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The Beach at Carlyon Bay Development


Real Pictures of what's happening today!

Most recent pictures at the bottom of the page!

Wanted scans of any early photos of Carlyon Bay, please email them.


Latest The Cornwall Coliseum will be knocked down on Wednesday 15th April 2015

Live on Radio Cornwall on Wednesday

 From the Cornish Guardian April 2014 Great local Newspaper.

Published Letters    Carlyon Bay History Pictures

The Beaches. The three beaches that make up Carlyon Bay are Crinnis Beach, Shorthorn Beach and Polgaver Beach, are in fact of recent deposition and are composed mainly of waste material from the china clay industry. The quartz grains are very similar to the very visible heaps inland from St.Austell more info link   Free Parking to beautiful deserted Beach

Summers Recalled Thank you to Peter Browning for the beach shot and D.G.Reynolds a local collector from Par.

Thank you to Dave & Albert Ford for these.

Large file pictures of Carlyon Beach (click to enlarge).




Andy Munro was the first resident DJ when the Lido reopened in the mid to late 70's. He now lives in the USA.   It was one of the first 'gigs' in the concert hall after renovations. (first Picture) Andy on the left at the turntables and  Noel Edmonds is on the right. (picture one) The poster and the other a picture of myself with DLT and my Roadie, who went on to become a DJ at Crinnis after I left for the Middle East, 'Butch'.


15/04/15 Bands played a Smashing tune on a sweltering hot day, as the Coliseum tumbled.


16/04/15 The big machinery has gone but work steadily goes on 20/04/15 Gossips has been nibbled away and all its part have been placed into heaps.


 20/04/15 Goodbye Gossips




20/05/15 gone!



12/10/09 The water blue and warm and the sun is hot.

02/05/04 The Beach as it is today 1.75 miles of golden sand mostly man made. Crinnis rock, the picture on the right.



02/05/04 A view from Polgaver beach, one of three beaches that make up Carlyon bay, this was Cornwall's only official naturism beach which has now been lost for this purpose, one hardy sole still partaking can be seen in front of the Iron fence of the developers.   At other end is the Coliseum complex for a few more days any way. Planning History


02/05/04 Polgaver beach - The Iron fence that goes on for 1.75 miles, every thing on the left of the fence will be built on, but if I understand it correctly it will be in the best possible taste.


02/05/04 The end of the Coliseum complex, it was never considered to be a pretty building, but it was the venue that brought many famous stars and groups to Cornwall. I have many fond memories from down here, this old building can tell a few stories. It's quite sad to see Gossips sitting there with it's windows smashed and this time not by a beer bottle!


02/05/04 I guess this say's it all, out with the old and in with the?, well, we'll have to wait and see. My personal view is that a simple sandy beach would be appropriate for this part of the coast.


 02/05/04 The Stage Door, I wonder how many of The Greats have passed through, Cliff Richards, Blondie Peter Gabriel & Paul McCartney are just a few.


02/05/04 A new heavy duty access road had been built down to the beach and the pedestrian access steps down the cliff have been renewed. There is no access for cars at this time.


02/05/04 The abandoned BBQ shack was once the gateway to the naturist beach. A train used to run a regular return service from the Coliseum.


02/05/04 The coastal walk runs along the cliffs above Carlyon beach and many wild and rare plants grow there. At this time of year the wild orchids thrust their heads above the humble buttercup.


02/05/04 Stunning views of wild Cornwall, a place that has inspired many writers, artists and composers of music and poetry. Alternately, a place to sit quietly and appreciate some of the natural beauty in this part of the country.


Carlyon Bay Just a short distance from The Eden Project as the crow flies.

14/05/04  Results of a 'soft strip' of the old Coliseum building. (right)


14/05/04 The river is being diverted from its meandering course to follow a more direct route to the sea.


14/05/04 The first picture shows the rivers natural random route.  The second picture shows the river flowing on it's man made route to the sea for the first time.


14/05/04 A calm and peaceful early summers day view of the bay.


19/05/04 The demolition of the old coliseum continues, the asbestos roof is being dismantled.


19/05/04 Large machinery grading the beach debris.      A tranquil view of Polgaver beach.


19/05/04 Polgaver, Crinnis and Shorthorn beaches make up The Carlyon Bay Beach.


19/05/04 The natural river bed has dried up now that the diversion is open, beach sand is being used to fill in the old river bed.


19/05/04 Although a new outlet has been made for the diverted river the sea is determined to carve its own shape at the mouth. The natural forces of the sea will make it difficult for man to impose his will upon this part of the reconstruction.


19/05/04 Large holes have been dug along the beach, the purpose of these is not clear, maybe to conceal boulders and other rubbish unearthed during the development. Machinery at rest in the evening sunlight.


25/05/04  The new public walkway to the beach appears to lead directly to Crinnis rock.
The roof of the old Coliseum is now dismantled and the sun shines in.


25/05/04 Road and pathway work.  General view of the diverted river and beach work.


25/05/04 Piling machine being used to reinforce the sea wall, surprisingly it makes very little noise but the sand shook beneath my feet.


25/05/04 Still plenty of sand and clear blue sea to enjoy on this amazing beach.


10/06/04 Grading of  the top soil and sand.  Piling the beach, just above high tide line.


10/06/04 Drainage work along the cliff edge of the beach. Piling now stretches two thirds the length of the beach. 


10/06/04 Backfilling behind the piling using the graded soil and sand from behind the Coliseum.


10/06/04 The beach looking more like it's ready to repel a sea borne attack, than a summer sea.  Safety advice for this summer is to stay away, but if you do visit do not wander too far along the shore line as you could find yourself cut off at high tide.


10/06/04 Temporary toilets have been provided at the pedestrian access point, a great relief for some!


10/06/04 Pedestrian access point to the beach  next to Carlyon Beach Sales Office.


10/06/04 Carlyon Beach with a moderate swell of waves lapping it's sandy shores.


28/06/04 Construction update - lots of pipe laying, and the piling continues.


28/06/04  Demolition of the old swimming pool commencesGigantic boulders are delivered by barge.


28/06/04 Rocks delivered at high tide by barge, these will eventually be piled high seaward side of the rusty pilings. It's going to take a good few barge loads to complete  this operation.


28/06/04 Storm clouds loom over this industrial beach view.


19/07/04 The access road is in place and the Iron pilings now stretch the entire boundary of the site.  Hundreds of tons of rock have now been brought in by barge, there's probably enough to build a good sized pyramid.


19/07/04 To the left and to the right, there's got to be enough steel here to build several Titanics. One benefit of this fence is that it's an effective wind break, if you can stand looking at all that rust!


19/07/04 Don't go walking along this beach at high tide as you may well get trapped between the sea and the piled fence and there no way over it. (the tide is full out here)


19/07/04 The piling comes to an end short of the rickety, but still standing, BBQ shack.


19/07/04 It's still possible to get a view of the beach without too much iron in it, just seaweed, sand and clear blue water. It would appear that this end of the beach will remain undeveloped.


04/08/04 The concrete beach and highway.


04/08/04 Large areas of beach behind the iron fence have now been covered with hardcore.  At the Polgaver end of the beach soil dumping has started.


04/08/04 The soil and sand mix appears to be piled on to polythene or rubber sheeting, this may be a temporary store, and the sheeting is to stop it mixing with the beach sand underneath - well my thoughts anyway.


04/08/04 Seaweed marks today's high tide line, not much room to spare if you walked the beach when the tide was in.  Still lots of sand left to build on - or may be not.


31/08/04 All building is suspended until the outcome of the public enquiry.  Most machinery is idle and there are very few workmen about, only security guards. 


31/08/04 The only action taking place was 2 diggers dragging stone off the beach that had been landed at high tide, there are some 17 more barge loads of stone yet to come.


31/08/04 Clearing the beach at low tide.


31/08/04 Flotsam being cleared from the beach by the contractors, efforts are being made to keep the beach clean.  The public have unrestricted access to the beach, even where the diggers were working,  then the safety guard stopped them to let us walk past.


31/08/04 The beach is quiet, the builders must be wondering if they still have a job, the burger van is deserted as there are few workers to feed. Fast Eddies food bar takes a lot of beating, I stopped off there for lunch and it was delicious.


15/09/04 Large areas flattened out near to the old Coliseum ready for some building. Some of the huge piles of rock are slowly being placed next to the pilings at the far end of the beach. This will make a secure sea wall and will eventually be covered with smaller rocks and sand.


15/09/04 A mammoth task of rock shifting,  The sound of crashing rocks rattle in the air like snooker played with cannonballs.


15/09/04 Away from the razzmatazz of the building work the September sun plays on the sea, reflecting the fact that there's something special about this beach in the heart of many Cornish folk.


15/09/04 Well, this is progress I guess, apparently it will be very attractive when completed, we're told.  (Carlyon Bay Hotel in the back ground)


15/09/04 Wish you were here?


02/10/04 Rocky beach - rocks piled high against the steel piling now covered with a white matting material. Note the high security fence attached to the pilings, as it's easy to climb the rocks and it is possible to drop over the pilings (not a good idea) a huge drop awaits you.


02/10/04 Most of the beach looks like a 'Brown field site' and to a degree, that is what of course it is because it was created from waste mining products.


28/10/04 The sea breaches the piling sea wall, a combination of neap tide and storm force winds 01/11/04 Sorting the tangled pilings and making good some 30 metres of the same.


01/11/04 Showing the 30 metres of piling that was wrecked, it was the section of the sea wall where the rocks had yet to stacked and was therefore more vulnerable to the elements.


01/11/04 The strength of the elements has left the manmade walkway almost sand free. The incredible force of Mother Nature has transported much of the sand down to the Crinnis Rock area of the beach.


02/12/04 Not much happening on the site other then sea wall building, and repairing the damage from the storms. The ripped out pilings have now replaced and rocks are being dug in and piled high. This being the case the beach is a bit of a mess at this time.


02/12/04 Diggers in the sunset.                           All quiet on the horizon.


07/02/05 Not a lot has changed since my last visit.  It's all very quiet with little work going on.


07/02/05 Some rearrangement of the pilings has taken place, it's now more jagged rather then a continuous long steel fence.  Apparently there needs to be a 200 year plan to protect against flooding rather then a 50 year one, rather then as was first through, as the sea levels are lightly to rise over that time. I understand planning issues are holding up work at present.


The Coliseum's frame is still there in all it's glory.   Leave you with sun setting over Crinnis rock


10/05/05 (Click to enlarge framed pictures) Free Car Park opened.


21/06/05 Free car park to this beautiful beach, use it and enjoy the free parking while you can!


21/06/05 The Beach as it is today.  The only work happening is piling which looks as if is to change the course of the river.


21/06/05 Concrete tunnels look like they are ready to form a water course for the river. Most the other machinery stands idle.


21/06/05 At the other end of the beach life goes on much as normal, fishermen land their catch and a hand full of nudists do what they have always done on Polgaver beach.  


21/06/05 Gulls nest happily on ledges of the cliffs.


21/06/05 This area reminds me of the film 'Water World' where you have rusting iron in great heaps with water pouring out of various pipes. It can only get better!


03/09/05 Beach looks very inviting, pictures taken on my circular walk from the car park along the golf course and then from Polgaver to the other end at low tide. The high tide line shows from Crinnis rock and into the distance  touching the pilings, not a good place to be at high tide!


03/09/05 Since my last update in June there have been no major changes, although everywhere looks much tidier.


03/09/05 The river outlet now has large boulders keeping it in it's tracks.  Much of the exposed rusty pilings are now covered with rocks and sand which looks a lot better.


05/10/05 Early October, the sun is warm and the sea is clear blue, sea temperature 68F. I'm hot walking in just shorts along the full length of the beach, wouldn't you like an apartment here?


05/10/05 Scenes like these have inspired poets, and thrilled the hearts of visitors and residents alike, soon you will be able to enjoy all this and then return to your luxury apartment a few metres away.


05/10/05  I understand Restormel Council have granted permission for the completion of the sea wall, hopefully this will mean building can commence shortly, any chance of getting rid of the remains of the Coliseum?


08/04/06 Not a lot has changed since October as everything seems to be held up for the decision regarding the sea wall.


08/04/06 Spring brings out the gorse blossom and blue skys.


08/04/06 The old BBQ hut still survives amongst the gorse bushes. A bridge for crossing the river has been provided for use, this can save picking a path through the fast moving water.


08/04/06 Two beach views on a sunny April day.


15/06/06 The beach is quietly sizzling in the sun almost deserted except for the odd naturalist at the far end.  


15/06/06 This is the picture I should have been able to take today, but everything has stopped until the out come of the enquiry over the sea wall, whenever that may take place.

I am assured that this project will go ahead and will be built.


29/03/07 The beach is still here and looking summery.  More rocks have been placed / dropped next to the piling fence and it would be dangerous to walk the beach between mid and high tide, as you could well get stranded there.


27/03/07 Very little has happened since last June other then more rocks arriving.


11/09/07 Summer in September, the water is as warm as it gets this time of year.

Still very little action on the building front, some hammering on large lumps and  rubble that are in heaps around the old Coliseum, that still stands in skeleton form. Repainting of the sales office may be a good sign of something.




12/10/09 The sea is blue and the shrubbery has grown around the old Coliseum building, apart from that nothing has changed.  I tried to visit the site office but it was closed.


06/10/10 Well it's been a year from the picture above, spot the difference?  Not a lot with the acceptation of more rock and a new entrance for visitors to the beach.  The news and information sign tell the story may be?


06/10/10 The Old Coliseum looks much the same as does the beach.


06/10/10 The beach is deserted except for the odd hardy nudist at the far end.


06/10/10 The rusting security shelter matches the pilings and looks like something left over from the war.  The now steps for entry over to the beach.


06/10/10 The new pathway to the beach guides you past the saddest sight of all, the remains of the entertainment centre, sitting there almost crying out to be but out of it's misery.


06/10/10 The pathway winds it's way to the main road then up to the card park.


10/04/15 Action at last the demolition, starting with the Wimpy already gone.


10/04/15 Nibbling at the surrounding buildings connected with the Coliseum.


10/04/15 Some rescued signs from the old Coliseum around Sams on the beach pop up cafe


10/04/15 A little oasis among the destruction Sam Cafe, love the sign post.

Wednesday sees the big demolition.


D Day 15/04/15 Camera crews at the ready and invited guests sip their beer.


15/04/15 Bands played a smashing tune on a sweltering hot day, as the Coliseum tumbled.


15/04/15 Men in suits had a close view as munching Marther bit through the Ocean Suite.


15/04/15 RSJ's put up little resistance, it will still take 3 weeks to clear the site.


15/04/15 On the beach it was business as usual, just an occasional glance as heart rending crashes were heard echoing from the cliffs. Management tell me it will all be worth it in the end.


Links on Carlyon Bay will appear here!


 Carlyon Bay History Pictures


The developers web site link


Carlyon Bay Watch Web Link


Your Published Letters

Carlyon Bay Camping Park

If you have any view on this subject or old photos you can email

or send for a scan I would love to hear from you!


Copyright  Keith Martin  2004 - All rights reserved