Neville Northey Burnard – Cornish Sculptor

In early Autumn 1818 Jane Burnard, the wife of Altarnun’s stonemason, gave birth to a son. Neville Northey Burnard was christened that November. He was the eldest child in the family and is described as being a beautiful child ‘with a head of golden curls’. This boy was destined for fame, excellence and wealth but […]

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The Old Man of Gugh – The UK’s most southerly standing stone

I have been in love with the Isles of Scilly since spending time there as a teenager. I was lucky to have a friend who worked for a while at the Tresco Abbey Gardens and I was able to stay with her for free. A few years ago I went back and spent a blissful […]

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Review of Free Spirits – Rosie Osborne

I have just spent the past few days poring over a new book. Free Spirits is an absorbing collection of intimate interviews with artists based in Cornwall, Paris and London. But this book feels so much more than just a usual compilation of tasteful images and humdrum questions and answers. This is a journal, a […]

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Beatrix Potter in Cornwall

“Down the wooded lanes, around the twisting of the Helford Creek. Between the bank smothered in primroses, up again along a steep hill with the sun slanting through the blackthorns, passed a great old walled farm with high closed gateway, and a white cat basking in the sunset at a barn door high up in […]

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Death in Arizona – how a Cornish miner came to die in the desert

Standing in the oppressive heat of the desert between Tucson and Phoenix I feel a very long way from the green, rain-soaked valleys of Cornwall. It is a vast and untamed landscape like nothing I have ever experienced before in all my travels, yet thousands of Cornish found themselves drawn here in the 19th century. […]

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Wife Selling in Cornwall

Would it surprise you to learn that the practice of wife selling was particularly popular in the 17th century? Divorce was almost impossible for anyone but the very rich and as a consequence some husbands sort rather a interesting alternative solution. This bizarre practice was apparently more common in rural counties such as Cornwall and […]

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The Cup-Marked Stones of Stithians

Something is hiding beneath the waters of Stithians Lake. And at certain times of the year, when the level drops low enough, these wonderful artefacts, carved more than 4000 years old, reveal themselves. When Stithians Dam was completed in 1967 the shallow valley behind it was completely flooded. Nearly 300 acres of farmland and three […]

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The Trippet Stones

“These simple but powerful relics of the past will turn anyone into a romantic.” E. C. Axford, 1975 The moors are my escape. I find contentment there whatever the season, even on the wettest and wildest of days. A few days ago it was one of those sunny days when the fluffy white clouds seem […]

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Meet the Cornish Black Bee

Could the Cornish Black Bee be an answer to the decline in bee population in the UK? The sad fact is that bees are in real trouble. In recent years the news coverage of their plight has become increasingly worrying. It is now estimated that of the roughly two thousand species of bee in Europe […]

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Hangman’s Barrow, Crowan

Some place names can really create an atmosphere and evoke a feeling. They can be signpost to a place’s past. A waving flag that acknowledges some event or episode in our cultural history. Names are, after all given, given by us. And because of this for me Hangman’s Barrow near Crowan has its own particular […]

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