The Ghost of Godolphin House – The Life & Death of Margaret Godolphin

It’s a familiar story . . . an isolated and ancient country house where a ghostly figure is said to haunt the corridors and glide through the moonlit gardens. This particular version takes place at Godolphin, one of Cornwall’s best-known manor houses and involves the Godolphin family who once lived there and were amongst the […]

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Golden Manor, Probus – A Tale of Intrigue, Religious Persecution & Martyrdom

The hamlet of Golden near Probus consists of little more than a farm and a Tudor manor house. Tucked away down a narrow dead-end road at first glance there seems little reason to visit. In fact, I was only drawn there by chance having seen a medieval ‘chapel’ marked on the OS map. Stepping out […]

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Hunting for Cornish Sea Monsters – the Legend of the Morgawr

Legends of sea serpents and strange creatures from the deep are found across the globe. In Cornwall, a region surrounded by water, those stories of sea monsters date back hundreds of years. But it appears that there have been certain periods in history and certain locations where sightings have been much more frequent. This article […]

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The Death of Sir Francis Basset & the Dunstanville Memorial, Carn Brea

When Francis Basset, Baron de Dunstanville, died in Knightsbridge in London in 1835 he was one of the wealthiest landowners in Cornwall and the head of one of its most ancient families. There had been Bassets in Cornwall for nearly 900 years and his death came as a shock to his friends and family and […]

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Owen Phippen – Captured by Barbary Pirates, Buried in Truro Cathedral

For over 300 years Barbary pirates preyed upon the coasts of the south west of England. Thousands of the ordinary folk were taken captive and held for ransom or sold as slaves in markets in North Africa. Those most at risk were fishermen and merchant sailors whose unarmed boats made easy targets, as Owen Phippen, […]

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Saints, Kings & Mermaids – Discovering Breage’s Medieval Wall Paintings

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In medieval Cornwall, as in the rest of Britain, the majority of ordinary folk were unable to read and write. Bible stories and Christian teachings were learnt and understood through oral repetition in church services, watching religious plays such as the Ordinalia and through colourful, attention-grabbing wall paintings. While most of these ancient murals have […]

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Neolithic Greenstone Axe ‘Factory’, Polstrong Valley, Camborne

Much of prehistory is a complete mystery to us. There are so many unanswered questions. Practically everything we know about the Neolithic comes from the few objects that have survived the intervening centuries, and how we have subsequently interpreted those finds. But if we had to choose just one object to be the iconic symbol […]

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Electric Cornwall – Street Lighting Powered by Pilchards

https://www.flickr.com/photos/elsaw/16024303526/

According to local legend in 1895 Mevagissey became the first place in Cornwall, maybe even one of the first places in the UK, to have electric street lighting. Amazingly the harbour’s new power station was run entirely on pilchard oil. But this innovation is actually less surprising once you learn that this small fishing community […]

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Memories of a South Crofty Miner

When South Crofty tin mine closed in 1998 a gaping hole was left in our community, not only for the miners and their families but for the whole of Cornwall. It was the end of an era. In recent years the Canadian company, Strongbow Exploration, has made positive steps towards re-opening this iconic mine. But […]

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