Thursday 19 December 2019

Helman Tor Cornwall: Granite and Far Reaching Views

Helman Tor, Cornwall

A while back I published a post The Mysterious Creatures Guarding Helman Tor, Cornwall. Today I have a few more photos of the tor.

Helman Tor Granite Rocks

Following excavations there is evidence that the Tor was occupied in Neolithic Times. 

It is thought that stone huts and a settlement were once on this spot.

Granite at Helman Tor, Cornwall

The Tor may well have been used as a place for ceremonies and trading.

Helman Tor granite rocks and boulders

Though the Tor is  a harsh environment it would have been preferable to - what would have been - the wild landscape below.

Helman Tor granite rocks and boulders

High points have always attracted people because of the feeling of security the views give them. From the Tor on a clear day both of the Cornish coasts can be seen - the Atlantic in the north and the English Channel to the south.

Helman Tor, Cornwall granite

Exmoor ponies can sometimes be seen in the winter months. They are a hardy breed and help to keep the scrub down. I have seen them but for some reason have never snapped a photo of them.

Helman Tor Granite

I like to visit here and, as I have mentioned previously, have rarely seen other visitors. I guess it is off the normal tourist trail - most visitors seem to refer Cornwall's beaches and fishing villages.

Helman Tor, Cornwall

The shapes and formations of the granite rocks are always fascinating.

Granite at Helman Tor, Cornwall

It's not the easiest of places to visit as the roads are very narrow. I always have my fingers crossed that there is no one driving in the opposite direction - it seems to work, touch wood!

Helman Tor, Cornwall

The Tor is now designated as a scheduled ancient monument.

View from top of Helman Tor, Cornwall

See also:
The Mysterious Creatures Guarding Helman Tor, Cornwall

Map of Helman Tor

Monday 16 December 2019

Nanny Moore's Bridge in Bude

Nanny Moore's Bridge, Cornwall

Today a look at the 18th century Nanny Moore's Bridge in Bude. Above is how the bridge looks today and below how it looked in days of old. 
Vintage photo of Nanny Moore's Old Bridge, Cornwall

The three span bridge is a Grade II listed building and originally had a cantilevered section so that boats could proceed along the River Neet. 

Today it is only used by pedestrian but was built when carts and packhorses would trundle across.

Until the nineteenth century  it was simply known as Bude Bridge. So why the change to Nanny Moore's bridge?

Nanny Moore's Bridge, Cornwall

Not sure exactly why the name was altered but it seems it was named after a 'dipper' who lived nearby.

A dipper would escort and help ladies, who wanted to swim in the nearby sea. She would be a strong person, sometimes in charge of a bathing machine. This was to protect the modesty of 19th century ladies - no bikinis and the like back then!

Vintage Bathing Machine.

Another Bridge Post:

The 500 Plus Year Old Bridge in St.Austell, Cornwall

Friday 13 December 2019

Padstow, the Mermaid and the Perilous Doom Bar

Padstow, Cornwall - big beach.

Such beautiful sand at Padstow when the tide is out. Nowadays boats are able to enter the harbour - but it hasn't always been that way according to Cornish folklore.

Padstow sandy beach, Cornwall

To quote from the late 1800s.  

The port of Padstow has a good natural harbour, as far as rocks are concerned, but it gets chocked up with drifting sands as to be nearly useless.

It was once deep water for the largest vessel and was under the care of a merry maid, most would call her a mermaid. But, whatever her description, boats could travel safely to the harbour.

All was well at Padstow until a man bought a new gun! Some say the man was a Tristram Bird others that it was Tom Yeo. But, whoever, the new gun was aimed at a seal. Tragically though it was the mermaid who was shot. She dived for a moment; but re-appearing, raised her right arm, and vowed that henceforth the harbour should be desolate.

The picture below shows Tristram Bird with his gun and the mermaid.

Mermaid with Tristram Bird, Cornwall

According to the many legends, following the mermaid's death there was a terrible gale. When the water subsided a Doom Bar or Bar of Doom was situated at the estuary entrance.

Since records began, in the nineteenth century, there have been over 600 wrecks, beachings and capsizes due to the Doom Bar - and, of course, the mermaid's curse.

The photo below is from 1911 when the French ship Angele was wrecked on the Doom Bar.

Angele sailing ship wrecked at Doom Bar, Cornwall

Today the estuary is regularly dredged and the Doom Bar has moved - see comparisons between 1825 and 2010 - charts by Worm That Turned.

Doom Bar, Padstow in 1825 and 2010

Most boats can now reach the harbour at Padstow safely.

Padstow harbour, Cornwall

There is still lots of sand about, when the tide is out, as can be seen in the photo below.

Boats at Padstow, Cornwall

For other Padstow posts please visit:

Padstow, Cornwall on a Sunshine Winter's Day

Padstow, Cornwall: Ghosts, Cornish Pasties, Fish & Chips And More

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Trerice, The Elizabethan Manor House Near Newquay, Cornwall

Formal photo of Trerice House, Cornwall

Today it's a quick trip to the Tudor House, Trerice, which is now managed by the National Trust.

Trerice sits in a tranquil setting at Kestle Mill, about three miles from Newquay.

The photo above shows the front entrance including a very impressive window. 

The window is made up of 576 glass tiles some dating way back to the 16th century. Of course, over the years, some of the tiles have become broken and replaced.

15th century windows at Cornwall's Trerice House

The windows look into the Great Hall. The photo below is looking into the hall from above.

large room at Trerice House, Cornwall

The hall fire wasn't alight, unfortunately, but the room must have been very impressive in it's day.

John Arundell, a High Sherrif of Cornwall, commenced building the house in 1572. It seems he married into money.

Old fireplae at Trerice,

Wandering around the house are some interesting bits and pieces. I found the painting of the unknown Elizabethan Boy to be quite creepy for some reason! Something doesn't quite look right.

Painting of an unknown Elizabethan boy, Trerice, Cornwall

A pleasant old clock next to something more up to date.

Old clock at Trerice House, Cornwall

A look out of one of the upstairs windows. The stone walls are very thick.

Upstairs room and window at Trerice House, Cornwall

Moving on to the outside of the house with a view of the back.

Back of Trerice House, Cornwall

A couple of photos of Trerice. 

Trerice House, Cornwall from Elizabethan times.

Interesting gardens surround the house with Tudor games to play such as slapcock - an early form of badminton. 

Trerice House from Elizabethan times, Cornwall

There's an attractive old barn

Trerice House barn, Cornwall

Views across the countryside from Trerice.

Countryside and green fields at Trerice House, Cornwall

All in all a pleasant place to visit :

Kestle Mill, 

Tel: 01637 875404

Similar Post:
A Glimpse of Lanhydrock House, Cornwall In 14 Photos

Saturday 7 December 2019

Step Back In Time With The Cornish Belle Steam Train

Night time at St. Austell Station, Cornwall

I snapped the above black and white photo of St.Austell station while waiting for St.Austell's Torchlight Parade to pass.  My grandson was in the parade and this seemed a good vantage point.

Looking at the photo reminded me that I also have a few black and white photos of the Cornish Belle steam train at Bodmin and Wenford station. That's the Cornish Belle below and above is the ticket office - it's like stepping back in time. 

As you can see it was a wet, rainy evening when I took the photos.

Not too many people on the train. I think the rainy weather had put people off.

But it was still First Class dining, whatever the weather.

And back at the station.

For more information on the Bodmin and Wenford steam trains please click here.

Wednesday 4 December 2019

Looking For Lucky Shells at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

Sandy beach at Carlyon Bay

There was something strange about Monday, it had actually stopped raining! A few puddles remained but we headed for the beach at Carlyon Bay.

Puddles at Carlon Bay, Cornwall

It was still very cold but who cares when there is treasure to be found - well, perhaps.

Beach at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

I had recently read a book 'Seagulls in the Attic' by Tessa Hainsworth, who has started a new life in Cornwall. She writes how she 'finds cowrie shells. I love these tiny pinkish shells, no bigger than my little fingernail. They're lucky shells, the Cornish equivalent to the Irish four-leaf clover.'

On a previous visit to Carlyon Bay my wife and I found dozens of small pink shells. So we set out to find some more. It's always useful to have a handy supply of good luck, you never know when it might come in handy!

I soon found a pink shell but little else.

Shell ay Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

The beach was quite empty, the sand smooth and untouched and virtually nothing had been washed ashore.

Untouched beach at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

But a walk on untouched sand is, by itself, good luck.

Sea and cliffs at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

We enjoyed the far end of the beach, the peace and the silence.

Cliffs and rocks at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

The rocks and cliffs have their own special beauty. The things they must have witnessed over thousands of years.

Carlyon Bay, Cornwall, close up detail of cliifs

Eventually we retraced our footsteps ...

Carlyon Bay sandy beach

… passing numerous enormous rocks piled high. They were originally to be used as a breakwater when there was talk of the beach being redeveloped with apartments and shops. But this has never come to fruition.

Rocks at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

We made our way back to our car via the puddles.

Reflections in puddle at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

I did manage to pick up a few bits and pieces along the beach though, but nothing too exciting. They will be added to my collection of bits and pieces labelled 'you never know when these might come in handy.'

Seaglass and shells found at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall

Other Carlyon Bay Posts:
(1) The Meeting With Barrel Jellyfish at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall 
(2) Carlyon Bay, Cornwall: Sand, Sea and Cliffs

Sunday 1 December 2019

The Beautiful Fowey River, Cornwall

Fowey River meandering through Cornwall

Following on from my post Beautiful Views of the Fowey Estuary, Cornwall above is a further photo of the Fowey River as it cuts through some of the lovely countryside between Lostwithiel and Lanhydrock.

The source of the river is on Bodmin Moor at Fowey Well (Fenten Fowi in Cornish) about one mile from Brown Willy, which is the highest point in Cornwall.

The following photos show the local countryside leading to Lanhydrock House.   

Green fields in Cornwall

As for the name Brown Willy, mentioned above, there was a small campaign a few years back to change the name on signs to 'Bronn Wennil', the Cornish name for the highest point on Bodmin Moor - which actually means 'hill of swallows'. This fizzled out and the name, which is described as having the giggle factor, continues to amuse visitors.

Landscape of Cornwall

Always good to see the green fields - even though they sometimes equate to lots of rain!

Countryside of Cornwall with green fields

Near to this area is Restormel Castle which played a part in the English Civil War. See my post Visiting Restormel Castle and the English Civil War.

Countryside in Cornwall



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...