Come ashore for a castle tour, a taste of island life or to witness a sub-tropical paradise.
Crossing the bay to the sea-bound castle is a mini adventure in itself. Choose to leave the mainland behind on foot or by boat. Walk in the footsteps of pilgrims who have crossed the causeway throughout the ages. Or, when the tide floods over the historic footway, hop onboard a boat and motor into the harbour where trading ships once moored.
To do the Mount justice and enjoy all its different aspects including the journey across, allow 3-4 hours.
NEW FOR 2013
Joshua Reynolds Portrait
Portrait returns home after 200 year absence
On 5 December 2012, one of the auction lots at Christies in London was a portrait of the 5th Sir John St Aubyn by the famous 18th century portrait painter and first president of the Royal Academy of Arts, Sir Joshua Reynolds. A copy of this painting currently hangs in the Blue Drawing room in the castle opposite the portrait of Francis Bassett of Tehidy, painted by Thomas Gainsborough.
Sir John St Aubyn and Francis Bassett were contemporaries, first cousins, fellow MPs and good friends. Family tradition has it that at one point they had a falling out and on reconciling, agreed to exchange portraits of each other. This is why St Michael's Mount currently holds the Gainsborough of Francis Bassett and why, for over two hundred years, the Bassett family have owned the Reynolds of Sir John St Aubyn.
The current St Aubyn family successfully bid at Christie’s for the Reynolds and the original will now return to St Michael’s Mount where it will be on display in the castle’s Blue Drawing Room.
The Syon Seal
600 year old ancient seal gifted to St Michael's Mount by Abbess of Syon
The 600 year old ancient Syon Seal was gifted to St Michaels’s Mount by the Abbess of Syon in 2012 and will be displayed on the Mount during the 2013 season. Found in Exeter during the 19th Century, the seal features an image of St Michael and is clearly identifiable as belonging to Richard Auncell, the Mount's former prior from 1385.
Syon Abbey's long and varied history drew to a close last year and, as the monastery closed, the last Abbess of Syon met with James and Mary St Aubyn and made the generous and poignant gift of the seal. Its story can now be enjoyed by future generations of St Michael's Mount visitors and the artefact itself brings to life the ancient relationship there once was with the Syon Abbey 600 years ago.
Village Walks & Talks
Island Life Today
New for 2013 will be free walks and talks around the village and harbour side of St Michael's Mount. Led by keen historian, veteran tour guide and long-standing island resident, Bob Hunt, the tour will walk you around the island village and harbour side focusing on the history of community life from its heyday as a port with a population of over two hundred to the everyday life of getting the children to school and transporting shopping over to the island. The tour will also take in some of the historical buildings within the village, including two former public houses and the old mackerel smoking house.
Tours will take place Tuesday and Friday at 11am and 2pm, will last for 30 minutes and be free of charge.