History of the St Agnes Head Lookout


1926 2nd Oct  –  Erected to replace building at St Agnes Beacon in use since 25th March 1914. Landlord Mr George Coulter Hancock.  Ground Rent £5 per annum


Watch – Constant


Communications – Coastal Communication Circuit (telephone) to Perranporth and Newquay Coastguard to east and Portreath Coastguard to west.  Later to Godrevy lighthouse


Exchange circuit fitted 3rd March 1927.  Telephone number St Agnes 20


1940 13th March – sleeping hut – wooden extension completed


1940 4th Aug – observation telephone fitted to Observer Corps, Truro


1940 14th November – protection shelter completed including concrete roof over lookout


1940 2nd December – telephone fitted in shelter


1942 22nd September – Radio Telephone installed by Marconi’s.  Copper disk aerial on east wall.


1951 1st July – watch reduced to occasional lookout and bad and thick weather watch


1972 April – Aerial for bantam radios fitted, later replaced by Westminster Radios


1982/3 – Scanner, barometer and wind speed indicator obtained from local funding – aerial extended by 8 feet


1990 24th May – Used for last incident as communications base


1990 25th May – ceremonial lowering of Coastguard ensign


1990 31st May – Final closure – operational equipment removed.  Flagstaff removed for erection at office/coast rescue store, British Road, St Agnes


1990 Nov – Handed to Carrick District Council as present ground landlord


1994 Feb – Building leased to radio amateurs


2004 – Radio amateurs give up lease – Building empty


2006 June – Area around St Agnes Head and building gifted to National Trust by Carrick District Council


2006 Aug – Lease granted to National Coastwatch Institution. St Agnes Head Group formed at same time.


2007 Apr – Watches commenced by National Coastwatch,  Saturdays and Sundays 8.00am to 8.00pm


2007 3rd Sept. – Equipment removed and building vacated by Coastwatch pending refurbishment by National Trust


2008 Jan – Due to discovery of mundic block in the walls and the unsafe condition of the building the National Trust take the decision to demolish existing building and replace with new structure


2008 June – Planning permission granted


2008 Sept – Old building knocked down and erection of replacement commenced.


2009 19th Jan – Handover of keys to National Coastwatch of new building


Currently 56 NCI stations are operational and manned by over 2500 volunteers keeping watch around the British Isles from Rossall  Point in the North West, through Wales, to the South and East of England to Hornsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire. 

NCI watchkeepers provide the eyes and ears along the coast, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility. They are trained to deal with emergencies offering a variety of skills and experience, and full training by the NCI ensures that high standards are met.


General enquiries
0300 111 1202

Media enquiries
0845 460 1202

[email protected]

17 Dean Street, Liskeard,
Cornwall, PL14 4AB