Wednesday, 20 February 2019

The Minack Theatre, Cornwall - A Place of Happiness!

Minack theatre, Cornwall
The Minack Theatre, Cornwall - as the sun sets.
Cornwall's Minack Theatre is quoted as being one of the world's most famous outdoor theatres.  It is a bit special, to say the least, perched on the cliffs high above the Atlantic Ocean.

The last time we went to see a play we popped into the small village of Mousehole first and then onto the Minack. It was a glorious day and when we arrived the sky was full of subtle colours - as shown in the first photo.


The play we saw was based on Zorba the Greek. The words of the author Nikos Kazantzakis have stayed with me:


"We stayed silent by the brazier until far into the night. I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else. And all that is required to feel that happiness here and now is a simple frugal heart"


Anyway, whatever happiness is, the photos were taken on a happy night! I'd recommend the Minack Theatre to those visiting Cornwall.

Strange looking people in masks on the cliffs at Minack Theatre, Cornwall
Characters on the cliffs at the Minack Theatre

Actors singing on stage at Minack Theatre, Cornwall

Singing at Minack Theatre, Cornwall

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Gorran Haven, Cornwall - Photos of Harbour and Cottages

Gorran Haven harbour, Cornwall
The small Gorran Haven harbour looking west
Yesterday's post was about Vault Beach, I mentioned that it was just west of Gorran Haven - so today's photos are of Gorran Haven.

It is somewhere we visited quite often when the children were small, usually on a Sunday. We'd have a picnic lunch on the small beach and the children could play quite safely in the water. Happy days!


The small fishing village is situated within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which gives it a similar status to a National Park.


It is said that the first fishing pier at Gorran Haven was built way back in the 15th century. Later, in the 18th and 19th centuries, it became a small port.


The pier today, as in the photos, was rebuilt in the early 1800s and later, around 1888, was reconstructed.

Gorran Haven, Cornwall and is small beach
Looking east across Gorran Haven harbour
Looking out to sea at Gorran Haven, Cornwall
Looking out to sea from Gorran Haven
Road and cottages in Gorran Haven, Cornwall
The road from Vault Beach going down to Gorran Haven
Cottages and narrow road at Gorran Haven, Cornwall
Cottages and narrow street at Gorran Haven

Monday, 18 February 2019

Comparing Upper Lemon Street, Truro In 1890 With How It Looks Today



Upper Lemon Street, Truro 1890
It snowed in the winter of 1890 in Truro - as can be seen in the photo above of Upper Lemon Street. 

It wasn't snowing though when I snapped the photo below of the same view today. The impressive granite faced houses look very much the same - though many are offices today.


In the background you might just be able to make out a tall monument. This is a statue of Richard Lander, following his death in 1834. He was one of the Lander brothers, Richard and John, who discovered the source of the River Niger in 1827.

It's also interesting that the land for the monument was donated by Sir Charles Lemon - note the name of the road in the photos.




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Old Cornwall: Tintagel 1890

Sunday, 17 February 2019

The Lesser Known Vault Beach Cornwall

Vault Beach, Cornwall
We made our way on the coast path from Gorran Haven to Vault Beach - sometimes also referred to as Bow Beach. Getting to the actual beach is a bit of a chore as it is a long way down a wiggly path from on high. But it's nice and sheltered when you finally get to the sand. Needless to say that there are no facilities - no toilets, lifeguards, gift shops, refreshments etc. which is quite relaxing!
Vault or Bow Beach, Cornwall
At times the sea around Cornwall can have such lovely shades of blue - but it can also get quite murky at times. It's all down to the weather! While we were there it was a magical colour - at least for a while.
Bow Beach, Cornwall
Ah yes, before I forget, I'd better mention that the far end of the beach is a naturist or nudist area. On sunshine days there may well be a selection of bodies in the altogether splashing about in the water or laying prone on the sand. Not always a pretty sight!
Vault Beach, Cornwall
From the top of the cliffs the view looks different when looking east. While we were there a dark cloud started to form and down came the rain! This doesn't always happen, of course.

So, instead of walking back along the coast path we walked to the top of the hill and meandered down the very narrow road to Gorran Haven.

A narrowlane in Gorran Haen

Saturday, 16 February 2019

The Bodinnick Ferry: Fowey to Bodinnick and Return

The Bodinnick Ferry at Fowey
Bright colours in the photos but they were all snapped during the month of January - as you can tell by the bare trees.

The Bodinnick Ferry crosses the River Fowey from the town of Fowey to Bodinnick and vice versa. There is believed to have been some sort of ferry here since the 13th century.

The Boddinick Ferry leaving Fowey
The ferry takes cars, motor homes, cycles and walkers. At the time of writing the fare for a car is five pounds and two pounds for a foot passenger. 
Boddinick Ferry approaching Boddinick
This is often called Daphne du Maurier country. She once once lived at a house appropriately called Ferryside. You  can see this in the above photo to the right of the picture and again, in the photo below - it's the house at the front of the picture.

Du Maurier's first novel The Loving Spirit, published in 1931, was written here along with several of her earlier books.

Boddinick Ferry by Ferryside the once home of Daphne Du Maurier

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Marazion and the Magical St.Michael's Mount, Cornwall

St. Michael's Mount Marazion, Cornwall
St. Michael's Mount,  Marazion, Cornwall
We were in the Marazion and Mounts Bay area yesterday. The main attraction, in my opinion, being St. Michael's Mount. I find it very magical. Unfortunately it isn't open during the winter months so had to admire from afar.

There are numerous stories linked to St. Michael's Mount such as :

(1) It is said that the Archangel Michael appeared before local fisherman on the mount in the 5th century.

(2) Prior to the 6th century the island was once the home of an eighteen feet tall giant named Cormoran. He lived in a cave with treasures he accumulated by terrorising the local towns and villages.

(3) Sea-lore claims that Archangel Michael sat in a great stone chair at the top of the mount protecting England. 
Marazion, Cornwall sign post
Marazion Sign
We started out in the the ancient market town of Marazion.
RSPB Reserve
Opposite the Marazion sign, on the other side of the road, there is a RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of  Birds) reserve.
Marazion town, Cornwall
Town of Marazion
The town of Marazion is very old. I read on Marazion Info that it is one of the oldest chartered towns in the UK. The first charter of incorporation being granted by Henry III in 1257 and this was reaffirmed on the 13th of June, 1595 by Queen Elizabeth I.
Marazion shop front, Cornwall
Marazion shop and cottages.
Marazion is all very pleasant but we like to take in some of the back streets as well, so made our way up Back Lane having no idea where it would lead.
The Back Lane - had no idea where it would lead
The lane had some lovely views over the town and sea.
Marazion town Cornwall from on high
Views from the Back Lane over the sea and Mounts Bay
The weather had turned quite dull but there was a lovely view of St.Michael's Mount across the house tops.
St.Michael's Mount Marizion looking over the houses from high up
St. Michael's Mount  seen over the roof tops
Finally we felt we had to look at Marazion's well, though there isn't much water in it nowadays! It's strange to think, though, that this was the main source of water for the residents of the town until 1879. 
The old well in Marazion, decommissioned in 1879
Marazion Well
Having had out fill of the town we walked along the waters edge. It wasn't a good day for photos but the man made causeway to St. Michael's Mount has some nice shades of colour on the stones. The tide wasn't out far enough to actually walk to the island.
The man made causeway to St.Michael's Mount, Cornwall
The Causeway Leading To St. Michael's Mount - when the tide is right
Not many people in the water!
Mounts Bay, Cornwall
River joining the sea with St. Michael's Mount in the background
We continued along the beach until we reached Coast Path leading to Penzance.
coastal path Marazion to Penzance, Cornwall
The beach cafe was closed - but we had a very pleasant day, and walked a fair distance.
Beach cafe on coastal path, Cornwall
All being well I'll return to St.Michael's Mount in the main season to snap a few photos - when the island is open for visitors.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Lostwithiel, Cornwall: Comparing How It Looked In 1908 With Today

1908 Vintage Photo of Lostwithiel
Lostwithiel, Cornwall circa 1908

Lostwithiel was once the capital of Cornwall. The name is derived from the Cornish Language word lostwydhyel which means a tail of a wooded area


While there I wanted to compare an old photo of the town with how it looks nowadays. But, oh dear, I forgot to take the old 1908 photo with me! 

I still clicked a few photos trying to remember the old photo. When I got home I compared my efforts and was quite pleased that my memory had served me reasonably well.

The photo above is from 1908 and below are photos I snapped. Though the angle is different I did manage to get the exact same buildings. The two houses on the left are now retail outlets, otherwise much is the same as it was - other than the people.
Lostwithiel, Cornwall
Lostwithiel, Cornwall Today
While in Lostwithiel we popped into St, Bartholomew's church. Difficult to take a photo as the spire is so tall and the streets are so narrow - so not a very good picture.
St Bartholomew's Church, Lostwithiel
At, Bartholomew's Church, Lostwithiel
The spire is made of Cornish Pentewan stone and was added in the 14th century. As for the clock, the heavy weights that drive it have to be wound up by hand every day.
Inside Lostwithiel Church
Inside St Bartholomew's Church, Lostwithiel

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Tuesday, 12 February 2019

The Green, Green Grass of St.Mewan: But For How Long?

Green fields at St.Mewan, Cornwall
We were walking along the road to St.Mewan, Cornwall and remarked about how green the fields are. Most likely because of all of the rain we have had.
Farmer's green fields in Cornwall
Green fields, St.Austell, Cornwall
Green fields with a china clay works in the background, St.Austell
Green fields with a wind turbine on the hill, Cornwall
After the green fields came St.Mewan church which dates back to Norman times. The bell tower foundations and the base of the font were built in 1100.
St. Mewan church, St.Mewan, Cornwall

Side entrance of St.Mewan church, St.Mewan, St.Austell, Cornwall

We carried on walking onto the main Truro to St.Austell road - the A390 ...

Road sign to St.Austell, Cornwall

... and then there was the sign below. It's been there for quite a while but somehow it really struck home. This will/may become 60 acres of houses and retail units. In other words yet another 60 acres of green fields will disappear forever.

This probably isn't the place to debate affordable housing, an increasing population, transport links, sewers, roads etc. But, whatever, it equates to green fields disappearing.

Large sign of houses to be built in Cornwall

The signs are there: The times, they are a-changin'.

Road sign to Bodmin, Liskeard and visitor attractions in Cornwall

Monday, 11 February 2019

Polruan, Cornwall : Coastal Views, Chapel Ruins And A Castle

Approaching Polruan, Cornwallby ferry
Polruan and a Boat Yard
Today, photos of a visit to Polruan - and where I snapped the photo for this blog's heading.

We left our car in Fowey and then crossed the River Fowey to Polruan. The photo below is the first of Polruan. It's a small village with one road in and one road out.
Cottages in Polruan, Cornwall
Polruan
The Polruan road is quite steep but this allows lovely views across the Fowey river. That is, if you are okay walking backwards up a steep incline! The good thing is there aren't many cars about.
Looking across to Fowey from Polruan, Cornwall
Looking from Polruan across the river to Fowey
At the top of hill are wonderful views of the River Fowey - and a convenient seat!
Beautiful view of the Fowey River, Cornwall from Polruan
The River Fowey
At the top we find St. Saviours chapel - well the remains.

The chapel was partly destroyed following King Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. It is said that local gentry removed the chapel bells for safe keeping - but the location is unknown. The chapel fell into disrepair from 1572.
Ruins of St. Saviours church, Polruan, Cornwall
Ruins of St.Saviour's Chapel
Alongside the chapel is a National Coastwatch Station, where visitors are welcome.
View of Polruan headland, Cornwall
Coastwatch Station and remains of St.Saviour's Chapel
A view from the top of St. Saviours Hill.
View from St.Saviour, Polruan, Cornwall of sea and cliffs
View across to the Gribbin Head
And, at last, the photo I took for this blog's heading :

Sea and Cliffs across from Polruan to Gribbin Head
Photo I used for this Blog's heading
After having had our fill of the views from St.Saviour's Hill we made our way back down to sea level and had a quick look at the remains of Polruan Castle.
Polruan Castle, Polruan, Cornwall
Polruan Castle
The castle is a Blockhouse and was erected in the 15th century for the defence of the harbour. It was linked by a large chain with a similar Blockhouse on the Fowey side of the river. The chain could be raised to stop unwanted ships entering the harbour - and was last used way back in 1666.
Inside Polruan Castle
Inside Polruan Castle
So, it was then back to Fowey by the same small ferry boat. The photo below shows the view of arriving back in Fowey.
Fowey
Approaching Fowey

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