September 26, 2022

Falmouth Black Rock History

By Lisa Plummer
Falmouth Black Rock History

Black Rock is a maritime beacon in the entrance to Falmouth Harbour, it sits in sight of both Pendennis Castle and St. Mawes Castle roughly in the middle of the harbour. 

The history of Black Rock suggests that building of the beacon began after the completion of St. Anthony's lighthouse in 1834, there is a natural outcrop of rocks that were a potential danger to shipping and therefore needed some form of warning.

Initially the beacon had been a large elm secured into the rock by molten lead with a red pennant being flown from the pole.

The modern conical beacon in 37 feet tall, secured 6 feet down into the rock base. Known to sailors and visitors alike this piece of Falmouth and Cornish history is older than most of Falmouth itself.

Black Rock in it's time has been passed by many phases in history including the Packet Ships that regularly travelled between Falmouth and Australia, making the port a famous communication centre for news between London and the world.

Round the World Yachtsmen and women have passed Black Rock on departure and arrival back into Falmouth including Sir Robin Knox-Johnston arriving back into Falmouth in 1969 following his solo non stop sail around the globe. 

In 2004 Dame Ellen MacArthur left Falmouth and became the fastest person to circumnavigate the world single handed.

In 2006 a light was added to Black Rock, lighting it up for the first time in 169 years, visable from 3 miles distant.