Chapel Carn Brea – Cornwall’s First and Last Hill

Chapel Carn Brea is said to be the first and last hill in Britain.  Just a little south of St Just in Penwith overlooking the dramatic rocky peninsula of Lands End and stunning Sennen coastline, this hill is a focal point in this part of Cornwall, and has been for thousands of years.

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What connects Cornwall, Ketchup & Charles De Gaulle?

I really don’t remember the last time that I visited Lands End, for me the famous point that so many travel to see has been turned into some kind of strange theme park, expensive and overcrowded.  I do however still love it’s sister headland, Cape Cornwall. In the summer it also has it’s fair share of visitors […]

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Rock Solid Love

I grew up in a household where farm work and animals came first above anything else.  Don’t misunderstand me, I am not complaining, I had a blessed childhood with a kind of freedom that sadly very few children experience today.  It taught me not only independence but also the importance of hard work and responsibility.  However […]

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Celebrating the Rather Eccentric Mr Knill

John Knill loved St Ives and more than 2oo years after his death St Ives is still remembering him.  This rather eccentric philanthropist (some say smuggler) wanted to provide for the people he had grown so fond of and to guarantee that his name would be remembered for all time in the town that he made his […]

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When is a Stone Circle not a stone circle?

The names spin by outside the car, Buryas Bridge, Drift, Catchall and then I see the tiny turning that I need and swing the car in, on to the dirt road.  This is the track to Boscawen-un, one of the first ancient places on the Penwith that I ever came to.  That was probably 20 years […]

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Zennor Quoit: Take a walk with me

Driving out of Zennor village towards St Ives there is a house known as the Eagles Nest perched on a crag looking out to sea.  It was in the valley below this house that D H Lawrence spent 1915 writing Women in Love and just opposite its white painted gate there is a track leading out across the downs.  […]

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The Raising of Logan Rock

In Cornwall we have a special kind of geological feature that throughout history has given the Cornish folks bucket loads of joy.  It is the natural phenomena known as the Logan Rock. The word logan comes from the Cornish ‘logging’, meaning rocking and refers to a number of rocks which through some a happy accident are on a pivot […]

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Tregiffian Barrow & the Cup-marked Stone

Just beside the road, not far from the much-visited Merry Maidens stone circle, is an ancient site often over-looked as people whiz by it on their way to have their picture taken at Lands End. Tregiffian Barrow, which is in fact half covered by the road, is a prehistoric burial chamber and is between 4500 and 3000 […]

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Roman Roadtrip in Cornwall

  When I was at school I distinctly remember being told that the Romans never conquered the Cornish, that the county and the people were too wild for them and, like the Scottish in the north, they decided we were best left alone. It is now common knowledge that that is not entirely true and […]

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Ravens & Cornwall’s first graffiti artist

In the winter the Penwith landscape is all the muted tones of grey and soft brown as if the granite bedrock has leeched up into the vegetation. The bracken is burnt black with the cold winds.  It is only when the sunlight spills across the ground that details in the countryside appear. Quite suddenly I am […]

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