From my only visit, so far, I can easily understand why St Ives has developed as an artists community. The relative lack of development (Tate Gallery aside LOL), the fresh Celtic Sea to wash the cobwebs away, the amazing light, which I'll extrapolate to even when it's cold and dank, and just that sense of being which the town has.
So here's a little collage - as much to use my orphan pics as to add an extra tip to this page LOL
Pictured is the Grade II listed archway which used to lead to the home of the "Portreeve" (a sort of harbour master) George Hicks. George was Portreeve from 1611 until 1624 but doesn't seem to have done anything particularly remarkable except having lived here, unlike one of his predecessors, John Payne (who didn't live at Hick's Court BTW).
John Payne is famous for having been a bit of a local character who was visited by the Provost Marshal, Anthony Kingston, in 1549 and invited for lunch at an inn (which may, or may not have been The Sloop). Over lunch the Provost Marshal ordered him to have a scaffold built ASAP but without giving him the reason. After lunch Mr Kingston insisted on inspecting the new gallows and when they arrived poor John was dragged into a noose and hanged for being a "Busy Rebel".
So the moral of the story is - don't be a character unless you're willing to pay the penalty - be anonymous and you'll live forever as an archway listed by English Heritage.
Don't we just love Google ;-)
No British seaside town is complete without its amusement arcade(s) and here in St Ives we have Harbour Amusements with its usual shoot-em-up video games and fruit machines. It is a little bit more upmarket in that it also has a pool and billiards club attached but the thing that makes it unique is that it is a Grade II Listed Building.
Where the amusement arcade is was formerly Daniel's Boathouse, dating back to 1587, whilst the pool and billiards building is a 19th century double-fronted shop with flat pilasters and cornice as well as a slurried slate roof (according to the listing).
Anyway here it is, on Wharf Road, if that's your thing, but me I just went to the pub(s).
From Medieval times until the early 20th century St Ives was a busy fishing port with the main (so to speak) catch being pilchards. In its heyday this ws the busiest port in North Cornwall, exporting millions of fish to Continental Europe.
The harbour wall was built in 1767-70 by the well-known civil engineer John Smeaton (best known locally for his Eddystone Lighthouse which has been relocated to Plymouth Hoe where it is known as "Smeaton's Tower"). The harbour has been extended since then and despite a lull in the fishing industry in the mid-20th century it has recovered in recent years. The harbour has 60 registered moorings and from late Spring until early Autumn is once again a busy fishing port with the catch now being mackerel.
As well as the working moorings there are 66 leisure moorings, 22 for self-drive boats and 6 for visiting yachts.
The signs everywhere are there for a reason. The best way to anger locals is to feed the seagulls everywhere. You will soon leave St Ives and think it was just a bit of fun to get a great photo of you with an almost "tame" seagull eating out of your hand, but the locals then have to live with their children getting attacked and so on once you have gone. I know I have already written about this under "warnings" but I feel I need to add this here to just to stress that no one will make friends with you if you deliberately feed seagulls. I personally like the birds and appreciate that they have just picked up this habit from human behaviour, but I still wouldn't contribute to feeding them since they are clearly already perfectly capable of seeing to their own dinners.
If you're anywhere near St Ives when the lifeboat is called out, you'll know! There are two cannon blasts which sound around the town. Shortly after, the lifeboat itself is towed into the water as everyone crowds to the pier to watch. Depending on where the tide is, it can take quite some time to launch. You have an even better view of activity on the boat when it returns, as the little tractor comes out to pull it up to the slipway, the lifeboatmen all jump off to help manoeuvre it onto its trailer, and it gets hosed down and cleaned of salt water.
I didn't see them rescue anybody, but it was pretty interesting even without any special drama!