Bobby Leach – Cornish Daredevil goes over Niagara Falls in a barrel

Robert ‘Bobby’ Leach was a daredevil stuntman said to hail from Cornwall. In July 1911 he became the first man, and only the second person, to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. After recovering from his injuries he became an international celebrity, travelling the world with his barrel, regaling audiences with his tales of […]

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The Ordinalia at St Just 2021 – Plen an Gwari hosts Britain’s Oldest Plays

This autumn something really rather special is happening down west. A trilogy of six hundred year old Cornish ‘Mystery Plays’, known as The Ordinalia, will be performed in St Just in Penwith. These three powerful, biblical plays are the oldest surviving plays in Britain and will appropriately be performed in arguably the country’s oldest working […]

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Legends of Land’s End – Dr. Syntax, Dr. Johnson, Lyonesse & the Armed Knight

The legendary headland now known as Land’s End is probably Cornwall’s most famous landmark. Whether you love or hate the recent development there no visit to the area is complete without standing on that towering cliff top at the very tip of mainland Britain. For hundreds of years ‘Pilgrims’ have flocked to here for the […]

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The Mysterious Disappearance of John Davidson

A strange thing happened to me a couple of years ago, I bought a secondhand book exactly 110 years to the day that a man mentioned in it had died – the 23rd March. The book was The Oxford Literary Guide to the British Isles, published in 1977. I had started leafing through it in […]

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Colvannick Stone Row, Bodmin Moor

colvannick stone row

The landscape of Bodmin Moor is full of reminders of our ancient ancestors. This now wild, rocky upland was once their home, their hunting ground and a source of grazing for their animals but it also held a profound spiritual importance for them. Bodmin Moor, it could be argued, was a place of worship. Alongside […]

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Wartime Cornwall – a Haven for the French Resistance & Europe’s Refugees

On the 15th June 1940, following France’s fall to German occupation, General Charles de Gaulle, secretly left his homeland. His boat is said to have landed at an undisclosed location somewhere on the Helford River in Cornwall before the military leader-in-exile was driven to London. A few days later, on the 18th June, De Gaulle […]

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Penfound Manor – the oldest inhabited manor house in Britain

penfound manor

Some houses are so much more than bricks and mortar. In fact, you could argue that they have been around so long that they have developed a life and a personality all of their own. Penfound Manor is one such house. Described as the oldest continually inhabited manor house in Britain, unusually it is a […]

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Carburrow Tor, Bodmin Moor

“The parish of Warleggan . . . is surrounded on the west, south and east by deep, wild woods whilst on the north it is closed in by the sentinel-like Carburrow tor.” J. W. Malim, 1936 The Warleggan river rises high on Bodmin Moor not far from Hawks Tor. As it tumbles towards the sea […]

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‘Adolf Vinnen’ – Last great Sailing ship Wrecked on Cornwall’s Coast

“There is no sight like a sailing vessel ashore, nothing so eloquently tragic . . . Mechanically propelled vessels have not the personality and even when stricken upon the rocks they do not make an appeal to the heart as do their more graceful sisters of the wind.” Western Morning News, 27th April 1936 When […]

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Dodman Point & the Napoleonic Signal Station

Dodman Point is the highest headland on Cornwall’s south coast, standing at 374ft (114m) above the waves below. For centuries it has held a strategic and symbolic place in the hearts and minds of those that have lived close to it. Once a place of refuge for our ancient ancestors, the point has also been […]

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