The ruin of Old Kea Church

A while back I wrote a series of posts about ruined places. Ruined churches, cottages and farms. There is something endlessly interesting, something that sparks my imagination, about broken down, forgotten buildings. How they came to be there. How they once looked. Who touched their walls, walked their halls. How they fell into disrepair. Old […]

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The history of Carn Brea Castle

There are a handful of man-made landmarks in Cornwall that are unmistakable and unforgettable. Carn Brea Castle is one of these. A tiny fortress perched high on one of our most enigmatic hills it is pretty magical. Carn Brea Castle stands on the eastern summit of Carn Brea hill, one of the highest points in […]

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Copplestone Cross & his Packhorse Bridge, Porthcothan

One way or another we would all like to leave a legacy. For some people that might be their children. For me perhaps it will be my writing, and for my father, well, one of his legacies will be a large piece of granite. Whatever the case, I believe that most of us would like […]

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Cavalla Bianca – an unusual wreck in Penzance

We are very used to hearing about the Cornish taking advantage of bounty brought to its shores by the ferocious sea. Tales of crowds of the opportunistic, greedy, and probably at times desperate, inhabitants swarming over a beached vessel and plundering all they can. Stripping a ship, and sometimes its crew bare, before the arrival […]

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The Mawgan Cross – an Inscribed Stone in Meneage

At one time the area now known as Goonhilly Downs, and indeed most of the Lizard, was called the Meneage. How exactly the area came by this name is the subject of some debate. Folliott-Stokes writes in 1928: In olden days it [the Lizard] was called Meneage from the Cornish word ‘maenic’ (rocky) though certain […]

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The Trenear Mortar Stone – Treasure in a car park!

We already know that Cornwall is pretty special. The sublime scenery, the temperate climate, the precious wildlife . . . the pasties. But in the Bronze Age it was something else that drove the economy. The tin and cooper found close to the surface and running through the veins of Cornwall’s bedrock. And the unique […]

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The Lizard Windmill & the notorious Windmill Gang

In many ways the communities on the Lizard are the most isolated in Cornwall. As wild and as sparsely populated as Bodmin Moor the peninsula has an added sense of otherness and seclusion that comes perhaps from being encircled by the untamed sea. In the early 19th century the Lizard was notorious for its lawlessness. […]

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Real Cornish Giants, where legends begin

In wandering over some of the uncultivated tracts which still maintain their wilderness . . . against the march of cultivation, we are certain of finding rude masses of rock which have some relation to the giants. The giant’s hand or the giant’s chair or it may be the giant’s punch bowl excites your curiosity. […]

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Virginia Woolf in Cornwall

Here we are on the verge of going to Cornwall. This time tomorrow we shall be stepping onto the platform at Penzance, sniffing the air, looking for our trap and then driving off across the moors to Zennor. Why am I so incredibly and incurably romantic about Cornwall? – Virginia Woolf, 22nd March 1921 Some […]

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Gerennius, King of Cornwall & his Golden Boat.

Just outside the village of Veryan, which is most famous for its round houses, there is a large mound in the middle of a field. It is known as Carne Beacon because it was at one time used as a signal point. But beneath the turf legend has it a king is buried. King Gerennius, […]

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