Wednesday, 1 July 2020

The Magnificent Coastline Near Gribbin Head, Cornwall

No doubt I have said so previously but I love the Cornish coast near Menabilly and Gribbin Head. Can't fully explain why but it's special to me.

It was a blue sky day so we decided to go for a walk, parking at Menabilly. There is a farmer's field here in which to park - though you have to put 50 pence in an old milk churn for your stay - a bargain at todays rates! The road leading to the field is quite narrow in places.

Near to the field is a track leading past the farmhouse to the coast. It's a fair distance to walk, but we saw a few friendly faces.

And some bales of straw.

On route the Gribbin Tower is often in view. Finally we reached Polridmouth Beach (pronounced Pridmouth). Only a few people about.

From here we walked east to the next small cove which is Daphne du Maurier territory. This is where she once lived and is also the setting for some of her books. Unfortunately what was her home cannot be seen.

The cove has sand and a view of the Gribbin Tower. Mind you, most views seem to feature the Gribbin.

Behind the cove there is an attractive lake belonging to what was once Du Maurier's home. During WW2 lights were fixed around the lake to confuse any enemy aircraft. 

Nearby Fowey was a port used for the build up to the D-Day landings. Over 2,000 American troops were based in the area.

By the lake is a cottage featured in Du Maurier's book Rebecca. While we were there the house had workmen busy getting the property decorated. I understand that it is now used to rent out to holiday makers.

From here we headed up to the top of the cliffs via the coastal path - certainly gets the heart pumping!

Once at the top the lovely town of Fowey can be seen and also the village of Polruan.

I decided, however, to have a break from taking photos as I just wanted to enjoy the scenery, good to switch off at times.

So here we are on the return journey showing the coastal footpath towards the Gribbin on the headland.

Such lovely views of the green fields and the sea.

Gribbin Head at its best with the blue sky, greenery, and the red and white of the tower.

And here we are back at Polridmouth Beach, from here it's a walk along the paths to our car. A very pleasant way to spend a few hours

See also
Walking to Gribbin Head Cornwall - Daphne du Maurier Country
The Wonderful Coastline At Menabilly - Daphne du Maurier Country

Monday, 29 June 2020

My Cornwall Garden Flowers: 16 Photos


A bit of a wander around our gardens today. Starting off in the back garden, where the lavender has come into flower. It partitions off our table and chairs sitting area. A lovely perfume and lots of interest from the insects.


A climber climbing.

And another brand of lavender.


Fuchsias: always attractive and easy to grow. They are quite happy to stay outside during Cornwall's winters.


Spikey has had some adventures, was in the front garden until some idiot, for want of a better word, threw the plant into the river for some inexplicable reason. But Spikey survived and even flowered - which is unusual. I'm told they only usually flower every ten to twenty years.


Moving on swiftly to the front garden. We are lucky in having trees and a small river on the opposite side of the road.

Front Garden

An abundance of petunias of differing colours.


A neat and tidy fuchsia with lots of flowers.


A young hydrangea and daisies squabbling over who should have the most space.


A few pansies en masse ...


… and a few more self seeded pansies - look at their happy little faces.


Hydrangeas starting to come into pastel shades of colour.


A bit of a gaudy petunia.


And a fuchsia to finish off with.


You may also like:
22 Cornwall Flower Photos
May Flowers In Cornwall

Friday, 26 June 2020

St. Piran, Cornwall's Saint, Was Thrown into The Atlantic Chained to a Millstone

A version of the story of Cornwall's St. Piran* from 1865:

Good men are frequently persecuted by those whom they have benefited most. The righteous Piran had by virtue of his sanctity been enabled to feed ten Irish Kings and their armies for ten days together with three cows. 

He brought to life by his prayers the dogs which had been killed while hunting the elk and the boar, and even restored to existence many of the warriors who had fallen on the battlefield.

Notwithstanding this and his incomparable goodness, some of the kings condemned him to be cast off a precipice into the sea, with a millstone around his neck.

On a boisterous day a crown of lawless Irish assembled on the brow of a beetling cliff, with Piran in chains. By great labour they had rolled a huge millstone to the top of a hill, and Piran was chained to it.

At a signal from one of the kings, the stone and the saint were rolled to the edge of, and suddenly over the cliff into the Atlantic.

The winds were blowing tempestuously, the heavens were dark with clouds and the waves white with crested foam.

No sooner was Piran and the millstone launched into space, than the sun shone out brightly, casting a full lustre of its beams on the holy man, who sat tranquilly on the descending stone.

The winds died away, and the waves became smooth as a mirror. The moment the millstone touched the water, hundreds converted to Christianity who saw this miracle.

St. Piran floated on safely to Cornwall. He landed on the 5th of March on the sands that bare his name. He lived amongst Cornish men until he attained the age of 206 years.

*The name of the saint is also written as Piran, Peran or Perran

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

The Mystery of the Hidden Stone Tablet at St.Austell Church

St. Austell Church

Such busy lives we lead, looking but not seeing. Thousands of people have no doubt walked quickly passed St. Austell Church without noticing the stone tablet in the boundary wall. Okay, it is quite hard to see on the long wall- as the photo below shows.

The stone reads:
Here lyeth the
body of Mary
Harris who died
the 7th June
aged one and

The question is, why did she warrant such a prominent position on the church wall? There are no other such stones. All I know is that she supposedly died of drowning.

I traced her baptism in local records (above) which show she was baptised on the 13th of September 1713 and her father was Nicholas Harris - but her mother's name is left blank on the records.

A sobering thought but I guess very few of us will be remembered in 266 years time.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Walking Gover Valley, Cornwall: Wild Flowers and the Dreaded Japanese Knotweed

Gover Stream, Gover Valley Cornwall

A dull rainy day but we wandered along the Gover Valley. 

The Gover Stream gurgled along happily as we walked and there were flowers, weeds and herbs for company. They all looked quite healthy because of the recent heavy rain.

Gover Valley, Cornwall, wild flowers

Gover Valley, Cornwall, wild flowers

Gover Valley, Cornwall, wild flowers

Gover Valley, Cornwall, wild flowers

Gover Valley, Cornwall, wild flowers

We reached some, what I believe to be ovens, left over from the china clay industry which once thrived in Cornwall.

China Clay industry remnants, Cornwall

We decided to turn round here and retrace our steps, the stream was still making its merry way to the sea.

River, Gover Valley, Cornwall

Ah, but now we came to some unwanted visitors: Japanese Knotweed! It's the plant to the right of the photo below. Yes, it looks innocent, and later will have nice pink flowers, but it isn't. 

To quote the UK Government web site: You could be fined up to £5,000 or be sent to prison for up to 2 years if you allow [Japanese Knotweed] contaminated soil or plant material from any waste you transfer to spread into the wild. 

Japanese Knotweed, Gover Valley, Cornwall

Sadly there is a lot of this knotweed along Gover Valley. It's difficult to eliminate despite the area having been treated.

Gover Valley wild flowers, Cornwall

Moving on we returned home safely!

My wife has been making coronavirus masks. I think she's made over 50 and they have been distributed to relatives, friends and neighbours - whether they want one or not!

Coronavirus masks

Seriously though, masks are now advisable when out and about in crowded places and are compulsory when travelling in buses and trains. Looks like she still has lots more material.


Thanks for the visit, stay healthy.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Happy Memories Triggered by a Fishpond

I was having a mooch around the garden wondering what to do first - if anything!

Then I had a flood of memories from, well, many years ago. I remembered making the fish pond, photo below.

Yes, I know it doesn't look like a fishpond, what with all of the plants on show. I'll come back to that a little later. What first activated my memories were the three bricks: two reddish and one yellowish / whiteish.

The bricks came from northern Germany.

My wife was born in northern Germany and on one of our visits we had a trip out to see where she was born - which was in the house below.

When we reached where the house should have been we found it had just been demolished to make room for the Nordstrasse (North Road). Such a shame as it looked to have once been a lovely thatched house. 

We took three of the original bricks away with us and transported them back to Cornwall. Luckily we had our car with us! We had travelled to Germany via Harwich (about 350 miles from Cornwall) followed by 16 hours on a boat to Denmark. From there we drove to northern Germany. 

So that's how the bricks became part of our 'fishpond'. They now need a good clean!

Now for the fishpond that never was!

On the way back to Cornwall we stopped off in west London to see my parents - so this goes back many years. Our son was with us and he would have been about five or six. Just along from where my parents lived there was a big travelling fair so we had to have a look at what was going on. 

We had a go on some sort of stall and won a prize - which happened to be a goldfish! This delighted our young son. Luckily my mother still had a fish bowl from when I was a child. We were therefore able to transport the fish back to Cornwall quite safely.

All well and good, but after being home a few days I foolishly announced that I would build a fishpond in the garden and it would include the bricks we had transported home from Germany.

It didn't go to plan! The fishpond I created leaked and then the fish died. He never seemed a happy fish (fairs etc. aren't allowed nowadays to give fish and the like as prizes.)

My fishpond became a place for plants.

I tried several times to stop it leaking before I finally gave up. I, of course, should have used a rubber lining.

Anyway, that was all a long time ago but it's good to look back at times. It reminded me of my wife's mother and brother and my own mother and father, all of whom have since died. I remembered happy days when my son was young - to think he now has two fast growing children.

But life moves on.

The plants in the photos are from my garden and the apple tree below was the one grown from a pip. See my post Growing An Apple Tree From A Pip

Apologies for rambling on so long today.


The Magnificent Coastline Near Gribbin Head, Cornwall

No doubt I have said so previously but I love the Cornish coast near Menabilly and Gribbin Head. Can't fully explain why but it's...