The Lizard

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Coordinates: 50°02′N 5°11′W / 50.033°N 5.183°W / 50.033; -5.183

The Lizard is a peninsula in south Cornwall, United Kingdom. The most southerly point of the British mainland is near Lizard Point at OS grid reference SW701115.

Lizard village, the most southerly village on the British mainland, is in Landewednack, the most southerly civil parish.

The peninsula measures approximately 14 miles (23 km) x 14 miles (23 km). It is situated southwest of Falmouth ten miles (16 km) east of Penzance[1][2].

The name 'Lizard' is most probably a corruption of the Cornish name 'Lys Ardh', meaning 'high court';[3] it is purely coincidental that much of the peninsula is composed of a rock called serpentinite. The Lizard peninsula's original name may have been the Celtic name 'Predannack' ("British one") as during the Iron Age (Pytheas c. 325 BC) and Roman period, Britain was known as Pretannike (in Greek) and as Albion (and Britons the 'Pretani').[4]

The Lizard's coast is particularly hazardous to shipping and the seaways round the peninsula were historically known as the 'Graveyard of Ships' (see below). The Lizard Lighthouse was built at Lizard Point in 1752 and the RNLI operates The Lizard lifeboat station.


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