The Manacles

The Manacles
The Manacles (Carn-du and Moen Voes) looking south west towards Coverack

The Manacles are a set of treacherous rocks off The Lizard peninsula in Cornwall close to Porthoustock, which is a popular spot for diving due to the shipwrecks around them. The name derives from the Cornish (men eglos) for 'church stone', the top of St Keverne church being visible from the area.

The rocks extend about 1 nautical mile east and south east of Manacle Point.[1] They consist of many submerged rocks and several groups of rocks that break the surface, although some only do so at low water. The Middle Manacles in the north consist of Maen Chynoweth (or Morah), Chyronos, Maen Gerrick and the Gwinges, the eastern group has Vase Rock and Pen Vin, the large group in the centre include the Minstrel Rock, Carn-dhu, Maen Voes (the Voices) and the Quants and Maen Land is in the south-west.

Many of the well-known wrecks are in the central group where depths are less than 6 metres for an area of 300 metres by 200 metres. These wrecks include:

  • HMS Primrose, an 18-gun Cruizer class brig-sloop, sank on 21 June 1809, with only 1 of the 126 on board surviving.
  • SS Mohegan sank on 14 October 1898 with 106 fatalities
  • Spyridon Vagliano, a Greek steamer carrying grain from Novorossijsk to Falmouth sank on 8 February 1890 with the loss of 14 of the 22 crew.

The John carrying 263 emigrants to Canada, sank on the Maen Land in May 1855, only 86 survived.


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey. One-inch Map of Great Britain; Sheet 190: Truro and Falmouth; revised 1958. N.B. not "Manacles Point"

External links

Coordinates: 50°02′41″N 5°02′46″W / 50.04462°N 5.04616°W / 50.04462; -5.04616

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