St Nicholas Chapel - The Island Chapel
St Nicholas Chapel sits on top of The Island in St Ives overlooking the bay, beaches and out to the rolling Altantic.It is in a stunning spot and well worth a hike up the hill to look. It is a tiny little chapel that can fit about 10 people inside.
A Bit Of History
It is not known exactly when the original structure was built but it is thought that something stood there pre 1434, when the church of St Eia (the parish church) was built in town.
St Nicholas is the patrol saint of sailors, so it is easy to see why the chapel got its name, although it is often called The Island Chapel too.
What The Chapel Is Used For
The chapel has had various uses over time, as well as a place of worship. Revenue officers used it has a lookout spot in the 18th century (on the lookout for smugglers!), and later it was used by the war office who almost demolished it! The chapel was restored in 1911 by Sir Edward Hain (the big St Ives ship owner of the time), and then later in 1971.
These days you can walk up there to visit it and pop inside when the doors are open. You can also hire it for blessings. Whilst you cannot legally get married in the chapel, you can get your marriage blessed there. It is quite usual for people to get married legally in The Guildhall in St Ives and then have a ceremony afterwards at the chapel. If you like the sound of that, you need to contact St Ives Town Council for all the details.
How To Get There
The nearest car park is The Island Long Stay council car park which sits at the bottom of The Island. The postcode for this is TR26 1SY.
From here you can follow the path up to the top where the chapel sits.
The nearest toilets are at the car park and there is a cafe on Porthgwidden Beach. For more shops you will need to walk 5 minutes into the harbour.
Map Showing St Nicholas Chapel In St Ives
If you like St Ives you will love playing it!