Legends of Land’s End – Dr. Syntax, Dr. Johnson, Lyonesse & the Armed Knight

The legendary headland now known as Land’s End is probably Cornwall’s most famous landmark. Whether you love or hate the recent development there no visit to the area is complete without standing on that towering cliff top at the very tip of mainland Britain. For hundreds of years ‘Pilgrims’ have flocked to here for the […]

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The Mysterious Disappearance of John Davidson

A strange thing happened to me a couple of years ago, I bought a secondhand book exactly 110 years to the day that a man mentioned in it had died – the 23rd March. The book was The Oxford Literary Guide to the British Isles, published in 1977. I had started leafing through it in […]

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Colvannick Stone Row, Bodmin Moor

The landscape of Bodmin Moor is full of reminders of our ancient ancestors. This now wild, rocky upland was once their home, their hunting ground and a source of grazing for their animals but it also held a profound spiritual importance for them. Bodmin Moor, it could be argued, was a place of worship. Alongside […]

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Wartime Cornwall – a Haven for the French Resistance & Europe’s Refugees

On the 15th June 1940, following France’s fall to German occupation, General Charles de Gaulle, secretly left his homeland. His boat is said to have landed at an undisclosed location somewhere on the Helford River in Cornwall before the military leader-in-exile was driven to London. A few days later, on the 18th June, De Gaulle […]

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Penfound Manor – the oldest inhabited manor house in Britain

penfound manor

Some houses are so much more than bricks and mortar. In fact, you could argue that they have been around so long that they have developed a life and a personality all of their own. Penfound Manor is one such house. Described as the oldest continually inhabited manor house in Britain, unusually it is a […]

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Carburrow Tor, Bodmin Moor

“The parish of Warleggan . . . is surrounded on the west, south and east by deep, wild woods whilst on the north it is closed in by the sentinel-like Carburrow tor.” J. W. Malim, 1936 The Warleggan river rises high on Bodmin Moor not far from Hawks Tor. As it tumbles towards the sea […]

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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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Dodman Point & the Napoleonic Signal Station

Dodman Point is the highest headland on Cornwall’s south coast, standing at 374ft (114m) above the waves below. For centuries it has held a strategic and symbolic place in the hearts and minds of those that have lived close to it. Once a place of refuge for our ancient ancestors, the point has also been […]

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Trewavas Head Chambered Cairn

trewavas chambered cairn

The headlands of Cornwall often have that ‘edge of the world’ feeling about them, and sometimes they can give the impression of being a bridge between worlds, between land and sea or earth and sky. Trewavas means ‘farm at a winter dwelling‘ and for me this translation really captures that feeling of being on the […]

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The Cornish Witch Trials

On the 24th November 1653 the Mercurius Politicus, a weekly newspaper published in London, reported the following: CORNWALL A witch near Lands End accused, and accuses others. Eight sent to Launceston goal. Some probably executed. Unfortunately any details of this particular case, and along with undoubtedly many others, have vanished in the intervening three hundred […]

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