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Title: Nooks and Corners of Cornwall
Author: Scott, C. A. Dawson
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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At first sight it seems incongruous to speak of the Nooks and Corners to
be found in so rugged a land as Cornwall. The masses of rock at
Tintagel, Tol-Pedn, and the Lizard, the sheer drop of the High Cliff and
the Dodman, the moors, the cromlechs, and the granite tors, are so
impressive that we are apt to overlook the fertile valleys that
intersect the country, the coves, coombes, and "pills" in which the
hillside vegetation is often semi-tropical, and where the houses are
embowered in flowering shrubs till they look like Jacks-in-the-Green
that have taken root.

Nor do these picturesque villages, sheltered and fruitful, this
magnificent coast scenery, these grey moors, comprise the whole of this
half-smiling, half-frowning land. Here in out-of-the-way places are
relics of forgotten creeds and peoples, earthworks, amphitheatres,
castles, the caves of smugglers, and the subterranean hiding-places of
neolithic man. There is so much to interest, so much to see--almost too
much it would seem, certainly too much for any one holiday; but Cornwall
is a place to go to again and again, to go to till it seems as your own
land, and its people have forgiven you for being a "foreigner."

This Cornish folk, clannish but kindly, has of late years been
decreasing. Not only is there the competition of foreign tin, but the
lodes being now deep the cost of home production has proportionately
increased. "Cousin Jack" therefore has to go in search of more
remunerative metal, leaving "Cousin Jenny" at home to manage as best
she can on his remittances.


"You can only see Cornwall by walking through it," said George Borrow,
but the traveller must bear in mind that a name, large on the map, is
apt to materialise into a few cottages, a lonely farmhouse, or a rocky
gorge with never an inhabitant. Nor though the voice of the tourist has
now for several years been heard in the land has the response, in
hotels, been great; while there are not as many country inns as might be
expected. The cheerful, pleasure-loving Cornishman has another aspect to
his character. Generally a Nonconformist and a Sabbatarian he--perhaps
more particularly she--thinks the fewer inns the better. Hamlets the
size of which would lead one to expect a wayside tavern are often drawn
blank, and it is as well to make inquiry, when mapping out the day's
journey, as to the accommodation to be found at its latter end.

It cannot be too firmly impressed upon the traveller that along the
northern and western shores both boating and bathing are unsafe. It is a
dangerous coast. Fortunately very few boats are kept, and these are
seldom let out to strangers; but in the matter of bathing the tourist
depends upon his own wisdom, and not only is there a bad undertow but
the big rollers from the Atlantic come in when least expected.

Moreover he must, when following these cliff paths, be on the look-out
for blow-holes. These sinister cavities result from the action of the
sea at the cliff base and of the fresh water springs above. A depression
is gradually formed, the surface sinks to be washed out by the tides,
till at last a round hole has been formed. This is the blow-hole. In
course of time the whole of the side towards the sea breaks away,
leaving a tiny bay, which gradually enlarges. The Cornish who do not
imagine that any one could be so foolish as to walk along this dangerous
coast after dark do not safeguard the blow-holes, and it is as well to
be on the look-out.


A word with regard to the innumerable crosses and churches.

At an early date in the history of Christianity, saints from the
neighbouring countries of Brittany, Ireland and Wales appear to have
poured into Cornwall. Some floated over on their altar-stones--a
poetical way of saying they brought the said stones with them--others on
a miraculous leaf, _i.e._, a coracle, while yet others appear to have
walked! On arrival they found a large number of upright slabs and
boulders, relics of an earlier creed and vanished race. With the
sensible early-Christian habit of turning everything to account they
soon invented a history and found a use for the stones.

On a lonely moorland these big menhirs made excellent way-marks; by
some--possibly blocks that tradition accounted holy--the saints built
their oratories, others they carved into rude crosses, and others they
used as a centre about which to gather the countrypeople for service. As
the local preaching-place, these last stones, like the oratories
themselves, thus became the forerunners of the parish churches.

One reason for the multiplicity of these crosses--and unless those at
any place should be exceptional, they will not be mentioned--may be
found in the will of a certain Dr. Mertherderwa who, dying in 1447,
directed that "new stone crosses are to be put up of the usual kind in
those parts of Cornwall from Kayar Beslasek to Camborne Church, where
dead bodies are rested on their way to burial, that prayers may be made
and the bearers take some rest."

There are six different kinds of crosses. Upright slabs with a Latin
cross front and back; Round-headed crosses; Holed crosses, of which only
twenty-seven instances are known; Latin crosses, Gothic crosses and
ornamented crosses.


When Cornwall built her innumerable small but beautiful churches, that
is to say from the thirteenth (and earlier) to the sixteenth century,
she showed that an ornate and vivid ritual was to her taste. She
objected to and resisted the Reformation, and on its becoming an
established fact went peacefully to sleep, as far as religion was
concerned, until the arrival of John Wesley. As a consequence very few
of the churches are modern, and most of them have Norman remains--some
antiquarians even say Saxon--and a good deal of old carved oak in
benches, screens, and roofs. Some of this carving is of considerable
merit, and the same may be said, though more doubtfully, of the numerous
frescoes; but unless the mural paintings and bench ends are in some way
remarkable they will not be insisted on, nor will the Norman and other
survivals in the architecture be discussed.


The roads from Launceston and from Saltash to the Land's End--and the
main roads of Cornwall are excellent, as good as any in England--go as
far as possible by way of the towns. The rivers, too, are no great
matter, in fact precisians have maintained that there are none. The
Tamar, which best deserves the name, was fixed as the eastern boundary
by Athelstane in 926, while the Fal and Helford Rivers are mainly sea
creeks, and the Camel and Fowey which until they become estuaries are
never wider than a man, provided with a pole, can leap, are really only
brooks of a fine and Tennysonian quality.

Undoubtedly then the way to see Cornwall is to follow the country roads
that lead along the shore, beginning at the north where the coach
crosses the border on its way from Clovelly Dykes to Bude, and ending at
the Tamar. There would then remain only the reaches of that lovely
river, the moorland, and what nooks and corners are to be found off the
highways that run through the middle of the county.

       *       *       *       *       *

My most sincere acknowledgments are due to Mr. Thurstan Peter, author of
"The History of Cornwall," for his generous help while these pages were
passing through the press.




    The Boundary between Devon and Cornwall on the north:
    Kilkhampton and its Association with the Grenvilles:
    Morwenstow and the Rev. R. Hawker: Tonacombe and Kingsley:
    Stowe: the Battles of Stamford Hill and Lansdowne: Tennyson
    and Bude: the Neighbouring Churches: a Female Dick
    Whittington                                                Pp. 21-29



    The Great Cliffs: Boscastle and an Ancient Form of Tenure:
    Otterham and Warbstow Barrows: Trevalga and Bossiney: the
    Legend of St. Nechtan's Kieve: Tintagel: Arthur: The Castle:
    The Beach and Barras Head: The Roman Occupation: Quarries:
    Camelford and its Battle: Arthur's Hall: Lanteglos:
    Henlistone and the Brewers: The Camel: The Delabole Slate:
    St. Teath                                                  Pp. 33-44



    Port Isaac and the Fishing: Pentire: St. Enodoc and the Sand:
    Lovebond's Bridge: Wadebridge and Egloshayle: _Jan
    Tergeagle_: Menhirs: Padstow and the Hobby Horse: Prehistoric
    Inhabitants: Harlyn Bay: Trevose Head: Constantine: A Fogou:
    Bedruthan: The Vale of Lanherne                            Pp. 47-64



    Hurling and St. Columb Major: Colan: The Gratitude of the
    Stuarts: Trevalgue: A Good Centre for Crantock, St. Cubert,
    and Trerice: St. Agnes and the Giant: Portreath: the Bassets:
    Godrevy: Gwithian: The Pilchards                           Pp. 67-80



    Gold in Cornwall: Knill's Monument: The Antiquities of the
    Extreme West: Cliff Castles: Fogous: Menhirs: Dolmens:
    Oratories: Superstitions: St. Ives: Wesley: Irving: A Ripe
    Old Age: The Mines: Sancreed and St. Buryan: Lighthouses:
    Whitesand Bay: The Land's End: Mousehole and Dolly Pentreath:
    Newlyn: Penzance                                           Pp. 83-98



    The Land of Lyonesse: The Scillies: The Law of Wrecks: Mr.
    Smith: The Admiral's Honour: Ding Dong Mine: St. Michael's
    Mount: An Old Ceremony: China Clay: Wrecks: Germoe and
    Breage: Pengersick: Flora Day: The Loe Pool: Serpentine:
    Gunwalloe and Mullion: The Lizard: Bells: The Helford River:
    Mawgan: Roseland                                         Pp. 101-118



    The Rise of Pendennis Castle: Sir John Arundel: The
    Killigrews: Sir Walter Raleigh: The General Post Office and
    Falmouth: Penryn: The Fal: The Stannary Courts: Old Truro:
    Foote and Lowry                                          Pp. 121-129



    St. Mawes and Gerrans: Tregony and Probus: Cornish Mutton: A
    Story of Cornish Vengeance: Mevagissey: Antiquarian Finds:
    The Capital of Clayland: Cock's and Hen's Barrow: Carglaze
    Mine: Luxulyan: The Civil Wars: Lostwithiel: Lanhydrock
    House and Restormel Castle: The Fight on St. Winnow's Downs:
    The Gallants of Fowey: Place: Lanteglos: Polperro: Stories of
    Talland, Killigarth, and Trelawne: The Giant's Hedge:
    Boconnoc: Liskeard                                       Pp. 133-153



    King Dungarth and King Alfred: Menheniot: St. Keyne: Looe: A
    Cage for Scolds: Looe Island and the Smugglers: The Armada:
    Sheviock: The Eddystone: Mount Edgcumbe: The Tamar: Trematon
    Castle: Markets: Saltash: Moditonham: Paleologus: Pentillie:
    Cotehele: Hingston Down: Polyfant: Launceston            Pp. 157-172



    The Upper Reaches of the Tamar: Launceston: The Old Highways:
    St. Clether: Altarnon: Trebartha: The Trethevy Dolmen: The
    Cheesewring: St. Cleer: St. Neot: Dozmaré: Tregeagle: Lake
    Dwellings                                                Pp. 175-186



    Brown Willy and Row Tor: Michaelstow, St. Tudy and St. Mabyn:
    St. Breward and Blisland: Holland: Bodmin: Lanivet: Mitchell;
    Cornish Names: Blackwater and Illogan: Redruth and St. Day:
    Carn Brea: Camborne: A Word in Farewell                  Pp. 189-198


  Stratton. The Tree Inn.
  Bude. The Falcon; Grenville.
  Boscastle. Wellington.
  Tintagel. Wharncliffe; King Arthur's Castle; Clifton House.
  Camelford. King's Arms.
  Wadebridge. Molesworth Arms.
  Padstow. South-Western; St. Petrock's.
  Newquay. Atlantic; Victoria; Headland; Great Western.
  Perranporth. Perranporth; Tywarnhale.
  Portreath. Portreath Hotel; by Gurnard's Head, the Treryn Hotel.
  St. Ives. Tregenna Castle; Western; Queen's.
  Lelant. Lelant Hotel.
  Land's End. First and Last.
  Penzance. Queen's; Riviera Palace; Mount's Bay; Western; Railway.
  Scilly. Holgate's; Tregarthen's (both on St. Mary).
  Helston. Angel.
  Lizard. Housel Bay; Hill's; Caerthillian.
  Coverack. The Coverack Headland Hotel; St. Keverne; St. Keverne Inn.
  Falmouth. Falmouth; Green Bank; King's; Royal Albion.
  Truro. Red Lion; Royal; Union.
  St. Austell. Luke's White Hart; Queen's Head.
  Fowey. Fowey.
  Looe. Commonwood; Looe; Headland House.
  Saltash. Bray's; Railway; Green Dragon.
  Launceston. White Hart; King's Arms.
  Moors. The Jamaica Inn.
  Bodmin. Royal; Town Arms.
  Redruth. Tabb's.
  Camborne. Commercial; Tyack's.



_The Boundary between Devon and Cornwall on the north: Kilkhampton and
its Association with the Grenvilles: Morwenstow and the Rev. R. Hawker:
Tonacombe and Kingsley: Stowe: the Battles of Stamford Hill and
Lansdowne: Tennyson and Bude: the Neighbouring Churches: a Female Dick


The coach-road from Clovelly Dykes to Bude crosses Woolley Downs, but
the border on the north is the little stream that runs into Marsland
Mouth. The cliff paths with their fine views and the wonderful colour of
sea and sky--such colour as elsewhere only the Mediterranean gives
us--are the more interesting of the offered ways. Inland lies
Kilkhampton, by the Tamar, with its church of St. James, the south
doorway of which is one of the richest specimens of late Norman work in
the duchy. But, more interesting than the finely carved choir stalls,
numerous good bench-ends and doorway, is its connection with the family
of Grenville, who, descendants of the Norman dukes, lived in the parish
for six hundred years, and built the church. "Never a Grenville lacked
loyalty" was the saying, and the sons of the old house at Stowe proved
it by confiscated property and lives laid down. From Stowe came old Sir
Richard who, with his little "Revenge," fought the fifty-three galleons
of Spain.

"_God of battles, was ever a battle like this in the world before?_"

From there came his grandson, gentle, gallant Sir Beville, who after his
last stand against the Parliamentarians on Lansdowne, was brought back
to lie in the old church of Kilkhampton; and from there, ruined and
exiled for the sake of the last worthless Stuart, went out Sir Beville's
younger son.

By Sir Beville lies his wife, the Lady Grace, for whom the epitaph to be
seen in Minster Church might have been written:

  "_He first departing, she a little tried
  To live without him, could not and so died._"

The Earls of Bath, descendants of the Grenvilles, are buried in a vault
below the south aisle, but two hundred and fifty years have passed and
the name--it is a Marquisate now--is Thynne (of the Inn), nor is the
head of the family a Beville. The servant who brought back his master's
body sleeps at Stratton. A huge man this Anthony Payne, seven foot two
in his stockings! When he lay dead in the Tree Inn so large a coffin was
required that it could not be got into the house. He and Sir Beville may
be dead and buried, but their lives have been woven into the talk of the
countryside, and the traveller has only to ask a discreet question or so
and he will hear of the great deeds of old.


The main interest of this part of the country--the extreme north--is
centred in the tiny hamlet of Morwenstow with its thatched inn and its
association with the Rev. Robert Hawker. He was no stranger when he
came, for his father had been vicar of Stratton and lay buried there.
For long the son, fearing the sadness of old associations, refused to
preach in the sister parish, and when at last his reluctance was
overcome and he stood in his father's pulpit it was only to hesitate and
break down. He explained with faltering voice, "I stand amid the dust of
those near and dear to me."

Morwenstow is reached from Marsland Mouth by the Henna Cliff (The
Raven's Crag--and Welsh legend hath it that King Arthur was changed into
one of these birds, though the Cornish say, a chough), from which is
obtained a magnificent view of that wild coast, Dizzard, Cambeak,
Tintagel, and Pentire, rising one beyond the other in shades of blue
deepening to purple. The Norman doorway of the church, which like that
of Marhamchurch is dedicated to St. Morwenna, is crowned with zigzag
and chevron mouldings which are surmounted by a range of grotesque
sea-faces--mermaid, dolphin, whale, and so forth. Mr. Hawker tells how
the old piscina was found and reinstated. "The chancel wall one day
sounded hollow when struck; the mortar was removed, and underneath there
appeared an arched aperture which had been filled up with jumbled carved
work and a crushed drain. It was cleared out and so rebuilt as to occupy
the exact site of its former existence. It is of the earliest type of
Saxon architecture, and for all we know may be the oldest piscina in the

The church roof is of wood, and shingles of rended oak occupy the place
of the usual tiles. "Outside the screen and at the top of the nave is
the grave of a priest. It is identified by the reversed position of the
carved cross on the stone, which also indicates the self-same attitude
in the corpse. The head is laid down toward the east while, in all
secular interments, the head is turned towards the west."

On the south side of the churchyard--as in so many along this ruthless
coast--are the graves of wrecked sailors; and Hawker, a great-hearted
man and to some extent a poet, was foremost in rendering the last kind
offices to the dead. Over forty men, the crews of three lost vessels,
lie here, while the figurehead by one lot of graves is that of the brig
_Caledonia_ from Arbroath in Scotland. No wonder ships give these
stupendous cliffs as wide a berth as possible. An occasional steamer is
sighted, some tramp in search of cargo goes hurrying by, but, as a rule,
the wide expanse is empty of surface life, a fact which is both
noticeable and suggestive.

On a spot where he had seen the lambs sheltering from wind and weather,
Mr. Hawker built the vicarage. With one of his personality as architect,
it was impossible it should quite resemble any other manse; therefore it
is not surprising to find that in the chimney-stacks he has reproduced
the forms of certain church towers that he admired, while inset over the
doorway is the distich:

  "_A house, a glebe, a pound a day,
  A pleasant place to watch and pray,
  Be true to Church, be kind to poor,
  O Minister for evermore!_"


Not far from Morwenstow lie--or rather did lie, for though Tonacombe
still preserves its original design, Stowe, near Coombe Valley, the home
of the Grenvilles, was unfortunately destroyed in 1715--two old
manor-houses. The former, which was built in the fifteenth century, has
a fine stone-floored hall with timbered roof, old open fireplace, and
minstrel's gallery. Some of the rooms, which have lattice windows, are
panelled, and Charles Kingsley stayed in this "in some respects the most
remarkable mediæval house in the west of England," while he was writing
"Westward Ho."

Of far greater interest, however, is Stowe (Anglo-Saxon for a stockaded
place), at one time a magnificent building. Of it only the moat remains,
but when Sir Beville rose for Charles I., many a Cornishman, who in his
boyhood had stayed at Stowe, practising arms under the eye of Anthony
Payne, rose with him.


To Stratton, a little south of Stowe, came in 1643 the Parliamentarian
General, Lord Stamford. The cavaliers, not then very prosperous, but
gallant gentlemen all, were lying at Launceston, and the Roundhead made
the mistake of underestimating their strength. Sir Ralph Hopton and Sir
Beville Grenville marched the twenty miles from the capital town without
more food than a few biscuits. Intent on intercepting and driving out
the intruder, they found when they reached Stratton late in the evening
that he had entrenched himself strongly on a neighbouring hill. As he
had the advantage in numbers, having about twice as many men and must
know that they were tired, hungry, and in poor condition, the Royalists
stood to their arms through the short May night in momentary expectation
of an attack. Their leaders were at one of the Poughill cottages--they
bear date 1620 and are still to be seen--and Sir Beville, while he
waited anxiously, must have wondered how it had gone with wife and
children, over above in the moated and stockaded house of Stowe.

Lord Stamford, however, did not take advantage of his enemy's weariness.
No doubt he thought it would be more convenient, as the country was
unknown to him, to scatter the little force by daylight. At any rate he
sat still on the top of the hill and did nothing. In the grey dawn,
therefore, the Royalists, the fiercer for their hunger and
sleeplessness, decided not to wait any longer. Since he would not come
down they must go up. Dashingly they attacked his entrenchment, doggedly
they continued the fight. After nine hours of it, word was passed round
that their scanty store of ammunition had come to an end. But they were
nothing daunted. Grimly and in a strange silence they made the last
assault; and this time were successful, the leaders of the four narrow
columns meeting at the top of the hill. As they did so, Lord Stamford,
who had looked on from a safe distance, set spurs to his horse, and fled
headlong. Cornwall was won for King Charles, and from the battlefield
Francis Basset of Tehidy could write to his wife "Dearest soule, ring
out the bells, raise bonfires, publish these joyful tidings."

A year or two later, however, Stratton told a different tale. Cornwall
might in the main be Royalist, but all England was for a change in the
government; and presently Lord Essex, driving Sir Richard Grenville--a
brother of Sir Beville--before him, crossed the Tamar and stormed the
house at Stowe. It was the beginning of evil days. In 1646 Hopton, the
Royalist General, retired to Stratton with a broken, dispirited and,
alas! disorderly army, and from thence Sir Thomas Fairfax drove him back
across the pass at Wadebridge which Cromwell--it is the only mention of
him in Cornish annals--was sent to secure.


But by then Sir Beville was dead. After the--surely the name is
ironical--battle of Stamford Hill, he and his victorious troops had
marched to the King's aid. At the battle of Lansdowne, on the heights
above Bath, Sir Beville, sorely wounded, was struck out of his saddle by
a pole-axe. The pikemen he was leading fell into confusion, and in an
instant the Parliamentarians were among them, hewing them down. Then did
Anthony Payne, Sir Beville's giant retainer, come to the rescue.
Catching his master's riderless horse, he set on it young John, a
stripling of sixteen, Sir Beville's eldest son; and led him to the head
of the wavering pikemen. The appeal was irresistible. The Cornish
followed their beloved leader's son like men possessed; and so, while
Sir Beville lay dying on the hillside, his regiment, led by his faithful
servant and his young son, swept all before them.

One is glad to remember that at the Restoration when the family's
confiscated estates were restored to them, young John, in memory of his
own deeds and those of his greater father, was created Earl of Bath.


Bude with its wide sands and unsafe harbour is without historical
associations, but it can be used, having hotels, as a centre from which
to visit the more interesting towns (so-called, but they are no bigger
than an ordinary village) and hamlets of the neighbourhood. Tennyson,
when he had it in mind to write his Arthurian Idylls, came here--no
doubt for local colour, though being a Victorian what he said was, "That
he must go to Bude and be alone with God!" During his visit he rode out
to Morwenstow to call on Mr. Hawker, and the less-known bard has left an
interesting account of their interview.

"I found my guest ... a tall, swarthy, Spanish-looking man with an eye
like a sword. He sate down, and we conversed. I at once found myself
with no common mind.... Before he left the room, he said: 'Do you know
my name?'

"I said: 'No, I have not even a guess.'

"'Do you wish to know it?'

"'I don't much care--that which we call a rose, &c.'

"'Well, then,' said he, 'my name is _Tennyson_.'

"'What!' said I, '_the_ Tennyson?'

"'What do you mean by _the_ Tennyson? I am Alfred Tennyson, who wrote
"Locksley Hall," which you seem to know by heart.'

"So we grasped hands, and the Shepherd's heart was glad."


With regard to certain old churches, St. Olaf's, at Poughill, has two
rather crudely restored mural paintings and, set heavily in the south
door, what is reputed to be one of the few genuine sanctuary rings still
in existence. The church at Marhamchurch also shows the remains of
frescoes, while Stratton has a fine stoup, and in the north wall of the
chancel an Easter sepulchre, probably the only one in the county. That
of Swithin--dear apple saint--at Launcells, has a circular font reputed
to date from Saxon times, and the fifteenth century bench-ends, though
rudely carved, show a play of symbolic fancy, unusual in Cornwall. On
one you see the visit of Mary when she mistook the gardener for Christ,
Mary being represented by a spice-box, the gardener by a spade! On
another the Harrowing of Hell is represented by the jaws of a dragon,
and so with the various subjects. An empty grave and cross triumphant
tells the story of the resurrection, while the supper at Emmaus, though
faithfully suggested, is given without the introduction of a single
human figure. It is all symbolism--riddles which are interesting to
guess, but not always easy.


Some five miles or so south of Marhamchurch lies Week St. Mary, about a
native of which village a sort of Dick Whittington story is told. In a
field adjoining the churchyard the remains of extensive buildings can be
traced, and these, once a chantry, were said to be due to the pious
energy of Dame Thomasin Perceval. As a girl she herded geese on the
common of Greenamore, until in the shape of a staid and, alas! already
married merchant, the Prince came riding by. He spoke to the girl and
found her as pleasant in discourse as to the eye. Without more ado,
therefore, he took her away with him--and here, though propriety is
preserved, the fairy-tale suddenly drops to unromantic fact--he took her
to wait upon his wife! In course of time, however, that good lady died
and the middle-aged Prince was free to marry his goose-girl.

After many years she returned as a rich widow to her native parish, and
there spent the remnant of her days in a cheerful and rather bustling
philanthropy, repairing anything in the way of churches, bridges, and
roads that required attention, portioning the virtuous and hard working
of her own sex and generally playing Lady Bountiful--or so it is said!

In the churchwardens' Accounts of Stratton under date 1513 we read:

"paid for my lady parcyvale ijs Meneday [_i.e._ day of prayer for her
soul] to iiij preistes & for bred & ale 1s. 1d."




The cliffs from Marsland Mouth to Trevose Head are fine, much finer than
those on the better known south coast. The seas also are wilder, these
shores seeming to suffer from fiercer onslaughts of the Atlantic. On a
blustery day it is nothing to see the tortured waves break into a spray
that is flung full forty feet into the air, while except in sheltered
dips and coves--of which there are none too many in this part--neither
tree nor shrub can live. This gives the headlands a barren look, the
bold outlines are of grey boulders rather than vegetation, and behind
them on the windy downs crouch the grey hamlets and solitary farms. For
sheer beauty of crag and precipice, of mighty seas and broken slipped
sea-front, there is nothing in the duchy that can compare with this
piece of coast. Upon the great cliffs of Widemouth Bay, of which the
name is sufficiently descriptive, follow Dizzard Point (500 ft.) with
its landslip, Castle Point, so called from the circular earthwork on its
summit, Pencarrow Head (400 ft.), between which and Cambeak (500 ft.) at
the mouth of a wooded valley lies the lovely Crackington Cove and which
brings us to the High Cliff with its sheer drop of 735 ft. This last is
the highest in Cornwall, nearly double the height of the Dodman, that
glory of the southern coast, while it is far higher than the Land's End
and the Lizard. A little inland is yet higher ground, for Tresparret
Down, a barren and desolate heath, is some 850 ft. above sea level!

Somewhat to the north of the High Cliff is St. Genys, the saint of which
is said to have been one of three brothers, all of whom were beheaded.
This particular brother is believed to have walked about afterwards, his
head held under his arm, a proceeding which reminds us that "King
Charles walked and talked, half an hour after his head was cut off!"

There is here an interesting example of an Elizabethan communion cup and
paten cover, but it must be remembered that many cups of that date are
older in material than in shape. When the word cup was substituted for
chalice, we find by the churchwarden's accounts that the vessels were
frequently re-shaped. We have, for example, one of 1571, "to Iohn Ions,
goldsmith, for changing the chalice into a cup, £1 15_s_. 5_d_."


After the High Cliff the shore gradually assumes a less terrific aspect,
until Boscastle, with its tiny firth and its blow-holes, is reached.
This little straggling place took its name from Botreaux Castle (or
Castel-boterel), which was built here in the twelfth century. The last
Lord Botreaux died in 1462, and of the castle only a grassy mount,
called Jordans, from a neighbouring stream, remains. This mount is on
the hill, that steep and wooded hill which leads down into Boscastle,
and on the sides of which the houses are hung like birds' nests on a

At the end of the valley the hills unite into slaty cliffs which take a
sudden fjord-like turn before reaching the sea. This short and tiny
estuary cannot, of course, compare with the smallest of those winding
inlets which make the strange beauty of the Norwegian coast, inlets
whose walls would dwarf the High Cliff and whose majestic desolation
would make the barrenest headland in the west seem mild and fertile.

If the tide is in, the islet at the mouth of Boscastle Harbour sends up
sudden showers of spray which suggest a geyser, but are in reality due
to a blow-hole, and there is another on the mainland.

An ancient form of tenure survives here. The upper part of Forrabury
Common is divided into "stitches"--slips of land divided by boundary
marks only--and these stitches are held in severalty from Lady Day to
Michaelmas, the proprietors for the rest of the year stocking it in
common, according to the amount of their holdings. The hilly part of the
common being unfit for cultivation is stocked in common all the year

Boscastle has two churches, that of Forrabury, which has been too
zealously restored, deal having been substituted for the
sixteenth-century oak benches and for the old pulpit that was covered
with arabesques, and Minster. Near Minster, on Waterpit Downs, is a fine
specimen of Celtic interlaced work on a cross shaft. It is now rescued,
but for many years it served to bear the pivot of a threshing-machine.
The church itself stands on the chancel site of an old minster. A
doorway, now blocked, once led to the priory buildings, but of them
nothing remains.


Inland from Boscastle is Otterham, which possesses two bells dating from
before the Reformation and mentioned in the inventory of Edward VI. The
inscriptions on these mediæval bells are interesting, a frequent one
being, "With my living voice I drive away all evil things." A little to
the east of Otterham, on a hill 807 ft. above sea level, is Warbstow
Barrows, one of the largest and best preserved earthworks in the county.
Its two ramparts have each two entrances, the outer wall being 15 ft.
high with a ditch 15 ft. wide. In the middle is a barrow known as the
Giant's Grave, perhaps the resting-place of a chieftain who died in
defence of the place, and was buried where he fell. Cornwall is thickly
strewn with these memorials of the past. Earthworks of different race
encampments lie cheek by jowl, strings of forts reach from sea to sea,
and even the cliffs are fortified. These cliff castles, and there are
traces of fortification on almost every headland, must have been built
by people who were actually "between the devil and the deep sea." Foot
by foot they must have given way, till at length they stood with their
backs to the sea, defending from their enemies one ultimate rock. Only
too often is there a grave within these defences, the grave of the last
man, strong enough to hold back the enemy, but slain at last.

To the south-west of Boscastle is Willapark Head, and beyond it are some
caves which until recently were haunted, as was all this north-western
coast, by mild-eyed seals. "A man with a gun" and the English instinct
to "go out and kill something," an instinct useful in the days of the
mammoth and the cave-tiger, but more than a little tiresome in our
present state of civilisation, is responsible for their disappearance.
There are still the caves to be seen.


Inland the little towns are of slight interest, with the exception of
the old cross at Lambrenny, but the walk along the cliffs--and the
Cornish are amiably ignorant that trespassers ought to be
prosecuted--presents an ever-changing panorama of lichened rocks and
lacy surf and every shade of wonderful blue. In Trevalga Church is some
old woodwork that has been carefully placed against the east wall of the
church, and presently we are crossing the neck of the Rocky Valley on
our way to derelict Bossiney--Bossiney once having mayor and officers
and represented in Parliament by Sir Francis Drake, but now only a
sleepy lovely nook in a quiet corner of the land! At the head of the
Rocky Valley is St. Nechtan's Kieve, a fine but broken waterfall of some
40 ft. A legend is told of two unknown ladies who inhabited a cottage
near by and who died without ever having revealed their names, but the
legend sprang like so many others from the fertile brain of the Rev.
Robert Hawker. He thought the place looked as if it ought to have a
legend, and not finding one was both ready and able to supply the
deficiency. A cross which was formerly part of the garden gate and was
supposed to be of the ninth century has been taken to Tintagel, and is
now to be seen in the garden of that comfortable old-fashioned hostelry,
the Wharncliffe Arms.


The far-famed "Dundagel" consists of a single grey street, lined in
irregular fashion with grey cottages and houses. In this land of stone
you sigh for the cheerful sight of a red-brick building or a glowing
tiled roof; but the stone used is grey, and where the roofs are not of a
cold blue slate, they are of a thatch held on by ropes that are heavily
weighted. The place is still primitive. Until recently the nearest baker
lived at Delabole, and to judge by the prizes (instead of cakes) on view
in his window, he must have been the king of pastry cooks. In Cornwall,
however, the housewife still bakes her own bread and is in other ways
more self-sufficing, and let us add more thrifty, than elsewhere.


"Who Arthur was," says Milton, "and whether any such person reigned in
Britain hath been doubted heretofore and may again with good reason." We
must remember that the traditions concerning him were not reduced to
writing until centuries after his death, while Gildas, who was born
according to his own account in what would be Arthur's lifetime, does
not mention him.

The legends, however, assert that he was born at Tintagel Castle about
499 A.D., that he had three wives, but no children, and that his second
wife, Yenifer (Guinevere), was buried with him at Glastonbury. Against
the probability of this is the fact that Tintagel is not mentioned in
Domesday and that its ruins are of the thirteenth century with later
additions. It is quite likely, however, that the place, which is
strongly situated on a jutting headland--the so-called Island--was
fortified from time immemorial. It may originally have been one of those
pathetic cliff castles, may have been improved on and made habitable by
the conquering race of that epoch, and may eventually have fallen into


The present ruins are said to represent a castle built some little time
after the Norman Conquest, a castle which speedily fell out of repair,
for it had to be restored by Richard, King of the Romans, brother of
Henry III., before he could entertain his nephew, David, Prince of
Wales, here in 1245.

When Cornwall, till then an earldom, was made a duchy (1337) and
bestowed on the Black Prince, a boy seven years old, all the castles
were again fallen into decay. At Tintagel the timber had even been
removed from the great hall "because the walls were ruinous." The main
part of the building appears to have been on the Island, but it was
connected with outworks on the shore by a drawbridge. Sir Richard
Grenville, who made an official survey in 1583, tells us that this
drawbridge, which had been in existence within living memory, was gone,
its supports having been washed away by the waves. The sea having
continued its work of destruction, the space is now too wide for any
drawbridge to span, and in spite of a handrail the little climb to the
"Island" ruins is a dizzy one. Nor is there much to see. Some of the
masonry is recent, while the tiny chapel and altar are of about the same
date as the later parts of the castle, but the view is fine. It makes up
for the disappointment in Tintagel as a castle, for the disappointment
of finding that here is no certain tradition of Arthur, that the very
people feel about him much as Milton did. He may have been born here,
this may have been his very castle of Dindraithon, but if so they know
nothing of it. Arthur is a thing of books, of art, not life, of the
Morte, the Idylls, and--best of all perhaps--of Clemence Housman's
wonderful story "Sir Aglovaine de Galis," but he has no place in
present-day folklore.

On the top of the mainland outworks is a doorway which in an eerie
manner opens upon space, and a sheer drop of many hundreds of feet. It
shows how much the sea is encroaching. Once upon a time this probably
led to the look-out tower. Now the very foundations of that tower are
gone and presently the masonry will go too, and the waters will roar
unhindered between the mainland and the island.


Far below is a tiny dark beach, the colour of which is explained when
having climbed down a wooden stairway clamped to the rock--the only
means of approach--it is found to consist entirely of rounded pieces of
slate. They are of all weights and sizes, but there is no sand, no
shells, nothing but slate. Opposite the Castle rock is Barras Head, and
there at last the big modern hotel can be ignored and the wanderer lie
out on the short, dry turf with the long line of hazy coast to either
hand and, before him, the islands white with sea-birds and pink with
thrift and the boundless stretch of sunlit waters.

  "_To be by the translucent green, the blue
  Deepening to purple where the weed is dense!
  To hear the homing call as the brave sweep
  Of wings is folded on a sea-girt rock!
  To lie in golden warmth while tow'ring waves
  Break with a lazy roar along the cliffs--
  To lie and dream._"

It is here that Swinburne, venturing on a swim, was nearly drowned. The
same story is told of him on the French coast, only there it was Guy de
Maupassant who brought him back in safety. The great French writer is
reported to have said that the little English poet, with his
bladder-like head and attenuated body, struck him as hardly sane. Yet it
was Maupassant who died mad, not Swinburne.


At Tintagel was discovered in 1888 a stone on which is inscribed IMP C G
Val Lic Licin, _i.e._, Imperatore Cæsare Galerio Valerio Liciniano
Licinio, who reigned 307-324 A.D. It is evident therefore that whether
Arthur was here or not the Romans were. What a pity that no one has been
able to discover any satisfactory evidence in enduring stone of the
British king's existence!

The cruciform church on the cliff is largely Norman, but portions of it
belong to almost every succeeding age and period. Some have even held
that it contains Saxon work, but the authorities are not agreed.


On the way to Trebarwith along the cliffs--and Trebarwith is a narrow
rocky opening up which the tide rushes with tremendous force--are
quarries. It is strange to see men, with the carelessness of long habit,
walk to the very edge of the cliff, lie down and, with their legs
hanging over, feel with their feet for the rough ladder that leads down
the rock-face to the quarry opening; or to see them stand on a plank
that juts out over the sea, and is maintained in its position by a chunk
of rock, casually adjusted. If the plank should give, or the rock roll
aside! But a man stands there from morning till night loading and
unloading slates.


Inland from Tintagel is Camelford, with its local tradition of a battle.
At Slaughter Bridge, near Worthyvale, one and a half miles from
Camelford, fragments of armour, ornaments of bridles, weapons, have been
found, and in 823 a battle was certainly fought at some place then
called Gafulford between the Saxons of Devon and the Celts of Cornwall,
a battle in which the Cornish were defeated. May not this unknown
Gafulford be Camelford? Writers have suggested that this may have been
the scene of Arthur's last battle; but the weight of tradition is
against this theory, a more likely place having been pointed out in


While on the subject of the legendary British king, it would be
interesting to see a supposed feasting-chamber, which from before the
time of Henry VIII. was known as Arthur's Hall. South-west of Brown
Willy, it is about five miles from Camelford, in the parish of St.
Breward. It appears at present as a pit hollowed out in a light sandy
soil. This excavation, which is 159 ft. long, is enclosed by an earthen
bank with slabs of granite about 7 ft. high, placed evenly on the inner
side. The absence of true walls makes it doubtful whether it was roofed
over, but it may have had a self-supporting skeleton roof, covered with
a web of branches or with sods.


As is so often the case in Cornwall, the Camelford church is at some
distance from the place to which it ministers, being, indeed, a mile and
a half away at Lanteglos. In the churchyard is a celebrated stone with
an inscription in eleventh-century Saxon capitals: "ÆLSELTH & GENERETH
of a mile from the church is the well-known entrenchment called Castle
Goff, with a single rampart and ditch.


Below Lanteglos is the manor of Helston, and Domesday records "that
there were forty brewers on the royal manor of Henliston." This is the
only mention in the great survey of brewers as an item of population,
and forty seems a good many for one place. Did they brew all the beer in
the county; and was it Henliston ale that so appalled Andrew Borde when
he thought to visit Cornwall, that he turned back saying: "it looked as
if pigges had wrasteled in it"?


Camelford is not far from either of the sources of the Camel, and the
upper moorland reaches of the twin streams abound in charming spots
where the water frets among boulders and swirls in sunshine and shadow
among ferns and wild flowering shrubs. The sisters do not join forces
till they reach Kea Bridge, over ten miles from their source, but as
soon as depth allows of their existence sweet small trout are plentiful.


Between Camelford and Tintagel are the now silent quarries of North
Delabole (or Dennyball). The road winds between great walls and under
archways of slate which look as if a touch would send the whole erection
sliding and rushing down upon the wayfarer. But the slates were set up
by cunning fingers and have withstood the gales of this coast for a
score of years. Very different is their mournful creeper-grown
desolation from the arid activity of Delabole. The approach to the high
grey windy street is marked by deep ferny lanes. Here are thirty acres
of quarry and rubble heap, a hideous excavation. In 1602 the quarry,
already old, was 900 ft. long, in 1882 it had grown to 1300 ft., and it
is growing still. The best slate is called bottom stone and lies at a
depth of from 25 to 40 fathoms, for the quarry is now over 400 ft. deep.
Beautiful crystals the so-called Cornish diamonds, are found in these
workings, truly the only beautiful things in a most dreary place.


When the church at little sleepy St. Teath was restored in 1877, two
massive Norman responds at the east end of the north aisle were
discovered. There is also some good roof timber and a little ancient
glass. The pulpit bears the arms of the Carminows and their motto: "Cala
Rag Whetlow"--a straw for a tell-tale. It was John of Gaunt,
"time-honoured Lancaster," that Prince who, though never a king, was
the ancestor of so many, who upon true evidence found Carminow of
Cornwall "to be descended of a lineage armed 'Azure a bend Or' since the
time of King Arthur;" and indeed the Carminows were certainly here at
the Conquest. They are now extinct, the last of the family, a devoted
Royalist, dying in 1646.

In the graveyard, on a slab fastened to the church, is the following

  "_Here lyeth the body of Robert Bake, son of Samuel Bake, who was
      buried the xxx day of January, 16--.
  But what cheere-up altho our sonne be gone
  Altho his bodiy must be racke and toren
  With filthy bitter bitinge wormes of dust
  And be consumd as all our bodies must
  Yet still cheere-up comforte yourselves: in this
  Tho the bodiy died the soule emmortall is
  And now in heaven most ioyfully shall singe
  O: grave where is thy strength, death where is thy victory
  With God above for all e-terny-tie:
                                  For Robert Bake._"



_Port Isaac and the Fishing: Pentire: St. Enodoc and the Sand:
Lovebond's Bridge: Wadebridge and Egloshayle: "Jan Tergeagle": Menhirs:
Padstow and the Hobby Horse: Prehistoric Inhabitants: Harlyn Bay:
Trevose Head: Constantine: A Fogou: Bedruthan: The Vale of Lanherne._


So long and so steep is the hill between Port Gavernoe and Port Isaac
that the Cornishman, though not noted for kindness to animals, does not
often ask his horse to negotiate it, and indeed these Cornish hills are
a sovereign specific for nerves. No one who has been up and down them,
behind one of the surefooted country-bred ponies, can fear any ordinary

From the hill the view of the little grey town is hardly inviting. It
lies huddled together as if it had slipped down the sides of the cleft
in which it rests. Very crooked are its narrow roads; all sideways,
askew and anyhow the small houses; there are no gardens, hardly any
backyards; and at certain seasons of the year young and stalwart men
seem to be conspicuous by their absence. "They'm all away at work and
they do belong to go, for there edn't no money here, only the fishin',"
is the explanation.

Fishing is indeed the reason for Port Isaac's existence and for that of
her smaller neighbours, Port Gaverne and Port Quin, each of which lies
at the head of a similar sandy inlet. Port Isaac, it is true, has a
harbour deep enough to admit steamers of 150 tons burden, and most of
the Delabole slates are shipped from here, but fishing is the main
interest. "Cousin Jack" is a strict Sabbatarian, but not so his rival
from the east coast. It is bad enough to see the fish caught in waters
he looks upon as his, but particularly so under the circumstances; and,
as a consequence, he has sometimes taken the law into his own hands. "If
à must fishey," says he, "leave en fishey fair," and one Monday morning
when the strangers endeavoured to land eight boatloads that had been
captured during Sunday night, his patience reached its limit. "All that
day gulls swarmed in the little harbour, and thereafter the place
reeked of decaying fish. So now the east countrymen deem it wiser to
land their Sunday's catch elsewhere."

Is it possible that this nook of the coast also reeks somewhat of
decaying fish? What of it? Many a fishing town lies ahead, and they were
not called "Fishy-gissy" and "Polstink" for nothing. May be--as you are
told when you get a whiff of the gasworks--it is a healthy smell; any
way, healthy or no, like those same gasworks it is not to be denied.


  "_From Padstow Point to Hartland Light,
  Is a watery grave by day or night_"

runs the country saying, voicing the fear that haunts every fisherman's
cottage along the coast; and if the children, in their carelessness, lay
a loaf cut-side down, so that it looks like a boat turned bottom
upwards, the elders shiver and bid them right it at once. Pentire, which
stands out at one side of the estuary above low-lying Padstow, has two
points, the Eastern and the Western Horns; and a view up the entire
coast of Cornwall and onward to blunt Trevose that should not be missed.
On the eastern point of the bay is a well-defined cliff castle. It is
evident that the triple mounds and ditches were for purposes of defence,
but neither local history nor tradition has a word about those by whom
they were built. This only is certain, that the folk must have been
desperate who came to make their last stand on this wild and lonely

On the headland is a cave in some way connected with "Cruel Coppinger,"
who, by his brutality for years, dominated the western coast (though he
was perhaps less seen at Padstow than elsewhere). His smuggling lugger,
the _Black Prince_, was known from Morwenstow to Newquay, and many are
the wild deeds--he did not even stop short of murder--recorded of this
desperado, from the day he was landed on these shores to that other day
when, the measure of his iniquities being full, he set sail never to
return. Not that all smuggling was undertaken in so lawless a fashion.
It was rather an agreeable diversion spiced with adventure, and
gentleman, parson, farmer, and peasant all lent a hand. "Cruel
Coppinger's" is not the only cave along this coast that is said to have
been haunted by "spirits"--as indeed they were, and by silks and lace as
well! Nor were the hiding-places only those provided by Nature. The
pulling down of old houses has revealed many a hollow in the thick walls
and under the flagged floors; there is even a story that one great
gentleman used to conceal a store of illicit goods--in his carriage!

Relics of an older civilisation have been dug up on these headlands. It
is possible, before the sand swept in overwhelmingly, that the coast may
have supported a larger population. Roman coins and beads, strange blue
iridescent glass, and bits of red glaze, the glaze of Samian ware, have
been found; and among these things articles of a yet earlier date, as
for instance, a roughly made coral necklace thought to be British or


From this point westward the coast has been afflicted with sandstorms,
churches have been buried, towns obliterated by the drifting particles.
Blowing steadily for three days at a time, the frightened people have
left their houses to escape suffocation, and fled inland only on their
return to find the face of the country changed beyond recognition. St.
Enodoc Church, during one of these visitations, was covered with sand
above the level of the roof, only the thirteenth-century broach spire
remaining above the waste to indicate the whereabouts of the building.
In order to perform service, the parson, after some digging, managed to
enter by the roof; and it may be wondered why on that lonely waste a
service should be required. It was not, however, a matter of saving
souls, but of obtaining tithes. About forty years ago the church was
excavated, and it now lies in a deep trench. The path is lined with a
curious collection of stone mortars or measures, which however are not
ecclesiastical. Near by rises the desolate Bray Hill, under which, early
last century, storms having shifted the sands, the ruins of what is
thought to be an oratory came to light.

The churches of St. Minver and St. Kew are both interesting. The former
contains three octagonal slate piers supporting pointed arches, the
remains of a fine oak rood screen, and--an article which seems nowadays
somewhat out of place, but no doubt is stored there against destruction
or oblivion--the stocks. St. Kew lies in a lovely wooded valley, and is
one of the finest churches in Cornwall, but is not often visited. Fine
woodwork is to be seen in the cradle roof, while the chancel screen was
carefully modelled on one of earlier date. The communion cup is
Elizabethan, but more interesting is a glass egg-shaped bowl with silver
mounts of 1598. When Bodmin Church was restored (1472) it seems to have
sold its fine old windows to any church that would buy, and St. Kew was
fortunate enough to secure one, that in the north chapel. Not far from
here is Polrode, where, serving as part of the bridge, is a good, though
mutilated, example of a roundheaded cross with beaded angles. At St.
Endellion, a little north of Kew, is a stoup carved with the arms of
Roscarrock, Chenduit, and Pentire--and heraldic stoups are rare.


On the road to Wadebridge is an earthwork known as Castle Killibury or
Kelly Rounds, which was known to have been in existence--and out of
repair--as early as 1478. Commanding the road down to the ford it was
evidently once a place of considerable strength. This ford was not
bridged until the reign of Edward IV., when a fine bridge with a span of
seventeen arches was built by a man named Lovebond. At first it was so
narrow that only pack-horses could cross, and over every pier protecting
angles were placed for the need of pedestrians. The bridge was 320 ft.
long, and the finest of its kind in England. It has been widened, but
its character carefully preserved. For a long time it was believed that
on account of the shifting sands the piers rested on packs of wool.
Examination, however, has proved the story an invention, for they are on
a rock foundation.

It was over this bridge that the broken Royalists hurried in 1646, a
long disorderly straggle of men and guns and baggage, with Cromwell,
grimly patient, at their heels. Had there been union and discipline in
the forces, they would have been no easy conquest; but there had long
been dissension among the leaders, and the condition of the common
soldiers was both wretched and demoralised. As Clarendon records, they
were "feared by their friends, scorned by their enemies, terrible only
in plunder and resolute in running away." With such troops as these
nothing could be done. Sir Richard Grenville, tyrannical and
quarrelsome, had been committed to Launceston gaol, Prince Charles
himself had left the country, and only the loyal Hopton was left. Once
across the Camel and the soldiers were penned into the western half of
the peninsula; but a spark of that old spirit which had won so many
victories for the king was shown in a skirmish at St. Columb Major. It
was the last flicker of life. In March the commissioners met at
Tresillian Bridge, terms were agreed on, and the Royalist army disbanded
on honourable conditions.


Wadebridge is a little market town, so little that it has not even a
resident dentist! It has, however, an air of life which is unusual in
Cornwall; but that may be partly due to the cheery little streams that
run through the open gutters of the main streets. Here you buy chickens
by the pound and new-laid eggs--sometimes--for a halfpenny each; but the
place is neither beautiful nor interesting. Very different is
Egloshayle, the "church by the river," a name which it deserves, for the
water washes against the fence of the haunted graveyard. Historians tell
us that the Loveybound who was vicar here in 1462 and who built the
south aisle and fine three-stage western tower must not be confounded
with the Lovebond of about the same date who built the bridge, that
indeed it is a case of "It wasn't Mr. William Shakespeare who wrote the
plays, but another gentleman of the same name." The church is about a
mile up the river from Wadebridge, and stands in a group of chestnuts.
The sculptured stone pulpit is of the fifteenth century, and in the roof
of the south aisle is some good oak of the same date. The hood-mouldings
of the tower doorway are ornamented with angels bearing shields, on one
of which is cut the name "I. Loveybound" and the device of three hearts
banded together with a fillet.

On the other side of Wadebridge lies St. Breock, where "John Tregeagle
of Trevorder, Esqr., 1679," is buried. 'Tis said that at his death,
owing to some inaccuracy in his accounts--he was steward of the
Robartes' estates--a poor man was sued for money that he had already
paid. By the agency of the parson, who seems to have been some sort of a
wizard, Tregeagle was induced to return to earth and give evidence for
the defence, which evidence proved conclusive. Cornwall is full of
legends about Tregeagle, who seems to have been a hard man and an
oppressive steward; but no doubt, as often happens, the legends are of
earlier date than the individual to whom they are momentarily attached.
The wraith who gave them birth has faded out of living memory, is indeed
dead; but like disturbed but sleepy birds, they have quickly settled
again on some character still bulking largely in the public eye.


Beyond the little church the ground rises to St. Breock Downs, which are
700 ft. above sea level and strewn with prehistoric remains. Nine big
stones in a straight line are followed by a menhir, a disposition often
seen on Dartmoor; and at Pawton is a dolmen called the Giant's Quoit, an
exceptionally fine example. The menhir is known as the Old Man, probably
from houl mæn, a sun stone. The word "man" or "men" or "maiden" when met
with in the west invariably means a stone, but those responsible for our
latter-day legends were often unaware of this.

By way of the broad sunshiny estuary, which is as beautiful when the
tide is out and the distant gulls stand like a string of pearls on the
edge of the yellow sand, as when the whole expanse is one stretch of
dimpling blue water, we come to Padstow. At Little Petherick, which is
halfway, there is a copy of the 1684 edition of Foxe's "Book of
Martyrs," and the south doorway of the church is believed to have been
stolen from the ruined edifice on Constantine Bay--at any rate there is
no mention in the churchwardens' accounts of any payment made.


A short distance from the mouth of the estuary and looking up the blue
reaches to the open sea lies the little port of Padstow. In early days
it was so near the Atlantic that wandering Danes (901) came and
plundered its monastery of St. Petrock, and later the sand blocked up
the wide mouth of the harbour forming the Doom Bar, and leaving only a
narrow channel on the west. But the little place with its narrow streets
all running uphill, its unprotected sharp-cornered quay, and its
dominant manor-house, still contrives to exist. It is at its best
perhaps when stress of weather has driven in the fishing fleet, and
there is a forest of masts clustered by the wharves. On such occasions
milk and bread are hard to come by, for there will be five hundred extra
mouths to feed.

A quaint survival of the ancient May Day celebrations exists in the
Hobby Horse, a wooden circle with a dress of blackened sail-cloth, a
horse's head, and a prominent tail. This is carried through the town,
the bearers meanwhile chanting a song which, in spite of an old tune and
refrain, is full of topical allusions.

Halfway up one of the steep roads that lead out into the country is the
beautifully situated Prideaux Place. The family, though of respectable
antiquity, has not taken any leading part in the history of the county,
but in the house are some interesting pictures, a Vandyke, and some
early Opies. When the old home of the Grenvilles was finally dismantled,
the great staircase was brought from Stowe and set up here to be a link
with the immemorial past.

Round Padstow the land is fertile, very fine wheat being grown; and it
is believed that a certain farmer pays his rent with the produce of a
single field of asparagus. It is astonishing that more of the succulent
edible is not grown, or that the sandhills of the coast are not utilised
as they were round Southampton for growing strawberries. A fortune may
lurk in the sand, the devastating sand, or, if that is too much to ask,
at least it may give back more than it has taken. But the farmers are
disinclined for change, and if you ask why there are so few milch kine
and why vegetables and other amenities of life are so difficult to get,
you are told: "Spoase they'm warm men, got a long stocking. They don't


Along the estuary to the north is a way which, in windy weather, is
dangerous, but at other times gives a succession of lovely views and
which brings the walker past Rockferry (mentioned as early as 1337) to
Stepper Point, with its white day-mark. The cliffs for a little are high
and not too safe, but Tregudda Gorge with its amethyst and topaz
crystals, its flints and worked slates, is a lonely and a beautiful
spot. The Cornish tell strange stories of these places, stories of the
"little people" whom they believe to be fairies,[1] but who are probably
the neolithic dwarf race which is said to have inhabited parts of the
country. They are also firm believers in psychic faculty, though they
call it by other older names. A man interested in such matters met a
London friend at the Padstow terminus. Aware that his friend was
supposed to be clairvoyant, he without comment put a fragment of bone
that he had found on an old kitchen midden in the other's hand and
asked him what he saw. "Now, this is interesting," said the other, "for
I see walking away before me a little brown man dressed in skins. On his
feet are brogues of hide with the hair inside."

The friends were walking by the estuary and the tide was in. "He has got
into a queer sort of basket boat covered with hides and is paddling
about among a lot of other little brown people in similar boats. Ah,
there is a forest over there." The antiquarian looked across the
discoloured line of the Doom Bar to the sandhills opposite, but not a
tree was to be seen. He remembered afterwards, however, that many
centuries ago a forest, now submerged, had occupied the eastern side of
the Camel estuary.

So sparsely inhabited is this coast that the worked flints and
arrow-heads of that bygone people still lie on the undisturbed surface
of the rocky land. The flints are so sharp, so clean, that it seems
their owners can have only just laid them down. And we must remember
that this is not a flint country. Every sharp atom was brought from far
away in the days when the rivers had to be forded and there were only
paths over the waste. Yet, onward from Tregudda Gorge, there are any
number to be found. Moreover after Trevone--an uninteresting place where
some bathing fatalities have occurred--we come, in broad and beautiful
Harlyn Bay, to the necropolis of this vanished race.


In 1900, when digging for the foundations of a house, an oblong slate
kist, lying north and south, and containing a "crouched" burial, was
found. The drift sand lay some 8 to 10 ft. above the grave, within which
the skeleton lay on his side, his hands over his eyes, his knees bent
under him in what seems to us an attitude of devotion; as he lay the
first ray of the rising sun would strike athwart his face. Further
investigation showed that the discovered kist was only one of a group of
interments, and that the graves covered some 90 ft., giving signs of a
long continued series of burials, rather than of a great number within a
short period. The date of interment is considered to be that of the
later iron age, no great antiquity it is true, but some few thousand
years ago. The kind and courteous owner, Colonel Bellers, allows access
to this prehistoric graveyard--locally known as the Boneries--and near
by is a small museum for the preservation of interesting finds. Some of
the kists have been left _in situ_ and, to preserve them from wind and
weather, have been covered with a sort of cucumber frame, and the
stranger looks down through the glass on to the brown bones in their
enduring coffins of slate. Here lies a chieftain, for over his kist were
heaped rough lumps of quartz crystal; here a mother and child, little
bones and bigger; and here, in a heterogeneous mixture of all sorts and
sizes, is a hint of tragedy. Were they the result of a battle--of a
cannibal feast--or of justice done!

A tooth from this strange and lonely graveyard was enclosed in a little
box and sent to a friend in London with instructions to place it
unopened in the hands of a clairvoyant. No information was vouchsafed
with the tooth, and the mystified go-between was only asked to take down
what was said, and this he did. At first the clairvoyant seemed rather
puzzled. "I can see a wide, sandy bay with rocks and cliffs, a rough
tumbling sea, and at the head of the bay a dense wood; but the people
are not like any I've ever seen before. They seem to be skin-clad
savages with black hair. There are quite a lot of them. One is running
across the sands and others are rushing after him; they have weapons in
their hands and he is fleeing in deadly terror. Ah, he has run into the
wood--now they've all disappeared!"

Was the last scene in that prehistoric man's life being re-enacted
before the clairvoyant's gaze? Had he contravened his fellows' unknown
laws and so been hunted to his death?

After a little the seer continued: "I see the bay again, but it's a
little different, more sand and fewer trees. Some men in present-day
dress are standing by a hole in the ground. They----" and a description
was given of the people who had been present at the opening of the kist.
"I think the hole is a grave, though it seems too short to be that" (the
kist being a "crouched" burial was, of course, much shorter than an
ordinary grave), "at any rate there are bones in it."

Of the gold ornaments found in Cornwall the most remarkable are the two
torques found near Harlyn; bronze fibulæ have also been found here, but
a good many of these finds are now in the Truro Museum. Harlyn, in spite
of the grisly nature of its chief attraction, is an incomparable bay of
wide firm sand, rock pools, and low safe cliffs. As it is sheltered by
Trevose Head, the bathing is safe. A little way along the cliffs is a
disused fish-cellar, over the door of which is the motto: "Lucri dulcis
odor"--sweet is the smell of gold! But the fish have left these shores
and the big black boats--boats that are oddly reminiscent of the
Viking's ships at Christiania--lie rotting in the sun.


Trevose Head (lighthouse), blunt and rounded, with an ear on each side
of its broad head, is a somewhat eerie place. On its western slope is a
large and sinister blow-hole, and much of the land seems to have
slipped a little and to be slipping more. It is here, by the rabbit
burrows, that so many worked flint arrow-heads and fish spears have been
found; while on its eastern side are caves inaccessible to the ordinary
person, but if report says truly once of great use to the smuggler. The
cliffs are of catacleuse, a dark and durable stone, of which on the cave
side there are quarries.

Beyond Trevose Head, with its view from Cape Cornwall to Lundy Isle, the
land curves inward past the rocky ridges and big rolling sand-dunes of
Constantine. A shepherd's family is said to have held for many
generations a cottage on Constantine under the lord of Harlyn Manor by
the annual payment of a Cornish pie made of limpets, raisins, and sweet
herbs. Food is cheap in Cornwall, but wages are correspondingly low. A
farm pays its labourers--it calls them the cowman, the bullockman, and
the horseman--from 13_s_. 6_d_. to 18_s_. a week, and with that, though
conditions differ a little on different farms, they generally give a
cottage, 100 ft. of potato ground, the run of a pig on the land, 100
battens of tamarisk wood--almost the only wood on this part of the
coast--and, most prized of all, the right to let lodgings. On this the
labourers sometimes manage to save. In one absolutely authentic
instance, a couple, labourer and farm-servant, who married at twenty-one
and eighteen, contrived to rear a healthy family of three and before
they were forty to save enough to buy a piece of land, build a
lodging-house, and go into business on their own account. "Never refused
a day's work in my life," said the woman, "but we lived on what he
brought home, and saved what I made." And what he brought home had been
from thirteen to fifteen shillings a week. "Nor I never bought any
tinned stuff," she said. "There's a deal of money goes that way, if the
young women nowadays 'ud only believe it. Why, a tin of pears, where's
the nourishment in that, and think of the price. Nearly a shilling

And that woman baked her own bread, did, not only her own "bit of
washin'," but that of the one or two houses in the neighbourhood, went
out charing and cleaning, and took lodgers! They were thrifty folk,
never dreamed of buying a newspaper, and as a consequence had to save
every scrap of letter-paper, grocery bags, and oddments in order to have
the wherewithal to light the fire in the slab range. The pig was their
great stand-by. His meat, frugally cut, distributed in pasties with a
careful hand, lasted them the greater part of the year, and then there
were the lodgers. The tourist is not over-welcome to the farmer on
account of his carelessness with regard to gates. He lets the young
stock in among the corn and passes on oblivious of the damage he has
caused, but he is a godsend to the labourer's capable wife.


Constantine is another lovely and lonely bay. The jagged ridges of stone
run out at either end of the wide arc, a deep blue in sunlight, black in
cloudy weather, and between them lies a rainbow beach of shells. The
owners of the property have set their faces against hotels, and on the
stretch of sand-dunes are only the ruins of a one-time wrecker's
cottage, and a small black hut. The man who gave his name to the place
was supposed to be a descendant of King Lear (here spelt Llyr), who was
converted in his old age by the Padstow saint, Petrock. The sand which
destroyed his oratory is also said to have destroyed a populous village,
but seeing the desolation on every hand, this is a little difficult to
believe. At any rate the neighbouring churches seem to have benefited by
the saint's misfortune, for St. Merryn as well as Little Petherick
gathered up any trifles she thought might come in useful, and the
beautiful font at the former church is said to have been taken from her.
One thing only was left to

                      "_that ruined church
  Whose threshold is the sacrificial stone
  Of a forgotten people!_"

Under the archway of the western door, a heavy-rounded lump, lies the
old stone. It was probably a source of pride to Constantine ap Llyr. He
had taken from the heathen their greatest treasure, their sacrificial
stone, which had been brought from a distance, for there is no stone of
that nature in the neighbourhood, and he had set it in his threshold
where it should be trodden underfoot of men. And now the old church and
the yet older stone lie alike forgotten, and there is peace.

On Constantine Island--again only so-called--a little, very ancient
house was discovered some years ago. The walls were of slabs of stone
and the greatest height of the interior was 7 ft. From the discovery of
two hearth-stones, one inside and one on the outside of the building, it
was thought that the place was only used as a dwelling in bad or cold
weather, and that otherwise its prehistoric owner kept it as a
storehouse. Unfortunately the little ruin has been removed piecemeal by
the hungry visitor.


Not only are there many caverns along this coast, but several fogous or
artificial caves have been discovered. These fogous may have been used
for smuggling or as hiding-places in time of war, but the fact that some
are obviously connected with old cliff castles and strongholds, points
to a greater antiquity; in fact, they may have been prehistoric
storehouses. In a secluded valley, near Porthcothan, a little further
along this coast, is an interesting example. The cavern is 36 ft. long
and about 6 ft. high, the breadth being about 5 ft. The sides are lined
with rough stones, simply piled up, and the roof consists of stone
slabs. From this chamber a passage leads to another similarly
constructed. It is said to have been much longer, in fact over 1000
yards, one gallery leading to Trevethan, whence another opened on to the
beach at Porthmear.


To the south of Park Head, a fine cliff on which are several tumuli, is
the Church of St. Eval, the tower of which was so useful a landmark that
when it grew ruinous in 1727, some Bristol merchant subscribed towards
the rebuilding. It is near Bedruthan Steps, where a fine shore is strewn
with detached rocks and islands. One of the former is named "Queen
Bess," from a fancied resemblance, ruff, farthingale and all, to the
royal spinster; another "The Good Samaritan," because a vessel of that
name was wrecked there. This vessel had been an East Indiaman laden with
the silks and spices of a warmer clime, and a good deal of the cargo was
saved, so much indeed that nowadays when a lass finds her finery growing
the worse for wear, she says, "It is time for a Good Samaritan to come."

On the cliff above Redruthan Sands is an ancient earthwork known as Red
Cliff Castle, which is supposed to have been British. It would be
interesting to learn whether it is in any way connected with the
numerous great caves which honeycomb its rock foundation. So far,
however, no fogou has been discovered here.


From Mawgan Porth, the far-famed Vale of Lanherne lies inland some two
miles or so, a contrast to the rough wild coast and its splintered
rocks. Beyond the church and nunnery, in their peaceful setting of
small-leaved Cornish elms, among the branches of which the rooks build
above the little rippling stream, are the lovely woods of Carnanton. It
used to be said that amid all the religious communities represented in
Cornwall long ago, there was never a nunnery, but this is no longer the
case. In the reign of Henry VII. an Arundell of Lanherne purchased
Wardour Castle, in Wiltshire, and when his younger son Thomas, married a
sister of Queen Catherine Howard, the old man settled on him the Wardour
house and estate. In course of time the elder branch came to be
represented by a daughter only, and she marrying her cousin of Wardour
the estates were re-united. In 1794 Henry, eighth Lord Arundell of
Wardour, gave the old home of his race--it had been in the family since
1231--to some English Theresian nuns, who had fled from Paris in fear of
what was to come. The present house is not very old, though a part of it
dates from 1580, which part contains a secret chamber, wherein a priest
once lay concealed for some sixteen months. It is said that the silver
sanctuary lamp in the convent chapel has burnt continuously and that the
Roman Catholic services have been held without intermission since
pre-Reformation days. A picture supposed to be by Rubens, "The Scourging
of our Blessed Lord at the Pillar," is shown, also other reputed old
masters. Adjoining the house is a little garden, used as a cemetery, in
which three priests and several nuns have been buried, and which
contains a tenth-century four-holed cross of Pentewan stone, the shaft
of which is covered with interlaced work.

Mawgan Church, which is close to the nunnery, is remarkably rich in
brasses, many of which are now attached to the old screen through the
shameful ignorance of a late rector. There were here formerly some
interesting palimpsest brasses of foreign workmanship, but large
portions of these have been removed by the Arundells--whom they
concerned--to Wardour Castle. On the south side of the churchyard is one
of those pathetic memorials only too common along this coast. The white
painted stern of a boat lies close to the convent wall, and on it is
inscribed: "Here lie the bodies of ... who were drifted on shore in a
boat, frozen to death, at Beacon Cove, in this parish, on Sunday, the
13th day of December, MDCCCXLVI." A beautiful Gothic cross of
fifteenth-century work stands at the west end of the church. It is the
most elaborate example of a lanthorn cross in Cornwall and contrasts
well with the restored granite cross, dating from the earliest period of
such monuments, which is to be seen in the additional churchyard.


[1] The fairies seem to be identical with the Tuatha da Danaan of



_Hurling and St. Columb Major: Colan: The Gratitude of the Stuarts:
Trevalgue: A Good Centre for Crantoch, St. Cubert, and Trerice: St.
Agnes and the Giant: Portreath: the Bassets: Godrevy: Gwithian: The


At the head of the lovely Vale of Lanherne is a district which has long
been the centre for the old game of "hurling," and although football has
largely taken its place, it is still sometimes played on Shrove Tuesday.
The ball is smaller than that used for cricket, is light to handle, and
has a coating of silver. The one now in use is inscribed with this

  "_St. Columb Major and Minor do your best,
  In one of your parishes I must rest._"

During the short reign of Edward VI. the ferment against the reformation
doctrines came to a head in Cornwall. The people rose under Humfrey
Arundel and marched to Exeter, only however to meet with a crushing
defeat. Four thousand were slain, and their leaders taken and hanged at
Tyburn. Martial law was then proclaimed, and Sir Anthony Kingston,
Provost Marshal, was sent down into Cornwall. Among other stories told
of him is that of his expeditious visit to St. Columb. Arrived at the
little market town he promptly seized "Master Mayow" and directed that
he should be hanged as a rebel. "Mistress Mayow, intending to plead for
her husband's life, spent so long a time in prinking herself that by the
time she reached the presence of the judge, her husband was dead."

In the neighbourhood of St. Columb are nine menhirs in a line, called
the Nine Maidens, or in Cornish "Naw Voz"; also Castle-an-Dinas, a large
triple entrenchment on a high tableland enclosing six acres of ground
and two tumuli. Hither came the Royalist leaders in 1646 to discuss the
question of surrender, and here King Arthur is supposed to have stayed
when on pleasure bent. The waste land around is known as Goss Moors,
and there he hunted not only the red deer but the wolf.

"The Green Book of St. Columb" is one of the historical treasures of the
county. It is so called from the colour of its leather binding, and is a
book of parish accounts dating from the reign of Elizabeth.[2] Curious
to relate, the rectory-house is surrounded by a moat. The church, which
is very large for Cornwall, contains some good brasses and bench-ends,
the brass of Sir John Arundell and his two wives (1545) being probably
the finest example in the county. This church has had hard usage. In
1676 a barrel of gunpowder which lay in the rood-loft was fired by some
mischievous boys. Three of them were killed, and a great deal of other
damage was done. Some few years later the tower was struck by lightning,
and the people, made wiser by misfortune, were careful to erect a less
lofty one, which, however, was itself struck a few years since.


Halfway between the two St. Columbs is the little church of Colan, which
contains the interesting brass of ffrancis Bluet, 1572, and Elizabeth,
his wife, with effigies of both and of their thirteen sons and nine
daughters. Below it is a smaller brass containing these words:

  "_Behold thyselfe
  by us; Suche one
  Were we as thow:
  And thou in tyme
  Shalt be: even doust
  As we are nowe._"


Lady Nance's Well was once the resort of pilgrims, who threw crosses of
wood into the water. If they swam all would go well during the ensuing
year, but, alas, if they should sink! Another well and the remains of
its covering building are to be seen at Rialton, a priory which once
possessed extensive rights, but of which only the ruined buildings
remain. They lie in a beautiful valley east of the village of St. Columb
Minor. At this latter the communion plate, which was presented by
Francis, second Earl of Godolphin, and bears his arms, is massive, the
flagon holding nearly a gallon! By the west door is a large painting of
the royal arms, presented by Charles II. to the parish, as marking his
sense of their loyalty to his father, and it might be as well to give
here the letter of thanks written by Charles I. to his loyal county of
Cornwall and still to be seen painted on wood in so many of the
churches. It was written immediately after the fall of Exeter.

     "C. R. To the inhabitants of the Co. of Cornwall.

     "We are so highly sensible of the merit of our county of
     Cornwall, of their zeal for the defence of our person and
     the just rights of our crown, in a time when we could
     contribute so little to our own defence or to their
     assistance, in a time when not only no reward appeared, but
     great and probable dangers were threatened to obedience and
     loyalty; of their great and eminent courage and patience in
     their indefatigable prosecution of their great work against
     so potent an enemy, backed with so strong, rich, and
     populous cities, and so plentifully furnished and supplied
     with men, arms, money, ammunition, and provision of all
     kinds; and of the wonderful success with which it pleased
     Almighty God, though with the loss of some most eminent
     persons--who shall never be forgotten by us--to reward their
     loyalty and patience by many strange victories over their
     and our enemies in despite of all human probability and all
     imaginable disadvantages; that as we cannot be forgetful of
     so great desert so we cannot but desire to publish it to all
     the world and perpetuate to all time the memory of their
     merits and of our acceptance of the same; and to that end we
     do hereby render our royal thanks to that our county in the
     most public and lasting manner we can devise, commanding
     copies hereof to be printed and published, and one of them
     to be read in every church and chapel therein, and to be
     kept for ever as a record in the same; that as long as the
     history of these times and of this nation shall continue,
     the memory of how much that county hath merited from us and
     our crown may be derived with it to posterity.

     "Given at our camp at Sudeley Castle, 10th of Sep., 1643."

Poor king! a pathetic letter, voicing only too plainly his expectation
of disaster and the surprise which the successes of his reckless gallant
Cornish subjects had caused him.


Beyond St. Columb Porth lies the island known as Trevalgue. On the land
side this has six lines of entrenchment and about and upon it, as at
Trevose, lie a quantity of flint chips. These chips are mostly worked.
Here also are a large blow-hole and several interesting caverns. At
Glendorgal, further along the cliff, a barrow was opened some years ago
and found to contain a remarkable burial urn with two handles and on it
a rough chevron pattern. The two barrows on the summit of Trevalgue
were opened in 1842. They proved to contain a very ancient interment.
The country people declare them to be the graves of two kings who fought
all day long on the headland until at last each killed the other, and
was buried where he fell.

"Burn me in my armour, all that is mine, and pile for me a cairn on the
shore of the grey sea, the memorial of a luckless man, that men unborn
may enquire concerning me."--BEOWULF.


Newquay, which is like the definition of a line--length without
breadth--is hardly either a nook or a corner. It is marvellously well
situated and consists mainly of large hotels. To stand on its beach,
looking outward along the hazy cliffs and over the sparkling water,
makes you feel as if you could forgive anything but the proximity of man
and his immediate works. However Newquay, like Bude and Tintagel, is an
excellent centre from which to go out and survey the land.

Legend says--what doesn't legend say?--that Crantock was once a seaport
with seven churches, and "that the place was drowned in a deluge of
sand, brought upon the wings of the wind." That wind has certainly
blocked up the Gannel and put an end to any trade it may once have had.
This Gannel is a tidal river flowing through a gorge in the hills, and
it can be crossed at low tide by a plank bridge, while horse vehicles
splash through the ford. It is, however, a dangerous place, for the tide
flows swiftly and strongly, and lives have been lost through attempting
the crossing a little late. The place is said to be haunted by a
disembodied spirit, locally known as the "crake," the hoarse shriek of
which acts as a warning; and it is certain that no countryman who
fancied he had heard it would persist in an attempt to cross--although
it is five good miles round by Trevemper!

Crantock was a college with a dean and canons at least as early as the
reign of Edward the Confessor, the buildings having stood in what is now
a walled garden, easily recognised by the old ship's figurehead which
serves as a lintel to its gateway. The collegiate church which stands on
a green slope looking towards the sea is one of the most interesting in
Cornwall. There are several remains of Norman work, as for instance the
inner doorway of the porch and part of the central tower arch and piers.
In the church are preserved several pieces of carved alabaster, the
intention of which is not known, and in the graveyard lies a large stone
coffin. The vicar brought himself into notice some time since by
objecting to the presence in his church of women who were not wearing
hats. Courage is a fine thing, but it is generally understood that the
difficulty nowadays is not to discourage people from attending service,
but to get them to come.

It is not generally known that when the Black Death more--much
more--than decimated Bodmin, the bodies were carried to Crantock and
buried in a field on the north coast. Hundreds of years have passed, but
the surface of this piece of ground is still uneven, and the people
believe that if any one disturbs the earth the disease will break out
again. So antiquarians--in search of the lost city of Langarrow--beware!
The well of St. Carantocus is in the centre of the village, beneath a
rough covering of stone; but it cannot compare either for beauty or
renown with another well a mile or two distant. Under the high and
rugged cliffs of Holywell Bay is a spring of fresh water, approached by
a flight of fifteen worn steps that have been cut in the rock. Only
accessible at low tide, it is in a beautiful cave of many strange sea
tints, and the water drips from one lovely basin to another. In other
days mothers brought their deformed or sickly children to be dipped in
the wonder-working well--which, however, is now known to be of no
medicinal value.

Between Kelsey Head and Penhale Point lies a wild region of blown sand.
Inland are many deserted mines, the ruins of these "knacked bals" giving
the strange countryside a deserted and desolate appearance, so that the
tapering spire of Cubert Church, which forms a useful landmark, is
welcome. Beyond this is more sand, the wide and dreary waste of
Perranzabuloe (St. Piran in the Sands). The early oratory of this saint
was buried by the blown sands, and so long lost that only the tradition
of it remained. Early in the last century, however, the winds uncovered
it again, and when the oratory was cleared from sand, the headless
skeleton of a big man was discovered beneath the altar. Now St. Piran
was the patron saint of tinners, and it was known that in 1281 the
church had possessed a box in which his head was kept and a hearse on
which his body was carried in procession; indeed, the commissary of the
Dean and Chapter of Exeter reported in 1331 that "the parishioners
continue as before to carry the relics of St. Piran in an unwarrantable
manner to various and even distant places," and as late as 1433 Sir John
Arundell bequeathed ten shillings "for enclosing the saint's head
honourably." If these matters are so, the skeleton discovered cannot
have been that of St. Piran, for the oratory was said to have been
buried in the sand about 900 A.D., and, as we have seen, the relics were
being carried about by the parishioners as late as 1281.

The oratory, like that of St. Constantine, is concealed among the
sandhills, and by no means easy to find. At the edge of the dunes is a
heath upon which, north of St. Piran's Well, is the Round, a turfed
amphitheatre. This ancient open-air theatre has a rampart about 10 ft.
high, rising in seven steps, of which traces remain. The area will hold
about two thousand spectators, and in the middle ages miracle plays were
doubtless performed here. These plan-an-guare, or playing-places, were
probably constructed in very early times for games or contests after the
manner of the Romans, and seem to have been in use for the performance
of sacred dramas up to the fifteenth century or even later. At Perran a
ditch formerly ran across the floor, and it has been suggested that this
was for boats, &c., used in scenic effects, but it may have had other,
possibly grimmer, uses.

Some three and a half miles south-east of Newquay is Trerice, another
home of the Arundells. They were truly a fighting race. John Arundell of
Trerice raised a body of troops during the wars of the Roses and fought
on the Lancastrian side, and a later John, nicknamed "John for the King"
and "Game to the Toes," fought with his four sons for Charles I., and in
his old age held Pendennis Castle after all the other forts in Cornwall
had surrendered.

His ancient manor house came--as did most of the Arundell estates, for
they wedded cannily--by marriage. It was built in 1572 on the site of an
older house, the very solid masonry of which has been found under the
soil. Unfortunately the Arundells, ennobled after the Restoration as
Lord Arundell of Trerice, died out with the "Wicked Lord" in 1773.

A minstrel's gallery extends the whole length of the hall, and a window
there has no less than 576 panes of glass. In another room is a table of
black oak, the top of which is made of a single plank, which table is
said to have been in the house three hundred years. But the glory of
Trerice has departed. Old Sir John lies buried at Cuby, and the
countrypeople talk of the last bearer of the name with bated breath. The
north wing of the house was pulled down after his death and all his
personal possessions burnt--but still the place remains untenanted.


At Perranporth the bewildering similarity of the dunes is broken for the
moment by cliff and cavern scenery. The little village lies high, and
some arched rocks are to be seen at low tide. Two miles to the west is
Cligga Head, a fine bluff rock, but though St. Agnes Beacon, a lofty
hill covered with blocks of granite, rises to 620 ft., these cliffs
cannot be compared for grandeur or majesty with those of the wilder
north. The Beacon, on the summit of which are tumuli, appears in the
stories of the Cornish giants, St. Agnes--or, as her proper name is, St.
Ann--proving one too many for a tiresome monster with the absurd name of
Bolster. She is said to have persuaded him to go in for a little spring
blood-letting and to fill one mine-shaft. But the shaft communicated
with the sea, so the accommodating giant bled to death. If this had
happened where the Red River runs out by Gwithian, the reason for the
legend would have been apparent, for that terrible little tin-stream
sullies the blue waters of the bay for miles around; but there is no
tin-stream by St. Agnes Beacon. Between Perranporth and the latter the
cliff-walk is spoilt by the extensive enclosures of a modern dynamite
factory. The house in which the painter Opie was born is on the way to
St. Agnes. He was the son of a carpenter, but going to London soon
attracted so much attention that he was known as the "Cornish Wonder."
Dying of overwork when forty-six--considering his age rather a curious
name to give the disease--he was buried in St. Paul's.

After these few cliffs, the coast sinks again to meet the encroaching
sand. A hundred and twenty years ago the Upton farmhouse was suddenly
overwhelmed, the family, to escape suffocation, making their way out by
the bedroom windows. A few years later, the sands shifted, showing the
buried house, still standing as they had left it. These stretches of
sand are now planted with a rush, the _arundo arenaria_, which binds it
together, and in the course of time results in the growth of a short
sweet turf.


When the Spanish and French combined fleets threatened Plymouth in 1779,
Francis Basset of Tehidy placed two batteries of guns at Portreath, in
those days known as Basset's Cove. It has the reputation of being the
most unsafe harbour on the coast; and, as it lies at the bottom of a
valley, is reminiscent of Port Isaac; but its wooded hills are less
steep and more charming.

A little inland is Tehidy House, the seat of the Bassets, a famous
Cornish family. The house once had parks and plantations of far greater
area than at present; they are said indeed to have reached to the foot
of Carn Brea. During the Civil Wars many a humdrum family flowered into
distinction. It was a chance to prove their mettle. After the battle of
Bradock Down the Francis Basset of that date was knighted, and a little
later we find him Sheriff of the county. His marriage was such another
as that of his friend, Sir Beville Grenville, and after Essex' troops
had surrendered to the King in 1644, he hurried to send his lady the
gracious news. "I write this on the saddle. Every friend will pardon the
illness of it, and you chiefly, my perfect joy. The King and army march
presently for Plymouth. Jesu give the King, it and all. The King, in the
hearing of thousands, as soon as he saw me in the morning, cried to me,
'Dear Mr. Sheriff, I leave Cornwall to you safe and sound.'" Before the
war Sir Francis had represented St. Ives in Parliament. In 1640 he
presented the town with a silver wishing cup, on which was inscribed:

  "_If any discord 'twixt my friends arise
  Within the borough of beloved Saint Ies
  It is desired that this my cup of love
  To every one a peacemaker may prove,
  Then am I blessed to have given a legacie
  So like my heart unto posteritie._"

No doubt he saw that his borough was mainly Parliamentarian and that
trouble was ahead, and took this sweet and pleasant manner of testifying
the unalterable nature of his personal sentiments.

It is sad to think how many of the families that distinguished
themselves during those wars are now only a memory.

  "_The four wheels of Charles' wain,
  Grenville, Godolphin, Trevanion, Slanning slain._"

But though Trerice is empty, Lanherne a nunnery, and Stowe but a
farmhouse, there are Bassets still at Tehidy, and long may they

The house contains some interesting pictures by the best of our English
artists, and a service of plate made from the silver found in Dolcoath


After Portreath are several fine cliffs ending in Navax Point, the
further horn of which looks across the deep curve of St. Ives Bay. On an
island just off the shore is the white and black of Godrevy Lighthouse,
first built in 1857. On the day Charles I. was beheaded a vessel
containing his wardrobe and other furnishings was driven by a sudden
squall on the Godrevy Rocks. Fifty-eight persons were drowned, only a
man, a boy, and a dog reaching the little island.


The shore here is strewn with the iridescent purple shells of a small
oyster, which lie gleaming like coloured pearls on the sand and weed. It
has a charming view, the broad bay with the narrow horn of St. Ives
running out on the south-west, and Carbis Bay--white houses and green
woods--nestling on the hillside. Among the sands to the left is another
half-buried, half-excavated oratory, and the little village of Gwithian.
In 1676 a woman named Cheston Marchant is said to have died here at the
age of 164. She is well known by tradition to the present inhabitants,
who relate that in her extreme old age--and she was for many years
bedridden--her teeth and hair were renewed; and that travellers who came
to see her out of curiosity frequently took back with them a lock of her


The little ugly town of Hayle lies some miles away across the towans--as
the sandhills are called--and these same towans, with their soft sea
breezes, firm turf, and excellent bathing, must presently, one would
think, develop into the sort of watering-place agreeable to the mothers
of little children. Hidden among its trees in a dip of the land lies
Phillack with a badly restored church, and in the graveyard a good
two-holed cross; but as this bay is famous for pilchard fishing the main
interest lies towards the sea.

The largest catch of pilchards recorded is that of a St. Ives seine. In
1868, at one "shot" this net took five thousand six hundred hogsheads,
or over sixteen million fish!

The best account of the Hayle and St. Ives pilchard fishing is by Mr. H.
D. Lowry in "Chambers' Journal," but it is too long to quote and only a
resumé can be given.

As soon as the fish are expected the "huers" (from hue and cry) take up
their position at the white house on Carrick-gladden. It is their
business, looking down on the water from above, to watch for the
characteristic reddish shadow that indicates the presence of fish. To
the men in the boats this shadow is invisible, and when the cry of
"Hëva" [found] re-echoes from the heights, they shoot the nets as
directed from above. Nor are the directions only shouted. The huers
hold, one in each hand, a big iron ring covered with a white cloth. This
is sharply distinct "against the background of heather and sad-coloured
grass." In olden days furze was used, and the white disks are therefore
still spoken of as "the bushes." Very simple is the code of movements.
To send the boats east, the disks are moved from west to east, and vice
versa, while an emphatic downward movement gives the exciting order to
"shoot the seine." And the size of those seines! It takes thirty-five
men, each three or four yards behind his nearest fellow, to carry the
whole length of the net.

When the fish are in and the order has been given to close the seine,
the huers raise their speaking trumpets anew with a cry of "Bloucers!"
This brings a number of fresh people on the scene, whose business it is
to secure what the nets have captured. The warps, great ropes, fastened
to the ends of the seine, are brought back and attached to windlasses,
and by this means the net is slowly drawn in till, even at high tide, it
would still touch bottom and afford no way of escape to the imprisoned
fish. Great black pilchard boats are dragged by four horses from their
accustomed resting-place and towed out towards the seine. The fish are
then dipped out by the basketful and tipped over into the boat, which,
when filled, contains over thirty hogsheads--say one hundred thousand
fish! When the boats come slowly in, laden with their molten silver,
carts are backed down to the water and loaded. "Jousters," who retail
the fresh fish through the country, buy their stock, the carts carry the
fish to the cellars that they may be salted, and in an hour or two every
street in every town for miles round will be resounding with the cry of
"Fresh Pilcher, Pilcher, Pilcher!"

While on the subject of fish, it may be mentioned that the biggest
edible crab caught off the coast of Cornwall weighed 13 lbs., and the
largest conger 120 lbs. Is it possible they caught and weighed the
sea-serpent by mistake?


[2] Appendix A. See pp. 199-200.



_Gold in Cornwall: Knill's Monument: The Antiquities of the Extreme
West: Cliff Castles: Fogous: Menhirs: Dolmens: Oratories: Superstitions:
St. Ives: Wesley: Irving: A Ripe Old Age: The Mines: Sancreed and St.
Buryan: Lighthouses: Whitesand Bay: The Land's End: Mousehole and Dolly
Pentreath: Newlyn: Penzance._

From Hayle to Marazion on the south coast is four miles--the narrowest
part of the peninsula--and a railway runs from sea to sea. With a deep
curve, however, the road goes on to low-lying Lelant (the valley
church), which is traditionally said to have once been a large village
and port, but to have been reduced to its present inconspicuousness by
the drifting of sand into the haven. Parts of the church are Norman, and
over the south porch stands an eighteenth-century copper sundial, on the
pierced gnomon bracket of which is a quaint representation of Time and
Death, a skeleton bearing an hour glass and a dart.

Among other antiquities discovered here was a large colt having in it
some small bars of gold the size of a straw. A farmer found it embedded
in ashes, and lying about 2 ft. below the surface. Gold has often been
found in Cornwall, but always in small quantities--usually in grains
from the size of sand to that of a pea! The largest piece ever found was
said to have weighed down eight guineas in the scale.


Not far from Lelant is Worwas Hill, on which a certain John Knill
erected a mausoleum. By some mischance the gentleman was buried in
London, but by his will he directed that every five years £5 was to be
equally divided among ten girls, natives of the borough and daughters of
seamen, fishermen, or tinners, each of them not exceeding ten years of
age, who should between ten and twelve o'clock of the forenoon of a
certain day, dance for a quarter of an hour at least on the ground
adjoining his mausoleum and, after the dance, sing the 100th Psalm.
Alas, for the vanity of human hopes! Every five years the little girls,
gaily be-ribboned, dance in the presence of the local notabilities,
while the one thing that was to have given the ceremony weight and
interest--the body of John Knill--is elsewhere.


This narrow neck of land shuts off the small rounded end of the
peninsula, a part that is peculiarly rich in prehistoric remains. It is
as if the old forgotten peoples had been driven back and back, race
after race pushing the one before it into the sea, but each, before it
passed, leaving its footprint on the granite. On every headland are
cliff castles--Cape Cornwall, Ballowal, Chûn--the most remarkable being
that of Treryn Dinas, a stronghold with a triple vallum and fosse which
can only be approached by a narrow ridge and which consists of a huge
pile of rocks jutting from a turf-clad neck of land. In contrast with
these are the subterranean passages and chambers (fogous) at Bolleit,
Trewoofe, and Pendeen, the last-named said to be haunted on Christmas
morning by a white-robed lady with the stem of a red rose between her
lips. Above ground are a number of stone circles and solitary monoliths,
from which, or from the cairns, comes the phrase "to raise a stone to
his memory." The monoliths are known as the Pipers and the Blind
Fiddler, the circles, as at Dawns Maen and Boscawen Un, as the Merry
Maidens; and the legend with regard to them is always the same--that the
Pipers played on a Sunday, and that the Maidens danced, their punishment
approximating, in a more lasting form, to that of Lot's wife! Here, too,
are the remains of ancient villages and beehive huts, and at one
place--Chapel Euny--is a subterranean structure consisting of three long
passages and a beehive hut, while at Bosporthennis is a specimen of the
beehive hut so good that it is said to be the best in England. This
district of heath and lonely moorland is so sparsely inhabited that the
little old ruins have been left as they were until the antiquarian came
and dug, unearthing the poor treasures of a simple state of
civilisation, the spindle-whorls, the bone needles, the flint spear and
arrow heads, and the coarse black pottery. The coast scenery of this
part is the finest to be seen for miles, and that not so much on account
of the grandeur of the cliffs as of the tumbling seas, that roll in from
the Atlantic; and days might be spent wandering over these high lands
from castle to castle and from stone to stone, trying to discover the
reason, whether sepulchral or religious, that the monoliths were set
erect; to guess why those strange underground passages were dug and
walled, and what practical need they served; and what was the meaning of
the various earthworks and entrenchments. The people to whom they needed
no explanation have vanished, leaving only riddles behind, riddles that
not the wisest among us, not the most enlightened, not the youngest, is
able to solve.


We do at least know that the dolmen was raised above a burial, in the
one instance of Zennor above two. In the dolmen proper, the supporters
of the great capstone are columns and not merely slabs enclosing the
space. Dolmens are found not only in Cornwall, but along the west coast
of Europe and the northern coast of Africa, also in Palestine, India,
and Japan, and appear to be the work of a seafaring people. Their date
is said to be 2000 B.C., the age when bronze was beginning to replace
stone and when the Swiss lake villages were being built. Three of the
early Christian Councils regarded them with suspicion and ordered their
destruction on the ground that they were objects of reverence to the
Celtic Christians. At Lanyon, on Boswavas Moor, not far from the Mulfra
Quoit, is a fine specimen. Unfortunately the great capstone, which was
18 ft. long and under which a man on horseback could ride, slipped from
its supports in 1815. Lieutenant Goldsmith presently dislodged the Logan
stone at Treryn, a mass of granite weighing sixty-five tons; and being
obliged to replace it, the tackle he used was further utilised to
replace the Lanyon capstone. To make this easier, however, the three
uprights were cut down, and the cromlech now to be seen is by no means
so imposing as in its prehistoric state. This seafaring folk, who left
their tiny mark on the surface of the earth and then faded into
obscurity, builded better than we with all our modern appliances!

It was unusual for the early Christians to order the destruction of
monuments of this kind. As a rule they accepted and turned them to
account. We have examples of this in the chapel at Porthcurnow, one of
those very early buildings, formed of a double square, such as lie
hidden among the shifting sands of Perran and Gwithian, and which was
built on a spot already sacred as a place of burial; while on Chapel
Carn Brea, which rises to a height of 660 ft., with Bartine at its
shoulder still higher, is a cairn which held the bones of a Stone Age
chieftain. Above them was a dolmen, and above that relics of British and
Roman times, the whole being crowned by a Christian oratory!

It is hardly a matter for surprise if the people who dwell among these
relics of the immemorial past still retain some of the superstitions of
their forefathers, if their wells still have miraculous qualities and
the crickstone a strange virtue. To them witches are as real as
wreckers, and they cannot believe that the "little people"--once perhaps
inhabiting those subterranean passages and huts--are gone for certain,
and for ever. Get on the right side of an old miner and he will tell you
of the "nuggies," of their silver anvils and their parlours, of how he
has heard their little picks at work, and of how he has hoped all his
life to one day catch sight of a nuggy slipping into its parlour, when
he will, of course, follow and "strike it rich."

The housewife, on persuasion, may be got to tell how when she (or her
mother) went in the morning to fill the kibble at the well she saw the
pisky stealing away over the dewy fields by the first grey glimmer of
light. Possibly he had taken eggs from her hen-roost, or if she were a
wise woman and had baked him a hearth cake and left with it a sup of
milk, he had perhaps "redded up" the place for her. It would be a matter
of give-and-take, but the people in the low grey houses, with their
thick walls and stone-held thatch, would be able to more than guess
which mound it was into which the piskies vanished and which were the
fairy rings about which they danced at dusk or in the moonlight. So wild
was the country and so much does one piece of granite look like another
that there were hiding-places in plenty, nooks that at a later date
would be used by the smugglers and other law-breaking gentry, corners
behind which the small race could lurk when the larger, more dangerous
humans came striding by. Over against these tales of the "little people"
must be set the stories told by those little people themselves, the
stories of the giants, of the bigger folk whose terrors they magnified a
hundredfold that their babies might be thus persuaded to keep out of
danger. And because after all there must have been intermarriage, the
occasional courting of pisky and giant, both sets of stories have been
handed down from one generation to another. The Cornish are not a booky
folk, they have not produced a great literature, and even nowadays they
read little but their Bibles. Such a people would be likely to remember
and treasure up the stories handed down from mother to child. They are,
moreover, very social. In the loneliest parts there is seldom an evening
when the labourers do not drop in at each other's cottages for a
"crack," and every now and then the soft deep voices utter a word that
has dropped out of the common talk, but which for them still has its
right meaning, and the fathers tell over again the stories their fathers
told to them. Some of the stories have come to the surface and are known
to the "foreigner" (as every one born east of the Tamar is called). We
have, for instance, that of the Zennor mermaid, which has taken such
hold on local thought that it is even carved upon a bench-end in the
little grey church. It was the story of a squire's son who sang in the
choir and sang so beautifully that Sunday by Sunday a mermaid
(Cornish--merrymaid) crept up from the sea to hear him. Like Hans
Andersen's story she had found her prince, but unlike that story she in
the end persuaded him to go away with her; and as he never returned, the
wiseacres shook their heads and thought of him as lying drowned under
the blue waters.

The antiquities of this, the extreme west, and the resulting strange
traditions and beliefs are not the only matter of interest in this part
of the world. Superimposed upon the survivals of a far-off time are
those of the last thousand and odd years when Cornwall was struggling
with the disabilities of its exposed position, when the Danes fell on
the coasts burning and harrying, and corsairs carried off the poor
fishermen and sold them as slaves. In 1635 a Turkish pirate ship was
brought _nolens volens_ into St. Ives Bay, and the peaceful folk, not
immediately recognising her build, were surprised to hear sounds as of
guns and firing. The firing was not at those on shore, it was in fact
entirely confined to those on board, and it was as if the ship were
divided against herself. In the end the truth appeared. The pirate had
captured three small vessels of Looe and Fowey and seized their crews.
These men, however, were not of a slavish kind. Rising in a body, they
knocked the captain overboard, drove the Turks below and set sail for
St. Ives. Having a fair wind they made it safely; though the pirates,
also a hearty folk, spent their time firing at them through the timbers
of the deck.


We warrant those pirates had much the same reception at the hands of the
St. Ives men as was dealt out to John Wesley when, in course of time,
that small neat gentleman made his way into the district. The Cornish
seem to have been--let us use the past tense--own brother to the
Irishman in their love of a riot, any sort of a riot, for any reason or
none; and Wesley got more than a taste of mob violence. Yet in the end
he could say: "Here God has made all our enemies to be at peace with us,
so that I might have preached in any part of the town. But I rather
chose a meadow, that such as would might sit down, either on the grass
or on the hedges--so the Cornish term their broad stone walls. Well-nigh
all the town attended and with all possible seriousness. Surely forty
years' labour has not been in vain."

So at last the little man was made welcome and could feel that he had
roused the fishing-town from its long religious lethargy. I wonder
whether in his strenuous life, and he came twenty-seven times to St.
Ives, he ever found time to wander into the old church, study the
wonderful carving of its bench-ends, and take pleasure in its ancient
communion plate "and its pair of collecting basins with handles," or
whether he was only occupied with things of the spirit?


Inland from St. Ives lies the ugly mining village of Halsetown, where
Sir Henry Irving spent the years of his childhood. His mother was a
Cornish woman of the Behenna family, and to Halsetown she brought him to
stay with an aunt. The uncle was captain of a local mine--"captain"
meaning any sort of an overseer from the manager to a man with only a
boy under him! Here the lad ran wild with his cousins. "At any rate,"
said he in after years, "Halsetown gave me a good physical start in
life. I attribute much of my endurance of fatigue--which is a necessary
part of an actor's life--to the free and open and healthy years I spent
there." Nor are these many hours of sunshine and the salubrious air only
good for youth; life lengthens here unnoticeably until it has reached
three figures, and even then shows a strength that is amazing. Mrs.
Zenobia Stevens, who was buried at Zennor in 1763, aged 102, was tenant
for ninety-nine years of the Duke of Bolton. On the expiration of her
lease, being then in her hundredth year, she went on this matter of
business to the Duke's Court at St. Ives; and it is said that she
excused herself from accepting a second glass of wine on the plea that
it was growing late and she had not only some way to go, but had to ride
home on a young unbroken horse.


Among these rough cliffs are sudden smiling valleys, but the moors are
disfigured by a number of mine workings that have ceased to pay, and the
ruins of which add to the desolation of the scene. A little above St.
Just are three celebrated mines: Wheal Owles, into which the sea broke
and which is now only the tomb of the eighteen men who were then working
in her; Botallack, visited by King Edward and Queen Alexandra in 1865,
while Prince and Princess of Wales, but no longer working; and Levant,
exploited for tin, copper, and arsenic, and still employing several
hundred men. The workings of this mine run for nearly a mile under the
sea, and the men say that on stormy days the noise over their heads is
terrific. These men live at St. Just, a mining town in the old church of
which are some frescoes--St. George about to slay the dragon before
Cleodolinda and her comrades, and Christ surrounded by the symbols of
various trades. Of greater interest perhaps is the Plan-an-Guare, 126
ft. in diameter and with the remains of six tiers of seats. This rural
amphitheatre is still sometimes used as a place of assembly and was once
no doubt utilised for miracle plays, but who constructed it and for what
purpose is lost in the mists of antiquity. Not far from the
Plan-an-Guare is Kenidjack Cliff (the howling wind), a "hooting cairn"
regarded by the superstitious country side as haunted by more than
natural sounds. During the construction on it of butts for rifle
practice, some twenty to thirty pieces of pure copper were found under
stones which were probably the remains of an old building. The purity of
the copper points to this hoard having been the property of a founder of
tools or weapons belonging to the Bronze Age, and no doubt this founder
was a workman of some importance in the district. The story connected
with him has been forgotten, the fact that he ever existed has passed,
but about the place still clings that old fear of the weapon-maker,
whose every-day task it was to forge the mysterious givers of death.


It is a far journey from a "hooting cairn" to the pettiness of the
social struggle, even though the struggle was for a precedence which has
passed out of fashion. In Bishop Sparrow's report of July 1671, on
Sancreed Church, a curious state of affairs came to light, for the
parish was quarrelling over precedence in church sittings! "One John
Adams of mean estate and fortune" had actually seated himself higher up
than "those who are of the Twelve of the parish and their wives," and
great had been the scandal. Also one Francis Lanyon, who had married
"into a very worthy family," his wife, if you please, being niece to
Colonel Godolphin, was without "a convenient seat." Sancreed has an old
rood screen (or rather part of one), of which Sedding says: "I know of
no finer specimen elsewhere in the county. Like so much old Cornish work
it is more than local; it is purely parochial."

Its neighbour, St. Buryan, is also celebrated for its screen, which was,
however, seriously injured by the vicar in 1814. From what remains, it
would appear to have been exceptionally beautiful, carved, coloured,
gilt, and of opulent and bold workmanship. This church stands high, 400
ft. above the sea; and about a mile distant are the remains of what is
believed to be the oratory of St. Buryan. The story goes that first
Egbert in 813 fought a battle here at Bolleit (place of blood) and later
Athelstane in 926. There is no historical evidence for either battle,
but tradition is a smoke under which a little flame may generally be
found. At any rate, a battle was fought and the conqueror, standing on
this high land, saw afar off the Scillies, and realised that there were
yet worlds to conquer. So pleased was he, that he vowed, if successful,
to found a college for priests on this high land, and so the church of
St. Buryan came into being.


A mile and a half off the Land's End is the Longships Lighthouse. Built
on a rock 70 ft. above low water and itself 55 ft. high, its top is yet
often buried in the spray and the lanthorn broken. Further out, on the
Wolf Rock, is another lighthouse; while off the Seven Stones, dangerous
rocks between the mainland and the Scillies, is a lightship moored in
forty fathoms of water, but in such an exposed position that it has
before now been driven from its moorings.

But there were neither lighthouses nor lightships on these rocks when
Athelstane landed at Whitesand Bay on his return from the conquered
Scillies. Even now it is an ugly bit of water to traverse, and it must
have been worse then. He was probably glad enough to see the great
stretch of white sand with Sennen Cove lying in the midst thereof like
an emerald set in silver. Later the bay acquired a bad reputation. So
far from the madding crowd, so secret and so storm-beaten, it gave
evil-doers a sense of security. Who would dare to venture after them
among these rocks and clefts? Corsairs, pirates, smugglers, each in turn
made use of the white beach. Thither came Perkin Warbeck in 1497 with
his four little barques and six score men; thither John Lackland when
seeking to dispossess his trusting brother of the realm; thither
Stephen, the oath-breaker, who was, however, none so bad a king. Rough
are the winds and rougher still the seas that beat upon this lovely bay,
and it is a little puzzling why these and other personages should have
chosen it as a landing-place.


Alas for romance, this same Land's End is but a low and unimpressive
rock which, like the blunt head of some titanic animal, thrusts a grey
muzzle into the water. It is only 60 ft. high, yet this is the last
stone, the last bit of land, the ultimate west, this west that appeals
so strongly to the Cornishman abroad:

  "_There's never a wave upon western beaches
    Falls and fades to a wreath of foam
  But takes at the last a voice that reaches
    Over the distance and calls me home._"


The Land's End, strange low headland, has seen plenty of stirring days,
from the time when the Danish long-ships came creeping round to harry
Cornwall and Devon, to that later date when the great storm and the
descendants--probably--of those very Danes sent the great Armada fleeing
up the narrow seas. Turner came here for the colour and the wild blue
seas, and Tennyson to wonder whether his Arthur had ever been so far
south. The rock is of split and tumbled granite, one of the few
instances in the duchy where that stone comes into contact with the sea;
and if Penwith, as all that part is called, really means the "wooded
headland," that barren rock and rough water must once have been far
enough apart. A little south of the Land's End is the finer rock of
Pordenack, and all round this southern point the bays and coves are
charming, the cliffs fine and the caverns and rocks numerous and
fantastic. Tol-Pedn (the holed headland--so called from a huge
blow-hole) has its Witches' (or Maggy Figgy's) Chair and shelters the
pretty hamlet of Porthgwarra, the inhabitants of which are darker than
the majority of Cornishmen. Tradition is in favour of a wrecked Spanish
galleon. Not, we suppose, the spectre ship of Porthcurnow, a
neighbouring cove. There a black square-rigged vessel sails up the beach
and up the combe, making no difference between land and water, and
presently vanishes like mist--and that in the valley the Eastern
Telegraph Company has made its own! The hamlet is interesting on account
of its name. That distinguished scholar, Canon Isaac Taylor, says:
"Cornwall, or Cornwales, is the kingdom of the Welsh of the Horn," but
others think the name is from the Kernyw, the tribe who lived in these
parts, they being called the Kernyw Gaels, to distinguish them from the
Gaels of Wales and those of Brittany. Be it as it may, in Porthcurnow we
have an interesting survival of the old tribal name.

The church of St. Levan is on the hillside in a deep valley and beyond
its admirable carving, its screen with a geometrical pattern of leaves,
its font of a stone not found in the neighbourhood, and its unusual holy
water stoup--at the north and east entrances to the church are the old
lych stones used as resting-places for funerals! There is also a cleft
boulder of granite about which it was prophesied that when a pack-horse
should ride through "St. Levan's stone" the world would come to an end,
and the fact that such handy material for building has been left unused
shows that for some reason it must have been held in veneration.


Mousehole is said to have been the last place at which Cornish was
spoken, and this has resulted in the legend of Dolly Pentreath. She was
a fishwife who, in course of time, came on the parish; and it was
believed, not only that she lived to a great age, but that she was the
last person to speak the ancient language. Against this, the facts must
be set forth. Dorothy Pentreath is given in the parish register as born
1714 and died 1777; while Wm. Matthews, who also spoke Cornish--speaking
it with his cronies--and lived at Newlyn, did not die till 1800. In
spite of this, however, two credulous persons--Prince Lucien Buonaparte
and the Vicar of Paul--raised a stone to her memory in 1860, and
referred in particular to the old age which was not hers and the
language which she certainly spoke, but was not the last to speak.

"Here lieth interred Dorothy Pentreath, who died 1778, said to have been
the last person who conversed in the ancient Cornish.

"Honour thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long in the

But if Mousehole has no right to its legend, its own age cannot be
called into question. In 1347 it was recognised as a Cornish port, while
in the time of Henry VII. a lay subsidy roll shows its inhabitants to
have been nearly equal in number to those of Penzance.

Moreover, it has had its vicissitudes. An ancient prophecy had declared:

  "_They shall land on the rock of Merlin
  Who shall burn Paul, Penzance, and Newlyn._"

and, as a matter of fact, one July morning in 1595 four Spanish galleys
carrying two hundred men crept up under cover of a fog and, landing them
on a rock that bore the name of Merlin, proceeded to verify the
prediction. The Spaniards must have been surprised at the lack of
opposition with which they met, for though Sir Francis Godolphin--called
"the great housekeeper" from his hospitality--did his utmost to rouse
the people, the fact that the ancient prophecy was being fulfilled
before their eyes had a paralysing effect. So much so that the towns
mentioned in the prediction were duly and effectually burnt before a
sufficient posse could be raised to drive the Spaniards back to their
galleys. Yet we have it on Bacon's authority that the Cornish were no
cowards: "These Cornish are a race of men stout of stomach, mighty of
body and limb, and that live hardily in a barren country; and many of
them of a need could live underground, which were tinners." Nevertheless
the Spaniards did their work so thoroughly that the Keigwin Arms, at
that date a manor-house, was the only building left standing. This house
is interesting as a specimen of Tudor architecture, the walls being
several feet thick, while the timbers were said to have been grown in
the forest, now submerged, that gave St. Michael's Mount its old name of
"the hoar rock in the wood." This tradition suggests a greater antiquity
for the house than that of Elizabeth's reign, or that it was built on
the site of some older building.


Mousehole, like Newlyn, has a fine fishing-fleet, but even when these
picturesque boats are out of sight, there is a flavour in the air, a
_soupçon_, a _je ne sais quoi_! A blind man indeed might be expected to
know how the little ancient town contrives to pay its way! The artists
of Newlyn seem to have risen superior to such a trifle. To the painter,
of course, beauty is only of the eye and, after all, the smell of oil

It is wonderful how attractive Cornwall seems to artists of both pen and
brush. No village so poor, none so utterly desolate, but it can point to
its artist and its cross. Not, of course, that there is any connection
between artists and crosses. The broad outlook of the former may have
been something of a trial, but it has come to be looked on as of no
importance, just a bit of harmless eccentricity.


Not far from Newlyn is a place that was once a chapel-of-ease to Madron
and had no church of its own. It was represented to the authorities,
however, that if the people went daily to their parish church at
Madron--daily, mark you--the town would be in peril of burning "by the
French and other enemies in time of war." Naturally the church was
built. That good, that punctilious, that saintly town where all the
inhabitants went every day to church is none other than--Penzance. And
except that it is a good centre, there is very little else to say about



_The Land of Lyonesse: The Scillies: The Law of Wrecks: Mr. Smith: The
Admiral's Honour: Ding Dong Mine: St. Michael's Mount: An Old Ceremony:
China Clay: Wrecks: Germoe and Breage: Pengersick: Flora Day: The Loe
Pool: Serpentine: Gunwalloe and Mullion: The Lizard: Bells: The Helford
River: Mawgan: Roseland._


If you ask the people they will tell you that without doubt the piece of
water between the south of Cornwall and the Scillies was once dry land.
If you ask the educated stranger he will hum and haw, and say it is
probable, perhaps even likely, and will quote the Saxon Chronicle to the
effect that "the sea broke in upon the land and swallowed up many towns
and a countless multitude of people." As the old record gives no hint as
to where this catastrophe happened, more than one writer has taken it to
justify a belief in the Land of Lyonesse. Oh for a Passmore Edwards
embued with curiosity rather than philanthropy, who should by dredging
operations settle the vexed question for good and all!

The fishermen, looking down through the clear waters on a still day,
declare they can make out the ruins of old churches and houses, and that
their nets have brought them time and again articles of household
economy, pieces of broken doors and roofs and windows. Moreover, when
the great wave broke hungrily over the low-lying land a Trevelyan saw
the curling breakers and setting spurs to his swift white horse was
carried at a mad gallop to Perranuthno. The people show you the cave in
which he and the trembling horse took refuge till the wild turmoil
should have died down. With what a horrified curiosity the man who lived
must have looked out of his cave, watching till the great wave should
subside, watching for the reappearance of all those farms and villages
that only that morning had been sunning themselves in the warm light.
The forest, too, those acres of beech trees stretching out from Marazion
and surrounding St. Michael's Mount, that "hoar rock in a wood," what
had become of them? The stormy autumn day must have closed down upon
him, still looking, wondering, and hoping; but when once more the sun
rose it was upon a wide stretch of waters, with the Scillies sparkling
in the distance. Between them and the land was only sea--and a people
overwhelmed and lost and soon to be forgotten, a people who but
yesterday had gone about their daily tasks as unsuspecting as the rest!
There was only Trevelyan left to say it was the "Judgment of Heaven,"
and he, poor soul, appears to have been too shaken, or too little of a
priest, to do so.


It used to be said that when the Almighty made Ireland he had left a few
handfuls of mud. He threw them into the sea and the result was the
Scillies. The proof thereof is that, like Ireland, the Scillies have no

They may be only a few handfuls of stony mud, but they are lovely
islands, though for those whom salt water makes queasy, a little
difficult to reach. There is, in fact, a most depressing story told of a
lady who was so ill during the four hours' passage from Penzance that
when within sight of the islands but before she could be landed she
actually died of heart failure.

The Scillies number about 145, twenty-four of which are cultivated, but
only five inhabited--St. Mary's, Tresco, St. Martin's, St. Agnes, and
Bryher; while Scilly, the islet which has given its name to the group,
is an unimportant rock near Bryher.

On St. Agnes is the Well of St. Warna, a saint who protected her
protégés from being wrecked and drowned. She has fallen into disrepute,
however, owing to the whole population of her island having been wrecked
and drowned on their way home from the neighbouring island, whither
they had been to church! What a shock to believers in St. Warna. If only
it had been a case of bad boys bird's-nesting on the Sabbath or of merry
maidens dancing to the music of the blind fiddler, or east coast men
fishing on Sunday, but--respectable citizens on their way home from


Ocean currents run strong here. It has long been mistakenly supposed
that the Gulf Stream affects the climate of Western Cornwall. Needless
to say, the true Gulf Stream does not come within many miles of the
duchy; instead, a surface current of warm water is carried
north-eastward from hot latitudes, and the ameliorating effects on
flowers and plants and vegetables are the same. This warm current does
not, however, ameliorate the storms, and in spite of four lighthouses
the wrecks are numerous. In 1707 four ships of the Navy were lost here
and 2000 men. The islands once had a reputation not only for smuggling,
but for wrecking, and for the kind of wrecking that gives no help "to
those in peril on the sea," but rather the other way about. Not that the
people were altogether to blame. The law of wrecks was largely
responsible for the brutalities undoubtedly indulged in towards
shipwrecked crews, for it stated definitely that wrecks should be the
property of the governor of the isles only "if none of the crew remained

In our gentle days it is hardly believable that the whole populace
should have seen to it that a wreck had no survivors. Themselves at the
mercy of the waters, one might have thought such constant peril would
have bred a fellow-feeling, but the contrary seems to have been the
case. In the Tresco Gardens is a terrace devoted entirely to the
figure-heads of vessels that have been cast on these shores. Each sorry
relic represents its quota of human lives, and, remembering this, it is
as if you were in some sort of concentrated graveyard where the bones of
the poor dead are not even decently covered and concealed from sight.


But laws were presently amended, and then both wrecking and smuggling
failed to yield a livelihood. When Mr. Augustus Smith leased the islands
from the Duke of Leeds, the present representative of the Godolphins
(Dolphin Town is named after them), the people were in a parlous
condition. With no industries beyond fishing and kelp-gathering, their
poverty had grown with their families. Mr. Smith, however, was a kindly
autocrat. He settled among his people at Tresco Abbey, insisted on
education, sent the girls to service on the mainland and the lads to
sea, built new roads, and improved the quay. One further step was
needed, and this was presently taken by Mr. Trevellick, of Rocky Hill,
St. Mary's. Collecting a few bundles of the narcissi that bloomed
abundantly about the cottages, he sent them to Covent Garden Market.
Amazing to the man who had spent his days amid a profusion of such
flowers was the return they brought. The news spread, and so did the
cultivation of the blooms. From January to May every steamer now carries
tons--as much sometimes as thirty--of flowers on their way to be sold,
and that although many of the islands are treeless sandhills! As Mr.
Salmon says, however: "The distance, the cost of carriage, and the
competition of the untaxed foreigner are the difficulty. The trade has
been hit very hard by foreign imports and by the crushing cost of
freights. Vegetable cargoes cost less from the shores of the
Mediterranean than they do from Scilly; the foreigner is given every
advantage in his efforts to undersell the Briton, and the Briton,
though fighting at home, fights with one hand tied behind!"


The history of the Scillies is much what its exposed position would lead
you to suppose. Olaf of Norway came marauding here, was converted, and
is said to have founded Tresco Abbey--the authentic history of which,
however, does not begin till later. Athelstane for the love of fighting
presently descended on them; and when the fortunes of royalty were at a
low ebb Charles, afterwards Charles II., sought refuge there, and lay in
great straits not only for the comforts but even for the necessities of
life. The Parliament, unable to let well alone, sent a fleet to surround
the island where he lay, but a storm--"Judgment of Heaven," cried the
Royalists with one voice--dispersed the ships. Thinking the islands an
insecure as well as an uncomfortable refuge, however, the Prince left
them at the first opportunity, setting sail for Jersey on his way to the
greater hospitality of France. After that they became the prey of every
strong man who fancied them; and so dangerous a nest of privateers did
they become, that Dutch commerce suffered, and Admiral Van Tromp offered
to help in their reduction. His offer, however, was not accepted, the
English having learnt the danger of calling in foreign assistance.
Admiral Blake was sent to teach the Scillies their duty towards
Parliament, and in May 1651, Sir John Grenville--whom we last saw as Sir
Beville's stripling son--obtaining freedom and retreat for himself and
garrison, surrendered the islands. At first Parliament refused to
recognise these favourable terms, but Blake was as fine a gentleman as
Grenville himself, which is saying a great deal, and he declared that if
not allowed to keep his word he would not keep his office. So Grenville
was free to depart, and went over seas to join his Prince and share in
his poverty and wanderings.

The Scilly Isles are very lovely, perhaps the loveliest part of this
lovely county. The climate is mild and equable, the constant breeze
prevents too great a heat, while the rigours of winter, thanks to the
warm sea-water, are unknown. Seabirds breed on the great rocks, the
earth is of a marvellous fertility, and beyond, far below the horizon,
the next land is that of another island--Newfoundland!


The sea has encroached within late years on the eastern shores of
Mount's Bay, but the harbourage is good, and a fine fleet of
fishing-vessels sails from here. There are echoes of unpleasantness with
regard to Sunday fishing on the part of strangers. As the Newlyn man put
it: "Sunday fishing is wicked, and what's more it spoils our market."


At the head of the bay is Gulval, near which lies the Ding Dong Mine,
famous as the oldest in Cornwall, so old indeed that it has long since
(1880) retired into private life. About seventy years since, a number of
Roman and Alexandrian coins of the third and fourth centuries were found
near this mine. It is quite possible that the Romans themselves worked
Ding Dong and Ting Tang, and other of the old mines. A stone inscribed
with the names of Constantine and his son is still preserved at St.
Hilary: "Imperatore Cæsare Flavio Valerio Constantino Pio Cæsare
nobilissimo divi Constantii Pii Augusti Filio." As Constantine the Great
was Cæsar in 306 and became Augustus in 307, this inscription fixes the
date of the stone as belonging to the first of those years. When
draining a piece of land between Penzance and Marazion, the workmen came
upon about a thousand Roman coins of that date; indeed, under stones or
buried in urns various large hoards of brass, copper, and lead money
have been discovered by old tinworks, and every now and then fine gold
and silver coins of Trajan, Nero, and the later emperors.


St. Michael's Mount, which is principally composed of granite, is 190
ft. high and about a mile round. It is said that the members of the St.
Aubyn family, to whom it now belongs--having been sold to them by the
Bassets--are not considered able to look after themselves in the water
until they have swum completely round the Mount.[4]

However imposing the great rock looked when the waves from which it
emerged wore the summer green of beech-leaves, it could not have had so
great a dignity as now. Fortified from an early date, it soon fell into
the hands of the Church, and was presently garrisoned by monks. But so
fine a stronghold could not be held sacred to spiritual warfare, and in
1191 a party of soldiers disguised themselves as pilgrims and, so
obtaining admission to the fortress, turned on their unarmed hosts and
expelled them. From that date the place took part in any little war that
might be convulsing the rest of the country, and even started--as in
1548--little wars and rebellions of its own. Henry VIII., who had a most
fatherly care for his coast defences, erected batteries here; and
during the Civil Wars it belonged in turn to whichever party had the
upper hand. Its history, indeed, is a continual change of owners, of
fierce sieges, stratagems, plunderings, and hairbreadth escapes. Now it
is an old grey rock, which after many vicissitudes has fallen asleep in
the sun. The only very ancient part still in existence is the piece of
Saxon walling pierced by the principal doorway, and the wonder is, not
that there is so little, but that one stone should have been left upon


In this part of the country the name Godolphin occurs over and over
again. Tresco Abbey was granted to them at the Dissolution, but they
lived principally at Godolphin House in Breage, and the old saying ran:
"A Trelawny was never known to want courage, a Grenville loyalty, or a
Godolphin wit."

The Tudor house to the north of Godolphin Hill (500 ft.) is now a farm.
The panelled rooms, a hall, and some great windows are all that remain
of the former mansion, but a ceremony, which originated in 1330, is
still observed on Candlemas day. "Once a year for ever the reeve of the
manor of Lamburn shall come to Godolphin, and there boldly enter the
hall, jump upon the table, and stamp or bounce with his feet or club to
alarm and give notice to the people of his approach, and then and there
make proclamation aloud three times, 'Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! I am the reeve
of the manor of Lamburn, in Perransand, come here to demand the old rent
duties and customs, due to the lords from the said manor of Godolphin,"
upon which notice there was forthwith to be brought him 2_s_. 8_d_. in
rent, a quart of beer, a loaf of wheaten bread, and a cheese worth
6_d_., "which the reeve having received he shall drink of the beer,
taste the bread and cheese in the place, and then depart, carrying with
him the said rent and the remainder of the viands."

One of the two oldest crosses in Cornwall is in the churchyard at
Godolphin. In the opinion of stone-masons it has been "bruised out,"
probably with wood, and not cut with a metal tool. It may indeed have
come into existence before metal was used.


Tregoning Hill, a little south of Godolphin, was the place where Wm.
Cookworthy, a druggist, discovered in 1745 a clay from which porcelain
could be made, and from which Plymouth china resulted. This first
discovery of china clay has led to that great development of the
industry, of which St. Austell is the centre.


Before the lighthouse on the Wolf Rock was built (1871) this rocky coast
was the scene of many a wreck. In 1873 the Vicar of Mullion wrote: "In
six years and a quarter there have been nine wrecks, with a loss of
sixty-nine lives, under Mullion Cliffs, on a bit of coast line not more
than a mile and a half in length." It must be confessed that the
inhabitants of Germoe and Breage had an unenviable reputation as

  "_God keep us from rocks and shelving sands
  And save us from Breage and Germoe men's hands._"

But those days have passed away, though Germoe still has a reputation of
a kind. It is said that once the men had good singing voices, but were
so proud of them that the voices failed; while another distich shows the
estimation in which they held themselves:

  "_Camborne men are bulldogs,
    Breage men are brags,
  Three or four Germoe men
    'Ull scat'um all to rags._"

Local jealousies between neighbouring towns are by no means rare in
Cornwall. For instance, there is the old enmity between Zennor and St.
Ives. It is said that the fishermen belonging to the latter were greatly
annoyed one season by the ravages of the hake among the mackerel. They
therefore caught the largest they could, whipped him soundly, and
restored him to the water--_pour encourager les autres_.

When a Zennor man wishes to be disagreeable to a native of St. Ives,
therefore, he says: "Who whipped the hake?"

But Zennor, one might think, would have hesitated to throw stones, for
it is locally known as the place where the cow ate the bellrope, the
neighbourhood being so barren and rocky that the straw bellrope was the
only provender the poor animal could find--which is suggestive of the
Cornish vet. who sent in his bill "to curing your old cow till she


One more local story before we go on to Helston, and that because the
retort is so neat and the lady, as usual, had the last word. Pengersick
Castle is a ruin which, when habitable, was occupied by a man and his
wife whose early regard had changed to hatred. Their children were grown
up and married, and they had nothing to do but brood upon their mutual
dislike, until one day it occurred to both that the world would be a
brighter and better place if the other were out of it. No sooner said
than done. That day at dinner the good man poured his wife a glass of a
rare vintage, and after she had drunken told her with satisfaction that
he would now see the last of her--as the wine had been poisoned.

"The wine? Ah, yes, and the soup, too," quoth she, "and as you drank
first, my love, the pleasure of seeing the last of you will be mine."


Helston, the little bright town built crossways on the side of a hill,
is near the spring of the Kelford River and at the head of the Loe Pool.
It had an exciting time in 1548, when the Cornish feeling against the
new doctrine of the sacrament found vent in the murder, which took place
inside the church, of Wm. Bray, the royal commissioner. In pursuance of
his duty he was pulling down images and possibly treating what was
sacred in the eyes of the people with only scant reverence. Be that as
it may, Wm. Kiltor, a priest of St. Keverne, attacked and slew him, to
the secret--not too secret either--joy of the people and the scandal of

The eighth of May in Helston is Flora or Furry Day, and is possibly a
relic of the old May Day saturnalia. The young people go (_fadgy_) into
the country singing:

  "_Robin Hood and Little John,
  They both are gone to the fair, O!
  And we will away to the merry greenwood
  And see what they do there, O!_"

They return garlanded with flowers and dance through the houses and
gardens of the town, singing the Furry Song. The dance follows a set
formula, the procession going in at the front door and out at the back,
and being supposed to bestow some sort of benefit upon the houses thus
visited. The refrain of the song, to the numerous verses of which
topical allusions are often added, is as follows:

  "_God bless Aunt Mary Moses[5]
  With all her power and might, O,
  And send us peace in Merry England
  Both by day and night, O._"

Charles Kingsley was at the Helston Grammar School when the headmaster
was Derwent Coleridge, son of the poet, and the second master was the
Johns who wrote "A Week at the Lizard." It is unlikely the scholars were
allowed to take part in the Furry Dance, but he may have watched it time
and again, and given his schoolboy contribution.


This is a beautiful stretch of fresh water that winds like a river
through the forked and wooded valley and widens as it comes within sight
of the sea, from which, like the Swan Pool--a smaller lake on the other
side of the promontory--it is separated by a bar of sand and shingle.
Until recently the Mayor of Helston was wont to present two leathern
purses containing three half-pence each to the lord of Penrose and ask
leave to cut through the bar and release the surplus waters. The old
cutting of the Loe Bar used to tinge the sea with yellow as far as the
Scilly Isles. Now, however, the quantity of the water is regulated by
sluices and the ceremony has fallen into disuse.


After the more exposed northern and western shores of Cornwall, the airs
of the south are balmy. There is no fear, as the farmer put it, that
"the bullocks will be blown off the cliff pasture into the sea, the
wheat off the land, and the turnips out of their sockets." In the Morrab
Gardens at Penzance palms grow in the open, while in Falmouth strange
spiky, spiney plants, whose home is in desert sands far south of
Britain, are to be seen. But the Meneage (stone), as the Lizard district
is called, though mild, is exhilarating, and on Goonhilly Downs the wind
can be sufficiently keen. This district is of a peculiar geological
structure, consisting of a moderately elevated tableland, deeply carved
at the edges by valleys and richly wooded except at the southern
extremity. The rocks are generally dark-coloured and of fine grain, and
everywhere they are worn by the action of the water into fantastic and
beautiful forms. They are well known all the world over as serpentine,
and it gives the traveller a strange feeling to see the valuable rock
being used as building material and even for the repair of roads. A
considerable trade is done in polishing this stone, especially at the
Lizard, and the very sands are dark with the detritus. It causes a
sensation of vast wealth to go on to the beaches and from the scattered
millions select your own pebbles for the polisher. The more red in your
chosen fragments, the more iron, and the harder they will be to polish;
while a handsome piece of entirely red ore may be altogether beyond
their powers, for serpentine is a rock not a pebble, and the local
appliances are crude. The Lizard is also the paradise of the botanist,
for the Cornish heath (_erica vagans_), the sea asparagus, the henbane,
and many other plants grow abundantly in this district. From Helston to
the Lizard is a pleasant scrambling walk along the fine black cliffs. At
Gunwalloe the church rises from the edge of the cliff, its belfry being
built into the solid rock about 14 ft. away. In Mullion Church is some
admirable wood-carving, and on the west face of the tower a well-cut
crucifixion, and at Kynance are some curious rocks known as "The
Bellows" and "The Post Office," which are as interesting to the
geologist as they are wonderful to the ordinary visitor.


A curious story is told of a wreck at Gunwalloe, where the St. Andrew, a
treasure-ship belonging to the King of Portugal, was driven ashore. The
Portuguese had entered into an agreement with the local notabilities for
the disposal of their goods, when down rode three Cornish gentlemen at
the head of their retainers and carried off the spoil. Unfortunately for
them the Portuguese had an Englishman on board, and he promptly brought
the matter before the courts and caused an inquiry to be made. But the
treasure, as then enumerated, must have been enough to make the mouths
water not only of the local authorities, but of any starveling gentleman
to whom news of its arrival had come; for it consisted of 8000 cakes of
copper, eighteen blocks of silver, and a chest containing £6000, besides
pearls, precious stones, chains, brooches, jewels, tapestry, rich
hangings, satins, velvets, and four sets of armour.

Just below Gunwalloe are the fine Halzaphron Cliffs. A ship was wrecked
here about a hundred years ago, and the bodies from it were said to have
been the last which were refused sepulchre in consecrated ground. It
makes one's blood boil to think of the barbarities that from the
beginning have been perpetrated in the name of religion. There was
actually a law on the Statute Book which refused such burial to
strangers, on the score that they might not have been Christians.
Christians forsooth--pretty Christians they who framed that law!

Another lingering superstition is connected with the Rev. Thomas Flavel,
who was buried at Mullion 1682. The man was a noted ghost-layer, and was
said to charge five guineas every time he officiated in this way. He was
also an enthusiastic Royalist, and Walker thus describes him: "A
venerable old gentleman; and lookt the more so in those Times for that
he had vowed never to cut off his Beard till the Return of his Majesty
to his Kingdom, by which time he had gotten a very long one." His
epitaph is curious:

  "_Earth, take mine earth, my sin let Satan havet,
  The World my goods; my Soul, my God who gavet;
  For from these four--Earth, Satan, World, and God,
  My flesh, my sin, my goods, my soul I had._"

On the cliffs by Mullion and above Poldhu (black pool) is the earliest
of the permanent wireless stations in England. It forms a prominent,
strange but not altogether ugly feature of the landscape--the people
think it brings bad weather--and is at any rate in strong contrast to
the deep and glorious coves by which in switchback fashion, now cliff,
now coombe, the barren dusty headland of the Lizard (chief's high
dwelling) is reached.


This is the southernmost point of England, a blunt rounded headland,
lying crouched over the deep water, eternally--by day and by night--on
the look-out. When the first lighthouse was built here, at the charges
of Sir John Killigrew in 1619--note that Godolphin land has given place
to the country of the Killigrews--it was disapproved of by the Trinity
House. They thought it would serve to light pirates and foreign enemies
to a safe landing-place!

To the east of Penolver Point the coast curves sharply in towards the
north and is honeycombed with curious caves and blow-holes, Dolor Hugo
(from fogou--a subterranean passage), the Devil's Frying Pan by
Cadgwith, Raven's Hugo, and others. Here are bays, picturesque with
rocks and far from the madding crowd, far also from a railway station,
Helston being the nearest; but that is no matter, the ten-mile drive
over Goonhilly Downs being well worth the extra weariness and cost.


Cornwall has about fifty bells, dating from before the Reformation. As
they had been used to summon the people to rebellion, orders came from
London that all bells except "the least of the ring" were to be removed
from the churches. This, however, was a command that the recipients
thought would be more honoured in the breach than the observance; which
is why there are so many good examples, as for instance, at
Landewednack, of mediæval bells. This the most southern parish in
England has a curious church tower, the admixture of light granite and
dark serpentine giving it a chequer-board appearance. It was visited by
the plague in 1645, and a hundred years later the burials were disturbed
in order to make room for some shipwrecked sailors--whose Christianity
one supposes to be vouched for--when to the horror of the inhabitants
the plague at once reappeared. Since then they have let sleeping dogs

Landewednack claims to be the last place at which a sermon was preached
in Cornish (1678), the incumbent being the Rev. Thos. Cole, who lived to
the great age of 120. This fine old gentleman is said to have not long
before his death walked to Penryn and back, a distance of thirty miles!

Past Cadgwith, Kennack, Coverack, Porthoustock, and Porthalla,
well-known fishing villages, and all romantically situated, but not
otherwise interesting, the wanderer comes by way of St. Keverne, a big
church with a fresco unique in Cornwall as giving the Greek form of the
St. Christopher legend, to Nare Point and the mouth of the Helford
River. It is a question which is the more beautiful, this ten-mile long
creek with its bold scenery or the softer, more feminine Fal. It rises a
little above Helston, at Buttris, flows down to Gweek, where it broadens
into an estuary and applies its waters to the nourishing of many
oysters--which oysters were unkindly described by Lord Byron, when he
stayed at Falmouth, as tasting of copper!

About a mile from Gweek is the "Tolvan," a large irregular slab of
granite, near the centre of which is a hole. Weakly children were
formerly brought to the "crickstone" and passed at sunrise, nine times,
through this hole. The custom having fallen into disrepute, however, the
Tolvan now forms part of a cottage fence.


Mawgan Church, which lies between Gweek and Trelowarren, the seat of the
Vyvyans, has a brass to one of the Bassets inscribed:

  "_Shall we all die,
  We shall die all,
  All die shall we,
  Die all we shall._"

which quaint lines are also found on a tombstone at Gunwalloe and
elsewhere. Trelowarren itself has some interesting pictures, in
particular the Vandyke of Charles I. presented by Charles II. in
acknowledgment of Sir Rd. Vyvyan's services to his father. This family
also possesses the pearl necklace of Queen Henrietta Maria, in which
she sat for the painting now at Hampden Court.

But of all the charming spots up these rocky and wooded creeks commend
me to Condora, for there in 1735 were found twenty-four gallons of Roman
brass coin. Think of it, dream of it, penniless man. Not a few coppers,
but twenty-four gallons!

What a beautiful sound have some of these Cornish names! Rosemullion
Head juts out over the Helford River on the north, and above it we have
Rosemerrin and the Swan Pool, and not far off St. Anthony in Roseland.
It is true that Rhos only means a heath, and that we are on the borders
of the gorse-grown districts, known as Roseland; but the word has
different associations for the "foreigner," and whatever the true
meaning, the lovely name brings to memory the thought and the scent and
the colour of the lovelier flowers.


[3] Dinsul. There is good reason to think Sul = the Sul of Bath "Aquæ
Sulis," and this again the "Sally, Sally Waters" of our nursery game.
Many of her attributes have been taken over by St. Keyne.

[4] Appendix B. See pp. 201-2.

[5] Mary Mowes, _i.e._ the Virgin.



_The Rise of Pendennis Castle: Sir John Arundel: The Killigrews: Sir
Walter Raleigh: The General Post Office and Falmouth: Penryn: The Fal:
The Stannary Courts: Old Truro: Foote and Lowry._


When Henry VIII. took thought for the coast defences of his semi-island,
Falmouth was one of the places that benefited. At St. Mawes and
Pendennis batteries were erected and in Budock Church is the brass of
John Killigrew, with this pertinent inscription: "Heere lyeth John
Killigrew Esquier of Arwenack ... he was the first Captaine of Pendennis
Castle, made by King Henry the eight and so continued untill the nynth
of Queene Elizabeth, at which time God tooke him to his mercye, being
the yeare of our lord 1567. Sr. John Killigrew knight his sonne
succeeded him in the same place by the gift of Queene Elizabeth." Henry
VIII.'s batteries were not the first fortifications erected on this high
point of land, which is literally the "headland fortress." There were
formerly three lines of entrenchment, due to an older architect than the
Mr. Treffry, of Fowey, who was responsible for this and other of the
Cornish defences. Indeed from its position--it is almost surrounded by
water--it was marked out both as a refuge and a point of vantage, and
was probably fortified before history was more than stories handed down
from father to child, or sung by wandering bards who had been given an
honoured place by the hearth-fire.


When the war broke out between Charles I. and his Parliament, Henry
Killigrew was a member of the House. "I shall provide a good horse, a
good buff coat, a good brace of pistols, and I doubt not I shall find a
good cause," quoth he when Essex was appointed General and one and
another were saying what troops they could raise; and so went out and
rode post to Falmouth and plunged devotedly into the gallant struggle.
He would not take any command, though he was in every action and always
where there was the most danger. But it was an Arundell, not a
Killigrew, who held Pendennis for the King, old John Arundell of
Trerice, who as a young man had been at Tilbury when Queen Elizabeth
reviewed the troops; and who was known as "Game to the Toes," "John for
the King," and "Old Tilbury." To him came the unhappy Queen, Henrietta
Maria, rested at Pendennis for a moment, and then winged her way back to
France. A couple of years later her son, Charles, embarked here for the
Scilly Isles; and shortly after, the news reached Arundell that after
the conference on Tresillian Bridge the King's forces had been
disbanded, and that the long struggle was over. Across the water Sir
John grimly watched the surrender of St. Mawes, and when he found there
were malcontents among his men, gave them a safe conduct and let them
go. For himself, had he not fought at Edgehill, Lansdowne, and Bradock
Down? Summoned to surrender he said he had but a few more days to live
and he would not stain them with dishonour. To Fairfax he replied:

     "Col. John Arundell to Sir Thomas Fairfax.

     "Sir,--The castle was committed to my Government by his
     Majesty, who by our laws hath command of the castles and
     forts of this kingdom; and my age of seventy summons me
     hence shortly. Yet I shall desire no other testimony to
     follow my departure than my conscience to God and loyalty to
     his Majesty, whereto I am bound by all the obligations of
     nature, duty, and oath. I wonder you demand the castle
     without authority from his Majesty; which if I should
     render, I brand myself and my posterity with the indelible
     character of treason. And having taken less than two
     minutes resolution, I resolve that I will here bury myself
     before I deliver up this castle to such as fight against his
     Majesty, and that nothing you can threaten is formidable to
     me in respect of the loss of loyalty and conscience.

  "Your servant,
  "of Trerice.

  "_18th March, 1646._"

Stout words from a stout heart; but though the castle, closely invested
by land and sea, held out for five lean months and only surrendered on
honourable terms, yet surrender it did; being the last place in England,
with the one exception of Raglan, so to do. And on August 17, 1646, the
garrison marched out "with their horses, complete arms, and other
equipages, according to their present or past commands or qualities,
with flying colours, trumpets sounding, drums beating, matches lighted
at both ends, and bullets in their mouths." So great a stir had Sir
John's defence made that not only did the House of Commons vote large
sums to the messengers who brought the news that he had yielded, but
September 22, 1646, was by their order set apart as a day of public
thanksgiving for the surrender "of the garrisons of Pendennis and four
other castles."


Meanwhile Henry Killigrew, after the yielding of Pendennis, had been
accidentally wounded in the head by the bursting of a carbine, while his
kinsman's house in the neighbourhood had suffered from the exigencies of
war. They were a stirring and a striving family, the Killigrews. The
name Falmouth, in those days merely meant the land at the mouth of the
Fal; and on this land, when Sir Walter Raleigh, just home from an
expedition, stayed with the Killigrews at their house of Arwenack, there
was only one other building large enough to accommodate his men. The
Killigrews wished to develop their property. They said it was absurd
that vessels had not a nearer port than Penryn or Truro; and Sir Walter
having just put in to this fine natural harbour, saw the golden side of
their suggestion; and cared not a jot about the loss of trade to those
other towns. But Truro, Penryn, and Helston, alive to their own
interests, had long thrown their weight into the opposition scale; and
London was some seven days' journey to the east. Therefore the building
operations of the sturdy Killigrews had been brought to a standstill.

It is easy to picture the scene. Sir Walter, after a good dinner, washed
down by wines that had paid no duty, sitting at his ease before the
windows of the great house, the panorama of hills and land-locked
harbour stretching to the horizon, and the Killigrews pointing out its
capabilities as a trading-centre and naval base! The great man listened,
was convinced, and, presently moving on to London, laid the matter
before his Sovereign.

It was the days of interest and influence--those days which, of course,
are past and over, so that even kissing no longer goes by favour!--and
the Killigrews found Sir Walter's advocacy gave them all they wanted,
leave to build their big nest in their own way. From that date the
opposition that had been so industriously fostered by the loyal
burgesses of Truro, Penryn, and Helston ceased. Why Helston should have
taken part is somewhat puzzling, but she may have been willing to help a
pair of old friends against that "grove of eagles." At any rate the
three towns were unable to accomplish anything further, and could only
look on with glum faces while Falmouth went ahead. Greatly to their
indignation Charles II., who remembered what good friends the Killigrews
had been to him and his father, granted it a charter in 1661. As soon as
they thought it would be safe, the Mayor of Truro asserted his claim to
jurisdiction over the port and harbour of Falmouth, by sailing round the
harbour to the Black Rock.

According to local rhyme, however, the settlers in their new town were
not lacking in sturdiness:

  "_Old Penrynners up in a tree
  Looking as wisht as wisht can be,
  Falmouth boys as strong as oak
  Knocked 'em down at every poke._"

So the burgesses of Falmouth took the matter before the courts and
succeeded in establishing the claim of their town to a free control over
the waters of its harbour.


In spite of the Killigrews, however, Falmouth remained small and
insignificant until the General Post Office chose the port in 1688 as a
station for its newly established mail boats. The next few years was the
time of its greatest prosperity, and Flushing--the other side of Penryn
Creek, and said to be so named from a colony of Dutch merchants--became
its fashionable suburb. Travellers came from all parts of England to
embark at this port, warships were stationed here, and the wives of
naval officers and others made it their home. The stir and bustle of
life has, however, departed with the service that created it; and the
fine harbour now only rocks on its broad bosom some little cargo
steamers and a fleet of fishing-boats. Arwenack House, said by some to
have been burnt by Sir Peter Killigrew in order that it should not
enable the Parliamentarians under cover of its walls to attack
Pendennis, was never rebuilt in its former splendour, and the ground
that once constituted its park is now laid out in town plots. Portions
of the old building are, however, still to be seen in Arwenack Street.


At the head of the creek is Falmouth's ancient rival, the town of
Penryn. A Killigrew and his wife--strong men are sometimes gey ill to
live with--fell out and the dame, being divorced, sought refuge in
Penryn. The Mayor of this place still has in his possession a silver cup
and cover given to the borough by this lady. On it is the inscription:
"1633.--From Maior to Maior, to the Towne of Penmarin, when they
received mee that was in great misery.--Jane Killygrew."

Penryn, still busy at its wharves with the exporting of granite, is the
site of Glasney College, where most of the old miracle plays performed
at the various plan-an-guares throughout the county were written. But
the main industry of the Roseland towns and villages is connected with
mines and quarries, the acme of arid desolation and dreariness being
reached at Gwennap. The mines there are of great depth, have been worked
for centuries, have produced in tin and copper during the last hundred
years at least ten million pounds sterling, and are now all abandoned.
Imagine the grey wilderness of stone and rubble, of old workings and
knacked bals. It rivals the sterility of the Black Country, but that is
teeming, while here in very truth is nothing but a littered and
abandoned waste.


Between Falmouth, which, as Byron said, "contains many quakers and salt
fish," and Truro lies the lovely wooded estuary of the Fal. Once
navigable to Tregony, large boats can now only go as far as Ruan
Lanihorne. At the latter place the river meets the tide. After passing
Tregothnan (Lord Falmouth's seat) it joins the St. Clement and Truro
Creeks, and finally, after forming by its twists and turns a series of
land-locked lakes of surpassing beauty, it broadens into that fine sheet
of water which is known as Carrick Roads. The way to see it properly is
to hire a suitable row-boat, stock it with provisions, and go up the
silent reaches till you discover some flat brown rock. There boil a
kettle gipsy-fashion and linger or go on, as the fancy takes you, up
this creek or that--they are equally beautiful--and so winding in and
out come at last to the capital city.

Queen Victoria, whose footsteps along the south of Cornwall can be
traced by various brass plates, was delighted with it. "We went up the
Truro, which is beautiful, winding between banks entirely wooded with
stunted oak, and full of numberless creeks. The prettiest are King
Harry's Ferry and a spot near Tregothnan (_i.e._, Feock), where there is
a beautiful little boat-house."


When Richard, King of the Romans, was created Earl of Cornwall, he, to
encourage the working of the mines--which brought him revenue--granted
the tinners a charter. By this, except in cases that might affect lands,
life, or limb, they were exempt from all jurisdiction but that of the
Stannary Courts. No laws were to be enacted but by the twenty-four
stannators chosen from the four stannary districts; and there was no
appeal from the Stannary Court, generally held at Truro, except to the
Duke or Sovereign in Council. These laws were concerned with maintaining
the purity of the tin, which was tested by cutting off a coign (corner)
and stamping the freshly exposed surface. The towns privileged to
perform this and collect the dues payable to the earldom (later duchy)
were called "coinage towns." It is said that some of their laws were
sufficiently grim, as for instance that which compelled an adulterator
of tin to swallow three spoonfuls of the molten metal. The last Stannary
Parliament was held at Truro in 1752, the courts being finally abolished
in 1897.


Truro was the town in which many of the local gentry spent the winter.
This custom of the counties, if it made for insularity rather than a
cosmopolitan culture, has given many of our old market-places, round the
square of which the commodious homes were built, an air of quiet
dignity. The gentry themselves, old people at their cards and
supper-parties, young people at their routs and balls, must have found
it more enjoyable--all friends and neighbours and very often
connections--than the present-day fashion of a dip into the whirlpool of

Truro is a cathedral city, with a brand new cathedral, which some have
been found able to admire, but about which the note struck is generally
apologetic. The old houses are empty, simplicity has become complexity,
and the local gentry, those that are left, go up to town "for the
season." Yet these changes have taken place within the memory of man,
and there are those who can talk of the old state of affairs. Life was
even more a matter of compromise then than now. People lived simply and
did not exact a high standard of comfort. Not even in Boscawen Street
was gas or water laid on, but in the midst thereof was a pump, and
thither came the pretty serving lasses to fill their red earthenware
pitchers. Monday then, as now, was washing day, and in one godly
household of which I wot the maids went early to bed on a Sunday night
that as soon as midnight struck they might go forth and bring in enough
of the precious fluid to fill tubs and coppers against the morn. It was
believed that otherwise what with the competition of all the other maids
in Boscawen Street, they would not be able to obtain a sufficiency. In
those days sanitary arrangements were of the simplest and healthiest
description, and as for baths--well, there was the wooden tub, big,
round, and two-handled, the wooden tub and Saturday night!


In households such as this were born Foote, the comedian, in 1721, and
Lowry, Cornwall's greatest poet, in 1867. Of the former we have the
story that when a wealthy man gave him a very small glass of wine, at
the same time boasting of its age and quality, he, glancing at it,
remarked, "My lord, surely it is very little for its age?" Of Lowry we
have no humorous stories. Cornwall has not produced many great men--some
gallant soldiers; in Sir Humphrey Davy a man of science; the painter
Opie; and in Lowry, as every one must acknowledge who has read "The
Hundred Windows," a poet! It will be a distinct loss to the nation if,
in the hurly-burly of modern life, the clear true note of this Cornish
singer should be lost.



_St. Mawes and Gerrans: Tregony and Probus: Cornish Mutton: A Story of
Cornish Vengeance: Mevagissey: Antiquarian Finds: The Capital of
Clayland: Cock's and Hen's Barrow: Carglaze Mine: Luxulyan: The Civil
Wars: Lostwithiel: Lanhydrock House and Restormel Castle: The Fight on
St. Winnow's Downs: The Gallants of Fowey: Place: Lanteglos: Polperro:
Stories of Talland, Killigarth, and Trelawne: The Giant's Hedge:
Boconnoc: Liskeard._


The "free and sworn burgesses" of St. Mawes, numbering about twenty,
formerly returned two members to Parliament; now it is a tiny sleepy
fishing port with many quiet places of retreat up the winding creeks,
the sort of place for a honeymoon couple, "the world forgetting by the
world forgot."

According to tradition Gerrans embodies the name of Gerennius, King of
Cornwall, of whom the Welsh Bards sang:

  "_In Llongborth Geraint was slain,
  A brave man from the region of Dyvnaint--_"

follows a grimly suggestive line:

  "_And before they were overpowered they committed slaughter._"

Near Trewithian is an ancient earthwork called Dingerein, and believed
to be Geraint's dwelling-place, the "Dyvnaint" of the song. When he died
his body was carried in a golden boat with silver oars across the bay to
Pendower beach, and buried with the boat on the hill above, while over
it was raised the cairn known as Veryan Beacon. It was believed also
that some day he would rise up in his armour and sail away in that
glorious boat. This tradition has been found in several places. Men who
lived with a vital awe-inspiring king found it difficult to believe that
such a flame could be extinguished. He had vanished into the surrounding
darkness, but none the less, thought they, he must be somewhere,
somewhere whence he could, nay surely would, return. This belief would
probably be fostered by his successor. If he were a child or weakling,
the people would hesitate to be disloyal, for fear of what would befall
them when the mightier father returned.

The great tumulus at Carne was opened in 1855, and within was found a
kist-vaen of unhewn stones, covered with limestone boulders; but in the
kist were only ashes, pieces of charcoal, and burnt dust. Objects of
gold are rarely found in barrows; but in the neighbourhood of the
Cheesewring was a persistent story that at some former time a golden cup
was actually dug out of a barrow near by. In course of time the
tradition was found to be true, and the cup is now in the king's


A little inland from these shores that reverberate with tales of long
ago is Tregony, once celebrated for its boys' school, to which the Truro
lads went daily in that great Cornish institution, a bus. It is a most
ancient place, supposed to have been a Roman station; and when Edward I.
gave Parliamentary representation to the country, Tregony was allowed to
send two members, and did so in 1294. Many years since, a large stone
coffin was dug up near the town, but the measurements given should be
received with caution.

Probus, about four miles north-west of Tregony, has a church of
exceptional beauty. The tower is of St. Stephen's stone and the highest
in Cornwall, being 123 ft. to the top of the pinnacles; it is of
elaborate and beautiful workmanship, while there is good
sixteenth-century carving in the church and an ancient stone altar
_mensa_. Not far from Probus is Wolveden, generally called Golden. Here
Francis Tregian sheltered his chaplain, Cuthbert Mayne, in 1577, the
cell in which he was concealed being still in good case, as well as a
fine Tudor doorway and chimney piece; but the old chapel, though still
standing, is part of the stables. The punishment for sheltering a
wandering Catholic priest was heavy. Mayne was discovered and hanged at
Launceston, and Tregian was thrown into prison, where he languished for
eight and twenty years. And all this miserable waste of life because
Henry VIII. chose to think differently to his ancestors on "matters
appertaining to religion."


These Roseland parishes, with their undulating heaths and sweet short
turf, are famous for their mutton. The meat generally in Cornwall, after
the uncertainty over chilled beef and New Zealand lamb in other parts of
the country, is an agreeable change. Nor is it dear. For visitors the
prices of food have gradually risen, but not very long ago butter was a
shilling a pound, mackerel a penny each, milk twopence a quart, and
little fat pilchards six--seven--eight a penny!


Not far from each other stand the remains of two great manor houses,
Caerhayes Castle, demolished in 1808 and rebuilt, and Bodrugan, now a
farm, but once, after Stowe the finest house in the county. The lords of
these manors took different sides during the disturbances consequent on
the Wars of the Roses and, in the end, Henry de Bodrugan was charged by
his neighbours--and among them John Arundell of Tolverne--with having
robbed their houses and also with various acts of piracy on the high
seas. He, however, was hand and glove with Richard Crookback, who, if an
awkward enemy, could be a good friend, and Bodrugan's conviction,
obtained in his absence, was subsequently quashed. For the time being he
escaped the consequence of his misdeeds, but in his triumph he did not
forget to whom he owed his tribulation, and before long saw good reason
to accuse Sir Richard Edgcumbe of Cotehele, on the Tamar, and his
neighbour, Sir Hugh Trevanion of Caerhayes, of plotting to bring about
the accession of Henry VII. A word to Richard, and that monarch, who
lost no time in such matters, sent soldiers post haste to arrest
Edgcumbe. So unexpectedly did they arrive at Cotehele that their prey
had to spring out of the nearest window and make for the woods. When he
reached the river they were hard on his heels. But he was a man of
resource. Snatching off his cap he tossed it into the water, and when
the soldiers arrived they saw it floating slowly down the current and
came to the conclusion that he was drowned. Trevanion and Edgcumbe
hurried off to Henry of Richmond, and no doubt were with him when he
landed at Rame Head, a little further east. They distinguished
themselves at Bosworth Field, and in the church of St. Michael,
Caerhayes, hangs the sword worn that day by Sir Hugh, the sword with
which he was made a knight-banneret by the new king.

But Edgcumbe and Trevanion had a private account to settle and, asking
leave of absence, they rode west. Sir Henry de Bodrugan, however, was
before them. His cause was lost, his master dead, and he knew that there
was little mercy to be hoped for from either Edgcumbe or Trevanion. The
enemies met on Woful Moor. Bodrugan gave back and back, till at last
only the sea lay behind him. Then he turned and leapt--the rock is still
shown--and being a strong swimmer was presently picked up by a passing
vessel. His lands, with the goodwill of the King, were divided between
his vengeful enemies, and the manor itself has been handed down from
Edgcumbe to Edgcumbe in uninterrupted succession to this day.


It was at Caerhayes that Sir John Berkeley and Colonel Slingsby, who had
been sent into Cornwall, during the autumn of 1649, to encourage their
friends to rise for Charles II., were surprised by the watchful
Roundheads. Lord Byron's grandmother was a Trevanion of Caerhayes, but
the castle no longer shelters the descendants of the man who laid its
foundation-stone, and if you would see relics of the wild Trevanions you
must seek them in the arcade--where hang helmets, swords, and
gauntlets--of the little church of St. Michael.

At Goran Church were once monuments to all three families, but those of
the Trevanions have disappeared, while the Bodrugans are now only
represented by the arms cut on the granite font. This church has a high
embattled tower, a good day-mark for ships, and in the chancel a curious
oak chair elaborately carved with the figure of a woman.

South of Goran is the Dodman, the pride of the southern coast, a
headland which is 400 ft. high and about whose feet the water is so deep
that vessels of large draught may sail by within a few feet. It is of
dark weathered rocks with a ditch and rampart winch, crossing from one
side to the other, cuts it off from the land. The finest beaches on the
south stretch right and left from this headland, which gives a good view
of the cliffs and fishing coves all up and down the coast from the Rame
to the Lizard.

It is curious how frequently two or more places in Cornwall bear the
same name. There are two St. Justs, two St. Anthonys, two Mawgans,
Constantines, Pentires, while as to Pennare there are several. A Black
Head (250 ft.) was the most important promontory between the Lizard and
Falmouth, and here, after Chapel Point with its prehistoric remains,
Mevagissey with its sardine factory--(All-British shoppers, please
note)--and Pentewan with its quarries, the next blue point breaking the
northward line is another--and a most bold and precipitous--Black Head!


Near Mevagissey, locally and opprobriously termed Fishygissey, is
Pencarne, seat of the one-handed Carew, whose portrait is in Heligan
House. He lost his hand by a cannon-shot at the siege of Ostend (1601)
and, returning to his quarters after the fight, held out the lopped
member with a casual: "There is the hand that cut the pudding this


In this neighbourhood several interesting finds have been made. At
Pentewan some curious oaken canoes buried in the soil were found by the
tinners. Unaware of the unique nature of what they had discovered, the
miners broke them up for firewood! Better luck, however, attended a
remarkable and interesting find at Trewhiddle. Some miners, when
searching for tin in a stream work, at 17 ft. below the surface, came on
a silver cup which proved to be a chalice containing coins and some
ornaments. These coins bore date from 757 to 874, and the names of such
well-known Kings as Egbert and Alfred, with a unique silver penny of
Eanred of Northumbria and a Louis le Debonnaire (King of the Franks
814). It is supposed that the hoard was buried when sea-robbers were
harrying the coast, and that he who hid it did not live to come back. It
is now in the British Museum.


Roseland has given place to Clayland, with St. Austell for the capital.
This town is not far from the sea. Its narrow crooked thoroughfares
radiate in all directions from the old church, over the porch of which
is a Cornish inscription, "Ry Du," the meaning of which is unknown. The
well-known tower is sculptured and of Pentewan stone. Within is good
woodwork, a weirdly carved font, and a series of shields which, if not
beautiful as art, are interesting for their symbolism. At St. Austell
was born Colenso, the fighting bishop, who having set Christendom by the
ears and been excommunicated for heresy was afterwards confirmed in the
possession of his see.

The town is of modern origin, owing its existence to the various mines
and clayworks in the neighbourhood. The clayman drives his team in
single file, and an endless procession of heavy waggons rumbles through
the narrow streets, waggons laden with powdered clay in barrels or with
the white glistening lumps uncovered. This clay is found in large
quantities at Hensbarrow, Burngullow (where the first sod of the
Cornwall Railway was cut in 1847), St. Stephen's, and the Bodmin Moors,
and is exported from Par, Fowey, and Charlestown. About 1763 Wedgwood
leased a mine near St. Austell, using the clay for the manufacture of
his well-known porcelain. About 60,000 tons of this material are
exported annually to the Potteries and into Lancashire.

The Menagew, a famous old stone said to have been a boundary at the
junction of three manors, has been removed from its ancient site--the
pity o't!--and fixed in the pavement at the corner of Menacuddle Street,
the spot being marked by a brass plate. Lake says: "On this stone all
declarations of war and proclamations of peace were read ... all cattle
for whom no owner could be found were brought here and exposed for a
certain number of market days, after which, if unclaimed, their sale
became legal," and there is a hint that in yet earlier days the criminal
was brought to this stone for execution and that by the shedding of
blood it became set apart and sacred.


To the north of St. Austell, and on the highest land in the
neighbourhood is the "Hen's Barrow." The latter, which is 1034 ft. above
the sea level, is also known as the Archbeacon of Cornwall. From here
the whole county can be seen stretched out below, and here are the chief
china pits. On its northern slope is a vast mass of schorl, the
celebrated Roche Rock. On its summit are the fourteenth-century ruins of
a chapel to St. Michael, locally said to have been built by the last
male heir of Tregarrick manor, who, weary of the world, lived here in
solitude. A little north of Roche and beyond the old half-forgotten holy
well is a pool, the water of which may easily be made to flow in
different directions--either to Par, Falmouth, or Padstow!


West of Roche is St. Dennis, the church of which stands on a conical
hill of granite in the middle of a prehistoric entrenchment. In the
churchyard is a fine cross and round it earthworks and tumuli. A great
part of the surface in this neighbourhood has been opened for china clay
and china stone, but by far the most important mine is that of Carglaze,
once worked for tin. The pit of this mine presents a remarkable
appearance, for though nearly a mile in circumference it is only 150
ft. deep. It resembles indeed nothing as much as a gigantic crater!


South of St. Austell and near Porthpean is a granite longstone known as
Tregeagle's Stick, another instance of some older story being attached
to a recent hero, for the pillar must have been there many hundreds of
years before Tregeagle was born. On Gwallen Downs are several
earthworks, cairns, holy wells, &c., while Menacuddle boasts a very
pretty cascade. This cannot be compared with the one at Luxulyan, which
has a fall of 200 ft. That "valley of rocks," a beautiful, picturesque
spot, is crossed by the Treffry aqueduct, and lies in a parish of wild
land strewn with blocks of granite and porphyry. One of the latter was
worked into a sarcophagus for the celebrated Duke of Wellington, while
the Giant Block of Luxulyanite is said to be the largest in Europe.


If St. Austell is the capital of clayland, St. Blazey is second to it as
a trading-centre for granite and china clay. Its saint was said to be
the patron of woolcombers, though this is probably a mere modern
confusion of names. Here was born Ralph Allen, who invented cross
country posts and, while obliging his fatherland, managed to enrich
himself. Pope, who stayed with him at Prior Park (Bath), describes him
somewhat contemptuously:

  "_Let humble Allen with an awkward shame
  Do good by stealth and blush to find it fame._"

'Tis true that Allen was the son of a St. Blazey innkeeper, that he had
made instead of inheriting his money, but to go down to posterity as
"humble" and "awkward!" The first edition is "low-born Allen," but this
was altered at the poor man's protest.


It is pleasant to leave the china clay with its milky fouling of clear
waters and its diseased outcrops, white with the white of leprosy.
Crossing Par sands, where Essex watched in vain for the ships laden with
his supplies and where, of the old lead smelting works even the chimney
known all over the countryside as Par Stack is now gone, the road turns
down the coast--past Menabilly with its geological grotto and museum,
past Gribben Head set with a day-mark tower some 80 ft. high--and so
round the little peninsula into which the Parliamentarian Army was
penned by the more active Royalists in 1644, and up to Fowey.

When Charles I. in the August of that year pursued the foolish and
shortsighted Essex into Cornwall, the King began by calling together his
soldiers and enumerating the services rendered to his cause by the
people of the duchy, and he strictly and with divers threats forbade
plundering. That for once he meant what he said, was proved a fortnight
later by Prince Maurice, who hanged a soldier for plundering Lanhydrock;
and that there might be no misunderstanding about the matter, left him
with a ticket to that effect pinned on his breast.

Essex, a stupid and inactive man, had come into Cornwall against his
better judgment, Lord Robartes having said that the country would rise
to join him. Before he got as far as Bodmin he discovered that the
contrary was like to be the case; and when the King came sweeping into
the duchy and Sir Richard Grenville marched out of Truro, Essex, who was
between them, saw the hopelessness of his position. In the midst of a
country so hostile that his soldiery had to forage far and wide for
grudged provisions, he had nothing upon which to fall back, for some
ships loaded with cheese and biscuit which he was daily expecting had
not arrived. Essex, who always did the wrong thing or else the right
thing too late, cast about at this eleventh hour to keep a passage open
for his supplies and, anxious to get nearer the sea, made for
Lostwithiel. The immediate result of this movement was that the forces
of Grenville and the King presently formed a semicircle about him from
shore to shore, and matters went from bad to worse. His soldiers, in
need of food and tempted by papers offering a free pardon which the
Royalists scattered among them, were daily slipping away to join the
King. Having left the eastern side of the harbour unguarded, the forts
there, as well as Polruan and Hall House, were soon taken; and this gave
Charles the command of the estuary, while on the other side Grenville
had secured the little haven of Par, where Essex was hoping his delayed
stores would be landed. At this juncture he made a belated effort to
help himself and those dependent on him. On the evening of August 31
deserters reported that the Parliamentarian cavalry was drawn up on the
east bank of the river. It was evident that Essex was contemplating a
move, and orders were issued to the Royalists to stand at arms
throughout the night, break down all bridges, and throw baulks of timber
across the roads and lanes. Furthermore Goring was bidden collect his
cavalry and be in readiness to act on any point at which the enemy might
attempt to break through.

Unfortunately, when the King's orders reached Goring he was in no
condition to obey them. The night came on dark and foggy. There was a
narrow space on St. Winnow's Downs between the two Royalist divisions;
but though not covered with troops it was guarded by some fifty
fusiliers. These men were--what shall we say? They could scarcely on
such a raw night have been asleep and why should they have been absent?
At any rate it was over this space that, moving with silent celerity,
Sir Wm. Balfour with the whole of the Parliamentarian horse passed
unchallenged out on to the open ground. Until a second message from the
King reached Goring, he could not be got from his wine. The enemy was
then actually passing over the hill, and had it not been for this
scandalous behaviour probably not a man would have escaped.

Some days earlier poor old Restormel Castle had been stormed by
Grenville, and his forces under cover of a mist had then moved down
towards Lostwithiel, but it was reserved for the King to take that
ancient town; which he did just in time to prevent the destruction by
the retreating Essex of the beautiful bridge.

Although the Parliamentarian General was forced to retire, he did so
doggedly, contesting every street and every field, and that night the
King slept in the rain under a hedge by the prehistoric earthwork of
Castle Dor.


On the following morning Essex proposed a parley. Before the King's
answer could reach him, however, he had, with a sudden change of front,
embarked on one of the ships in Fowey harbour and set sail for Plymouth.
Major-General Skippon, who had been left in command, immediately
capitulated with six thousand men; and then for once in its long and
sleepy existence was Lostwithiel aroused. The Parliamentarians had
desecrated the beautiful church; the slates of the roof were lying in
heaps where a barrel of gunpowder had been touched off under the
graceful octagonal lanthorn of its spire--"the Glory of Cornwall." They
had plundered the Exchequer Hall, burnt the stannary records, and
committed other enormities; but now the yoke of the oppressor was
broken. Tho King did his humane best to protect the soldiers, but the
long-suppressed hostility of the mob found vent in a sudden flame of
violence, while the women set upon the officers, stripped them of all
they had and rode off with their horses!


Lanhydrock House being now the property of the King, he, as a mark of
his gratitude, granted it to Sir Richard Grenville, whom he created
Baron of Lostwithiel; but no sooner did the Parliament get the upper
hand than the new-made baron was deprived of his property. The present
house is of granite and stands low, the hills springing from the end of
the gardens. On them is a little church, and in front an open and
undulating park. The headquarters of Essex were in this park, through
which a long avenue of sycamores leads to a barbican of fine
workmanship, behind which appears the simple façade of the two-storied
house. Within, a room is shown as that used by Tregeagle when steward of
the estates.

A little south is Restormel Castle. Its long life has been that of a
ruin slowly sinking into the earth from which it rose. In 1245 Earl
Richard found it much decayed. He restored it; and the Black Prince, who
twice stayed there, did the same. When the Parliamentarians came it had
long been abandoned to the owls and the ivy, but as it commanded the
Fowey they repaired and garrisoned it. After the surrender of their army
it was once more abandoned, and now all that remains of the old
fortress is the round keep with a gate-house on the west and a
projecting turret on the north-east. It is on a mound surrounded by a
moat and lies deep in woods and remote from human habitation. Its very
name, Restormel (once Lestormel, a chief's dwelling), shows that its
builder was a man of note among the people who are gone. It has seen
them make merry in its halls, it has seen them pass. It has roused up
now and again to groan under the tyranny of new masters; but now,
deserted in its robe of ivy, a mound, and a few stones, it sleeps
through the sunshine and the rain, and with every year sinks a little
and a little into itself and the kind covering earth.

  "_The old sea here at my door,
    The old hills there in the West--
  What can a man want more
    Till he goes at last to his rest?_"


Nor is Lostwithiel much more widely awake. Nowadays it consists of a few
rather picturesque streets, an old stone bridge, and a church with a
lanthorn spire--the finest piece of church architecture in Cornwall! But
it has not forgotten the days when a desperate king, gladdened by a
brief gleam of success, fought his way through those same picturesque
streets with an enemy that contested every stone and every house. It has
not forgotten that he fought from early morning, pushing the stubborn
foe before him, until by eventide he had the streets clear, and
Lostwithiel, happy loyal Lostwithiel was his.


Before this came to pass, however, a curious conflict had taken place on
St. Winnow's Downs. One hundred Roundheads, youths from sixteen to
twenty years of age and led by Colonel Straughan, had challenged a like
number of the King's troops to heroic combat on Druid's Hill. On a set
day the two bodies of horse met in sight of both armies, Straughan
having "nothing on his head but a hat and on the trunk of his body
naught but a white shirt"--he was indeed fighting bare-sark--"while his
troop consisted of men so young that on their chins never a razor had
passed." Lord Digby, the Royalist leader, and his followers advanced
firing their pistols as they came, whereupon Straughan and his boys
charged furiously, withholding their fire until they were so close that
at the deadly discharge half the Royalists were slain on the spot and
there was scarce horse or man but received some hurt.

The Church of St. Winnow is beautifully placed on the very margin of
this charming estuary, a little before the Lerryn creek opens to the
east. Below is the pass between St. Veep and Golant, a pass taken and
fortified by the Royalists.


The Gallants of Fowey probably means the men of Golant, near Fowey,
though various other derivations have been suggested, as for instance
the fight between the seafaring men of Rye and Winchelsea and those of
Fowey. It appears the latter had sailed somewhat near the aforesaid
towns, and when summoned to make civil apology for the intrusion
"stiffly refused to vaile their bonnets. This caused the Ripiers to make
out with might and main against them; howbeit with a more hardy onset
than happy issue, for the Fowey men gave them so rough entertainment as
their welcome that they were glad to depart without bidding
farewell--the merit of which exploit afterwards entitled them 'gallants
of Fowey.'"

This little town, which consists of a single street along the western
bank of the estuary and many houses set down higgledy-piggledy wherever
room could be found, was once of some consequence. During the reign of
Edward III. it sent--assisted, no doubt, by the surrounding country--no
less than forty-seven ships manned by seven hundred and seventy men, to
the siege of Calais. No other town in England sent so many ships and no
town but Yarmouth so many men. The Black Prince, who it must be
remembered was the first Duke of Cornwall, granted the people of Golant
certain common rights in return for their services, and Fowey grew in
pride and consideration. In fact, as the saying is, it grew "too big for
its boots," and did more than a little privateering on its own account.
When Edward IV. made peace with France, Fowey, which had grown fat on
the plunder of foreign merchantmen, continued its hostilities; and in
time a pursuivant rode down from London to make inquiry.

"I am at peace with my brother of France," ran the royal message.

"But we are not," was the reply. Furthermore they took the pursuivant,
slit his ears and cut off his nose.

It was hardly the way to treat a King of so royal a temper as Edward
IV., and Fowey--is it Fowey now or Troy?--suffered. His commissioners
did their work treacherously, but they did it well. The chief men were
seized, their goods confiscated, and their leader hanged. The great
chain which barred the narrow entrance to their harbour and protected
them from night attacks was taken away, while the men of Dartmouth were
sent by sea to remove their ships. Edward meant to smoke out this nest
of freebooters. There could be only one king in England and he would
have them recognise it. The savage punishment resulted in the gradual
decay of the little cheerful town. Those who had been so greatly daring
were dead, and until Henry VIII. built batteries here the place lay at
the mercy of any passing marauder. A story interesting for the light it
sheds on Queen Elizabeth's character is told of some Spanish ships in
1568. Bound for Alba, in the Netherlands, with a large sum of money,
they were chased by privateers and took refuge in Fowey and other ports.
The privateers waiting outside till they should reappear, the Spaniards
were helpless. After a little hesitation Elizabeth had the treasure
seized and the crews arrested. She said that, fearing the audacity of
the pirates, she would keep the money safe!


The old fortress mansion of the great family of Treffry is on the
opposite side of the harbour. Tradition says that a Treffry took King
John prisoner at Poictiers, and as a reward was given permission to
quarter on his shield the arms of France. More than once the Treffrys
helped to defend Fowey from foreign violence; and their wives were as
brave as they. In the grounds of Place House is a statue of Elizabeth
Treffry who, in the absence of her husband, July 1457, headed his men
and beat off the French.

On the shore at Polruan is a ruinous blockhouse, from which the chain
that guarded Fowey Harbour was once stretched across the estuary to a
similar building on the other side. Here is Hall, the ancient seat of
the Mohuns, and while Charles I. was walking on the terrace he narrowly
escaped being struck by a ball from the guns of Lord Essex. The chapel
and guardhouse are still standing, but the former is used as a cowhouse.


The church of Lanteglos, consisting as it does of the work of so many
periods, is exceptionally interesting to the student of architecture.
The tower opens into the church by three massive arches, the western
corner of the piers being Norman; the nave arcades are of the fourteenth
century, the northern slightly earlier than the southern. The four
deeply recessed windows in the north with their elaborate tracery are
recognised by architects as resembling those of Somerset, which is
probably accounted for by the fact that this church was appropriated in
1284 to St. John's Hospital at Bridgwater. Between Lansallos Church,
with its lofty tower (514 ft. above the sea), a well-known seamark, and
Talland Church, which is full of rich and beautiful work lies Polperro
(Pool of Peter) in a cove at the foot of two high hills. This little
place is the southern duplicate of Port Isaac, but its air is
milder--less bracing--than that of the grey northern town. The houses
cluster thickly at the mouth of a cleft between the hills and the storms
are so terrible that although three piers protect the little harbour,
heavy baulks of timber have often to be let down into grooves, to break
the force of the waves. The Couch family have lived at Polperro during
several generations, the father and grandfather of the novelist having
been doctors there.

It is said that the first station of the Coastguard Preventive Service
was at Polperro, a statement which "gives furiously to think." The
welcome Cornwall gave to the Parliamentarian generals must have been
genial compared with that extended to the preventive officers.
Coastguards in Cornwall, the home of wreckers and smugglers! No doubt
they had an exhilarating time!


There are three houses in this neighbourhood about which stories are
told. The manor of Talland formerly belonged to the Morths, and one of
this family employed a French servant. Mr. Morth does not seem to have
given his servant satisfaction, for the man returned home, and when war
broke out "returneth back again with a French crew, surprizeth suddenly
his master and his guests at a Xmas supper, and forceth the gentleman to
redeem his enlargement with the sale of a great part of his revenues"
(Carew). It is not often that the tables can be so neatly turned.

Killigarth belonged to the Bevilles, and in the sixteenth century, one
Sir William going forth from his own house on a winter's day, found
under a hedge a certain John Size nearly dead with cold. He took him
into his service and found that he had gotten a remarkable sort of
servant, for Size "would eat nettles and thistles, coals and candles,
birds with their feathers, and fish with their scales. He could handle,
unhurt, blazing wood and hot iron, and used to lie asleep with his head
curled under his body" (Carew).

The Trelawnys of Trelawne originally came from another place of the same
name, further inland. Among the pictures at this house--parts of which
are old--is an early one of Elizabeth, interesting on account of the
queen's youth.

John Trelawny, father of the celebrated Jonathan, Bishop of Bristol, was
committed to the Tower in 1627 by the House of Commons. As he was
popular in the county the Cornish were greatly exercised, and it is said
that the old ballad sung riotously by his compatriots:

  "_And shall Trelawny die?
  Here's twenty thousand Cornishmen
  Will know the reason why--_"

was instrumental in procuring his release. Be that as it may, he was set
free by order of the King and shortly after made a baronet. The ballad
composed for the misfortunes of the father survived to be made of use
when his son, one of the seven bishops who presented the petition to
James II., was imprisoned and tried for seditious libel by that most
worthless of the Stuarts. The verses were subsequently lost, the Rev.
Robert Hawker, always ready to make good any little deficiency of the
kind having composed the present version.


A model of Bishop Trelawny's pastoral staff, made of gilt wood with
ornaments of copper, is preserved in Pelynt Church, where he was buried;
but the most interesting thing in this neighbourhood, as well as the
most puzzling, is that great earthwork the Giant's Hedge, which,
stretching from Lerrin to Looe, a matter of seven miles, passes through
this parish.

  "_One day the devil having nothing to do
  Built a great hedge from Lerrin to Looe._"

There is no evidence to say by whom this earthwork, which in parts is 7
ft. high and 20 ft. wide, was built. Once more let us pray for a
Passmore Edwards to supply us with this evidence--by judicious


By way of Lanreath Church with its painted mediæval rood screen we come
to the manor of Boconnoc. This house has seen a succession of noble
owners and some interesting visitors. Charles I. spent nearly the whole
of the cold and rainy August during which he was in Cornwall under its
hospitable roof, and Pitt, Governor of Madras, purchased the place with
part of the proceeds of the "Pitt" diamond. The wing in which the King
slept was pulled down by Pitt; and the house, which is built on rising
ground in a lawn of a hundred acres, remodelled. It was here that his
son, the famous statesman, was born. An obelisk has been set up in the
midst of the entrenchments made during the Civil Wars--a piece of
curious taste, as the man commemorated by it had nothing to do with
either king or parliament, living indeed long after both were dust!

Between this obelisk and Bradock Church was fought the battle of Bradock
Downs. The Royalists who had marched from Bodmin slept all night under
the hedges in Boconnoc Park. Next morning, January 19, 1643, they found
the Parliamentarians awaiting them on the rising ground of the common.
After keeping up a fire of small arms for some two hours, the Royalists
were led forward by Sir Beville Grenville in one of his dashing charges.
Their opponents broke and ran, fleeing to Liskeard with great loss of
arms and men. Their stay there, however, was but brief, for the
Cavaliers pursued them--across the downs, by the main road, and by St.
Pinnoc--and so took the town without a blow.



_King Dungarth and King Alfred: Menheniot: St. Keyne: Looe: A Cage for
Scolds: Looe Island and the Smugglers: The Armada: Sheviock: The
Eddystone: Mount Edgcumbe: The Tamar: Trematon Castle: Markets: Saltash:
Moditonham: Paleologus: Pentillie: Cotehele: Hingston Down: Polyfant:


It is pleasant, after following the footsteps of an English king so
foolish that his people out of sheer exasperation presently rose up and
slew him, to come upon traces of one whom the nation, from his day even
until now, has blessed and called great. To the north of Liskeard lies
the big parish of St. Neot, once called Gueryr, and St. Neot, 'tis said,
was a near relative of King Alfred, a relative noted for sanctity and of
whom many wonderful stories are told. He appears to have been on
friendly terms with Dungarth, King of Cornwall, who lived at Liskeard,
and at whose palace Alfred stayed in order to hunt the red deer on the
surrounding moors. Nor was it only for the hunting that Alfred came to
Liskeard. Gueryr, St. Neot's fellow saint, was supposed to have had some
medical knowledge, and the King, delicate from boyhood, was in bad
health. He went across the moors to pray, and possibly to bathe in the
spring of clear water, still known as the well of St. Neot; and as faith
in the doctor is half the battle we may hope his ills were alleviated.
Dungarth--a fine monarch we must believe or else no friend to
Alfred--was drowned in the River Fowey when hunting near Redgate, 875.
In the parish of St. Cleer is a fractured granite pillar about 8 ft.
high, and in digging near, a second fragment was found, inscribed in
Latin, "Doniert (possibly Dungarth) asks you to pray for his soul."

To think that a thousand and odd years ago, Alfred was staying in this
little old market town with a friend; that they were planning hunting
expeditions; and that Dungarth was recommending his own doctor--"just
like any other man." How queer it all is and how little human nature

The corporation at Liskeard has some interesting silver, and in the
church is a monument to Joseph Wadham said to have been "the last of
that family whose ancestors were the founders of Wadham College,
Oxford." This church is unique in Cornwall in having thirteen
fifteenth-century consecration crosses cut on the north and south
aisles. In the town is Stuart House, where Charles I. stayed for about a
week in 1644.

A little south of Liskeard, on the way to Menheniot, is Clicker Tor, a
mass of serpentine rock resembling the rocks of the Lizard. That
beautiful heath (_Erica vagans_) that grows on the serpentine is found


Until the introduction--at the wish of the Cornish--of the English
liturgy during the reign of Henry VIII., the ancient tongue was the
language of the county. Dr. Mooreman, Vicar of Menheniot from 1530 to
1554, was the first parson in Cornwall to teach his parishioners the
Lord's Prayer, the Belief and the Commandments in English. Nowadays,
while it is not uncommon in Wales--which had only the Welsh liturgy--to
hear the "Dim Sassenach," which means that some old person is unable or
unwilling to speak English, the Cornish equivalent, "Mee a navidra cowza
Sawzneck," has been entirely forgotten.

Menheniot (after St. Columb Major) is the most valuable benefice in the
county, and the church possesses two interesting flagons of
sixteenth-century Lambeth stoneware, with lid and collar of silver dated
1578 and 1581.


On the other side of the valley, not far from the famous old mine of
Herodsfoot, is the Well of St. Keyne. Over it, in an astonishingly small
space, are five trees, oak, elm, and ash, and although these were
planted in 1750, it was only in the place of older trees mentioned in
1602. Concerning the water of this celebrated well, it is fabled that if
after marriage the wife should drink of its waters before her husband
she shall have the mastery and vice-versa. Southey's ballad tells us of
a bride who took some to church with her in a bottle and drank it while
her husband was running to the well.

At Duloe is a circle which probably encloses a burial place. The stones
are all of quartz, which is unusual, and they are large, the biggest
being 8 ft. high and 7 ft. wide. In this church lies gallant old Sir
John Arundell, the defender of Pendennis Castle.


East and West Looe are two quaint fishing-villages divided by the
estuary and joined by a bridge. They are, as usual, huddled together as
near the bottom of their hills as possible and consist of a few crooked
and narrow streets, with houses built anyhow and anywhere. Like Fowey,
they look as if presently they might slip a little, make a tiny splash,
and disappear into the water, to be talked of by succeeding generations
as a "great city of seven churches and thousands of inhabitants that for
some forgotten crime on the part of its people had been overwhelmed by a
sea wave," and to prove this thing they would quote from the _Chronicle_
(not the Saxon this time but the _Daily_), "in this year came that great
sea flood, widely through this land, and it ran up so far as never at
any time before, and it drowned many towns and mankind too innumerable
to be computed."


Meanwhile East and West Looe still lie poised insecurely above the tide,
while donkeys laden with panniers scramble up the precipitous streets,
and in this way your groceries and so forth come to your door. It is
thoroughly in keeping with the place that the old ducking stool and they
say the cage for scolds should still exist. About the latter Mr. Bond
tells the following appropriate story:

"At East Looe Hannah Whit and Bessy Niles, two women of fluent tongue,
having exerted their oratory on each other, at last thought it prudent
to leave the matter in dispute to be settled by the Mayor. Away they
posted to his worship. The first who arrived had scarce begun her tale
when the other bounced in, in full rage, and began hers likewise, and
abuse commenced with redoubled vigour. His worship, Mr. John Chubb,
ordered the constable to be called and each of the combatants thought
her antagonist was going to be punished, and each thought right. When
the constable arrived, his worship pronounced to him the following
command: 'Take these women to the cage, and there keep them till they
have settled their dispute.' They were immediately conveyed thither, and
after a few hours' confinement became as quiet and inoffensive beings as
ever breathed, and were then liberated to beg Mr. Mayor's pardon."


Except the Scillies, the only inhabited island of Cornwall is St. George
(or Looe Island). It measures fourteen acres and was once exceedingly
useful to smugglers. Not many years since, the floor of a respectable
looking building gave way, and the reason thereof became apparent when
it was found that it had been hollowed underneath to form a receptacle
for those good spirits which came from France by way of the Looe
galleys. The most wonderful hiding-place in this part of the country is
the now well-known duckpond, said to have been at Lansallos, near
Polperro. This swung on a pivot, and when moved disclosed a cavity. At
all other times it presented an innocently rural appearance, so much so
that the preventive officers often sat, all unsuspiciously, within a few
feet of it.

East of East Looe is the little hamlet of Crafthole, with two crosses,
one known locally as "Stump Cross," a fine specimen of a plain Latin
cross with chamfered angles, and another of earlier date with a broken
top. This bay, which stretches from Looe to Penlee, was once a valley
filled with trees, but, as Florence of Worcester says, "The sea comes
out upon the shore and buries towns and men very many, oxen and sheep


It is a quiet strip of coast, yet it was here between Rame Head and the
Dodman, that on a breezy Sunday morning the Spaniards of the Armada
first caught sight of the English fleet under Lord Howard of Effingham,
and the volunteer flotilla that was led by Francis Drake. The Spanish
plan was to divide fleet from flotilla, but as the light English boats
could sail closer to the wind and were generally more easy to handle, it
met with little success. The Spanish admiral was soon to discover that
his little enemy's guns could carry further than his own, thus enabling
the English to remain out of reach and yet pour in their raking
broadsides. The light winds blew from the east, and the opposing navies
fired and drifted and fired again, passing the Rame, passing Plymouth,
and drifting up the coast. The engagement lasted till late on that
Sunday afternoon, and later still the _Capitana_, first fruits of the
demoralising tactics of the English, was towed into Dartmouth harbour.

  "_Keepe then the sea, about in special,
  Which of England is the towne wall,
  Keepe then the sea that is the wall of England,
  And then is England kept by Goddes hand...._"

In other words: "God helps those who help themselves."


Above Crafthole lies Sheviock, on one of the creeks of the Lynher, with
a good fourteenth-century church. The Dawneys were lords of Sheviock,
and we have it from Carew that while the husband was building the
church, his more practical wife was erecting a barn. When they came to
compare accounts it was found that the lady's expenditure had exceeded
her lord's by three half-pence, "and so it might well fall, for it is a
great barn and a very little church."


Henry VII., when Earl of Richmond, is said to have landed near Rame
Head, and seeing that he had in his train such energetic Cornishmen as
Sir Richard Edgcumbe and Sir Hugh Trevanion, men who could help him to a
good few of their relatives and retainers, no doubt he was well advised.
From the headland can be seen the Eddystone, which is nine miles south.
This ridge of rocks is a mile long, but has only one small rock
appearing above the water and has for ages been the terror of seamen.
The first lighthouse was built in 1699, and four years later was swept
away by a storm. A second, built in 1708, was burnt in 1755. The third,
built by Smeaton in 1759, resisted the wind and weather for over a
hundred years. The rocks on which it was built were then found to be
giving way, and it was removed to Plymouth Hoe, and a new and higher
lighthouse built on another part of the ridge.


The Rame forms the outer boundary of Plymouth Harbour; Penlee Point the
western boundary of the sound; and a little to the north lies Mount
Edgcumbe, which, though few people seem to know it, is in Cornwall. This
interesting house was built in the time of Mary, but the park dates from
Henry VIII., when the property came to the Edgcumbes by marriage. The
grounds contain a great number of fortifications, from the battery and
blockhouse built to oppose the Spanish Armada to more modern defences.
The second Lord Edgcumbe, when a boy, was the friend of Sir Joshua
Reynolds, a friendship which has resulted in the family portraits of
three generations being painted by that artist. The house is as
beautifully situated as the grounds are worth seeing and is on the end
of a promontory several miles long and three wide.


The Tamar and Torridge spring from a rushy knoll on the eastern wilds of
Morwenstow, three miles from the sea. From that, practically the most
northern spot in the county, the larger river with some windings flows
south, forming the eastern boundary of the county. It finally widens
into the Hamoaze and, by way of Plymouth Sound, finds its way into the
sea. Many are the bridges and ferries from the one county to the other,
and every army that has come to invade, to subjugate, or even to punish
the insurgent west, must have come by way of this peaceful stream. The
first ferry is at Tor Point, where the Tamar is about a mile wide. It
was the old coach route and thither came the people who would catch the
packet at Falmouth, thither also in yet earlier times came the Cornish
pack-horses, laden with tin at their going and merchandise on their
return. It was the highway when roads were only tracks and the boats in
which men voyaged were of wattle covered with hide. Now it is crossed by
a "steam bridge" which starts every quarter of an hour!

Where another ferry crosses the estuary of the Lynher is the church and
village of Antony East. Carew, whose amusing Survey supplies us with so
many stories of old Cornwall, is buried here, the doggerel verses on his
monument having been found in his pocket, after his sudden death when at
prayer in his study. There is also a memorial to Margery Arundell, which
is of interest, as it is the only example in the county of a canopied


When Robert, Duke of Normandy, died, Arlette, the tanner's daughter, was
sought in wedlock by one Herlwin, and in due course she bore him two
sons, Odo, afterwards Bishop of Bayeux, and Robert, whom she named after
the unforgotten lover of her youth. These twain, worthy half-brothers of
the stern and rigorous Bastard, rode one on each side of him at the
battle of Hastings--that fatal battle which delayed for so many years
the consummation of our English liberties! Over against the Normans were
the equally loyal brethren of Harold, the King. But William's star was
in the ascendant, and two at least of the sons of Godwin and Gytha were
among the slain. As soon as the Conqueror was firmly settled on the
throne that he had seized, he bethought him of his favourite brother and
added to Robert's earldom by the Breton march the more famous earldom
of the kindred land of Cornwall. Robert of Mortain, riding gaily down to
the west, found a wealth of manors awaiting him and two
castles--afterwards to be mentioned in Domesday--those of Launceston and

Trematon is on the Lynher which, rising near Five Lanes towards the
centre of the county, flows steadily south until it is joined by the
Tidy near Ince Castle, (the only sixteenth-century brick house in the
county), and with a sharp easterly turn flows broadly and genially into
the Tamar below Saltash. Above its placid waters rises the old keep, the
keep that was built to keep the unruly Cornish in order. Tintagel,
Restormel, and Launceston are ruinous, but Trematon is still in fairly
good repair. The wall crossing the motte is of early date, probably
thirteenth century, while the archway of the square entrance tower
carries portcullis grooves, and the keep, once 70 ft. by 50 ft., is
still about 30 ft. in height. The castle with its park and manor and the
borough of Saltash was granted by Edward III. to the Dukes of Cornwall
for ever. It is not generally known that in some respects this dukedom
differs from all others. The eldest son of the reigning sovereign is the
duke, and he comes of age as soon as he is born and preserves all the
rights of the dukedom without patent of creation; the essential
difference between this and the princedom of Wales being that the latter
is specially conferred by the sovereign.


Not far from Trematon is St. Germans, birthplace of the famous Sir John
Eliot, after whom Port Eliot was called. This worthy, though
consistently loyal to Charles I., opposed that monarch's illegalities
and died in the prison to which he was consequently consigned. He was
one of the noblest of the fine band of Cornishmen who came to the front
at that period of the nation's history, an honest, just, and fearless
man. Port Eliot, though charmingly situated where the Tidy widens into a
lake, is otherwise only interesting on account of its pictures, of which
there are several by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

St. Germans is thought to have been the seat of the ancient bishopric of
Cornwall, but there is no evidence in support of the theory. The "see,"
or bishop-stool as it was called by our fathers, was nothing more than
the seat of the bishop, the church in which it rested being his
cathedral church. In early times the bishop was generally attached to
some monastery or else he moved from place to place, taking his "seat"
with him. In course of time, a suitable place being found, the see would
become fixed, but there is no evidence of any fixed see in this county
until 1877, when it was placed at Truro.


The following entry in the exchequer book at the time of the Domesday
survey marks one of the contrasts between then and now: "In this manor
there is a market on Sunday, but it is reduced to nothing on account of
the Earl of Mortain's market, which is very near thereto." Robert, Earl
of Mortain and Cornwall, held his market by his Castle of Trematon, and
so we are confronted with two markets on a Sunday in Sabbatarian
Cornwall! The boldness of the folk, with all those petrified pipers and
fiddlers and merry maidens to point a moral! And to think that nothing

A good deal of water has flowed under Tamar bridges since those days. In
the reign of Henry VIII. Andrew Furlong, priest and schoolmaster at
Saltash, was imprisoned for having a Bible in his possession--and this
is the tercentenary of that Bible's translation into the vulgar tongue.
Verily times have changed.


From the Hoe to Saltash, low hills flank an estuary of great width which
narrows sharply where Brunel's triumph, the Royal Albert Bridge, spans
the flood. This great railway bridge, which was opened by the Prince
Consort in 1859, cost over three-quarters of a million and is still one
of the wonders of engineering.

Saltash suffered considerably during the wars between King and
Parliament. It was taken and retaken any number of times, occupied by
first one party and then the other, fortified, attacked, and generally
treated with scant courtesy. It has several points of interest; an old
shop dated 1584, fine corporation regalia, a church containing a very
ancient font bowl (brought from Wadgworthy), and an exquisite silver
vessel of 1624 now used as a communion cup.


This part of the county is noted for its strawberries, its gooseberries,
and for a sweet kind of small cherry called mazzards.

  "_Let Uter Pendragon do what he can
  The Tamar water will run as it ran,_"

says the Celtic proverb, embodying no doubt some forgotten story. It is
certainly a fine sheet of water above Saltash and he would be a bold man
who would seek to divert its flow. Not far from the town is the manor of
Moditonham, which was built not long after the Restoration by Colonel
Waddon, who, from long residence abroad, had gathered a love of foreign
architecture, and who chose for his model a French château. John
Grenville, Sir Beville's son (who attended Charles II. in all his
wanderings, was sent by him to negotiate with Monk, and was King's
messenger with his letter to the Parliament), had been made Earl of Bath
and Governor of both Pendennis and Plymouth. He was the most loyal of
Charles's subjects, but under James II. his long faith wavered, and it
was at Moditonham that, with Colonel Waddon, the Deputy Governor of
Pendennis, he treated with the commissioner of the Prince of Orange. His
brother, Denis Grenville, Dean of Durham, less wise, but more loyal,
followed James over seas and died in exile.


The river winds in such deep curves above Botus-fleming that Landulph is
almost surrounded by its waters. In the quiet churchyard lies Theodore
Paleologus, the last descendant of the Christian emperors of the east.
Some years ago the vault in which he lies was accidentally opened and it
was seen that he had been a tall man with a long head and a beard of
unusual dimensions. During his lifetime this man, who might have been an
emperor, had been reduced to such straits of poverty, that he had
written to that soldier of fortune, the first Duke of Buckingham,
praying to be taken into his service. In the letter, which has been
preserved, he pathetically describes himself as a gentleman, born of a
good house, a soldier from his birth, accomplished and worthy of the
name he bears, but unfortunate in the reverse of fortune.


Above Landulph the curving flood gradually narrows into the semblance of
an ordinary river and goes softly between woods and orchards and
farmlands till the finely placed grey towers of Pentillie, built by that
eccentric charlatan, Sir William Tillie, come into view. It is a mistake
to hurry through this scenery in the bustling steamer that ploughs up
from Plymouth, gives you barely time to swallow a fine strawberry at
Calstock and rushes back again. The Tamar, with its forest-clad
declivities, its rocks and crags and cliffs, its long reaches of shining
water fringed with deep green meadows and woodland, is essentially a
river for the man with leisure. In the opinion of those who have seen
both, the scenery far surpasses that of the belauded Dart. The
production of arsenic has discoloured the water in parts, as the mine
shafts have destroyed the sylvan charm of the shore, but this is only
for a short distance above New Bridge, the New Bridge over which Essex
so foolishly led his troops in 1644.


The Tamar is navigable for good sized vessels as far as the Weir Head,
but that is away beyond first Cotehele and then Calstock, past Harewood,
the most easterly part of the county, a peninsula which, like Landulph,
is nearly an island, and even past the craggy Morwell Rocks.

Cotehele, a Tudor mansion, "antient, large, strong, and fayre," was once
the chief seat of the Edgcumbe family. On the cliff can be seen the
little chapel built by Richard Edgcumbe in gratitude for his escape from
the myrmidons of Richard III. (see page 136). The chestnut trees in
these woods are large and of great age, but suffered severely from the
blizzard of 1891. Within the house is an interesting chapel with, under
the pulpit, a small apartment, known as "the Leper's Room." In the
vault, the mother of the first baron was buried (1742) while in a
trance. "The knave of a sexton, the night after the funeral, broke open
the coffin with intent to steal the rings which adorned the body, when,
to his utter alarm, she who was thought to be dead opened her eyes and
began to move; thereat the thief fled amain as though chased by the
awakened spirit, leaving his lanthorn behind him, which served to light
the lady out of the vault."

The simple brevity of the account is delightful. No nerves on the part
of the dame, whose motto must have been "noblesse oblige." We picture
her stepping gracefully out of her narrow bed, taking that lanthorn, so
conveniently left, and in her white shroud making her way to the
supper-room, where no doubt her sorrow-stricken descendants were
sustaining life with beef and beer and bread. Were they really and truly
glad to see her? She must have been a woman, not only of great presence
of mind, but of strong character, and we, at this distance, can look
back admiringly; but as to her dutiful and obedient children--well, one


The New Bridge leads directly out to the high land of Hingston Down,
where before stannary laws were enacted and coinage towns assigned, the
tinners of Devon and Cornwall met on Kit Hill and held their parliament.
During the fourteenth century difficulties arose, and after that only
the Cornish came to the old earthwork for their debates. An interesting
light is shed, by a speech of Sir Walter Raleigh's in Parliament, when
Lord Warden of the Stannaries, on the men and their earnings. In those
days it would appear that the pay of a working tinner was 4_s_. a week,
finding himself. Of this Sir Walter boasts as a great change for the
better inasmuch as previously the tinner had received but half that

These hills used to be famous for their tin, hence the saying:

  "_Hingston Down well wrought
  Is worth London Town, dear bought._"

In 835 the Cornish were defeated by the men of Devon on this open
ground, and some centuries later Charles I. crossed it on his way to try
conclusions with Lord Essex. A little beyond Callington is St. Ive, one
of the most lovely churches in the duchy. The east end and north side
are fourteenth-century work of great merit, and the remainder is
fifteenth century. The beautiful tower has clustered pinnacles, but the
chief interest lies in the chancel window with its fine tracery, and the
ogee-headed niches in the jambs of the scoinson arch, while some of the
glass in the east window is of the same date as the tracery.

The river no longer curves in upon itself so frequently, but the
landscape, deeply wooded and with the fine Carthamartha Rocks above the
junction of the Inny with the Tamar, is softly beautiful. Greston Bridge
crosses the river between Lezant and Lawhitton, and at Trecarrel House
in the former, Charles I., with his army sleeping round him in the
fields, lay on the night of August 1, 1644. At Lewannick, west of
Lezant, a cresset stone has been preserved. This structure resembles a
font, but with the top hollowed out into a number of bowls to contain
oil and floating wicks. Before the days of matches, a light was kept
perpetually burning in the church in order that the parishioners might
resort to it, if by any chance their hearth-fires, always carefully
sodded up, should be extinguished. Cresset stones are now rare. The one
at Calder Abbey has sixteen bowls, but that at Furness resembles the one
at Lewannick in having only five.


In this parish, at a little distance from the church town, is the famous
stone quarry of Polyfant. The greater number of the Norman arches in
this part of the county are made from this stone, the quarry having been
worked for over a thousand years. There are three old crosses in this
neighbourhood, the one at Holloway being of unusual design, while the
"four-holed" cross at Trelaske has projections at the neck. Trelaske is
a well-wooded and picturesque country-place, and contains the remains of
an encampment, while the view from Trelaske Beacon is extensive. A
couple of miles above Greston Bridge the river takes a bend almost at
right angles to its former course, and runs east and west until it
reaches Poulston Bridge, across which Charles I. led his army that
never-to-be-forgotten August and marched on Launceston.



_The Upper Reaches of the Tamar: Launceston: The Old Highways: St.
Clether: Altarnun: Trebartha: The Trethevy Dolmen: The Cheesewring: St.
Cleer: St. Neot: Dozmaré: Tregeagle: Lake Dwellings._


Above Launceston, the Tamar soon has a companion in the shape of the
Bude Canal, which was built at great cost, but is no longer worked. At
Werrington, the river of that name joins the mother stream, after
forming an artificial lake, and Werrington is also interesting as a
place to which several bequests were made for the benefit of the poor
and the support of a school. Many years ago the parish chest, which
contained the donation deeds of these charities, was stolen from the
church. After a long time and great hue and cry it was discovered built
up into the wall of one of the houses and, of course, empty.

Boyton, a little north, is divided by the Tamar between Devon and
Cornwall. Here lived Agnes Brest, brought to the stake 1557, the only
one among the Cornish Protestants who was actually burnt. North
Tamarton, like Boyton, has a piece of land on the other side of the
river, but, unlike its neighbour, this portion was returned to Cornwall
by an Act of Parliament in 1832. The church of St. Denis is worth a
visit for the sake of the beautiful carving of the pulpit.


These upper reaches of the Tamar are well stocked with trout, and
Launceston which, though not on the river, has a stream of its own, not
to speak of a special and personal canal, is a good centre for anglers
as well as a most interesting old ruin of a place. Its ancient name was
Dunheved, and a castle of some sort was crowning this great hill when
William the Conqueror gave Cornwall to his half-brother, Robert of
Mortain. The most noticeable thing about these Cornish fortifications
is the frequency and ease with which they fell into a ruinous condition.
Seeing that the walls are at their thinnest 3 ft. thick and elsewhere
10, one would have thought them capable of withstanding a little wind
and weather. But the contrary was the case. The present ruins are mostly
late Norman and Transition Norman of Henry III.'s time, but already in
1312, not a hundred years after they had replaced the older building, we
find them calling urgently for repair; while, when the Black Prince came
down to Cornwall in 1353 to make acquaintance with his duchy, for he
took that as seriously and conscientiously as everything else, the
stronghold was in a parlous condition. Yet it occupies a commanding
position and was evidently a place of considerable strength. No doubt
the good young Prince restored this Castle Terrible with its great
wall--the base court--containing three gateways, one of which is still
standing, and its dungeon of Doomsdale; this castle to which "the vill
of Truro yearly rendered one laburnum bow and the manor of Scilly three
hundred puffins!"

Imagine the arrival at the buttery hatch of those three hundred puffins!
We think them a leathery, fishy kind of food, and nowadays the servants
would leave in a body if required to eat them. But those were the good
old times, and in guardroom and kitchen no doubt they had puffin roasted
and puffin boiled and puffins in their pasties until the lady of the
castle said to her lord: "My love, in this weather, of course, you can't
expect those puffins to keep; really the Scillies are most
inconsiderate, one hundred at a time would have been sufficient!" and
then they had puffins potted and variously preserved until the garrison
groaned in chorus the old grace:

  "_Puffins young and puffins old,
    Puffins hot and puffins cold,
  Puffins tender and puffins tough,
    I thank the Lord I've had enough._"

At the time of the Civil Wars the Castle, nodding in age-long sleep and
slow decay, was restored and fortified. Charles I. and his troops passed
through the town in August 1644; and Richard Grenville, new-made Lord of
Lostwithiel, was imprisoned here, when his turbulence had exhausted the
royal patience. Now the county gaol is at Bodmin; but in those days of
dungeons and fetters the folk were incarcerated in the fortress--what is
now a playground being the place of execution.

The ruins are certainly the most interesting part of Launceston, and it
has ruins not only of the ivy-grown castle, but of a priory founded in
1126. Its faint remains, with the exception of a doorway built into the
White Hart Hotel, lie in a valley between the town and St. Stephen's.
When the privilege of sanctuary was abolished except in churches and
churchyards, Launceston was one of the seven towns that were made
sanctuaries for life, except for heinous crimes. The result, however,
was not altogether pleasant for the aforesaid towns, which, much to
their dismay, presently found themselves harbouring all the criminals
and rapscallions of the country. Preferring the room of these would-be
citizens to their company, the towns petitioned James I. for
"desecration" and the right of sanctuary was finally abolished.

The Church of St. Mary Magdalene was built by Sir Henry Trecarrel in
1524 on the death of his only child. It is of granite, and has the
peculiarity of being worked all over with picks instead of chisels. The
ornamentation is florid and excessive. A granite carving of the
Crucifixion, however, and other interesting monuments form part of the
churchyard wall. The vestry was once a shop that separated the tower
from the church, which though it seems strange to our modern notions was
by no means unusual in olden days.


The oldest road in the county is no doubt the one that runs from Tor
Point by way of the principal towns to the Land's End, but a great part
of this ground has already been trodden. Another ancient road leaving
Launceston goes via Bodmin Moors to Bodmin, branching off right and left
at Altarnon. It then crosses Tregoss Moor, passes St. Enoder and
Mitchell, and joins the first near Redruth. This road, running as it
does like a backbone down the centre of the county, we propose to take.
Egloskerry, Treneglos, and Trewen have churches which are mildly
interesting. In the first are two good Norman tympana, one over the
north doorway, representing a dragon, and one, now placed over the
interior of the south doorway, carved with the Agnus Dei. Here also is a
mutilated stone figure supposed to represent one of the Blanchminster
(_anglice_, Blackmonster) family. At Treneglos is another fine Norman
tympanum, having cut on it the tree of life with a lion on each side;
and Trewen has a good mediæval bell inscribed, "St. Michael, pray for

At Lancast J. C. Adams, the discoverer of the planet Neptune, was born.
He was also the Senior Wrangler of his year at Cambridge, and one of the
exceptions to the old rule that Senior Wranglers never distinguish
themselves after leaving college. Another Cornish Senior Wrangler was
Henry Martyn, the missionary, to whose memory the baptistery in Truro
Cathedral is dedicated.


Basil or Trebasil, in the parish of St. Clether, was for long the seat
of the Trevelyans. Among the ruins of the house is a large moorstone
oven, now used as a pigstye, while in the immediate neighbourhood are
four granite crosses in a good state of preservation. The Trevelyans,
like most of the Cornish gentry, were Cavaliers, and on one occasion a
party of Roundheads made shift to seize the squire in his own house.

"If you come on," said he, "I will send out my spearmen against you."

As there seemed nothing at the back of this threat, come on they did.
Whereupon he up with a teeming beehive and threw it among them. Not a
man-jack waited for the onslaught of those spearmen.


At the junction of this northerly road with those running south to
Liskeard and west to Bodmin, lies Altarnon, the largest parish in
Cornwall. The patron saint is Non, the mother of St. David, and her
church is full of interesting memorials of the past. It possesses not
only an exceptionally large collection of sixteenth-century bench-ends,
but an oak rood screen, which antiquarians declare to be "by far the
finest specimen of fifteenth-century woodwork in Cornwall and one of the
very best existing examples of perpendicular oak-work in England." There
are also two paintings on wood (date 1620), a fragment of ancient glass
in the east window, locally supposed to contain a portrait of St. Non, a
communion rail of 1684, and other objects of interest. On several of the
bench-ends may be seen carvings of the little corn man or "neck," that
is to say, the figure that is plaited out of the heads of wheat in the
last sheaf at a harvest, and which is sometimes to be seen preserved
over the winter in a cottage.

Nor is the carefully restored church all that Altarnon has to show. St.
Non's Well was celebrated for the cure of lunacy, and Carew gives a
startling account of the proceedings. "In our forefather's days, when
devotion as much exceeded knowledge as knowledge now cometh short of
devotion, there were many bowsening places for curing madmen; and
amongst the rest one at Altarnunne, called St. Nunne's Pool, which
saint's altar it may be, _pars pro toto_, gave name to the church. And
because the manner of this bowsening is not so unpleasing to hear as it
was uneasy to feel, I will deliver you the practice as I received it
from the beholder.

"The water running from St. Nunne's Well fell into a square and
close-walled plot which might be filled at what depth they listed. Upon
this wall was the frantic person set to stand, his back towards the
pool, where a strong fellow, provided for the nonce, took him and tossed
him, and tossed him up and down, along and athwart the water, until the
patient, by foregoing his strength, had somewhat forgotten his fury.
Then was he conveyed to the church and certain masses sung over him;
upon which handling, if his right wits returned, St. Nunne had the
thanks, but if there appeared small amendment, he was bowsened again and
again, while there remained in him any hope of life or recovery."

The well is now dry, and the "square and close-walled plot" in ruins,
for which--lest it should occur to our medical men to try these old
remedies--thanks be to whom thanks are due.


The Lynher which rises in Altarnon flows southward to Trebartha, where
it forms a fine cascade and is crossed by the road to Liskeard. Not far
from this bridge is the manor of Treveniel, whose lord claimed the
right, whenever the Mayor of Launceston mounted his horse on the
occasion of the duke coming into Cornwall, of holding the stirrup. It
seems strange that any gentleman should set store by this right, which
is, after all, a relic of some forgotten form of tenure. What elderly
children we remain, squabbling over our foolish plays, in spite of the
twentieth century, the new humanitarianism, and all the other


Before marching on Liskeard, Charles I. drew up his troops on the north
side of Caradon Hill. The copper mines on the south-west of this
moorland eminence have yielded ore to the value of several millions of
money, but are no longer worked. Near them is the Trethevy dolmen, the
largest in Cornwall, the cover stone being 14 ft. long and 9 ft. wide.
An old writer described it as "a little house raised of mighty stone,
standing on a little hill within a field." In comparison with some of
the foreign dolmens, however, it is but small. Several of the French
cromlechs are large enough to be converted into chapels, while one at
Copenhagen, called the "Chamber of Giants," will allow of twenty people
walking about in it.


To the north of Caradon Down are three stone circles known as the
Hurlers and not far from them the remarkable granite stone known as the
Cheesewring. This curious natural phenomenon stands on the side of a
hill, the summit of which is encircled by a large entrenchment of unhewn
stones, while over against it is Kilmar Tor (1297 ft.), third highest
peak in Cornwall. It looks like large blocks of tabular granite poised
on smaller ones till the base of the Cheesewring is only about half the
size of what it supports, this irregularity being due to weathering. A
part of the top is broken. In consequence of careless quarrying close
by, the pile has had to be artificially supported.

Antiquaries once thought the Cheesewring a memorial to the dead, from
which in the course of centuries the covering earth had been washed
away. In this neighbourhood there are many such cairns and monuments. A
barrow near by was opened in 1818 and in it an extended skeleton and a
gold cup were found. This cup was of Scandinavian type, 3-1/2 in. high,
and weighed nearly three ounces, which suggests that some sea rover
found his last resting-place in these heathy solitudes.


From near the Cheesewring a moorland road leads down to St. Cleer, which
is divided from St. Neot by the lovely valley of the River Fowey. This
parish contains a number of antiquities of varying ages, in fact, as has
been said, "dead faiths and dead beliefs lie about this countryside like
withered leaves in autumn." At Trewartha Marsh is a prehistoric
settlement which probably belongs to the early iron age. Some of the
oblong huts are small, but others are fully 50 ft. long, while in the
group is what was possibly a public hall with stone benches along its
sides, and at the end a chair with arms. A few hut circles and an
ancient circular pound are also to be seen.

Doniert's stone, supposed to have been raised in memory of King Alfred's
friend, Dungarth of Cornwall, is near Redgate; and in the village of St.
Cleer is a Latin cross which stands beside a holy well reputed to have
been used like that at Altarnun for the "bowsening" or cure of maniacs.
This well has a beautiful little chapel built over the clear spring.

  "_Tell me the street to Heaven.
  This? Or that? Oh, which?
  What webs of streets!_"


The fifteenth-century tower of St. Cleer is unusually fine, and the
church contains a Norman north doorway, and an early English font of
great beauty.


To the north of both St. Cleer and St. Neot lie the wild and
uncultivated moors, and the saints must have been brave men who sought
the solitude of this granite strewn district. It is little wonder that
strange, and to our thinking, absurd legends, should have grown up about
them. St. Neot, as has been already said, was a cousin of King Alfred,
and it appears that in those days even minor royalties worked for their
living. The saint's oxen were stolen--he evidently farmed the land--so
the stags of the neighbouring forest performed all the necessary labour,
and for this good deed were endowed with a white mark wherever the yoke
of labour had touched their brown hides! This and similar stories are
depicted on one of the beautiful stained glass windows of the church.

This parish, like so many others in Cornwall, is rich in ancient
crosses, there being no less than three, all having incised crosses on
them, in the vicarage garden. In the churchyard is one on which is quite
the finest interlaced work on granite in the county. It has been mounted
on the stone, on which legend says St. Neot, who was a small man, stood
in order to unlock the church door. From which story it appears that in
those days the churches were kept locked!

Little St. Neot must have been glad to welcome his great kinsman, when
as the Book of Hyde (1200 A.D.) says: "Alfred went to Cornwall and
repaired to the Church of St. Gueryr, where St. Neot reposes, for the
purpose of alleviating his illness." Let us hope Neot was not too
saintly to feel a cousinly interest in the King's health and that the
two compared their widely differing lives and asked after old friends
and what had been the history of this one and that; and that they ate in
peace of the wheaten bread which St. Neot, after his farming operations,
would be able to offer, and the fish with which another legend daily
provided him, and so parted, the one to his burden of life, the other
staying on, content with uneventful peace.

The glory of St. Neot's Church is its collection of stained glass. It
dates from 1528, and though not quite the oldest in the county, it is
said that none comparable with it for beauty and richness exist either
in Cornwall or Devon.

The old road from Bodmin to Plymouth, that interesting prehistoric
highway by which the early Cornish probably sent their tin for shipment
abroad, runs through the village. Long before Alfred came to hob-nob
with his cousin, before the Romans so much as knew that Britain existed,
and while the mammoth in the valley of the Thames was still shaking his
great hairy sides over the littleness of man, the rough stuggy ponies,
whose descendants still feed on Goonhilly Downs, were carrying their
heavy packs along this track, over the old clapper bridges, past heath,
morass, forest, and settlement, at the call of need.


On the high land north of St. Neot and a little beyond Brown Gilly (1058
ft.) lies Dozmaré, the only inland lake of Cornwall. This tarn, which by
old writers was called the Dead Sea from the lifeless appearance of its
waters, lies on an elevated plateau in a dreary sad-coloured region. It
is nearly square and in circumference about a mile. Tennyson told Mr. J.
J. Rogers that the Loe Pool was where he pictured the throwing away of
the sword Excalibur. His description suits that and does not suit
Dozmaré, while the moormen talk only of "Jan Tergeagle," that unjust
steward who does penance for his evil deeds in so many parts of
Cornwall. It is said that he has been set to bale Dozmaré--supposed to
be bottomless--dry, and has been given to aid him in his task a limpet
shell pierced with a hole through which the water drips as he lifts it.

It is perhaps "flogging a dead horse" to mention that in the hot summer
of 1869 Dozmaré dried up, thus proving that it was far from bottomless.
By disclosing a number of unfortunate trout and eels, it also showed it
was by no means "dead." To a moorman the suggestion that Tregeagle has
evidently accomplished his task, however, has but little weight. His
imagination overleaps the trifling fact of the dry summer and its
consequences, and only looks before and after. The pool seems
mysterious, it has a healthy legend, and to that legend any one hearing
the wind howl over these wastes on a December night may well give

What was the origin of the moated grange? In Dozmaré is a subaqueous
pile of stones on which once stood a crannog or lake dwelling, while
many arrow heads and worked flints have been found in the neighbourhood.
Did the folk who built their homes over a pool find the water so great a
protection that their children going east and west, and being unable to
discover any more convenient lakes, built a stockaded house, and for its
greater safety must by their personal labour surround it with the
element in which they had always trusted? Is the moated grange then only
the direct descendant of the lake dwelling?



_Brown Willy and Row Tor: Michaelstow, St. Tudy and St. Mabyn: St.
Breward and Blisland: Helland: Bodmin: Lanivet: Mitchell: Cornish Names:
Blackwater and Illogan: Redruth and St. Day: Carn Brea: Camborne: A Word
in Farewell._


Dozmaré Pool is only a short distance from the main road on the further
side of which lie the chief heights of this moorland district, Row Tor
(1296 ft.) and Brown Willy (1375 ft.). From Tintagel these hills look
like gently rounded brown masses on the skyline, but on nearer approach
the scene changes from cultivation to a waste of rock and bog and heath.
Rowtor, which is the northernmost of the two peaks, is covered with
masses of granite which have been weathered into fantastic shapes. It
was looked upon by the ancients as a sacred hill, probably on this
account, and there are remains of a stone circle on the slope and of
other prehistoric monuments. In 1371 Sir Hugh Peverell had licence for a
chapel of St. Michael at "Rogh-torre," of which the foundations can be
traced, while the stone arch of the doorway is to be seen built into the
Britannia Inn, near Camelford. This chapel was probably built on the
site of an earlier edifice not necessarily Christian.

Brown Willy (Cornish, bron welli, the highest hill) is a beautiful
conical hill rising from the Bodmin mass of granite. The beacon of loose
stones on the summit was raised by the ordnance surveyors, and it is
said that on a fine day the peak of Snowdon can be seen through field
glasses. The Fowey rises at the foot of this hill and flowing through
the moorlands between St. Cleer and St. Neot is, in spite of its beauty,
most unkindly called the Dranes.

In the immediate neighbourhood of Brown Willy and Row Tor are several
other tors and heights; Brê Down, to the north, 1125 ft.; Garrah, south
of Brown Willy, 1086 ft., with hut-circles and other prehistoric
remains. Not far from it is King Arthur's Hall (see page 41). Catshole
Tor is 1133 ft. and Toborough 1143 ft., while the beacon above Tresilon
rises to 1174 ft.


To westward of these hills, on a good road leading down to Bodmin, are
the parishes of Michaelstow, St. Tudy, and St. Mabyn, each of which
possesses some interesting church silver, the last mentioned having, in
particular, a standing vessel dated 1576, which is surmounted by a
statuette and now used as a communion cup. This little place is situated
amid romantic sylvan and river scenery, while its church on the top of a
hill serves as a waymark. At Michaelstow, on the north of the church,
are traces of a lean-to building with an opening into the chancel, and
it has been suggested that this was an anchor hold. Near by is Helsbury
Beacon, 700 ft. above sea-level, and crowned with a fine circular
earthwork which has a barbican on the east.


Over St. Breward Church antiquarians are in dispute, for some of them
think it shows traces of an original cruciform Saxon church altered by a
Norman arcade. It is not otherwise interesting; while Blisland, to the
south, has a beautiful modern screen, some fine slate monuments, and
good woodwork. To reach it the traveller passes Pendrief, a logan-stone,
once so finely balanced that it was rocked by the wind. It is now
immovable. The royal arms and the arms of Cornwall were engraved on it
to commemorate the jubilee of George III. This neighbourhood is
particularly rich in that puzzling antiquity, the stone circle. At
Carwen there is not only one--and it might have been thought one would
have been enough for a place--but several, also others at Kerrowe Down,
Challowater, and on Hawks Tor, the last-named example being 152 ft. in


Of Helland, principally known for its two circular earthworks called
"The Castles," is told this story. The vicar being called away
unexpectedly, left his neighbour of Blisland to make arrangements for
the customary services. He did so with the Archdeacon, and in due course
the Vicar of Helland received the following telegram:

"The Archdeacon of Cornwall is going to hell, and you need not return."


These moorland parishes cover about ten square miles. They are not
entirely sterile, some parts being capable of cultivation and others
giving good pasture for cattle; but, on the whole, the impression left
is of a bracing and breezy waste, one of the happy spaces not yet
brought under the dominion of man. And with never a turn the broad white
road runs uphill and down dale and so to Bod Mynydd, the dwelling under
the hill, the only name that appears on the earliest maps.

In Domesday Bodmin was the largest town in Cornwall, having actually
sixty-eight houses, not to speak of a market. Curfew is still rung in
Bodmin Church at 8 P.M., and being situated conveniently in the centre
of the county the hilly, straggling town has gradually increased in
importance. The Cornish were such an unruly folk, so fond of rebellion
and blood-letting, that no town of theirs but had its vicissitudes; nor
were the troubles of Bodmin only due to their restless energy. In 1348
certain carriers brought a string of pack mules laden with rich
merchandise into the town. The bales contained embroidered robes of
velvet and satin, pearl-sewn gloves, plumed hats and silken hose, all at
a reasonable price. Bodmin folk were used to smuggled goods, had even
had the treasures of wrecked ships hawked through their streets. They
saw no reason therefore to be cautious; and the goods were purchased,
the carriers paid; and forthwith the men led their mules out of the
little town and took the road back to Plymouth. The silver pennies were
safe in their pouches, and it would be better not to wait.

Before long a sickness broke out among the people of Bodmin, a sickness
unlike any that they had known before, which was not strange when we
consider that the fine clothes had belonged to Londoners who had
perished in the Black Death. News travelled slowly in those days and
Bodmin had not known. But whereas when the carriers came there had been
three thousand people in the town, when the sickness passed there were
but half that number.

Bodmin suffered again after the religious rising of the people in Edward
VI.'s reign. According to fact, Sir Anthony Kingston, Provost-Marshal,
was sent down from London to punish the rebels. According to tradition
he is said to have carried out his instructions with a grim pleasantry
all his own. "Boyer, Mayor of Bodmin," runs the story, "had been amongst
the rebels against his will; to him the Provost sent word that he would
dine with him; therefore the Mayor made great preparations. A little
before dinner the Provost took the Mayor aside and whispered him in the
ear that an execution must be done in the town that day, and desired
that a gallows might be set by the time dinner was over. Presently, when
the meal was at an end, the Provost, taking the Mayor by the hand, asked
to be led to the place where the gallows was, and looking at it asked
the Mayor if he thought it strong enough.

"'Doubtless,' said the Mayor.

"'Come then, my friend,' said the Provost with a bitter grin, 'get thee
up speedily, for thou hast prepared it for thyself.'

"Whereat the Mayor, quivering with fear, cried: 'Surely, good sir, thou
dost not mean what thou speakest?'

"'In faith,' said the Provost, 'I speak what I mean, for thou hast been
a busy rebel.'

"So he was hanged to death."

Near Bodmin lived a miller who had been active in this same rebellion,
and he, getting wind of these proceedings, told a sturdy fellow, his
servant, that he had occasion to go from home; and therefore bid him to
take his place for a time, and if any did come to inquire for the miller
he should say that he was the miller and had been so for three years. In
course of time the Provost came and was met by the servant, who said
with consequence: "I am the master and have been so these three years."

"Lay hold on him, my men," cried the Provost, "and hang him on this

At this the fellow, sore amazed, cried out the truth. "Nay, nay, my good
friend," said the Provost, "I'll take thee at thy word, and if thou
be-est the miller thou knowest thou art a rebel and if thou be-est the
miller's man, thou art a lying knave; and howsoever thou canst never do
thy master better service than to hang for him."

And so, without more ado, he was despatched.

During the Civil War Bodmin suffered so greatly that Charles II.,
passing through, said it was "the politest town he had ever seen, as one
half of the houses appeared to be bowing and the other half uncovered."
Hardly the sort of comment that might have been expected, when it was
owing to a kindness for him and his that the town was in so ruinous a
condition, but if Charles's wit was in the right place the same can
hardly have been said of his heart!

When Perkin Warbeck entrenched himself at Castle Kynock, an ancient camp
on Bodmin Downs, his horse was said to have extended from Cardinham to
Lanhydrock; and it was to Glynn, a place between those two, that Charles
I. fled one night, when it had been borne in upon him that he and he
alone stood between his people and peace; and that even the loyal and
devoted were considering whether it would not be better to have him as a
prisoner than as a leader. "Character is Fate" should have been the
motto of the Stuarts, a family that acted foolishly because it was their
nature so to act and to whom not the most terrible lesson of all could
teach wisdom.

To the south of Bodmin is St. Lawrence, a place with gruesome
associations. There were a fair number of leper hospitals in Cornwall,
but it brings the fell disease near to us when we reflect that the last
inmate of St. Lawrence only died (though not from leprosy) in 1800.


At Lanivet Church the communion plate is kept in a rare antique pyx of
"cuir bouilli," said to be of the fourteenth century. In the churchyard
is a Saxon tomb and a yet older inscribed stone; also a remarkable wheel
cross, a four-holed cross with interlaced and scroll work, and a curious
stone slab. St. Benet's, once a seat of the Courtenays, is built on the
site of a reputed Benedictine monastery, the greater part of the front
having belonged to the original building. The walls are about 4 ft.
thick. Unfortunately the stones of the cloisters, as well as the upper
part of the tower, were used some years ago for building a farmhouse!


Near St. Enoder, not in itself interesting, is the old borough of
Mitchell (formerly written Modeshole), which in the time of Edward I.
was the property of Sir Walter de Raleigh. Though now an inconsiderable
village it was said in Saxon days to have been a fair-sized town, and as
a borough its reputation for corruption and quarrelling is black even
compared with the other rotten boroughs of the county. Sir Walter
Raleigh was member for Mitchell when he carried his motion for war
against Spain; and in 1807 it was represented by Sir Arthur Wellesley,
afterwards Duke of Wellington.


Some of the Cornish saints have very curious names. On the Tamar is a
church sacred to St. Dilp, but more remarkable is that of St. Erme,
sacred to--Hermes. _Saint_ Hermes, too! The god of thieves, that little
old ancient run-about! 'Tis said the early Christians made good use of
all existing material, such as the Venus month for the Virgin Mary and
so forth, but--_Saint_ Hermes! In this church is an interesting brass,
with kneeling effigies and seven-quartered shield of arms, to Robert
Trencreeke, "counseler at lawe," 1594.


The long western road is approaching the busiest, greyest, and most
populous part of the county--the mining district. Camborne and Redruth
are the principal towns and in a sense rivals. Each has a school of
mining, though Camborne's is now _the_ school of the county and the
great mine, the greatest and the oldest of all, Dolcoath--where, in
lively contrast with his work of the moment, Raspe wrote "The Adventures
of Baron Munchausen"--belongs to the former. Before the road reaches
either of these towns, however, it passes Blackwater, the birthplace of
Passmore Edwards (1823). Though he was a well-known journalist as well
as the owner of the Echo newspaper, he is most likely to be remembered
as the donor of a large number of philanthropic institutions, beginning
with the reading room which he built for his native village in 1889.

Not far south-west of Blackwater is Illogan, where the engineer
Trevithick made the first steam carriage, known locally as "Cap'n Dick's


A little north of Redruth lies St. Day, of the growth of which Norden,
in the sixteenth century, left a charming description. "There was
sometime a chappell now decayde, called Trinitye, to which men and women
came in times past from far in pilgrimage: the resort was so great, as
it made the people of the Countrye bringe all kind of provision to that
place; and so long it continued with increase, that it grew to a kind of
market and by that means it grew and continued a kind of market to this
day, without further charter."

Of Redruth itself there is little to be said. Like so many Cornish
towns, it consists of a chief street that is wearisomely long: it had
its famous man, Murdock, who first used gas as an illuminant; and the
first railway in Cornwall ran from Redruth to Hayle, being opened in
1835. To the east is Carnmarth, 750 ft. high, with a wide view, and on
one side the Gwennap Pit, a mine subsidence, in which John Wesley often
preached and in which the members of his denomination assemble in their
thousands every Whit Monday.

"Why," asked a "foreigner" of a Redruth man, "are the Cornish, and
especially the miners, called Cousin Jacks?"

"Spoase Adam gave it out when he named t'other animals."

But Camborne asks the sister town a less civil question. "Who was it
crowned the donkey?" And this had its origin in a certain playful
disloyalty on the accession of George IV. Cornwall, as it might say of
itself, has "never taken much stock in kings." It cropped the ears of
Edward IV.'s pursuivant, killed Edward VI.'s commissioner, and crowned a
donkey as George IV. Inconsistent county! For the Stuarts it must needs
pour out blood like water and impoverish itself for generations!


Between Redruth and Camborne is the rocky hill of Carn Brea (740 ft.).
It consists of a rugged mass of granite crowned with huge piles of
weathered rocks. In neolithic times it was undoubtedly a military
station, large remains of the enclosing walls as well as many hut
circles having been found. This hill has three summits, with the remains
of an old castle on that towards the east, which castle is mentioned by
William of Worcester in 1478. On the central peak is an ugly granite
cross erected in 1836 by the county to the memory of their very good
friend, Francis, Lord de Dunstanville and Basset. In one of the hut
circles on the top of Carn Brea was found a cooking hearth now in the
Truro Museum, whither went many of the old British and Roman coins,
stone weapons, and tools, flint and quartzite spear heads, and socketed
bronze celts unearthed on the hill. St. Ewny's Well is a romantic spot
of repute for sanctity, while the "Giant's Well" halfway down the hill
was said to be bottomless.


Camborne Church is interesting for its carvings, those of the animals
being comparable with the exquisite heads at Newlyn East. Near the porch
is an ancient cross and below the communion table an early altar slab,
formerly built into the exterior wall of the transept, but now restored.
It is inscribed "Leviut jusit hec altare pro anima sua."

It is not easy to obtain permission to see more than the surface
workings of the venerable Dolcoath, and even for them, in spite of the
present-day harem skirt, the dress provided creates some disturbance in
the mind of the average woman. She had not thought to see herself
wearing the breeches--at least in public!


Round this wonderfully indented coast, up the winding Tamar, and across
the moors! You who have gone with me on this delightful journey, can you
think of any county with a greater variety, historical, antiquarian,
natural, to offer you for the good and bracing time of a holiday? And if
in the years to come you find time to look back and in thought travel
over the self-same ground, will you be able to do it without the
longing--put into words by the poet who spent so much of his time at

  "_To sleep and to take my rest,
    The old sea here at my door,
  The grey hills there in the West--
    What can a man want more?_"




In olden days the parish as distinct from the church was an entity with
the power not only of appointing a sort of select vestry of twelve (was
this number chosen because of the Apostles?) with wardens for the
parish, for the poor, for the coffer, and for the pews, but of holding
property such as sheep, cattle, and land. It lent money, sometimes at
interest, sometimes gratis, it kept ladders, charging for their hire,
and, above all, it encouraged Morris dancing and Robin Hood

For instance, in 1616, we find in the Green Book, "The young men of the
parish wh: played a stage-play, 3_s_. 4_d_."

In the list of parish goods set down in 1585 we have: "Ladder. Five
coats for dancers. A Friar's Coat. Twenty-four dancing bells. A streamer
of red moccado and locram. Six yards of white woollen cloth."

In most places the Morris dance was part of the pageant of Robin Hood,
and that this was the case at St. Columb is shown by the "Friar's Coat."
The bells were worn on a band at the knee, and the streamer or flag was
of two materials, no longer known under those names, the moccado
resembling coarse velvet, and the locram an equally coarse linen.

In many parishes a special collection for the "Robin Hood" penny is
recorded, and in the Green Book we have:

"Richard Beard oweth to be paid at Lady Day in Lent 10_s_. of Robin
Hood's money; Robert Calwye oweth for the same 2_s_. 8_d_."

Hurling also received its due meed of parochial attention. In 1593 is an
entry; "John Menheere and wife for a silver ball delivered to Tobye at
his instance and upon his word 10_s_." But in those days the ball
differed from that now in use inasmuch as it was gilt, and a year later
we find that "Tobye" pays the 10_s_. for his "silver ball gilt."



It is a place of historic and prehistoric interest. Here is the well by

  "_Jack the valiant Cornishman
  Did slay the giant Cormoran._"

Jack being the Cornish variant of the better known Peredur of Wales and
Ian MacAnnheil of Ireland.

Here, too, are the "Giants' Graves" which cover the victims of Jack's
valour; and on the beach at the foot of the hill is the Chapel Rock,
whereon once stood an oratory of which Leland speaks as "a little chapel
yn the sande nere by the towne toward the Mount," and where it is said
the pilgrims were wont to halt before making the ascent. But the Chapel
Rock has a legend older than those connected with the building which
once stood upon it. Cormoran having already carried off the top of the
neighbouring hill of Trencrom to make the Mount itself, was in want of
further stones wherewith to build his castle, and sent his wife to fetch
them. She thinking any stone would do as well, fetched this from the
nearer hill of Ludgvan-Lees. Angry at her conduct, the monster slew her
with his mighty foot, and the great rock, rolling from her apron, fell
where we now see it--a silent witness to the lady's strength and to the
truth of the narrative.

St. Keyne is said to have conferred on St. Michael's Chair the power of
giving to that one of a married couple who first sits therein domestic
mastery; such as can also be obtained by drinking from her more
celebrated well near Liskeard. Curiously enough, legend and name have
been transferred from the real chair of St. Michael on the western side
of the hill to the ruined lanthorn of moorstone on the chapel tower, the
lanthorn which in olden days was probably used as a lighthouse, as the
grooves for the sheltering horn or glass can still be seen.

The little old church has a beautiful rose window at the east, and a yet
more beautiful one let into the western wall; this latter was until
recently hidden by the organ pipes. Some interesting alabaster
bas-reliefs are also to be seen. The roof timbers of the refectory are
very old, but the carving on them is modern, and the frieze Elizabethan.
The place contains many interesting curios such as the clock from
Godolphin House, a Jacobean bed, the Glastonbury chair, and a pair of
silver candlesticks in which the prickets have given place to sockets,
and which Lord St. Levan believes to be unique.

       *       *       *       *       *

These details have been taken from a paper on St. Michael's Mount by Mr.
Thurstan Peter.


  Adams, J. C., 178
  Agnes, St., Beacon, 75
  Agnes, St. (island), 102
  Alfred, King, 138, 157, 183
  Allen, Ralph, 141
  Altarnon, 179
  Antony East, 164
  Arthur, King, 22, 37, 41, 67
  Arundell, Humfrey, 67
  Arundell, John, 74, 122-3
    Margery, 164
  Arwenack, 121, 126
  Athelstane, 9, 92, 105
  Austell, St., 109, 139

  Bacon, 97
  Balfour, Sir Wm., 144
  Ballowal, 84
  Barras Head, 39
  Bartine, 86
  Basil, 179
  Basset of Tehidy, Francis, 25, 76-7
  Basset's Cove, 76
  Bath, Earls of, 22
  Beacon Cove, 64
  Benet's, St., 194
  Berkeley, Sir John, 137
  Black Head, 137
  Black Prince, The, 38, 148, 176
  Blackwater, 196
  Blake, Admiral, 105
  Blazey, St., 141
  Blisland, 190
  Boconnoc, 153
  Bodmin, 50, 177, 191
  Bodrugan, 135
  Bolleit, 84, 92
  Bolster, 75
  Boscastle, 34-5
  Boscawen-Un, 84
  Bosporthennis, 84
  Bossiney, 36
  Boswavas Moor, 86
  Botallack Mine, 91
  Botreaux Castle, 34
  Boyton, 175
  Bradock Downs, 153
  Bray Hill, 50
  Breage, 108
  Brê Down, 189
  Breock, St., 52
  Breward, St., 41, 190
  Bridge, Royal Albert, 167
  Brown Gilly, 185
  Brown Willy, 41, 189
  Bryher, 102
  Brunel, 167
  Buckingham, first Duke of, 168
  Bude, 9, 21, 27
  Bude Canal, 175
  Budock, 121
  Burngullow, 139
  Buryan, St., 92
  Buttris, 117

  Cadgwith, 116, 117
  Caerhayes Castle, 135
  Callington, 171
  Calstock, 169
  Cambeak, 22, 33
  Camborne, 8, 195, 198
  Camelford, 41
  Cape Cornwall, 84
  Carantocus, St., 72
  Carbis Bay, 78
  Carglaze Mine, 140
  Carminows, The, 43
  Carnanton, 63
  Carn Brea, 197
  Carne, 134
  Cammarth, 196
  Carthamartha Rocks, 171
  Carwen, 190
  Castle-an-Dinas, 67
  Castle Dor, 144
  Castle Goff, 42
  Castle Killibury, 51
  Castle Point, 33
  Catshole Tor, 190
  Challowater, 191
  Chapel Carn Brea, 86
  Charles I., 69, 78, 117, 142, 171, 177
    II., 69, 105, 117, 122, 125, 193
  Charlestown, 139
  Cheesewring, The, 134, 181
  Chûn, 84
  Clarendon, Lord, 51
  Cleer, St., 157, 182
  Clether, St., 179
  Clicker Tor, 158
  Cligga Head, 75
  Clovelly Dykes, 9, 21
  Colan, 68
  Colenso, the fighting Bishop, 139
  Columb Major, St., 51, 67
    Minor, St., 67, 69
    Porth, St., 70
  Condora, 118
  Constantine Bay, 54, 59-61
  Cookworthy, Wm., 109
  Coombe Valley, 24
  Cotehele, 136, 169
  Couch, 150
  Coverack, 117
  Crackington Cove, 33
  Crafthole, 161
  Crantock, 71-2
  Cromwell, Oliver, 26, 51
  Cruel Coppinger, 48
  Cubert, St., 71, 73
  Cuby, 75

  Davy, Sir H., 129
  Dawney, 162
  Dawns Maen, 84
  Day, St., 196
  Delabole, 37, 43
  Dennis, St., 140
  Digby, Lord, 147
  Ding Dong Mine, 106
  Dingerein, 133
  Dizzard, 22, 33
  Dodman, The, 5, 137, 161
  Dolcoath, 196
  Dolphin Town, 104
  Doom Bar, 54
  Dozmaré, 185-6
  Drake, Sir F., 37, 161
  Dranes, The, 189
  Druid's Hill, 147
  Duloe, 159
  Dungarth, King of Cornwall, 157, 182

  Eddystone, The, 162
  Edgcumbe, Mount, 163
  Edgcumbe, Sir Rd., 136, 169
  Edward the Confessor, 72
  Edward I., 134
    III., 148, 165
    IV., 51, 148
    VI., 67, 192
    VII., 91
  Edwards, Passmore, 101, 196
  Egbert, 92, 138
  Egloshayle, 52
  Egloskerry, 178
  Eliot, Port, 165
    Sir John, 165
  Elizabeth, Queen, 121, 149
  Endellion, St., 50
  Enoder, St., 195
  Enodoc, St., 49
  Epitaphs, 44, 68, 115, 117
  Essex, Lord, 26, 121, 142, 169
  Eval, St., 62

  Fairfax, Sir T., 26, 122
  Fal, The, 9, 117, 127
  Falmouth, 121-6
  Feock, 127
  Flushing, 125
  Foote, Samuel, 129
  Forrabury, 35
  Fowey, 9, 121, 139, 142
    The, 189
  Furlong, Andrew, 166

  Gafulford, 41
  Gannel, The, 71
  Garrah Tor, 189
  Genys, St., 33
  George, St., 160
  Germans, St., 165-6
  Germoe, 109
  Gerrans, 133
  Giant's Hedge, The, 152
  Glasney College, 126
  Glendorgal, 70
  Godolphin, 104, 108
    Francis, 69, 96
  Godrevy, 77
  Golant, 147-9
  Golden, 134
  Goonhilly Downs, 113, 116, 184
  Goring, 143
  Goran, 137
  Goss Moors, 68
  Greenamore, 28
  Grenville, Sir B., 21, 153
    Denis, 168
    Sir J., 26, 105, 168
    Sir R., 21, 38
    Sir R., Jr., 26, 51, 142-5, 177
  Greston Bridge, 172
  Gribben Head, 142
  Gueryr, St., 157
  Gulf Stream, 103
  Gunwalloe, 113-14, 117
  Gwallen Downs, 141
  Gweek, 117
  Gwennap Pit, 196
  Gwithian, 75, 86

  Hall House, 143, 149
  Halsetown, 90
  Halzaphron Cliffs, 114
  Hamoaze, 163
  Harewood, 169
  Harlyn Bay, 56
  Hartland, 48
  Hawker, Rev. Robert, 22, 23, 27, 37, 152
  Hawks Tor, 191
  Hayle, 78, 83
  Helford River, The, 9, 117
  Heligan House, 138
  Helland, 191
  Helsbury Beacon, 190
  Helston (North Cornwall), 42
    (South Cornwall), 110-12, 124
  Henna Cliff, 22
  Henry VII., 136
    VIII., 107, 121, 135, 163, 166
  Hensbarrow, 139, 140
  Hermes, St., 195
  Herodsfoot, 158
  High Cliff, The, 5, 33
  Hingston Down, 170
  Hobby Horse, The, 54
  Hoe, The, 167
  Holloway, 172
  Holywell Bay, 72
  Hopton, Sir Ralph, 25, 26
  Housman, Clemence, 39
  Howard of Effingham, Lord, 161
  Hurlers, The, 181

  Illogan, 196
  Ince Castle, 165
  Inscribed stones, 40, 106, 198
  Irving, Sir Henry, 90
  Ives, St., 77, 79, 88, 89, 90, 110
  Ive, St., 171

  James I., 177
    II., 152, 168
  Jordans, 34
  Just, St., 91

  Kayar Beslasek, 7
  Kea Bridge, 43
  Keigwin Arms, 97
  Kelly Rounds, 51
  Kelsey Head, 73
  Kenidjack Cliff, 91
  Kennack, 117
  Kerrowe Down, 191
  Keverne, St., 111, 117
  Kew, St., 50
  Keyne, St., Well of, 158-9
  Kieve, St. Nechtan's, 37
  Kilkhampton, 21-2
  Killigarth, 151
  Killigrews, The, 115, 121-26
  Kilmar Tor, 181-2
  Kingsley, Charles, 24, 112
  Kingston, Sir A., 67, 192-3
  Kit Hill, 170
  Knill's Monument, 83
  Kynance, 114

  Lady Nance's Well, 69
  Lambrenny, 36
  Landewednack, 116
  Land's End, 8, 93, 94
  Landulph, 168
  Laneast, 178
  Langarrow, 72
  Lanherne, Vale of, 62, 67
  Lanhydrock, 142, 145
  Lanivet, 194
  Lanreath, 153
  Lansallos, 150, 161
  Lansdowne, 26
  Lanteglos, 42, 150
  Lanyon Quoit, 86
  Launcells, 28
  Launceston, 8, 175-8
  Lawhitton, 171
  Lawrence, St., 194
  Lelant, 83
  Lerrin (or Lerryn), 147, 152
  Levan, St., 95
  Levant Mine, 91
  Lewannick, 171
  Lezant, 171
  Liskeard, 157
  Little Petherick, 53
  Lizard, 5, 113
  Loe Pool, 111, 112
  Longships Lighthouse, 93
  Looe, 152, 159-60
  Looe Island, 160
  Lostwithiel, 144-5
  Lovebond, 51, 52
  Lowry, H. D., 79, 94, 129, 146, 198
  Luxulyan, 141
  Lynher, The, 164, 180
  Lyonesse, 101

  Mabyn, St., 190
  Madron, 98
  Marazion, 83, 101
  Marhamchurch, 22, 28
  Marsland Mouth, 21, 22, 33
  Martin's, St., 102
  Martyn, Henry, 178
  Mary's, St., 102
  Maurice, Prince, 142
  Mawes, St., 121, 133
  Mawgan (Meneage), 117
    (Pydar), 63
    Porth, 62
  Mayne, Cuthbert, 134
  Menacuddle, 141
  Menagew, The, 139
  Meneage, 113
  Menheniot, 158
  Merlin, 96
  Merryn, St., 60-1
  Mertherderwa, Dr., 7
  Mevagissey, 138
  Michael's Mount, St., 97, 101, 107-8, 201-2
  Michaelstow, 190
  Minster, 21, 35
  Minver, St., 50
  Mitchell, 178, 195
  Moditonham, 167-8
  Morth, 151
  Morwell Rocks, 169
  Morwenstow, 22-24, 27
  Mount's Bay, 106
  Mousehole, 95-97
  Mulfra Quoit, 86
  Mullion, 109, 113-15
  Murdock, 196

  Nare Point, 117
  Navax Point, 77
  Neot, St., 157, 183-4
  New Bridge, 169
  Newlyn, 97-8
  Newlyn East, 198
  Newquay, 71
  North Tamarton, 175

  Olaf of Norway, 105
  Opie, John, 75, 129
  Otterham, 35

  Padstow, 48, 53, 54-5
  Paleologus, Theodore, 168
  Par, 139, 142, 143
  Park Head, 62
  Pawton, 53
  Payne, Anthony, 22, 24, 26
  Pelynt, 152
  Pencarrow Head, 33
  Pencarne, 138
  Pendeen, 84
  Pendennis Castle, 121
  Pendower, 133
  Pendrief, 190
  Pengersick Castle, 110
  Penhale Point, 73
  Penlee, 161
  Penolver Point, 116
  Penrose, 112
  Penryn, 126
    Creek, 125
  Pentewan, 138
  Pentillie, 168-9
  Pentire, 22, 48-9
  Pentreath, Dolly, 95-7
  Penwith, 94
  Penzance, 98, 113
  Perran, 86
  Perranporth, 75
  Perranuthnow, 101
  Perranzabuloe, 73
  Phillack, 78
  Pinnoc, St., 153
  Piran, St., 73-4
  Pitt, 153
  Place House, 149
  Poldhu, 115
  Polperro, 150, 161
  Polruan, 143, 149
  Polyfant, 172
  Pope, Alexander, 141
  Pordenack Rock, 94
  Port Gaverne, 47
  Porthalla, 117
  Porthcothan, 62
  Porthcurnow, 86, 95
  Porthgwarra, 94
  Porthmear, 62
  Porthoustock, 117
  Porthpean, 141
  Port Isaac, 47
  Port Quin, 47
  Portreath, 76
  Poughill, 25, 28
  Poulston Bridge, 172

  Raleigh, Sir W., 124, 170, 195
  Rame, The, 161, 163
    Head, 136, 161-2
  Redgate, 157
  Redruth, 195-7
  Restormel Castle, 144, 145-6
  Reynolds, Sir J., 163, 166
  Rialton, 69
  Richard III., 135
  Robartes, Lord, 142
  Robert of Mortain, 164, 166, 175
  Roche Rock, 140
  Rockferry, 55
  Rocky Valley, 37
  Round, The, 74
  Row Tor, 189
  Rye, 147

  Saltash, 8, 165, 167
  Sancreed, 92
  Scilly Isles, 92, 93, 101, 106
  Sennen Cove, 93
  Seven Stones Lightship, 93
  Sheviock, 162
  Skippon, Maj.-Gen., 144
  Smith, Mr., 104
  Stamford Hill, Battle of, 24-5
  Stannary Courts, 127-8
  Stephen's, St., 139, 177
  Stepper Point, 55
  Stowe, 21, 24-26, 54
  Stratton, 22, 24-26, 28, 29
  Straughan, Col., 147
  Swan Pool, 112

  Talland, 150, 151
  Tamar, The, 8, 9, 21. 163 _et seq._
  Teath, St., 43
  Tehidy, 76
  Tennyson, Lord, 27, 94
  Tidy, The, 165
  Tillie, Sir Wm., 169
  Ting Tang Mine, 106
  Tintagel, 5, 22, 37-40
  Toborough, 190
  Tol-Pedn, 5, 94
  Tonacombe, 24
  Tor Point, 163
  Torridge, The, 163
  Trebartha, 180
  Trebarwith, 41
  Trecarrel, Sir Henry, 177
    House, 171
  Treffry, 121, 149
  Treffry, Elizabeth, 149
  Treffry's Aqueduct, 141
  Tregarrick, 140
  Tregeagle, John, 52, 185
  Tregian, Francis, 134-5
  Tregony, 134
  Tregoss Moor, 178
  Tregothnan, 127
  Trelaske Beacon, 172
  Trelawney, John, 151
    Jonathan, 151
  Trelowarren, 117
  Trematon Castle, 164
  Treneglos, 178
  Trerice, 71, 74-5
  Treryn Dinas, 84, 86
  Tresco, 102
  Tresco Abbey, 104-5
  Tresillian Bridge, 52
  Tresparret Down, 33
  Trethevy Dolmen, 181
  Trevalga, 36
  Trevalgue, 70
  Trevanion, Hugh, 136
  Trevellick, 104
  Trevelyan, 101, 179
  Trevemper, 72
  Treveniel, 181
  Trevethan, 62
  Trevose Head, 33, 48, 58-9
  Trewartha Marsh, 182
  Trewen, 178
  Trewhiddle, 138
  Trewithian, 133
  Trewoofe, 84
  Truro, 125, 127-9, 166
  Tudy, St., 190
  Turner, 94

  Veep, St., 147
  Veryan Beacon, 133
  Victoria, Queen, 127

  Waddon, Col., 167-8
  Wadebridge, 26, 51, 52
  Wadgworthy, 167
  Wadham College, 158
  Warbstow Barrows, 35
  Wardour Castle, 63
  Warna, St., Well of, 102-3
  Waterpit Downs, 35
  Wedgwood, 139
  Week St. Mary, 28
  Weir Head 169
  Wellington, Duke of, 141, 195
  Werrington, 175
  Wesley, John, 8, 89, 196
  Wheal Owles, 91
  Whitesand Bay, 93
  Widemouth Bay, 33
  Willapark Head, 36
  Winchelsea, 147
  Winnow's Down, St., 143, 147
  Wolf Rock Lighthouse, 93
  Wolveden, 134
  Woolley Downs, 21
  Worwas Hill, 83

  Zennor, 85, 90, 110

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