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
Every Sunday this summer you can enjoy what has to be one of the most outstanding views on the Cornish coast.
The Gribbin Head Daymark is very striking. Its outline can be seen for literally miles, both inland and of course out to sea. That is after all the whole point. Continue reading
Yes I am aware that Stonehenge is not in Cornwall. However firstly I had such a wonderful experience that I wanted to share it and secondly I could find out very little information about the proceedings before I went so I thought that anyone thinking of going another year might like to read my top tips!
So this is it – the season has rolled round again and we are now heading towards Autumn and ultimately Winter. Not the best thought when we are all just getting used to the sun on our shoulders and the sand between our Cornish toes. Continue reading
There is nothing quite like a steam train! And there is no steam train quite like the Tornado! So when I had the chance to climb abroad I didn’t need to be asked twice.
The Tornado is the first steam train to be built in the UK since the 1960s, it was completed in 2009 with all new parts (apart from 3 bits) and so it actually testament to some really awesome old school British engineering. Continue reading
Whatever the time of year I love the moors. Whether it is in the depths of winter when the air is sharp with cold, one of those days the wind tugs at you and takes your breath away or at the height of a bright blue-skied summers day. Then its a very different place, you can hear the heat coming from the stones and the grass cracks under your feet.
Watching the cloud shadows moving across those wide empty spaces, that is where I feel really at peace. But of course these are not really empty spaces and each time I visit I find another new reason to go back.