Chapel of St Nicholas

St Nicholas' Chapel

St Nicholas Chapel is a simple one-roomed granite building perched on top of St Ives Island, an ancient promontory fort and birdwatchers paradise (which isn't in fact an island at all!).

St Nicholas' Chapel on the Island
St Nicholas' Chapel on the Island

It is not only birdwatchers that have been attracted to the island's unique, exposed location. St Nicholas Chapel, which dates back to Medieval times, was for many years used by 'Preventative Men' to keep watch for smugglers, for whom the island was the perfect landing place for contraband.

Falling into disuse the chapel was used for several years as storage by the War Office, who, not realising it's historic significance, partially demolished it in 1904. Luckily, a public outcry led to the restoration of St Nicholas Chapel in 1911.