Down a long and narrow farming lane in Rosudgeon is a set of discrete little coves known as Prussia Cove.
Prussia Cove is actually the collective term for four smaller coves: Piskies, Bessie’s, King’s and Coules’. The name came from John Carter, a smuggler working out of the coves in the 18th century and was named ‘The King of Prussia’, a name he acquired from a childhood game.
Carter was the most successful smuggler in the Penzance area during his time and grew up nearby. He utilised the cove regularly for his business, particularly Bessie’s and eventually the area was named after him, having been called Porthleah previously. There are several small caves dotted along the coast, with rumours that some were connected by secret passages to the houses above.
Piskies is the sandiest of the bunch, Bessie’s is more sheltered and has more shingle which King’s and Coules’ area a mix of sand and rocks. Bessie’s Cove was named after a local lady called Bessie Burrow (or Bussow) who ran a beer house (known as a Kiddlywink) which may have sold smuggled liquors along with its legal fare.
Around the corner from Bessie’s Cove and past Coules’ is the long stretch of sand which makes up Kenneggy Beach. In the past visitors would have been able to access the beach via a set of steps on the far side, but this has since fallen foul of erosion. Now access is across the rocks at low tide.
Further up the cliff on the left side of the path are the scant remains of Wheal Speedwell. Just path the coastguard cottages (built to try and deter some of the smuggling) is another footpath which leads to an ivy covered brick building. I couldn’t find any information on whether this building is actually associated with the mine, but its in roughly the right spot.
The whole area is accessed by public and permissive footpaths, with the beaches being just a short walk from the car park.
There are no facilities anywhere nearby and access to Kenneggy is determinant on the tide and gets cut off.