Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Cornwall's Eden Project With The world's Largest Indoor Rainforest - Plus Much More

Biomes at the Eden Project, Cornwall

Today we are at Cornwall's Eden Project on a damp November day - but still some colour to be found, especially in the huge biomes.

We started at the Rainforest Biome which is the world's largest indoor rainforest.

Inside the Rain Forest biome at the Eden Project, Cornwall

Being winter the rainforest isn't quite as hot inside as usual - but is still a comfortable, warm temperature.

Flowers in the Rainforest Biome, Eden Project, Cornwall

Colourful plants linger on.

Flowers in the Rainforest Biome, Eden Project, Cornwall

And below a few of the Rainforest residents.

Birds living in the Rainforest Biome, Eden Project, Cornwall

A waterfall cuts a way from the very top of the Rainforest Biome.

Waterfall in the Rainforest Biome at the Eden Project, Cornwall

Once up high in the biome there is a canopy walkway (rope bridge) where you can walk among the treetops. 

The rope bridge amongst the tree tops at the Eden Project, Cornwall

But everything isn't up high. Below are small fungi growing on the base of an old tree.

Funghi in the Rainforest Biome, Eden Project, Cornwall

A few flowers trying to hide away at ground level.

Now a few pics around the Eden Project's Mediterranean Biome. It can be surprising what's inside. I'll leave you to work out what the photo below is all about!

Inside the Mediterranean Biome, Eden Project, Cornwall

I know I said we are now in the Mediterranean Biome but there are also plants and flowers from other parts of the world - like the Australian Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea), for example, in the photo below. 

This is treasured by Aborigine people as it provides Bush Tucker high protein snacks known as witchetty grubs - often seen and mentioned on the UK television series I'm a celebrity get me out of here.

Once the Grass Tree has died the grubs are harvested as a food source.

Grass Tree, Xanthorrhoea, seen at Mediterranean Biome, Eden Project, Cornwall

And now a temporary display in the Mediterranean Biome from - Africa! This is the CAMFED Garden.

The 'campaign for female education' believes that when girls are educated they can lift communities out of poverty.

It supports girls in rural Africa, enabling them to stay in education, develop businesses, create jobs and deliver prosperity.

CAMFED's aim is to support another 1,000 women led agricultural businesses across rural Africa within one year.

African CAMFED display at Eden Project, Cornwall

And moving on, a blackbird playing peek-a-boo inside the Mediterranean Biome.

A blackbird in the Meditarranean Biome at Eden Project, Cornwall

Outside now with a close up of how the Biomes are designed.

Close up of the Biomes at the Eden Project, Cornwall

And to finish off the post - a very large butterfly.

A large metal butterfly at the Eden Project, Cornwall

See also:
(1) A Flavour Of Cornwall's Eden Project: 15 Photos
(2) More Flavour of Cornwall's Eden Project - 14 Photos  

Saturday, 16 November 2019

The Golitha Falls on the Fowey River and Other Nearby Interesting Places to Visit

We stopped for a brief while at Golitha Falls, which is part of the Fowey River, Cornwall. The falls are always fast moving as they descend some 300 feet.

The Draynes Bridge, above, was built back in 1876, and is made of local granite stone.

There is a story that the last King of Cornwall, Doniert, drowned in the river in the year 875. 

King Doniert's Stone is nearby, see my post: The Ancient Stone, Over 1100 Years Old, Known As King Doniert's Stone

Also nearby are the Three Hurlers Ancient Stone Circles on Bodmin Moor.

And, nearly forgot, the Jamaica Inn, as featured in Daphne Du Maurier's book of the same name, is also within easy reach from the falls.

The Golitha Falls are managed by Natural England and this is described as a site of Special Scientific Interest. It is claimed that there are over 98 rare mosses to be found here and 50 species of liverwort.

Draynes woods, through which the falls flow, is an ancient woodland of oaks and hazel coppices. All in all it's an interesting spot to visit and has some marked walks.

The Golitha Falls are 3 miles north-west of Liskeard and 1.2 miles west of St.Cleer. At St.Cleer you will also find the 5000 Years Old Mysterious Trevethy Quoit - photo below taken in the summer!

Trevethy Quoit over 5000 years old

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

The Witch Tamsin and a Story of Witchcraft

Living in Cornwall there are many legends and stories of witchcraft. One of the most famous of Cornish witches was Tamsin Blight (1798-1856) the lady in the photo above. She was also known as Tammy Blee or the White Witch of Helston.

Blight commenced her craft around 1830. She soon built a reputation of being able to remove spells, which had been cast by other witches. People, especially farmers, would consult her for cures for their animals or themselves.

One of the most quoted stories about her is known as The Ghost of Stythians. This is where she attempted to conjure up the spirit of an old woman in St. Stythians graveyard. This was carried out to discover where a large sum of cash was hidden, by the deceased, that a relative claimed was rightfully his.

ollowing is a description of her actions as described in an 1870 book, Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall. The author was William Bottrell.

St Stythians (St Stithians) Church, Cornwall
Stithians / Stythians Church, Cornwall

She marked out a circle by drawing her staff on the ground three times round the man, at the same time mumbling her unknown tongue.

This done, she said, "Now mind, for your life, that you don't move out of this charmed ring which I have made to protect ye, and if you are still determined I will now begin and summon the spirit." 

The witch, holding out her staff towards the spot where the old woman was buried, began her incantation, or citation, with long, strange words, slowly pronounced. Then she continued in a louder tone, "Spirit of Jane Hendy, in the name of all the powers above and below, I summon thee to arise from thy grave and to appear before me and this man! By the spirits of fire, air, earth, and water, I summon thee to arise! Come hither, appear, and speak to this man! Come!" 

This she said three times, rising her voice at each repetition until it ended in a shriek. 

The witch paused. All was silent for a moment, and then were heard, most fearful, because unusual, sounds, which more than any other earthly noise resembled the crashing or rending of wood and stones, mingled with painful moans, groans, and shrieks, which seemed to come from the old woman's grave. The witch, stretching out her arms, her red cloak and grey hair streaming back on the wind, pointed with her staff towards the place whence these frightful sounds proceeded, and said, "Behold, it cometh; be thou prepared!" 

The book mentioned is available to be read on the Internet for free here.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

The Church at Veryan, Cornwall: St. Symphorian

St.Symphorian Church, Veryan, Cornwall

A while back I wrote a post about the round Cottages At Veryan, Cornwall - Built To Keep The Devil Away but I didn't mention the village church. So today's post is on Veryan's St. Symphorian church.

The first thing we did was to look at the visitors book and found it amusing that the previous three surnames were Black, White and Brown!

The church dates back to at least the 13th century but it is generally believed that a church has been on this spot for much longer than this. The village itself was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 but was then called Elerchi - which is derived from the Cornish language meaning 'swan'.

Inside St. Symphorian Chrurch, Veryan, Cornwall

The font is of a Norman design but may be a medieval copy.

The font has a carved head on each corner.

Carved heads on the font at St.Symphorian churchm Veryan, Cornwall

The photo below shows some of the impressive roof timbers, many of the carved rafters are thought to be part of the original roof.

Wooden rafters at Veryan church, Cornwall

The Veryan church adopted St. Symphorian as its patron back in 1281.

According to legend St. Symphorian studied at Autun in France but got into a bit of bother. It seems that he fell out with the local governor, Heraclius, as he refused to worship the pagan goddess Cybele and even tried to destroy the goddess's statue. He was arrested and flogged but stuck to his principles and was finally beheaded on the 22nd of August in the year 178. The date is celebrated every year as St. Symphorian's feast day.

The photo above is of the village stocks resting against the church outside wall. This is how they would have been used ...

A person locked in stocks as a punishment

Near to the church is a village pond, probably an old mill pond. From here it's possible to walk across country to Cornwall's coast.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

It's The Year 6019 at the Masonic Hall in Cornwall

St.Austell Masonic Hall, Cornwall

While wandering around St.Austell, Cornwall I remembered the Masonic Hall and snapped a few quick photos. The Hall was built in the year 5900 as can be seen in the photo below. Yes 5900!

The date is also shown below.

AL stands for 'Anno Lucis' and when translated from the Latin means 'Year of Light'. This is a calendar often used by Freemasons. 

As I understand this, the Year of Light refers to Genesis in the Bible where God said, "Let there be light." Creationists and many old Bibles give this as happening in the year 4004 BC but the Mason's calendar places the 'event' at the year 4000 BC, which ties in with the often quoted theory that Jesus was actually born in 3 or 4 AD.

Whatever the reason AL is 4000 years different to the calendar popularly used today, so we are now in 6019 AL. 

The hall is of the Mark Master Masons.

The Mark Master Masons have been on record since 1756 when a 'brother' was first mentioned as being made a Mark Mason at the Newcastle Masonic Lodge.

As with Freemasons the Mark Masons have various degrees

So why would anyone want this Mark Master Mason's degree? On literature I have seen they give three reasons.

"Firstly, it greatly enhances his knowledge of Craft Masonry. Secondly, it teaches, in a delightful way, many important practical lessons about life. Thirdly, it gives a greater appreciation of the Royal Arch and provides an essential qualification to other Orders of Masonry."

Monday, 4 November 2019

The Impossible Pie and Gemstone From Beyond The Grave

Recipe for Impossible Pie
A different sort of post today. We visited the church in St.Stephen-in-Brannel, Cornwall (photo at the bottom of the post) to visit the grave of someone special to us. This got me thinking also of my mother and brought back a memory.

When my mother died we came across an old case filled with all sorts of paper bits and pieces she had collected over many years.

One of the slips of paper was the one shown above - a recipe for Impossible Pie. I'd never heard of or seen such a pie previously, but perhaps it is known in other countries.

One of the things mum often said, when I was a child was that, "It's only impossible when you are dead." This would have been when I was moaning about having to do something or other which appeared difficult.

Another saying of hers were words to the effect that everything would work out okay and would fall into place at the right time. Of course, as a child and even a teen, this never seemed realistic.

But mothers know best. Okay, perhaps only some of the time, but like the Impossible Pie things do fall into place in life - if we follow the 'recipe'. It's also true that nothing is impossible.

The first time I read the recipe it felt like a message from my mum.

Just in case you can't read the recipe, here it is again:

Impossible Pie
4 eggs
1/4 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups milk
1 cup coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place all ingredients in blender at one time and blend until mixed together. Pour into a buttered 10" pie dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. When done, crust will be on bottom, custard in the middle, and coconut on top - right where they belong!

Church at St.Stephen-in-Brannel, Cornwall

After I had parked the car at St.Stephen-in-Brannel as I stepped out, the first thing I saw was this beautiful, smooth polished stone on the ground. Messages from beyond the grave? Who knows!

Gem stone found at St.Stephen-in-Brannel

Friday, 1 November 2019

Old Cornish Ghost Story From 1800's

Cornwall 1817

Another traditional story today from an old book, about 1860, written by Robert Hunt and originally titled: 'The drolls, traditions and superstitions of old Cornwall'. I have copied the ghostly story as it was originally written - so hope you can understand the wording okay. Here goes:

James Berryman said, 'Fa-ther took a house doun to Lelant, whear we lived for a bra' bit.

Very often, after I ben in bed, our cat wud tear up, coover its ars like a ma-aged thing, jump uppon the bed and dig her ould head under the clothes, as if she wud git doun to the bottom, and jest after, a man's face with a light around un wud cum in; 'twas ha-af a face like, and it wud stop at the bottom of the bed.

I've seen it many times; and fa-ther, though he didn't say nothing, was glad enough to leave the place.

I was tould that the house belonged to an ould man, and that two rich gentleman, brothers, that lived close by, wanted the place and put on law, and got the place from the poor ould man. When they war goin' to turn un out, the poor fellow stopped and looked round crying, and then fell down in a fit, was put to bed, and died in the house ... and 'twas he, they said, that used to come back.

Other stories:
Bodmin Jail and a Hanging Watched by 25,000 People 

A Story of Superstition From Old Cornwall - The White Hare

Who or What are Cornish Knockers?


Cornwall's Eden Project With The world's Largest Indoor Rainforest - Plus Much More

Today we are at Cornwall's Eden Project on a damp November day - but still some colour to be found, especially in the huge biomes. ...