DiCamillo Companion

St. Michael's Mount

  • House & Family History: Known as the "Jewel in Cornwall's Crown," St. Michael’s Mount is a small island in Mount's Bay, Cornwall. There was likely a monastery here from the 8th century; in the 11th century Edward the Confessor gave the island to the Benedictine order of Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, after which the English island was named (both are conical shaped tidal islands, though, at 57 acres, the English version is significantly smaller than the French’s island 247 acres). St. Michael’s Mount became a destination for pilgrims after Pope Gregory VII granted an indulgence in the 11th century. The English island remained a part of the French order until the 15th century, when the English king, Henry V, gave the island to the Abbess and Convent of Syon at Isleworth, Middlesex, as part of the dissolution of alien houses that resulted from the Hundred Years’ War with France. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, the ownership of the island passed into secular hands. It was from St. Michael's Mount that Humphrey Arundell led a Cornish rebellion against the Protestant policies of Edward VI. After the Civil War, during which it was a Royalist stronghold, St. Michael's Mount was sold (in 1660) to John St. Aubyn of Clowance. The island was fortified during World War II during the invasion crisis of 1940–41 (three pillboxes from this fortification remain today). In 2010 evidence emerged that suggests that Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Nazi foreign minister, intended to live at St. Michael’s Mount after the planned German conquest of Britain. In 1954, Francis Cecil St. Aubyn, 3rd Baron St. Levan, gave St. Michael's Mount to the National Trust, together with a large endowment. The St. Aubyn family retained a 999-year lease that allows them to live in part of the castle.

  • Architect: James Piers St. Aubyn

    Date: 1870s
    Designed: Remodeled and extended House

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  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. II. p. 246, 1853.

    Country Life: LVI, 672, 714, 1924.

  • Title: National Trust Magazine, The
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: No. 99, Summer 2003, pg. 8
    Publisher: Swindon: The National Trust
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

    Title: In Celebration: The Art of the Country House
    Author: Hearn, Karen; Upstone, Robert; Waterfield, Giles
    Year Published: 1998
    Publisher: London: Tate Gallery Publishing
    ISBN: 1854372777
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Robin of Sherwood" (1985 - TV series). "Coming Home" (1998 - TV mini series). "Johnny English" (2003).
  • Current Seat / Home of: James Piers Southwell St. Aubyn, 5th Baron St. Levan; St. Aubyn family here since the 17th century.

    Past Seat / Home of: Bernard of Le Bec, 12th century. John St. Aubyn, 17th century.

    Current Ownership Type: The National Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

    Ownership Details: Lord St. Levan leases part of the House as a private home from the National Trust.

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01736-710-507

    Fax: 01736-719-930

    Email: enquiries@stmichaelsmount.co.uk

    Website: http://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No