Tuesday 27 August 2019

14th Century St Winnow Church at Lanteglos-by-Fowey With Connections to King Charles II

One of my favourite walks is Hall Walk along the Fowey River. I'll publish a post on this later in the year. I mention it now as we often extend the walk slightly to take in St. Willow church at Lanteglos-by-Fowey.

There is a bit of confusion over the exact name of the saint. He is also sometimes known as St. Wyllow or St. Wylloc. But, whatever, he was an interesting fellow who ended up being decapitated - but more on that another day.

Most of the church is 14th century and this includes the lantern headed cross, with carved figures, shown in the photos above and below.

The wagon roof has survived from the 16th century, other than a few repairs.

A closer look at the detail of the roof.

The font (below) is made from Pentewan stone with a leaf pattern. This is believed to be circa 13th century.

So much to see: the pews are beautifully carved and there are many other interesting features. No wonder the author Daphne du Maurier, who lived locally, chose to get married here. She also featured the church in her first novel The Loving Spirit, though she named it as 'Lanoc church' in her book.

A wonderful old door, imagine the people who may have passed through and the stories they could tell.

Steps leading upwards: the tower is about 70 feet tall with six bells. Their sound is said to have delighted the poet Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. There is a monument to Quiller-Couch seen when on the Hall Walk I mentioned earlier.

The plaque below fascinates me as this was presented to the parish by King Charles II for remaining loyal to the king throughout England's Civil War.

While restoration work was being carried out, traces of another plaque were found underneath, from King Charles I. 

Many of the paths in this area may have been walked by King Charles II. There is one spot in particular where he survived an attempt to kill him. More on this in a future post.

Sunday 25 August 2019

A Story of Superstition From Old Cornwall - The White Hare

A hare

A story today - an old story from a book, about 1860, written by Robert Hunt and originally titled 'The drolls, traditions, and superstitions of old Cornwall'. I have made a few minor adjustments.

It is a very popular fancy that when a maiden, who has loved not wisely but too well, dies forsaken and broken hearted, she comes back to haunt her deceiver in the form of a white hare. 

This phantom follows the false one everywhere, mostly invisible to all but him. It saves him from danger, but invariably the white hare causes the death of the betrayer in the end.

Here is one such story:

A large landed proprietor engaged a fine, handsome young fellow to manage his farm, which was very extensive as well as a high class one.
Dairy maid

When the young farmer was duly settled in his new farmhouse, there came to live with him, to take care of the management of the dairy, a peasant's daughter. She was handsome, and of a singularly fine figure, but entirely without education.

The farmer became desperately in love with this young creature, and eventually their love passed all the bounds of discretion. It became the policy of the young farmer's family to put down this unfortunate passion by substituting a more legitimate and endearing object. After a long trial, they thought they were successful and the young farmer married.

Many months had not passed when the discharged dairy-maid was observed to suffer from illness, which, however, she constantly spoke of as nothing; but knowing dames saw too clearly the truth. One morning there was found in a field a newly born babe, strangled. The unfortunate girl was at once suspected as being the parent, and the evidence was soon sufficient to charge her with murder. She was tried, and chiefly by the evidence of the young farmer and his family, convicted of, and executed for, the murder.

Everything now went wrong in the farm, and the young man suddenly left it and went to another part of the country.
White hare

Still nothing prospered, and he gradually took to drink to drown some secret sorrow. He was frequently on the road by night than by day; and go where he would, a white hare was constantly crossing his path. The white hare was often seen by others, almost always under the feet of his horse; and the poor terrified animal would go like the wind to avoid the strange apparition.

One morning the young farmer was found drowned in a forsaken mine; and the horse, which had evidently suffered extreme terror, was grazing near the corpse. Beyond all doubt the white hare, which is known to hunt the perjured and the false-hearted to death, had terrified the horse to such a degree that eventually the rider was thrown into the mine-waste in which he was found.

Another old story:
Bodmin Jail and a Hanging Watched by 25,000 People

Friday 23 August 2019

Lost Gardens of Heligan - Voted UKs Top Visitor Garden

Dahlia and apples at Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

Thought we'd better have a trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan as they have just been named the UK's top visitor garden by readers of Garden News magazine.
This is an annual poll to find the best 100 gardens in the UK. In second place was Bodnant Gardens in Wales and third was Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.
Diggory, the scarecrow, was delighted at Heligan's success!
Scarecrow at Lots Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

I snapped a few quick photos as we walked. The artichokes had a fine head of coloured hair.

Artichoke at Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

There was an array of dahlias.

Dahlia at Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Lots of vegetables too - with Diggory at work in the background..

Vegetables at Lost Gardens of Heligan

We moved on from this part of the gardens and ...

Plants at Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

into the potting shed. This is the original shed. The garden at Heligan was originally built in the 18th century but went into decline at the beginning of World War I.

Potting shed, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

The gardens were then 'lost' until a hurricane in 1990 revealed their existence. Restoration started in the early 1990s and gradually the gardens were brought back to life.

Seat amongst the flowers, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

The photo above and below is of the Sundial Garden, quite a pleasant place to sit. But Heligan has so many sections to enjoy from formal gardens to jungle!

Sundial garden at Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

Moving on we come to a lots more dahlias - and several varieties.

Dahlia at Lost Gardens of Heligan

Must admit I like dahlias so snapped a couple of close- ups …

Singla dahlia at Lost Gardens of Heligan

… of colours I like.

Dahlia at Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Stewards House by the dahlia is now a cafĂ©. 

Cafe at Lost Gardens of Heligan

Moving on to a change of scenery ...

Plants & trees at Llost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

… and a few attractive pink hydrangeas.

Pink Lace Hydrangeas, Lost Gardens of Heligan

The scene changes  again …

Jungle at Lost Gardens of Heligan

… to a jungle and a lost valley (no longer 'lost' of course)

Jungle at Lost Gardens of Helugan

Large plants - including gunnera seem to be everywhere, and water too.

Ferns at Lost Gardens of Heligan

Now we have trees ...

Jungle trees at Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

… and there's often something unexpected.

Pond and ferns at Lost Gardens of Heligan

A seat and shelter almost hidden away.

Shelter at Lost Gardens of Heligan

There is so much more to the Lost Gardens of Heligan spread over 200 acres. 

Below is a view of the coastline from the gardens.

View of the sea from Lost Gardens of Heligan

I have several other posts on Heligan, with photos:

The Lost Gardens of Heligan: 18 Photos of Farm Animals, Plants and Jungle

The Lost Gardens of Heligan In July :16 Photos 

Lost Gardens of Heligan in Winter : 11 Photos

Thirteen February Photos of The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

Wednesday 21 August 2019

The Coincidence of a Link Between Germany and My Wife in Cornwall

Dithmarschen Way, St.Austell, Cornwall

Here's something a bit different today - how a coincidence can stare you in the face but goes unnoticed.

My wife and I were going to a car boot sale that is held in the car park of the council offices. We have often driven down this short road, off the A390. For the first time though we noticed that it is called Dithmarschen Way.

"Good gracious," said my wife, "Dithmarschen is where my mother was born."

So I stopped the car and she snapped the above photo out of the car window.

German coat of arms in Cornwall
 Dithmarschen is in Germany and is a district of Schleswig-Holstein where my wife was born! Though she has been in England since her late teens. 

Hardly an earth shattering coincidence but there is a bit more. My wife had received a letter (remember them!) from her cousin in Germany, who wrote that she had just visited Dithmarschen.

How strange that the place we chose to live in Cornwall would have a link to my wife's heritage in Germany. At times it can seem a very small world.

I have since found out that the former Restormel area in Cornwall has been twinned with Dithmarschen for nearly 30 years.

Another coincidence:
The Coincidence Meeting At Boscastle, Cornwall

Monday 19 August 2019

The Mevagissey to Fowey Ferry

View from Mevagissey along Cornwall's coastline

I forgot to mention the Mevagissey to Fowey ferry on my two previous posts. According to tripadvisor, at today's date, the ferry is the 'best thing to do' in Mevagissey. Not sure if I entirely agree with this, but it is a fine ride - and return.

The scenery along this stretch of coast is excellent and there is the possibility of seeing dolphins - nothing guaranteed of course.

The ferry between Mevagissey and Fowey

The ferry runs from the Lighthouse Quay, Mevagissey - which is by the lighthouse! It can get busy in the summer months. 

The fare (at today's date) is Adult: single £8 and £14 return; Children: single £4 and £7 return. There is no charge for well behaved dogs. Tickets can be bought on board. 

The crossing time is approximately 40 minutes.

The Mevagissey Ferry to Fowey - and return - Cornwall

View from harbour wall at Mevagissey, Cornwall

Also see:
An Introduction to Mevagissey, Cornwall The Two Saint Village
Mevagissey Outer Harbour, Lighthouse and Beach

Saturday 17 August 2019

Mevagissey Outer Harbour, Lighthouse and Beach.

The outer harbour at Mevagissey, Cornwall

I'm following on from my previous Mevagissey post which concentrated on the inner harbour, where there are normally lots of boats in the enclosed area.

If we walk to the outer harbour it has a different atmosphere as there is much more space - as can be seen in the photos above and below.

The inner, more sheltered harbour wall, was built in 1774 on the site of a medieval quay. The outer harbour wall was first built in 1888 but had to be rebuilt in 1897 following damage in 1891.

Mevagissey outer harbour, Cornwall

Mevagissey's small lighthouse is made of cast iron and is about 26 feet tall.

Lighthouse at Mevagissey, Cornwall

The lighthouse is hexagonal in shape. The light can be seen for about twelve nautical miles.

Lighthouse at Mevagissey, Cornwall

If we walk along the lighthouse breakwater we can see how Mevagissey harbour is surrounded by high cliffs.

Outer harbour wall at Mevagissey

To get from the breakwater to the road is quite a climb up all of those steps. But not to worry ...

Steps leading from Mavagissey outer harbour wall to road.

… there is a wide, flat walkway alongside the harbour instead.

Boats in the outer harbour at Cornwall

If we return to the lighthouse we can see the other wall that makes up the entrance into the outer harbour.

Mevagissey outer harbour wall

Some quite smart houses have been built behind the wall.

Mevagissey harbour wall

Finally, mustn't forget the Mevagissey harbour beach! Okay, it isn't much, and is only really there when the tide is out, but there are usually one or two people enjoying the sand and splashing about in the water - if the weather is okay. Dogs aren't allowed on the beach.

In the photo below the gap between the two walls is the entrance to Mevagissey's inner harbour.

Small beach at Mevagissey, Cornwall

Also see:
An Introduction to Mevagissey, Cornwall The Two Saint Village

Thursday 15 August 2019

An Introduction to Mevagissey, Cornwall The Two Saint Village

The jumble of boats and cottages at Mevagissey, Cornwall

It was a bit of a moody day, the sun couldn't make up its mind whether to be friendly or not, so we headed to Mevagissey - as we often do when in doubt. There's always something of interest to see.

The inner harbour at Mevagissey, Cornwall

The name Mevagissey is made up from the names of two saints: St. Meva and St. Issey - the 'g' in the middle is taken from the word 'hag' which is the Cornish word for 'and'.  

In the Cornish language the name is Lannvorek.

A dark sky at Mevagissey, Cornwall

The first mention of Mevagissey was in 1313 but there is evidence of a settlement being here in the Bronze age.

Boats in the inner harbour at Mevagissey, Cornwall

Mevagissey has an inner and an outer harbour and is famed for its fishing. Back in 1886 it landed 250,000 hundredweight of fish, the highest quantity of any port in western England.

There is still fishing today. My wife occasionally buys freshly caught fish from a small stall on the harbour. I'm vegetarian but she enjoys her fish meals, especially the mackerel.

Boats at Mevagissey, Cornwall when the tide is out

Nowadays Mevagissey is very much a tourist attraction. The harbour and the narrow streets throng with people in the summer season. You can park on the harbour - at a price, of course, but the spots soon fill up. As do the main car parks situated at the beginning of the village.

Ice Cream and Gift Shops at Mevagissey Harbour, Cornwall

Needless to say Cornish pasties are available! As is Cornish ice cream, plus there are pubs, fish and chip shops, restaurants and so on.

Reflections on the water at Mevagissey, Cornwall

I'll have more photos of Mevagissey on my next post.

Boat leaving Mevagissey inner harbour, Cornwall


A Walk to Pentewan Village, Beach and Harbour

It was a sunshine day so we decided on a walk to Pentewan along the Pentewan Trail starting from the bridge as shown above. ...