The first Breakwater was constructed in 1819 to protect the Bude Canal, but was destroyed by a storm in 1838. The present structure dates from 1839-43, and was build by George Casebourne, engineer to the Bude Harbour & Canal Company. The low wall with its sloping seaward side stands only 4 ft above the high water mark of Spring tides.
Bude is said to have originated at Chapel Rock, where a Chapel was built in the Midle Ages. This hermitage, dedicated to the Holy Trinity and St. Michael in 1400, housed a light that was used to guide vessels safely into the harbour.
Bude’s name, originally recorded as ‘Bede’s Haven’, is thought by some to be derived from ‘bede’, ahold Saxon word for ‘prayer’.
On the seaward side of Chapel Rock is Tommy’s Pit, Bude’s first bathing pool. Originally for gentlemen only, on the payment to the attendant of 2d, the ladies were confined a safe distance away at ‘Maer Ladies Bathing Beach’, present day Crooklets Beach.
Barrel Rock stretches out to sea and is so called after its beacon, a barrel supported on a metal pole. This is used to guide shipping around this dangerous rock.