith and Scilly, and another older specimen, a long barrow dating from the early Neolithic period. It was dusk when we were there so we didn’t have time to investigate, but it is definitely a place I shall return to in daylight.

Chapel Carn Brea is often referred to as the first hill in Cornwall and as such it commands uninterrupted views of West Penwith.  I’d be more likely to say it is the last hill, unless of course you arrive here by sea from the Isles of Scilly!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #62 | Silhouettes


  1. So much history everywhere. I love your first photo.

    1. Heyjude says:

      You can’t go far here without history having made its mark. This hill sounds most interesting and we will certainly return.

  2. Hannah Keene says:

    I’m so glad you included the beacon in the photo. And I’m thrilled that it is still lit once a year. And of course, midsummer’s eve is the obvious and perfect time. Also wonderful to know that it is the first to be lit, and the signal flames spread out from there. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Hannah, it’s an interesting spot and definitely worth exploring. The light was bad so the beacon was the only thing worth photographing until the horses arrived 😀

      1. Hannah Keene says:

        Well you wouldn’t know it from the results! 😀

  3. beetleypete says:

    How nice to be joined by the horses. That was serendipitous indeed!
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      One was so friendly it actually nuzzled my son’s face! I’m not keen on horses, but these were extremely sociable 😁

  4. Tina Schell says:

    Love the large silhouette of the beacon Jude, a perfect subject for the challenge. The horses are an added bonus!

    1. Heyjude says:

      The horses came out so well too!

  5. JohnRH says:

    Excellent. Love the horses.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Such friendly horses too! I usually run away from them, but these were super sociable 🙂

  6. pattimoed says:

    Hi, Jude. Fabulous shots here. So atmospheric. I am especially drawn to your first shot. Beautiful sky, intriguing silhouettes. You definitely have an eye for beauty.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Patti. Shame there wasn’t a sunset though as it would be an amazing place to see one from. Next time!

  7. Pit says:

    Love the photos.

  8. Leya says:

    How great – climbing for one thing and finding others just beautifully! Love the beacon – and the friendly horses.

  9. Pete Hillman says:

    Wow! Striking images Jude!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Pete, I was surprised how these turned out given the low light.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Anabel.

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