The Battle of Braddock Down – guest post by Mark Turnbull

Hi everyone! This is a very different post for my blog, not only because I didn’t actually write it but because it covers a period of Cornwall’s history which I feel few people, including myself, know well. But that, combined with the anniversary of the battle at Braddock Down coming up, is why I decided […]

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The Murder of Billy Kinsman – Cornishman shot dead in Tombstone

“A man will go to the devil pretty fast in Tombstone . . . Faro, whiskey, and bad women will beat anyone.” George Parsons diary, September 1880 Tombstone is known as ‘the town too tough to die’. This is the town of Wyatt Earp and the gunfight at the OK Corral. A town of saloons […]

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Emblance Stone Circles

There are over nine hundred stone circles across the British Isles. Roughly twenty or so of those can be found in Cornwall. However, it is almost impossible for us to know exactly how many such monuments were actually built by our ancestors. An unknown number of circles have been lost or destroyed in the thousands […]

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Bedruthan Steps

“All the grandeur of the North Cornwall coast is here . . . It is truly a superb bit of scenery combining grand and fantastic rocks with a sea constantly varying in its blues, greens and purples . . . Those that stand above these cliffs must acknowledge that even Cornwall has not a finer […]

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Star-struck on Bodmin Moor

“The walker in this strange, forgotten country . . . will find that he has escaped into a new dimension, into a solitude and peace that defy the close proximity of the contemporary world . . . it is a wilderness in miniature, full of contrasts.” E. C. Axford, Bodmin Moor The vast granite upland […]

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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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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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