St Agnes grew up as a fishing and farming community which, from Roman times (and perhaps earlier) until the early part of the 20th century, relied heavily on tin mining as a source of income. With the demise of mining in Cornwall, St Agnes has become a popular tourist destination, offering excellent beaches at Trevaunance Cove and Chapel Porth.
St. Agnes has grown over the years and now includes once small hamlets such as Goonbell, Goonvrea, Goonown.
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Bolster was a giant who fell in love with a young maiden called Agnes. As proof of his love, Agnes demanded that the giant fill a small hole at the edge of the cliff with his blood. Being such a small hole the giant willingly did so. However, he was unaware that the hole was bottomless and opened into a sea cave. Bolster continued to fill the cave until he was so weak that he fell into the sea to his death; the blood-stained cave can be found at Chapel Porth.
Each April/May the St Agnes Bolster Pageant re-enacts the story of Bolster with a number of special events.