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.
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.