Escapes from Helston Prison

Over a period of twenty years at least eight men and one woman are known to have escaped from Helston Prison. Considering the gaol was only open for twenty-nine years in total that seems a pretty poor track record. In fact, while compiling this article I haven’t really come across many other instances of prison […]

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A Cornish Crusader & a fragment of the True Cross, St Grada Church

true cross st grada

The church of St Grada and the Holy Cross stands on high ground above Cadgwith Cove. Surrounded by fields with a view of the sea, it is a peaceful place that can only be reached on foot. Although it has been dedicated to Saint Grada since 1310, the church is thought to have had an […]

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The Three Brothers of Grugwith

Not far from the village of Coverack is an open stretch of moorland called Crousa Downs. This rough ground is a home to adders, thick with knee-deep undergrowth and dotted with large boulders. But hidden amongst these natural stones is an ancient man-made structure called the Three Brothers of Grugwith (sometimes Grugith). In an area […]

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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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The Mystery of Loe pool & the Bar, Helston

Loe Pool is Cornwall’s largest natural lake but the curious uncertainty over its formation and the myths and legends associated with it make this mysterious body of water so much more than a picturesque nature reserve. It may be a haven for wild birds, trout and otters but this lake gathers stories too . . […]

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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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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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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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A history of Church Cove, Landewednack

The Lizard has some of Cornwall’s most picturesque fishing villages. Coves that bring to vivid life the salty past of this almost island. Kynance, Kuggar, Coverack, Cadgwith. But there is one more I’d add to the list. Church Cove. Most people who visit the UK’s most southerly point pass through Lizard village. They usually see […]

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