But luckily, while I visited Roche Rock, there was a blue winter's sky and the dangers had dissolved in the sunshine.
Okay what we know about Roche Rock is that a small chapel, or maybe a hermitage, has been built on natural rocks. Many say that these rocks are granite, but they are wrong. They are a mixture of grey quartz and black tourmaline. They are very strong and have supported the chapel since the 1400s - the chapel was dedicated to St.Michael in 1409. The rocks themselves are a little bit older - they were created some 270 million years ago!
Around the Rock is one of the last areas of heath-land locally. It probably looks much as it did a thousand or more years ago.
'll mention some of the stories and myths about Roche Rock another day. But below is an old picture of Roche Rock together with a description (in old English) by John Norden in 1584:
A verie high, steepe and craggie rocke, upon the top whereof is placed a cell or hermitage, the walls whereof are partly wrowghte, and that with great labour, out of obdurate rock. It standeth upon the wylde Moares, farr from common societie"
Also see Roche Rock Stories
Fascinating! It looks as if it has held its own over the years. I can't tell by the angle but can you actually climb up close enough to touch the structure? I'm looking forward to more posts on this one! Very interesting!ReplyDelete
Thanks Ann. There used to be a metal ladder up to the chapel, and from there I managed to get to the very top of the chapel. I snapped a photo from there. Not really something I should have done!Delete
Wonderful story Mike of an extraordinary place - Thanks for pointing it out - so much to discover in Cornwall!ReplyDelete
Thank you Christine, it was a perfect day for photos with the blue sky. I don't think that many people visit Roche Rock.Delete
The ladder is still there and sturdy as of August 2021, as is the 2nd ladder leading out to the top of the rocks. I went up but wasn't brave enough to leave the safety of the doorway on to the top of the rocks themselves. A beautiful site. Glad I visited.Delete
Thanks Simon, I haven't been to the top of the ladders for a couple of years. I remember looking across to the Roche church when at the top.Delete
Fascinating story backed up by your usual high quality images.ReplyDelete
Thank you David, I find these sort of places very interesting to visit. There seems to always be legends and stories to go with them.Delete
Thank you for your visit. Have a good day.ReplyDelete
What a fascinating topic, Mike and wonderful photos accompanying it.ReplyDelete
Thank you Prue. There are several legends and stories about Roche Rock, always interesting to read them.Delete
My ancestors lived in and around Roche.I visited Roche Rock a few years back and climbed the ladder spotting the word "BEST" on one of the rungs. Is there any history on when the ladder was erected and by whom?ReplyDelete
Are there any Best's still living around Roche?
Murray Best Launceston Tasmania Australia.
Great story Mike. keep up the good work
Please note Caro's comment below.Delete
Hi, my great great grandfather erected the ladders at Roche rock. He was born in Roche in 1853 and died there in 1938. He was a builder/stone mason called William Roberts.ReplyDelete
Thank you Caro, very interesting and answers Unknown's question above. Thanks so much for the information. Best wishes.Delete
I came over from your twitter post. What a lovely ancient chapel and a beautiful day. I've never been the Cornwall, but your cover shot kind of reminds me of Skye.ReplyDelete
Hello Jeff Cornwall is full of mystery and traditions that stretch back a long way. Thanks for your visit, all good wishes.Delete