It all began back on 2014 when WildWorks made history. Over 5000 people joined in their commemoration of the centenary of the beginning of WW1 by remembering the community’s lost men in a powerful dawn ‘til dusk performance. That performance was called 100: The Day Our World Changed and took place at the Lost Gardens of Heligan.
Figgy Dowdy had a well
On top of Carn Marth hill
She locked it up night and day
Lest people carry the water away!
Carn Marth is the highest of a range of hills that stretch from Gwennap to Camborne. Rising 757ft (230m) above the village of Lanner, it is riddled with quarries and old mine workings. Carn Marth was once a place of refuge in the Bronze Age and the site of one of the beacons that used to be lit across Cornwall in times of war or celebration.
Cornwall is blessed with a long and fascinating history. Although visitors are often drawn to the county by the so called ‘Poldark effect’ many more are also seeking out our enigmatic prehistoric monuments. I wanted to take a look at the hidden threat to this precious heritage.
Cornwall has some of the oldest prehistoric sites in England. The rolling landscape is dotted with hundreds of stone circles, cairns and quoits, some predating the Egyptian pyramids. Continue reading
In Cornwall the landscape around us is alive with stories. As a people we seem to have always formed a close relationship with the natural geology that surrounds us. Here it is nearly impossible for a rock to be just a rock! There is always a tale attached and sometimes more than one!
Men-amber rock is a large natural granite outcrop on the summit of a hill near the hamlet of Nancegollan. It’s name probably derives from the Cornish men-an-bar meaning ‘stone on top’. Continue reading
The aim of this blog from the beginning has been to throw some light onto the lesser known places, stories and people of this fascinating county. And today was one of those days when I felt particularly blessed to have been born here. Cornwall is overflowing with legends and mysterious traditions – some of which are just being rediscovered.
In the 1980s an ancient well was uncovered close to Men-an-tol, hidden in the undergrowth just off the track that leads from that famous ancient monument to the Nine Maidens Downs. In fact it was so I am told discovered by Craig Weatherhill when he literally fell in it!
Venton Bebilbell, (also known as Fenton Bebilbell) which translates as ‘well of the little people’, had been practically forgotten since it was last mentioned by the historian A K Hamilton Jenkin in the 1930s but these days this ancient site is finding a new place in people’s lives.
This week saw the opening of a new major exhibition at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Telling the story of the famously unsinkable ship, the Titanic, the exhibition takes a fresh look at the facts and the myths behind this endlessly fascinating event.
Titanic was meant to be the ship that even God couldn’t sink but on the night of the 14th April 1912 history was made. It was the huge vessels maiden voyage from Southampton to New York but when she stuck an iceberg an estimated 1496 passengers and crew lost their lives. Continue reading
It is damp and dreary but I have been looking forward to today for months so I was going to be put off. Walking up the granite steps into the museum I was immediately stuck by how bright everything looks. And how busy, my favourite little museum had really come alive!
I have been going to the Royal Cornwall Museum since the 1980s. I think every person I know who went to school in Cornwall has been taken to see the Egyptian mummy at some point. Since those school trips I have continued to visit regularly, to use the library, to hunt down an object I have read about or to attend a talk. But today really felt like a new chapter.
The hard work of the past few months has paid off. All the familiar displays have been Continue reading
I read recently that Bodmin Moor is less popular with visitors than Dartmoor because it has so few marked footpaths. There are numerous ‘routes’ across the moor but they are far less worn by foot traffic and in most cases not marked at all. But this is one of the reasons I and many others find this place so alluring. Continue reading
The Darley Oak is thought to be 1000 years old.
Lets put that into perspective, when this ancient tree was just an acorn the Normans hadn’t invaded yet and the Domesday Book hadn’t been written. Continue reading
It is romantic to think of a photograph as a snapshot of a world that would otherwise be lost to us. However the Gibson family’s enormous collection of photographs of Cornwall is so much more than a romanticised version of the past. Continue reading