Daphne du Maurier at Menabilly, Cornwall

For Daphne du Maurier the house known as Menabilly was a home she treasured for more than 26 years. From the first moment she saw it until the day she died the house fascinated, inspired and captivated her. After years of planning and dreaming Menabilly near Gribbin Head in Cornwall finally became Du Maurier’s family […]

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The Cornish Mars

The scars left on the Cornish countryside by hundreds of years of mining were devastating. But fortunately in most places nature has reclaimed and revitalised the damaged often poisoned ground, miraculously creating some of our most peaceful and iconic landscapes. The transformation really can be astonishing. Sometimes, however, even nature can struggle to recover what’s […]

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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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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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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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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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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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Review: Five Million Tides, a biography of the Helford River by Christian Boulton

There are certain aspects of our Cornish landscape that are a comforting constant. The tireless sea, the iron-stone tors and the daily ebb and flow of the tidal rivers. Cliché or not, they are familiar, like old friends. This is not to say that any of these things are static, on the contrary, they are […]

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St Agnes Beacon

The view from St Agnes Beacon is breath-taking. The high moorlands, heather and gorse clad; steep valleys and bubbling streams; the bracing winds and the infinite variety of land and seascape . . . S H Burton, 1955 The view from the top of St Agnes Beacon is one of the most impressive in Cornwall. […]

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