Wednesday 30 January 2019

Roche Rock Stories

Roche Rock, Cornwall with the old chapel
Roche Rock and the Chapel
Today we follow on from my previous post The Mysterious Roche Rock, Cornwall. Following are three legends / stories about the chapel / hermitage that have been passed down over the years.
Looking out of the window of the chapel or hermitage at Roche Rock
Looking through one of the Roche Rock chapel's windows
Tristran (Tristram) and Iseult. Tristran was a nephew of King Mark of Cornwall - in the 6th century - and he was given the responsibility of escorting the King's bride to be, Iseult, from Ireland. This seemed an easy duty to perform but Tristan and Iseult sipped a love potion - well, it's easily done - and the two fell helplessly in love. Needless to say, King Mark wasn't too pleased with the news, so the lovers took flight - and guess where they took refuge? Yes in Roche Rock's chapel, which may have been a hermitage at the time.

There are various versions of the Tristran and Iseult story. In some King Mark finds out about the relationship and sends Tristran to be hanged. Somehow Tristran escapes and the King decides to forgive the lovers - but banishes Tristran from the area, He travelled to France brokenhearted. .
Looking inside of the chapel or hermitage at Roche Rock, Cornwall
Inside Roche Rock Chapel
Saint Conan. Another story is that of the Celtic saint, St.Conan, of the 6th century. He took refuge at the chapel to commune with his God. He must have done a good job as he became one of the first Bishops of Cornwall. He left Roche Rock to install himself at St.Michael's Mount - a small island off Cornwall.

Gundred. One more brief story for today, the tale of Gundred. Her father was a leper.and had to remain separate from the local society by living in the Roche Rock chapel. Gundred tended to all of his needs. Daily she bathed him with water from a Holy Well, about mile from Roche Rock. The well became known as St.Gundred's well and is still there todayThe view from the top of Roche Rock, Cornwall The photo above shows a view from one of the windows high on Roche Rock. This is looking towards the village and church.

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