Sunday 20 October 2019

St. Catherine's Castle, near Ready Money Cove, Fowey, Cornwall

I had a free morning and decided to head for St.Catherine's castle high on the cliffs next to Ready Money Cove, Fowey.

As can be seen in the black and white photo above the castle is partly a ruin.

I parked my car in a side road and walked along the Esplanade towards Ready Money Cove. The castle can just be seen in the photo below.

I reached Ready Money Cove. The tide was out and all was peaceful. Hard to believe it gets so packed with visitors during the summer season.

There is a set of steps from the beach, which heads up to a coastal path. The climb is quite steep. The path was quite muddy.

While climbing the path there are some great views of Ready Money Cove and ...

… the Fowey River.

And finally St. Catherine's Castle is reached. There is a sign (entrance is free) which reads:

KASTEL S. KATTRIN (Cornish language)
A gun tower built 1538-40 by Thomas Treffry for Henry VIII (reigned 1509-47) as part of a national defence programme.
The tower's heavy guns protected Fowey harbour from enemy ships. Walls with musket loopholes are later additions. In 1855 two heavy guns were installed in circular positions below the tower.

Below shows one of the heavy gun positions mentioned above.

The next photo illustrates how the castle was positioned to protect the entrance to the Fowey River. On the opposite side of the river is Polruan.

There are a few steps to climb to reach the inside of the tower itself.

A couple of musket loopholes.

Leaving the tower there are views along the Fowey River.

A warning sign about the 'steep drops'.

Looking across from the castle to Polruan another small castle, known as a Blockhouse, can be seen on the water's edge. This was erected in the 15th century, again for the defence of the Fowey River.

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.

That concludes my visit to St.Catherine's Castle - but first a quick note about car parking.

The car parks in Fowey can quite expensive, but at this time of year (October to April) I park on roads where there are single yellow lines. See sign below which verifies this is okay. Always double check the signs though.

And a final note. Driving into Fowey there is a right turn and then markings which tend to lead you into a carpark. Ignore these (between October and April) and head straight along the road where there are some lovely views - as the early morning photo below. 

Thursday 17 October 2019

Looe Town, River and Beach

River Looe, cornwall

A few photos today of Looe, which follows on from my previous post Looe Island and St. Michael of Lammana Chapel.

Above is the River Looe with the attractive bridge in the background. The first proper bridge is thought to have been erected in 1411 and was made of wood. The present stone bridge, with its seven arches, was opened in 1853.

Walking alongside the river is very pleasant. The seagulls appreciate it's beauty - and any chips dropped by passers by!

Seagulls by River Looe at Looe, Cornwall

The town of Looe is known for its narrow streets. Luckily the street below is one way only!

Shops and narrow roads in Looe, Cornwall

There's a restaurant tucked away, along with several others. The photos were taken out of the summer season,  otherwise the streets would be heaving with tourists.

Smugglers Restaurant and narrow lanes in Looe, Cornwall

Walk through Looe town and you will soon reach the beach - again this is very popular in the summer season.

When walking back through the town I was telling my wife about memories of London, when young, and how I'd go to a special cafĂ© for coffee and rumbabas - and how I hadn't seen any in shops for many years. 

By coincidence we then passed a bakers, and what was in the window? Rumbabas! So a purchase was made.

Rum Babas in shop window in Looe

There is a small station at Looe. about five or ten minutes from the bridge. You can see a local train in the photo below.

The The Looe Valley Line links Looe with Liskeard. The journey is only about nine miles but has some glorious views.

That's all for today.

Monday 14 October 2019

Looe Island and St. Michael of Lammana Chapel, Cornwall

St.Georges Island, Looe

I had hoped to visit Looe Island, also referred to as St. George's Island, off the coast of Looe, Cornwall but unfortunately the boat wasn't running - I know I should have checked!

One of the reasons I wanted to see the island was because of the story that Jesus made visits here as a child.

There are various tales that Jesus visited Cornwall. I have written previously in a post titled Did Jesus Visit Cornwall? about how he may have travelled to the county with Joseph of Arimathea on trading missions for various metals found in Cornwall.

When Joseph carried out his business local to Looe, the story is that Jesus stayed on Looe Island.

Looe Island is pictured in the photo above and below.

St.George's Island, Looe, Cornwall

Some say that the island was also once called Lammana. In 1085 a small chapel was built on the island. It is thought that this was a monks' church or settlement. The island became a priory of Glastonbury and remained so until 1239.

On the coastal path opposite the island there is a sign post which points to 'Lammana Chapel Celtic Site' - so I headed uphill to see what was left of the chapel.

Sign post to Celtic site at Looe, Cornwall

There isn't a lot to see but I discovered that the chapel was shown to be St.Michael of Lammana. This pleased me being a Michael! 

Celtic Site at Looe, Cornwall

The chapel was built in the 12th century and then destroyed in the Reformation in 1548.

Old Cornwall wall, Looe

The drawing below shows how the chapel of St. Michael of Lammana would have looked in the 1200s.

Lammana Chapel, Looe, Cornwall

It is thought that pilgrims heading to the island - especially when the weather was bad - may have stopped of at this mainland chapel prior to making the crossing to the island.

A view towards Looe, Cornwall

From the high ground where the chapel is positioned the views are lovely. Who knows, perhaps Jesus walked these paths.

Information on getting to the island by boat can be found on the Cornwall Wildlife Trust website.

Friday 11 October 2019

Old Vintage Photos of Charlestown, Cornwall

Old photo of Charlestown harbour, Cornwall

I have mentioned in previous posts how little Charlestown in Cornwall has changed over the years. To confirm this I have dug out a few old photos, like the one above.

The old Dock, as the picture is described, remains virtually as it was in Georgian times. I snapped the photo below a couple of weeks back to show the likeness.

How Charlestown, Cornwall looks today in black and white.

In 1790 this was a small fishing village known as Porthmear, just nine fishermen and their families were resident. Charles Rashleigh though, saw other possibilities

Copper, and later china clay, needed to be exported from the local area so he decided to build a harbour, with the help of a few friends including John Smeaton, well known for constructing lighthouses and harbours.

he harbour and port were constructed between 1791 and 1801. 

Eventually, under Rashleigh's guidance, a village was also developed around the harbour. The name was changed from Porthmear to Charlestown in honour of Rashleigh. There is also now a pub and hotel called the Rashleigh Arms, owned by St.Austell Brewery.

Photo of Charlestown in 1900

Business boomed 40,000 tones of copper ore were exported between 1810 and 1813.

The photo above (1900) and below (1880) show how the port was once filled with sailing ships ready for transporting goods.

Sailing ships in 1880 in Charlestown Harbour, Cornwall

Unfortunately the harbour finally became too small for modern shipping and the last load of china clay left the dock in 2000.

The gate at Charlestown Harbour, Cornwall

The dock (or port) is separated from the main harbour by a gate, first constructed in 1799, as shown in the photo above. This means there are often differing levels of water between the dock and the harbour, depending on the tide.

The dock behind the gate is topped up with water via a seven mile leat running from Luxulyan Valley to Charlestown. This is still in operation today.

The harbour gates are only opened at, or around, high tide.

Kajsamoor tall ship in Charlestown, Cornwall

Today Charlestown is very much a tourist destination and is popular during the summer season. It's fame has spread because the harbour has been used for filming the likes of the very popular Poldark television series and for various movies.

The tall ship in the photo above is the Kajsamoor used in Poldark and can usually be found moored at Charlestown. 

See also:
A Stroll Around Poldark's Charlestown Harbour, Cornwall - 12 Photos 

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Walking From Sunny Corner on the Truro River at Truro, Cornwall

Sunny Corner on the Truro River, Cornwall

It was a rough old week weather-wise but on Wednesday it eventually stopped. This was fortunate for me as my wife had an appointment in Truro, so I had some free time.

After dropping her off I wandered about starting off at  Sunny Corner on the Truro River - as per the photo above.

The river is tidal so looks very muddy when the tide is out. It's completely different at high tide when there is a lovely boat trip along the river to Falmouth, starting at Truro Quay.

I wandered into Truro city but took the back streets. So it's a back street  photo of some of the houses - showing a river with high walls each side to protect the properties.

The backs of houses and the river in Truro, Cornwall

I made my way into Victoria Gardens and ...

Victoria Gardens in Truro, Cornwall

… saw this monster basking in a moment of sunshine. He seemed a fun guy.

A large Funghi in Victoria Gardens, Cornwall

There was a much more attractive funghi hidden amongst the fallen leaves.

Coloured funghi in Victoria Gardens, Truro, Cornwall

A memorial seat / bench with flowers.

Memorial seat or bench with flowers in Victoria Park, Truro, Cornwall

Lots of red berries to keep the birds happy ...

Red berries in Victoria Park, Cornwall

though most of the flowers were past their best.

Pink flowers in Victoria Gardens, Cornwall

Tall trees as I left the gardens to retrace my steps.

Tall trees in Victoria Park, Cornwall

I went via Boscawen Park, which eventually lead me back to ...

… Sunny Corner on the Truro River. Though it didn't feel particularly sunny. A pleasant walk though.

Sunny Corner, Truro River, Truro, Cornwall

Saturday 5 October 2019

Eating Apples From an Apple Tree Grown From A Pip

Apples grown from seed.

In early June I published a post Growing An Apple Tree From A Pip. At the time my wife was excited because 'her' apple tree had flowers and then small apples.

Okay, many people have apple trees but this one was different as it was grown from an apple pip. 

It had taken eight years to get to this stage but no one we knew seemed to believe this could be done and, yes, I was a bit of a sceptic too. But this year my wife has been proven right.

Apple tree grown from a pip

The tree has about thirty apples and this morning we picked the first one. I've probably seen better looking apples but, as is often said, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

We devoured the first apple from our garden and have lived to tell the tale.

Apple grown from a pip

To think that at the beginning of the year I had threatened to dig up the apple tree.

Apple grown from a pip

Such is life: with belief all things are possible - well probably!

So what is the secret of growing an apple tree from a pip? Erm, well all my wife did was to pop one pip into a small pot of compost. When it started to grow, and was a fair size, this was planted in the garden in a flower bed and, well, that was it. Eight years later - apples!

Wednesday 2 October 2019

Walking the Streets and Memories of Playing Conkers and Other Things

Conker season

The weather hasn't been too good recently - rain, wind etc - so haven't been very far with my camera. 

I have walked the streets locally though and usually find something of interest - in one instance conkers! They brought back memories from childhood when we played the game of conkers.

Where I lived, as a child in west London, there weren't any horse-chestnut trees so my dad would take me on a short bus ride to collect conkers. I remember one occasion when he told me to take a bag with me.

I soon filled the bag so we got on the bus to return home. Trouble was I had brought an old paper bag and when we got on the bus the bag burst and the conkers went everywhere!

Luckily the bus conductor thought this was funny and gave me a selection of money bags to hold the conkers. This was, of course, a long time ago when there were conductors to collect the fares.

Times change, and it appears, according to the media, that playing conkers is now banned in many schools on 'health and safety' grounds. 

Strange really as I can't remember any of my friends ever being hurt, a rap on the hand perhaps but nothing more serious. But I was lucky and grew up at a time when we climbed trees and had lots of freedom to roam.

Regarding conkers t
here was an article in the Daily Mail newspaper asking, "Is this the end of the conker tree?" They claim that the horse chestnut tree may become extinct in Europe. It seems that there has been a decline of the trees because of an invasive moth.

As for the game of conkers it was seemingly first mentioned way back in 1821. I'm not sure if other countries play the game so here's what happens:

Conkers is played by two players who each have a conker threaded onto a piece of string or sometimes a shoe lace. They then take turns to hit the other player's conker with their own until one breaks. The winner is the conker still whole.

Cunning players would try to harden their conker by soaking them with vinegar or perhaps baking them.

But e
nough of conkers, here are a few other photos I snapped on my walk.

I passed by the 500 year old bridge I mentioned in a previous post. Sadly I noticed someone had made their temporary home under one of the arches.

Homeless living under an old bridge

On a brighter note we have palm trees in Cornwall and ...

… there is still some colour about to brighten the breezy days ...

… and something tasty.

More colour, despite the rain and wind.

Going back to the game of conkers I have just remembered that conkers had a score. If the conker survived the game it became known as a one-er. If it won two games a two-er and so on. But, if say you were to beat a six-er, you added six to the value of your score. 

So it was possible to create a high conker value. I can remember once having a twenty-six-er for example.

I think that exhausts my knowledge of conkers!



Oh dear! I glanced out of one of our upstairs windows and there was snow on it's way. Fortunately, though, it soon disappeared  We dec...