Once in a century Marazion boat landing and sea defence regeneration to begin

Two significant and interlinked projects are scheduled to begin on 5th September. These are to repair part of Marazion’s sea defences to protect key infrastructure and redevelop Gwelva boat landing to meet current and future boating needs for island residents and visitors to St Michael’s Mount. 

The raised platform or ‘toe’ forms part of the area’s important sea defences that leads to Gwelva boat landing and sits in front of a Marazion’s seawall. A section of it that runs between The Godolphin and Gwelva boat landing has been damaged and requires replacement. 

St Aubyn Estate’s CEO, Harvey Thomas, said: 

“Marazion’s Maypole Garden sits above the damaged section of the ‘toe’. This is where Western Power Distribution’s main electricity supply and substation are located and South West Water’s main sewer is also nearby. Carrying out these works is part of St Aubyn Estates’ ongoing repair programme and works will help protect part of Marazion’s key power and water infrastructure”

Alongside this, the National Trust will be improving the Gwelva boat landing which was originally constructed in the early 1900s as the landing point for twice-daily postal deliveries to St Michael’s Mount and an improved boat service for island residents.  

Over the subsequent 100 years, Gwelva has been the subject of numerous improvements, the last of which was over 40 years ago. This work will see the landing site raised in height to enable it to be used for longer on each tide and doubled in width to improve safety. 

Marazion-based Cornish Heritage Builders will be undertaking both projects on behalf of St Aubyn Estates and the National Trust respectively. The project is expected to take 9 months** to complete with 111 working days available to the builders during that period. 

Mr Thomas added: 

“Planning permission and Marine Management Organisation licence to undertake both projects were granted in 2019. Work can only be carried out between 8 am and 5 pm on weekdays. These projects are complex, and we are at the mercy of the tide and weather, however, we envisage the work will be completed by mid-May.  

“Offsite works actually began in 2019 and onsite works were due to commence in 2020, but we were delayed due to Covid. In 2019 we held a number of community engagement sessions and due to the time that has lapsed we will hold a further drop in session on the 16th August where plans will be available to review and the key project team on hand to answer questions”

“We appreciate that this vital work will cause some disruption and inconvenience, which we will strive to keep to a minimum while we complete these important improvements that we hope will serve the town and island for many years to come”

Marazion School has been invited to create a time capsule to be built into the new boat landing. Pupils will be encouraged to find items to fill the time capsule to represent life in 2022 to delight and intrigue a future generation when the Gwelva boat landing is next redeveloped. 

**Update, June 2023** As works to upgrade the Gwelva Landing progressed, it became evident that the condition of the existing landing was significantly worse than expected.  As a consequence, additional works are needed to make the landing fit for purpose. These additional works required consent from the Marine Management Organisation. That consent has now been granted. The revised anticipated completion date of this important project is December 2023.

For more detailed information about the projects, please click here


  • The ‘toe’ sea defence and adjacent beach at Marazion are owned by St Aubyn Estates.
  • The Gwelva boat landing forms part of the gift of land and property in the 1950s from the St Aubyn family to the National Trust. As part of that gift, the St Aubyn family created an Endowment Fund for the upkeep of the island and its infrastructure. Today, the National Trust and the St Aubyn family manage St Michael’s Mount in partnership. The Gwelva boat landing redevelopment will be funded by the Endowment Fund.