|St. Just Parish|
Shown within UK and Penwith
|OS Grid Reference:|
|Population:||4690 (2001 census)|
|Major Settlement:||St. Just|
|Population:||2835 Penwith District 2000 estimate|
|Secondary Settlements:||Kelynack, Botallack, Pendeen|
|Region:||South West England|
|Post Office and Telephone|
The ancient settlement has a strong mining history and was during the 19th Century one of the most important mining districts in Cornwall both for Copper and Tin. Mines within the area included Boscaswell Downs, Balleswidden, Parkenoweth, Boscan, Wheal Owls, Wheal Boys, Levant, Botallack and Geevor (which closed in 1990) (see list of mines around St Just). Geevor mine itself is now a tourist attraction which allows visitors to explore Cornish Mining heritage (see Geevor Homepage). The boom in 19th century mining saw a dramatic increase in the population of St Just, the 1861 census records the population figure as being 9290, however like other areas in Cornwall the population declined with the collapse in the tin trade in the 20th Century and was further aggravated by the decision of the Great Western Railway to abandon its plans to make St Just the terminus of the London mainline to Cornwall. It was announced in July 2006 that the St Just mining district and the rest of the historic mining areas of Cornwall had become the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site
For the purposes of local government classification St Just is a town and elects a Mayor every 12 months from among the St Just Town Council. The St Just Town Council was created following the re-structuring of English Local Government in 1974, St Just being previously an Urban District Council. Principal Local government functions are now undertaken by Penwith District Council and the Cornwall County Council.
St Just has a healthy artistic scene including the several times televised Kurt Jackson. St Just is home to the popular Lafrowda festival a 7 day community and arts celebration. A more ancient celebration associated with the town is St Just feast which is held in November every year to celebrate the dedication of the parish church. The feast itself is a 2 day event with a church service and civic procession being held on the Sunday of the feast and a larger scale popular celebration being held on the Monday (which includes a meeting of the local hunt). A description of St Just feast from 1882 follows
"Rich and poor still at this season keep open house, and all the young people from St. Just who are in service for many miles around, if they can possibly be spared, go home on the Saturday and stay until the Tuesday morning. A small fair is held in the streets on Monday evening, when the young men are expected to treat their sweethearts liberally, and a great deal of "foolish money" that can be ill afforded is often spent"
St Just is also home to a 'Plain an Gwarry' (Cornish - playing place). These sites were open air performance areas used for historically for entertainment and instruction. St Just's Plain an Gwarry occasionally hosts productions of the Cornish Ordinalia mystery plays
St. Just is the home of Cape Cornwall Secondary School which serves Sennen, Sancreed, Pendeen, St. Buryan and many other surrounding villages.
It is not to be confused with another Cornish place of the same name, St Just in Roseland.
Nearby, lies Cot Valley. It has a stream running down through it to the Atlantic. The area had been heavily mined, as was St Just. The round boulders in the cove here are of specific scientific interest.