Monday, 28 January 2019

The Mysterious Roche Rock, Cornwall

Roche Rock, Cornwall
As the evening shadows fall on Roche Rock, and it's tiny chapel, the wind howls heartily over the heath-land. It is definitely not a place for the faint-hearted. The ghost of an old tin miner casts his shadow with no earthly presence to be seen ... gulp ...
The mysterious Roche Rock, Cornwall
But luckily, while I visited Roche Rock, there was a blue winter's sky and the dangers had dissolved in the sunshine.
Showing detail of the chapel onRoche Rock, Cornwall
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.
Heathland looking from Roche Rock, Cornwall
I'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"

Old picture showing the hermitage on Roche Rock, Cornwall

10 comments:

  1. 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!

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    1. 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!

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  2. Wonderful story Mike of an extraordinary place - Thanks for pointing it out - so much to discover in Cornwall!

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    1. Thank you Christine, it was a perfect day for photos with the blue sky. I don't think that many people visit Roche Rock.

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  3. Fascinating story backed up by your usual high quality images.

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    1. 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.

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  4. Thank you for your visit. Have a good day.

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  5. What a fascinating topic, Mike and wonderful photos accompanying it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Prue. There are several legends and stories about Roche Rock, always interesting to read them.

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