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Title: The Cornish Coast (South) - And the Isles of Scilly
Author: Harper, Charles G. (Charles George)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Cornish Coast (South) - And the Isles of Scilly" ***

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Transcriber's Note:

  Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_), text
  enclosed by equal signs is in bold (=bold=), and superscripted text
  is preceded by a ^ (and enclosed by {curly} brackets if longer than
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  Additional Transcriber's Notes are at the end.

                           THE CORNISH COAST

                      WORKS BY CHARLES G. HARPER

=The Portsmouth Road=, and its Tributaries: To-day and in Days of Old.

=The Dover Road=: Annals of an Ancient Turnpike.

=The Bath Road=: History, Fashion, and Frivolity on an Old Highway.

=The Exeter Road=: The Story of the West of England Highway.

=The Great North Road=: The Old Mail Road to Scotland. Two Vols.

=The Norwich Road=: An East Anglian Highway.

=The Holyhead Road=: The Mail-Coach Road to Dublin. Two Vols.

=The Cambridge, Ely, and King's Lynn Road=: The Great Fenland Highway.

=The Newmarket, Bury, Thetford, and Cromer Road=: Sport and History on
an East Anglian Turnpike.

=The Oxford, Gloucester, and Milford Haven Road=: The Ready Way to
South Wales. Two Vols.

=The Brighton Road=: Speed, Sport, and History on the Classic Highway.

=The Hastings Road= and the "Happy Springs of Tunbridge."

=Cycle Rides Round London.=

=A Practical Handbook of Drawing for Modern Methods of Reproduction.=

=Stage Coach and Mail in Days of Yore.= Two Vols.

=The Ingoldsby Country=: Literary Landmarks of "The Ingoldsby Legends."

=The Hardy Country=: Literary Landmarks of the Wessex Novels.

=The Dorset Coast.=

=The South Devon Coast.=

=The Old Inns of Old England.= Two Vols.

=Love in the Harbour=: a Longshore Comedy.

=Rural Nooks Round London= (Middlesex and Surrey).

=Haunted Houses=: Tales of the Supernatural.

=The Manchester and Glasgow Road.= This way to Gretna Green. Two Vols.

=The North Devon Coast.=

=Half-Hours with the Highwaymen.= Two Vols.

=The Autocar Road Book.= Four Vols.

=The Tower Of London=: Fortress, Palace, and Prison.

=The Somerset Coast.=

=The Smugglers=: Picturesque Chapters in the Story of an Ancient Craft.

=The Cornish Coast.= North.

=Thames Valley Villages.= [_In the Press._


  _Gibson & Sons, Penzance._]


                          =THE CORNISH COAST
                       And the Isles of Scilly=

                           CHARLES G. HARPER

            "_Here smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
            And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed_"


                     LONDON: CHAPMAN & HALL, LTD.

                         PRINTED AND BOUND BY
                    HAZELL, WATSON AND VINEY, LD.,
                         LONDON AND AYLESBURY.


                               CHAPTER I

                              CHAPTER II

                              CHAPTER III

                              CHAPTER IV
  WINNOW--LOSTWITHIEL                                                50

                               CHAPTER V

                              CHAPTER VI
  ROSELAND--ST. MAWES--FALMOUTH                                      83

                              CHAPTER VII

                             CHAPTER VIII
  TRURO                                                             115

                              CHAPTER IX
  "MOHEGAN"--ST. KEVERNE                                            123

                               CHAPTER X
  LIGHTHOUSE                                                        142

                              CHAPTER XI

                              CHAPTER XII
  "NOISIEL"--PENGERSICK CASTLE                                      176

                             CHAPTER XIII

                              CHAPTER XIV

                              CHAPTER XV
  LADDER--LAND'S END                                                232

                              CHAPTER XVI
  END--THE LONGSHIPS LIGHTHOUSE                                     247

                             CHAPTER XVII
  CLOUDESLEY SHOVEL--TRESCO--THE SEA-BIRDS                          256

                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

  Wreck of _Bluejacket_                             _Frontispiece_


  The Cornish Coast                                              1

  Newbridge                                             _Facing_ 2

  Calstock                                                       5

  The Tower, Pentillie                                          11

  Sir James Tillie                                              13

  "Two Miles to Saltash"                                        17

  Plymouth Sound, The Hamoaze, and the Tamar                    19

  Saltash Bridge                                       _Facing_ 20

  Trematon Castle                                      _Facing_ 22

  St. Germans                                                   24

  Miserere, St. Germans                                         26

  Plymouth and Drake's Island, from Mount Edgcumbe     _Facing_ 32

  Looe                                                          37

  The "Jolly Sailor," Looe                                      40

  Talland Church                                                41

  Old Bridge, Polperro                                          44

  Polperro                                             _Facing_ 46

  Fowey                                                _Facing_ 52

  St. Winnow                                                    57

  Lostwithiel Church                                            59

  Font, Lostwithiel                                             61

  The Biscovey Stone                                            66

  Porthpean                                                     72

  St. Michael Caerhayes                                         77

  "Parson Trust's Houses"                                       79

  Falmouth Harbour                                              81

  St. Anthony's Lighthouse                                      84

  St. Mawes Castle                                              86

  Charles Church, Falmouth                                      94

  Little Falmouth                                              100

  South Porch and Cross, Mylor Church                          104

  St. Just-in-Roseland                                         107

  St. Feock                                                    109

  Malpas                                                       110

  St. Clements                                                 111

  Merther                                                      112

  View from Tresilian Bridge                                   113

  Truro, from the Fal                                          116

  Truro Cathedral                                              120

  Tablet, Truro Market House                                   122

  The Helford River                                            125

  Mawgan-in-Meneage                                            127

  Hagioscope, Mawgan-in-Meneage                                128

  St. Anthony-in-Meneage                                       131

  Inscribed Font, St. Anthony-in-Meneage                       135

  Wreck of the _Glenbervie_ on Lowlands Point         _Facing_ 138

  St. Keverne                                                  140

  Cadgwith Cove                                                145

  The "Devil's Frying Pan"                                     147

  Landewednack                                                 149

  Kynance Cove                                        _Facing_ 160

  Mullion Cove                                        _Facing_ 166

  Gunwalloe                                           _Facing_ 182

  Loe Pool                                                     185

  Breage                                                       188

  Wreck of _Noisiel_, Praa Sands                      _Facing_ 190

  Pengersick Castle                                            191

  The Coast of Cornwall, North-west and South-west (Map)       192

  The "Noti-Noti Stone," St. Hilary                            200

  St. Michael's Mount                                 _Facing_ 210

  St. Michael's Chair                                          212

  Arms of Penzance                                             217

  Penzance Market House                                        219

  Monument to Sir William Godolphin, with Armour               226

  Cottages at Penberth Cove                                    231

  Trereen Dinas                                                233

  The Logan Rock                                               235

  St. Levan                                                    239

  Chair Ladder                                                 243

  Early Home of Lord Exmouth                                   248

  Land's End                                          _Facing_ 252

  Star Castle, and the Island of Samson                        265

  Armorel's Home, Samson Island                       _Facing_ 266

  St. Agnes                                                    267

  Pulpit Rock                                                  268

  Holy Vale                                                    271

[Illustration: _The Coast of Cornwall_ SOUTH-EAST.]

               [Illustration: THE CORNISH COAST _SOUTH_.]

                               CHAPTER I


The southern portion of the Cornish Coast may be said to begin at the
head of the navigation of the river Tamar, at Weir Head, to which the
excursion steamers from Plymouth can come at favourable tides, or a
little lower, at Morwellham Quay, where the depth of water permits of
more frequent approach. But barges can penetrate somewhat higher than
even Weir Head, proceeding through the canal locks at Netstakes, almost
as far as that ancient work, New Bridge, which carries the high road
from Dartmoor and Tavistock out of Devon into Cornwall.

From hence, then, at New Bridge, a hoary Gothic work of five pointed
arches with picturesquely projecting cutwaters, the south coast of
Cornwall may most fitly be traced. It is a constant surprise to the
explorer in England to discover that almost invariably the things
that are called "new" are really of great age. They were once new and
remarkable things. There is a "New Bridge" across the Thames, but it is
the oldest now existing. The town of Newmarket, in Cambridgeshire, was
a new thing in 1227, and there are other "Newmarkets" of even greater
age. The subject might be pursued at great length; but sufficient has
been said to prepare those who come this way not to expect some modern
triumph of engineering in iron or steel.

[Illustration: NEW BRIDGE.]

New Bridge, three and a half miles west of Tavistock, is approached
from that town by the old coach road and the new, descending with
varying degrees of steepness to the river. As you come down the older
and steeper and straighter road, you see the bridge far below, and
the first glimpse of Cornwall beyond it, where the lofty hills of
Gunnislake rise, scattered with the whitewashed cottages of the miners
engaged in the tin mines of the district. They, and the large factory
buildings below, near the river level, are not beautiful, and yet the
scene is of great picturesqueness and singularity. A weird building
beside the bridge on the Devonshire side, with two of its angles
chamfered off, is an old toll-house. Mines in working on the Devonshire
side belong to the Duke of Bedford, who has a fine park and residence
near by, at Endsleigh, which he would not (according to his own
account), be able to maintain, together with various other residences,
including the palatial Woburn Abbey, were it not for his vast income
from the ground-rents of what he was pleased to style "a few London

The surrounding country is dominated for many miles by the cone-shaped
Kit Hill, the crest of the elevated district of Hingston Down, crowned
by a monumental mine-chimney.

                      "Hingston Down, well wrought,
                      Is worth London, dear bought."

So runs the ancient rhyme. It has been "well wrought," not yet perhaps
to the value indicated above, and now its scarred sides are deserted;
but perhaps another instalment of London's ransom may yet be mined out
of it.

The riverside walk along the Cornish bank of the Tamar is at first
as smoothly beautiful as a Thames-side towing-path. Thus you come past
the locks at Netstakes to the Morwell Rocks, masses of grey limestone
cliffs rising from the Devonshire shore and hung with ivy and other
growths. Soon the Tamar falls over the barrier of Weir Head, and then
reaches the limit of the steamship navigation, at Morwellham Quay.
Words and phrases seem colourless and inexpressive in face of the sweet
beauties of limestone crag and winding river here; of the deep valley,
wooded richly to the hill-tops, and the exquisitely tender light that
touches the scene to glory. Nor is it without its everyday interest,
for the excursion steamers come up on favourable tides from Plymouth
and wind with astonishing appearance of ease round the acute bends of
the narrow channel; the branches of overhanging trees sweeping the
funnels. The lovely valley is seen in a romantic perspective from the
summit of the lofty hill that leads up to Calstock church, for from
that point of view you look down upon the little peninsular meadows
that now and again give place to cliffs, and through an atmosphere of
silver and gold see the river winding past them, like some Pactolian
stream. Down there lie the ruins of Harewood House, the old Duchy of
Cornwall office; across, as far as eye can reach, spread the blue
distances of Devon, and all along the course of the river the hamlets
are transfigured to an unutterable beauty. Leave it at that, my
friends. Do not explore those hamlets, for, in fact, they are neither
better nor worse than others. Like many among the great characters in
history, upon whom distance confers a greatness greater than properly
belongs to them, they have their littlenesses and squalors.

Calstock church must be, and must always have been, a prime test of
piety, for it stands upon a tremendous hilltop nearly a mile from the
village, and Calstock stands below by the water.

[Illustration: CALSTOCK.]

Calstock is the Richmond and Hampton Court of Plymouth. What those
places are to London, this is to the Three Towns of Plymouth,
Devonport, and Stonehouse; only the scenery is immeasurably finer
than that along the Thames, while, on the other hand, Cothele is not
to be compared with Hampton Court, nor is it so public. Of all the
many varied and delightful steamboat trips that await the pleasure of
the Plymouth people, or of visitors, none is so fine as the leisurely
passage from Plymouth to Calstock and back, first along the Hamoaze
and then threading the acutely curving shores of the Tamar, rising
romantically, covered exquisitely with rich woods. At the end of the
voyage from Plymouth, Calstock is invaded by hungry crowds. One of the
especial delights of the place is found in its strawberries, for the
neighbourhood is famous for its strawberry-growing. But the tourist,
who is not often able to set about his touring until the end of July,
is rarely able to visit Calstock in strawberry-time, and Plymouth
people have the river in the tender beauty of early summer, with
strawberries to follow, all to themselves. Here let a word of praise
be deservedly given to the extraordinarily cheap, interesting and
efficient excursions by steamboat that set out from Plymouth in the
summer. Without their aid, and those of the ordinary steam ferries, I
know not what the stranger in these parts would do, for the Plymouth
district is one of magnificently long distances, and the creeks of
the Hamoaze and the Tamar are many and far-reaching. And latterly
the Calstock excursion has been advantaged by the acquisition of the
_Burns_ steamer, one of the London County Council's flotilla on the
Thames that cost the ratepayers so dearly. There are shrewd people
down at Plymouth--or as we say in the West, down _tu_ Plymouth--and
when the County Council's expensive hobby was abandoned, these same
shrewd fellows secured the _Burns_ in efficient condition for about
one-twentieth part of its original cost, and are now understood to be
doing extremely well out of it.

I could wish that Calstock were in better fettle than it now is. He who
now comes to the village will see that it is completely dominated by a
huge granite railway viaduct of twelve spans, crossing the river, and
furnished with a remarkable spidery construction of steel, rising from
the quay to the rail-level. This is a lift, by which loaded trucks,
filled with the granite setts, kerbs, channelings, and road-metal
chips, in which the local "Cornwall Granite Company" deals, are
hoisted on to the railway, and so despatched direct to all parts. The
evidences of the Granite Company's special article of commerce are
plentiful enough, littering the riverside and strewing the roads, just
as though the Cornwall Granite Company were wishful by such means to
advertise their goods; but since the opening of the new railway, in
1909, the unfortunate lightermen and bargemen of the place have been
utterly ruined. The Plymouth, District, and South-Western Railway,
whose viaduct crosses the river, has taken away their old trade, and
has not the excuse, in doing so, of being able to earn a profit for

Below Calstock, at the distance of a mile, is Cothele, an ancient
mansion belonging to the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe. Steep paths through
woodlands lead to it, and the house itself is not the easiest to find,
being a low, grey granite building pretty well screened by shrubberies.
The real approach, is, in fact, rather from Cothele Quay, on the other
side of the hill, away from Calstock. Cothele is only occasionally
used by Lord Mount Edgcumbe, but it is not, properly speaking, a "show
house," although application will sometimes secure admission to view
its ancient hall and domestic chapel.

Cothele, begun by Sir Richard Edgcumbe in the reign of Henry the
Seventh, is still very much as he and his immediate successors left it,
with the old armour and furniture remaining. Richard is a favourite
name among the Edgcumbes. This particular Sir Richard engaged in the
dangerous politics of his time, and very nearly fell a victim to his
political convictions. Suspected of favouring the pretensions of the
Earl of Richmond, he was marked for destruction, and only escaped
arrest by plunging into the woods that surround Cothele. From a crag
overlooking the river he either flung his cap into the water, or it
fell off, and the splash attracting attention, it was thought he had
plunged into the river, and so was drowned. This supposition made his
escape easy. He returned on the death of Richard the Third and the
consequent accession of the Earl of Richmond, as Henry the Seventh, and
marked his sense of gratitude for the providential escape, by building
a chapel on the rock, overlooking Danescombe.

A Sir Richard, who flourished in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and was
Ambassador to Ireland, brought home the curious ivory "oliphants" or
horns, still seen in the fine hall, where the banners of the Edgcumbes
hang, with spears and cross-bows and armour that is not the merely
impersonal armour of an antiquary's collection, but the belongings of
those who inhabited Cothele of old. The most curious object among these
intimate things is a steel fore-arm and hand, with fingers of steel,
made to move and counterfeit as far as possible the lost members of
some unfortunate person who had lost his arm. To whom it belonged is

The tapestries that decorated the walls of Cothele at its building
still hang in its rooms, the furniture that innovating brides
introduced, to bring the home up-to-date, has long since become the
delight of antiquaries, and the extra plenishings provided for the
visits of Charles the Second and George the Third and his Queen may
be noted. So do inanimate things remain, while man is resolved into
carrion and perishes in dust. I find no traces of the Early Victorian
furnishings that probably smartened up Cothele for the visit of Queen
Victoria and Prince Albert in 1846. They are well away.

Many are the royal personages who have visited Cothele. Sometimes they
have been as desolating as the merely vulgar could be; as, for example,
when one of them, disregarding the very necessary request not to
handle the curious old polished steel mirrors that are numbered among
the curiosities of the mansion, did so, with the result that a rusty
finger-mark appeared. Here was a chance for the reverential! A Royal
finger-mark, wrought in rust! It might have served the turn either of a
snob or a cynic, equally well; but it was removed at last, not without
much strenuous labour.

Cothele Quay stands deep down by the riverside, with a cottage or so
near, but otherwise solitary amid the woods, where the little creek
of Danescombe is spanned by an ancient Gothic bridge. The quay is the
port, so to speak, of Cothele, and of the village of St. Dominic, high
up on the hills; the readiest way for supplies of all kinds being from
Plymouth, by water.

Up there, through St. Dominic, the lofty high road that runs between
Callington and Saltash is reached. It runs through the village of
St. Mellion, whose church contains monuments, some of them rather
astonishing, to the Corytons of West Newton Ferrers, three miles to the

Passing through St. Mellion, the road comes presently to the lovely
park of Pentillie, a wooded estate overlooking the Tamar in one of
its loveliest and most circuitous loops, where the river may be seen
through the woods winding and returning upon itself far below. Hidden
away in luxuriant glades almost on a level with the river is the
mansion of the Coryton family, itself of no great charm or interest;
but there is on one of the heights above it, known as "Mount Ararat,"
a weird "folly," or monument, rather famous in its way, in which was
buried, under peculiar conditions, the body of a former owner of
Pentillie, who died in 1713. It is well worth seeing, but in those
woody tangles is not so easily to be found. It stands, in fact, not
so far from the road itself, down a lane on the left hand before
coming to the lodge-gates of Pentillie, and then through a rustic gate
or two; but the stranger might easily take the wrong one among the
several rough footpaths, and the whole hillside is so overgrown with
trees, that the tower is not seen until you are actually at the base
of it. The better course is to proceed along the highway until you
come to the lodge-gates and to the broad, smooth carriage-road leading
lengthily down to the mansion. If you are on a bicycle, so much the
better; you are down there and in the courtyard of Pentillie "Castle,"
as it is called, in a flash. Proceeding then straight through to the
kitchen-gardens, there is a gardener's cottage, where, to those gifted
with a proper degree of courtesy, the gardener will point out the
hillside footpath by which you presently come to the tower, containing
a forbidding statue of Sir James Tillie. "An' if ye look through a
peephole in the wall," says the gardener, "ye can see th' owd twoad
quite plainly."

[Illustration: THE TOWER, PENTILLIE.]

Sir James Tillie was a person of very humble origin, born at St.
Keverne in 1645. He was soon in the service of Sir John Coryton,
Bart., of West Newton Ferrers, St. Mellion, who befriended him to a
considerable extent, placing him with an attorney and afterwards making
him his own steward. In 1680 the baronet died. Meanwhile Tillie, by
industry and prudence, had grown pretty well-to-do, and had married
the daughter of Sir Harry Vane, who brought him a fortune. She had
died some years before the decease of Sir John Coryton, at whose death
Tillie was a childless widower. His master had arranged that Tillie
should continue steward to his eldest son, John, the next baronet, and
guardian to his younger children. It was not long before the second
Sir John died, and Tillie married his widow, and seems in the thirty
years or so following to have been undisputed owner of Pentillie. How
all these things came to pass does not exactly appear; but at any rate
Tillie, who by false pretences of gentility and a considerable payment
of money had secured the honour of knighthood in 1686, built Pentillie
Castle, which he named after himself, and formed the park, and there
he resided until his death in 1713. His wife survived him. He had no
children, but was anxious to found a Tillie family, and left a will by
which his nephew, James Woolley, son of his sister, should inherit his
estates on assuming the name of Tillie.

Wild and fantastic legends fill up the mysterious lack of facts here
and there in Tillie's life. He is said to have poisoned Sir John
Coryton the younger, and was, among other things, reputed to be a
coiner, on a large scale, of base coin. But there is no evidence
for those tales. More certain it is that the College of Heralds in
1687 revoked the grant of arms to him, and fined him £200 for the
mis-statements that led to his obtaining them.

[Illustration: SIR JAMES TILLIE.]

A vein of eccentricity certainly ran through the composition of this
remarkable man. His "castle" has been rebuilt, but contains a life-size
leaden statue of himself that he had made, in voluminous periwig and
costume of the period, holding a roll of documents. His will contained
some remarkable provisions, including instructions for the building of
the tower and for his body to be laid there, with a seated stone statue
of himself. These instructions, repeated and noted down by a succession
of writers, have lost nothing of their oddity. Thus Hals tells us that
Tillie left directions that his body, habited in his hat, gloves, wig,
and best apparel, with shoes and stockings, should be fastened securely
in his chair and set in a room in the tower, with his books and pen and
ink in front of him, and declared that Tillie had said he would in two
years come to life and be at Pentillie again. The chamber in which his
body was to be set was to have another over it containing portraits
of himself, of his wife, and his nephew, to remain there "for ever."
The upper chamber many years ago fell into decay, and the portraits
were removed to the mansion; and no one knows what became of Tillie's
remains. His scheme of founding a Tillie family failed, and the
property eventually came into possession of descendants of the Coryton
family, through the marriage of Mary Jemima Tillie, granddaughter of
Sir James Tillie's nephew, with John Goodall, great-grandson of Sir
John Coryton the younger's daughter, who assumed the name of Coryton.

The brick tower of "Mount Ararat," now open to the sky and plentifully
overgrown with ivy, is approached by moss-grown stone steps. A lobby
at the summit of them ends in a blank wall with a kind of peep-hole
into the space within, not at all easy to get at. Any stranger peering
through, and not knowing what to expect, would be considerably startled
by what he saw; for directly facing the observer is the life-size
effigy of a ferociously ugly, undersized man, with scowling countenance
and great protruding paunch, seated in a chair and wearing the costume
of the early eighteenth century. The statue is of a light sandstone,
capable of high finish in sculpture; and every detail is rendered with
great care and minuteness, so that, in spite of the damp, and of the
ferns and moss that grow so plentifully about its feet, the statue has
a certain, and eerie, close resemblance to life. It is so ugly and
repellent that the sculptor was evidently more concerned about the
likeness than to flatter the original of it.

The Tamar may be reached again in something over two miles, at
Cargreen, a hamlet at whose quay the steamers generally halt. It is a
large hamlet, but why it ever came into existence, and how it manages
to exist and to flourish in a situation so remote, is difficult to
understand, except on the supposition that the barge traffic has kept
it alive. Landulph, a mile away, on a creek of its own, and not so
directly upon the main stream, is a distinct parish with an ancient
church, but it has not the mildly prosperous air of Cargreen, and
indeed consists of only two or three easily discernible houses. The
fine church contains a mural brass to Theodore Palæologus, who died
in 1636, at Clifton in Landulph, one of the last obscure descendants
of the Palæologi, who were Emperors of Byzantium from the thirteenth
century until 1453, when the Turks captured Constantinople and killed
Constantine Palæologus, the eighth and last Emperor. He was brother of
Thomas Palæologus, great-great-grandfather of the Theodore who lies

The reasons for this humble descendant of a line of mighty autocrats
living and dying in England are obscure, but he appears to have
attracted the compassionate notice abroad of some of the Lower family,
who brought him home with them and lent him their house of Clifton.
Here he married one Mary Balls in 1615. Although he is sometimes stated
to be the last of his race, this is not the fact, for of his five
children three certainly survived him. John and Ferdinand have left
no traces. Theodore, the last of whom we have any knowledge, became
a lieutenant in the army of the Parliament, and died and was buried,
not unfittingly for the last representative of an Imperial line, in
Westminster Abbey, in 1644. Mary died a spinster, in 1674, and was
buried at Landulph. Dorothy, who in 1656 married a William Arundel,
died in 1681, and it is not known if she left any descendants.

The brass bears a neat representation of the double-headed imperial
eagle of Byzantium, standing upon two towers, and has this inscription:


[Illustration: "TWO MILES TO SALTASH."]

Winding roads of considerable intricacy and almost absolute loneliness
lead away from the creeks about Landulph to Botus Fleming, with a
church remarkable only for the extraordinary quantity of stucco placed
on its tower. Thence the good broad high-road leads on to Saltash, with
milestones marked rather speculatively to "S" and "C"; Saltash and
Callington being understood.

                              CHAPTER II


The name "Saltash" simply means "salt water"--the "ash" having
originally been the Celtic "esc." Salt water is found, as a matter of
fact, as far up river as Calstock, but here it is, by all manner of
authorities, that the river Tamar, the "taw mawr," or "great water,"
joins that broad and often extremely rough and choppy estuary, the
Hamoaze: "Hem-uisc," the border water.


Saltash is a borough-town of an antiquity transcending that of
Plymouth, and the rhyme

                  "Saltash wer' a borough town,
                  When Plymouth wer' a vuzzy down,"

is equally proud and true. It was once also a Parliamentary borough,
but that glory has faded away. Yet once more, it is in Cornwall, and
that, according to any true Cornishman, is far better than being in
Devonshire. So Saltash is amply blest. And if to these dignities we
add the material advantage of possessing jurisdiction over Hamoaze,
down even to Plymouth Sound, and over all its creeks, we shall
see that Saltash does right to be proud. It was by virtue of the
borough authority over those waterways that Saltash was enabled to
be so splendidly patriotic in the time of good Queen Bess. At that
period the harbour dues were one shilling for an English ship, and
two shillings for a foreigner. After the Armada Saltash levied an
extra discriminatory five shillings upon Spanish vessels. Among the
Corporation regalia is a silver oar, typifying this jurisdiction.

[Illustration: SALTASH BRIDGE.]

It is perhaps a little grievous, after all these noble and impressive
things, to learn that Saltash church, which crests the hill on whose
steep sides the town is built, is really, although very ancient, not a
church, but a chapelry of St. Stephen's, a quite humble village inland,
on the way to Trematon. And there is one other thing: Saltash cannot
see its own picturesqueness, any more than one can see the crown of
one's head, except for artificial aid. The mirror by which Saltash is
enabled to see itself is the Devonshire shore, and across the quarter
of a mile to it the steam-ferry, that plies every half-hour or less,
will take you for one penny. From that point of view, not only Saltash,
but also the best picture of Saltash Bridge is to be had: that giant
viaduct which carries the Great Western Railway across from Devon to
Cornwall in single track, at a height of 100 feet above the water.
Saltash Bridge--no one calls it by its official name, the "Royal Albert
Bridge"--has in all nineteen spans, and is 2,240 feet long; but its
great spectacular feature is provided by the two central spans of 455
feet each. Twelve years were occupied in building, and it was opened
in 1859. The name of I. K. Brunel, the daring engineer, is boldly
inscribed on it. There is a story told of some one asking Brunel how
long it would last.

"A hundred years," said he.

"And then?"

"Then it will no longer be needed."

There is a good deal more work in Saltash Bridge than is visible to the
eye, the stone base of the central pier going down through seventy feet
of water and a further twenty feet of sand and gravel, to the solid
rock. The cost of the bridge is said to have been £230,000.

Great ships may easily pass under the giant building, and old wooden
men-o'-war lie near at hand, giving scale to it, including the _Mount
Edgcumbe_ training-ship, the _Implacable_, and an old French hulk.

This way came the Romans into Cornwall, their post, _Statio Tamara_,
established on the Devonshire side at what is now King's Tamerton. And
this way came the Normans, building a strong fortress nearly two miles
west of Saltash, at Trematon, on a creek of the Lynher river. They are
"proper rough roads" and steep that lead to Trematon Castle. You come
to it by way of the hamlet of Burraton Combe and the village of St.
Stephen's-by-Saltash. At Burraton some old cottages are seen with a
half-defaced tablet on them, once covered over with plaster. Most of
the plaster has now fallen off, revealing this inscription, which some
one, long ago, was evidently at some pains to conceal:

 "This almshouse is the gift of James Buller of Shillingham, Esq.,
 deceased, whose glorious memory as well as illustrious honours ought
 not to be forgotten but kept, as 'tis to be hoped they will, in
 euerlasting remembrance, decem^r. y^e 6 in y^e yeare of our Lord 1726."

A shield, displaying four spread eagles, surmounts these praises to the
illustrious Buller, whose honours and glorious memory are indeed clean

Trematon Castle stands on the summit of a mighty steep hill, rising
from a creek branching out of a creek. At the head of this remote
tongue of water, where the salt tide idly laps, stands the hamlet of
Forder. Turner painted Trematon Castle, and in his day the crenellated
walls of that amazing strong place could easily be seen from the creek.
In these latter days the trees of the Castle hill have grown so tall
and dense that little of the ancient stronghold can be glimpsed. A
carriage-road winds up the hill, for a residence--not in the least
pretending to be a castle, one is happy to say--stands in midst of the
fortress precincts.

[Illustration: TREMATON CASTLE.]

It is a peculiar castle, the "keep" crowning a lofty mound, difficult
of access, heaped upon the highest point of the hill, resembling that
of Totnes and some two or three others in the West country, which
exhibit vast circular battlemented walls, evidently never roofed nor
intended to be roofed. Below this keep is a wide grassy space now
occupied by the mansion and its beautiful rose and other gardens.
Entrance to this court was formerly obtained by a strong gateway tower
still remaining, but not now forming the approach; and around this
court ran another massive battlemented wall, most of it existing to
this day, and enclosed the castle. Such was the ancient hold of the
Valletorts, afterwards the property of the Duchy of Cornwall. Carew
finely describes the "ivy-tapissed walls"--it is a pretty expression,
thus likening the ivy to tapestry--and tells us how the Cornish rebels
of 1549, standing out for the old religion, treacherously invited the
governor, Sir Richard Grenville, outside, on pretence of a parley,
and then captured the castle and plundered at will. Then "the seely
gentlewomen, without regard of sex or shame, were stripped from their
apparel to their very smocks, and some of their fingers broken, to
pluck away their rings."

Just below Trematon Castle, passing under a viaduct of the Great
Western Railway, the creek opens out upon the broad and placid Lynher
river, exactly resembling a lake, as its name implies. Here are the
four or five cottages of Antony Passage, including a primitive inn.
Antony is nearly half a mile across the ferry, but the Lynher, or
"St. Germans River," as it is sometimes called, should certainly be
explored by boat for its length of four miles to St. Germans, the
prettily situated village where the ancient bishopric of Cornwall
was seated from its beginning in A.D. 909 until its transference to
Exeter in 1046; and where Port Eliot, the park and mansion of the
Earl of St. Germans, is placed. Ince Castle, a curious brick-built
sixteenth-century building, peers from the wooded shores on the way.
An Earl of Devon built it, and the Killigrews held it for a time. The
house has a tower at each of its four corners, and according to legend,
one of the Killigrews, a kind of double-barrelled bigamist, kept a wife
in each tower, ignorant of the others' existence.

[Illustration: ST. GERMANS.]

St. Germans, from being a borough, has declined to the condition of
a village, and a very beautiful and aristocratic-looking village it
is. The parish church stands on the site of the cathedral of the
ancient See of Cornwall, and, although practically nothing is left
of the original building, the great size and the unusual design
of the existing church in a great degree carry on the traditional
importance of the place. You perceive, glancing even casually at the
weird exterior, with its two strange western towers, square as to
their lower stages and octagonal above, that this has a story more
important than that of a mere parish church. The dedication is to St.
Germanus of Auxerre, a missionary to Britain in the fifth century. The
importance of the building is due to its having been collegiate. The
noble, if strange, west front is largely Norman, the upper stages of
the towers Early English and Perpendicular. The interior is Norman and
Perpendicular. It will at once be noticed that there is no north aisle.
It was demolished towards the close of the eighteenth century, in the
usual wanton eighteenth-century way. The only remaining fragment of the
ancient collegiate stalls is a mutilated miserere seat worked up into
the form of a chair. It is carved with a hunting-scene; a sportsman
carrying a hare over his shoulder, with animals resembling a singular
compromise between pigs and dogs, in front, and huge hell-hounds with
eyes like hard-boiled eggs, following.

St. Germans church is practically a mortuary chapel of the Eliot
family, and it stands, too, in the grounds of their seat, Port Eliot,
with the mansion adjoining.

[Illustration: MISERERE, ST. GERMANS.]

It was in 1565 that the Eliots first settled here. The Augustinian
Priory and its lands had been granted at the Dissolution to the
Champernownes, who exchanged it with the Eliots, who came from
Coteland, in Devon. The greatest of the Eliot race, Sir John,
Vice-Admiral in the West, and patriot Member of Parliament in
resistance to the arbitrary rule of Charles the First, paid the penalty
of his patriotism by death in the Tower of London in 1632, after
four-and-a-half years' captivity. His body does not lie here. "Let him
be buried in the parish in which he died," wrote the implacable king;
and he lies in the church of St. Peter-ad-Vincula, on Tower Green,
instead of at St. Germans, where his own people would have laid him.

Many monuments to Eliots stud the walls, and hatchments gloom in black
and heraldic colours, bearing their inspiring motto, _Præcedentibus
insta_, _i.e._, "Urge your way among the leaders," suggested, no doubt,
by the career of their great ancestor; but the inspiration has never
been keen enough to produce another great man from among them, and
since the Earldom of St. Germans was conferred in 1815 the Eliots have
been respectably obscured.

The Lynher river ends just beyond St. Germans at the village of
Polbathick. Other creeks branch out on either hand, like fingers;
beautifully wooded hillsides running down to them. At low water they
are mostly mud flats, with the gulls busily feasting in the ooze, but
when the tide flows they become still lakes, solitary except for a few
"farm-places" along their course. On a knoll, high above the Lynher,
the spire of Sheviock church peeps out. It is simply bathed in stucco.
Carew gives an amusing legend relating to the building of the church,
and tells how one of the Dawney family built it, while at the same
time his wife was engaged in building a barn. The cost of the barn was
supposed to have exceeded that of the church by three-halfpence; "and
so it might well fall out, for it is a great barn and a very little
church." It is a quaint legend, but there is no satisfaction to be got
in visiting the church, for it is not a "very little church," and the
barn with which it was compared is not now in existence.

Below Sheviock comes Antony, sometimes called "Antony-in-the-East," to
distinguish it from the two other Antonys, or Anthonys, in Cornwall.
Antony village stands high up on the hillside, and the park and mansion
of the same name, seat of the Pole-Carew family, are nearly two miles
away, down by Antony Passage, where the Lynher makes ready to join
Hamoaze. The park of Thanckes adjoins.

Antony church is approached by long flights of steps. It contains
a monument to Richard Carew, of Antony, author of the "Survey of
Cornwall," published in 1602, a work of mingled quaintness and grace.
He died in 1620, as his epitaph shows. The part of it in Latin was
written by his friend, Camden; the English verses are his own.

Antony lies directly upon the old coach road from Plymouth to Liskeard
and Falmouth, three miles from Torpoint, to which a steam-ferry, plying
every half-hour, brings the traveller from Devonport. Turner is said to
have greatly admired the view from the churchyard, but it is greatly
obscured in our own times by trees. The grandest of all views is the
astonishingly noble panoramic view of Plymouth and the Hamoaze, from
the summit of the road to Tregantle Fort. There the whole geography
of the district is seen unfolded, mile upon mile, with the three
towns of Plymouth, Devonport, and Stonehouse--to say nothing of Stoke
Damerel, Ford, Morice Town, and St. Budeaux--looking like some city
of the Blest, which we know not to be the case, and the great railway
bridge of Saltash resembling an airy gossamer. It is a view of views.
Incidentally, the panorama explains the existence here of Tregantle
Fort, and of that of Scraesdon, down by Antony. This elevated neck of
land commands Plymouth, which, with the arsenals and dockyards of
Devonport and Keyham, could be either taken in the rear or bombarded by
an enemy who could effect a landing in Whitesand Bay. Tregantle Fort,
mounting many heavy guns, therefore stands on the ridge, to prevent
such a landing, and a fine military road runs between it and Rame, a
distance of three miles, skirting the cliffs of Whitesand Bay. From the
hillsides you see the soldiers firing at targets in the sea--and never
hitting them. The way to Rame, along this military road, crosses lonely
downs, with the tempting sands of Whitesand Bay down below. The dangers
of this treacherous shore, often pointed out by guide-books, are made
manifest by an obelisk beside the road, on the brink of the low cliffs,
bearing an inscription to "Reginald Spender, aged 44, and his sons
Reginald and Sidney, aged 13 and 11, who were drowned while bathing,
Whit Sunday, June 9th, 1878."

At the end of the military road and its numerous five-barred gates,
the village of Rame, consisting of a small cluster of a church and
some farms screened by elms, stands in a sheltered fold of the hills.
The church, with needle spire, is an almost exact replica of that of
Sheviock, and, like it, has been covered with rough-cast plaster,
as thoroughly as a twelfth-cake is faced with sugar. It contains a
poor-box pillar, dated 1633. The lighting arrangements are in the
primitive form of paraffin candles on wooden staves. Rame Head,
almost islanded from the mainland, is the western point of the bold
promontory that encloses the Cornish side of Plymouth Sound. Penlee
Point is the eastern. "When Rame and Dodman meet" is a West-country
way of mentioning the impossible. The two headlands are twenty-seven
miles apart, in a straight line. Fuller, who dearly loved a conceit of
this kind, tells us that the meeting did actually come to pass when Sir
Piers Edgcumbe, who owned Rame, married a lady who brought him the land
including the Dodman. The small chapel of St. Michael on Rame Head,
long in ruins, has been restored by Lord Mount Edgcumbe.

Penlee Point looks directly upon the Sound: an inspiring sight in the
Imperial sort. It is indeed an epic of Empire, that broad waterway,
three miles across, with the great Breakwater straddling in its midst,
and shipping busily coming and going, and forts on land and battleships
on sea. And I wish the walking were not so rough, and the near contact
with the forts a little more martial and not so domestic. It resembles
tricks upon travellers to find that the signals flying from Picklecombe
Fort are not really, you know, signals when seen close at hand, but
shirts hung out to dry.

And so presently round to Cawsand Bay. First you come to Cawsand
and then Kingsand, villages not easily to be distinguished from one
another. Notorious in the eighteenth century for being a nest of daring
smugglers, these places nowadays form excursion resorts for afternoon
trippers from Plymouth, and almost every house supplies teas and
refreshments. But in spite of the crowds that resort to Cawsand and
Kingsand, they are sorry places, with a slipshod, poverty-stricken air.
Only the splendid views make them at all endurable.

Mount Edgcumbe is one of the great attractions for the people of
Plymouth. It is, of course, the private park of the Earl of Mount
Edgcumbe, but the Plymouth people have by long use come to look upon
the usual free access to it very much as a right, and the excursion
steamers from Plymouth to Cremyll would receive a severe blow if
the permission to wander here at large were withdrawn. The Duke of
Medina-Sidonia, Admiral commanding the Spanish Armada, is said to have
selected Mount Edgcumbe as his share of the spoil, when England should
be conquered. Contrary from all reasonable expectations, there was no
conquest, and consequently no spoils.

Maker church, on the heights above Mount Edgcumbe, commands panoramic
views over Hamoaze, and its tower was used in the old semaphore
signalling days, in connection with Mount Wise at Devonport and the
fleets at sea.

The proper local pronunciation of "Hamoaze" is shown in the ode written
by a parish clerk of Maker:

                  "Mount Edgcumbe is a pleasant place,
                    It looketh on Hamoaze,
                  And on it are some batteries
                    To guard us from our foes."

Equally fine, and more pictorially manageable views are those from the
"ruined chapel" down below. The "ruin" is indeed a sham ruin, and was
simply built for effect, but a fine effective foreground it makes,
with all Plymouth massed over yonder, and the Hoe with Smeaton's old
Eddystone tower prominent, and in the middle distance the fortified
rock of Drake's Island.


A deep inlet runs inland past Cremyll to Southdown and Millbrook,
whither frequent ferries also ply, at astonishing penny fares. At
Millbrook, too, every other house supplies teas to hungry and thirsty
crowds. You would not say the waters of Millbrook creek were altogether
salubrious, and the steamers' paddles stir them up sometimes with
desolating effect upon the nose, but the mackerel do not seem to be
adversely affected. Indeed, they appear rather to affect these turbid
and odorous waters, and may often be seen from the steamers leaping up
into the air. There are few more beautiful sights than those on the
return from Millbrook to Plymouth on a summer evening, when the moon
peers over the wooded shores and the mackerel leap and glitter in her
silver light.

                              CHAPTER III


The country of this Mount Edgcumbe peninsula is beautifully wooded.
Inland from Millbrook towards Antony again, you come to St. John's,
a pretty village, with an old church and plenteous elms. And then,
having explored the peninsula, the way out to the coast line on to
Looe is up again to Tregantle, whence a coastwise road leads past
Crafthole and Portwrinkle to Downderry. Those places may easily be
dismissed, together with the coast on which they stand. They are quite
recent collections of houses, mostly of an extremely commonplace
plastered type, devoted to letting lodgings for the summer months.
Their situation has nothing to recommend it, for the coastline here is
quite bald and uninteresting, and the country immediately in the rear
is for the most part treeless downs. Downderry is the largest of these
settlements. Those who merely follow the coast-road through Downderry
will never appreciate the exquisite appropriateness of that name. The
gradients that way are not steep. But let Downderry be approached
from the direction of St. Germans, and the steep two-miles' descent
shall prove there to be something in a name. At the same time, it is
but fair to add that the name did not derive from the hills, but from
_Dun-derru_, _i.e._ "Oak Bank."

Beyond Downderry the road descends to a marshy valley crossed by a
small stone bridge, at the point where a stream hesitates between
percolating through the sands and running back upon itself to convert
the marshy vale into a lake. This is marked on the maps "Seaton,"
but for town or village, or even hamlet, the stranger will look in
vain. From this point it is a long four miles into Looe, and I can
honestly say that, whichever way you go, by the road leading inland,
and incidentally as steep as the roof of a house, or by the cliffs,
in places considerably steeper, you will wish you had gone the other
way. For indeed both ways are deadly dull. Coming on a first occasion
by road the reverse way, from Looe, an old man, indicating the way,
remarked that it would be a very good road "ef 'twadden for th' yills.
Ye goo up th' yill, and ye tarn" (I forget where you turn), "an' then
ye goo straight down th' yill to Satan."

As one had not at that time heard of Seaton, this final descent had a
certain awful speculative interest.

Even the cliff route into Looe ends at last. There, almost hanging
over the brink of Looe, as it were, you realise for the first time, in
all the way from Rame, that you are really in Cornwall, for the coast
has hitherto lacked the rugged beauty that is found almost everywhere
else. But Looe makes an honourable amende. It might not unfittingly
typify Cornwall. Conceive two closely-packed little towns down there
(for there are two Looes, East and West), fringing the banks of an
extremely narrow and rocky estuary, widening as it goes inland; and
imagine just offshore on the further side a craggy island, and there
you have the seaward aspect of the place. Looe has been considerably
altered during the last few years, but it can never be a typical
seaside place; its physical peculiarities forbid that. It has no
sea-front, and possesses only the most microscopic of beaches, just
large enough to hold a few boats and to launch the lifeboat. The life
of the Looes, East or West, is all along the streets and quay beside
the estuary. The place is, as it were, a smaller Dartmouth, but with
the added convenience of a bridge crossing the Looe River, half a mile
from the sea.

The Looe River is partly an actual river, but very much more of a
creek: a lakelike creek at high water, dividing above the bridge into
two creeks, into which freshwater streams trickle from Liskeard and
the Bodmin moors. Looe, in fact, takes its name from these lakelike
estuaries. It signifies "lake," and has a common ancestry in the Welsh
"llwch" and the Gaelic "loch." Thus in speaking of Looe River "we
admit not only a redundancy but actually a contradiction. There are
two Looes, or lakes, the East and the West, just as there are the two
towns so-called. Between these two waters, three miles inland, is the
rustic village of Duloe, whose name is supposed to have originally
been "Dew Looe," _i.e._, the Two Looes. "But there has always been
great variety of opinion about this, and old writers on Cornwall have
variously considered it to be "Du Looe," or "God's Lake," or "Du Looe"
(spelled the same way), "Black Lake." A resourceful antiquary has, in
addition, pointed out the difficulties of finding the true origin of
place-names by advancing no fewer than six other possible origins:--

  Dehou-lo = south pool.
  Dour-looe = water lake.
  Dewedh-looe = boundary lake.
  Du-low = black barrow.
  Dewolow = the devils.
  Du (or tu) looe = Lake-side.

[Illustration: LOOE.]

The "black-barrow" or "devils" derivations, it is said, might come from
the remains of a prehistoric stone circle still existing at Duloe,
where eight stones from four to ten feet high, are still standing. They
may have once formed an awe-inspiring sight to the early peoples who
gave names to places.

The foregoing is, however, only an exercise in possibilities, intended
as a warning to those who make certain of meanings; the probabilities
rest with "Dew Looe."

East Looe, formerly called Portuan, as its old borough seal shows,
is the larger of the twin towns. It has a Town Hall, retaining the
porch of an older building with the old pillory; and a church whose
only old part is a singularly sturdy and clumsy tower. It is equally
puzzling to find the church and the tiny beach of Looe in the maze of
narrow alleys. West Looe has also its church, very much of a curiosity,
in a humble way. Its slender campanile tower, properly introduced
into a view, makes a picture of the brother town across the water.
Years ago, this church was desecrated in many ways. Among other uses
it was made to do duty for a town hall and as a room for theatrical

Along the West Looe water is the lovely inlet of Trelawne Mill, just
above the bridge, with dense woods clothing the hillsides and mirrored
in the still waters. Here is Trelawne, seat of the Trelawny family
since the time of Sir Jonathan Trelawny, Bishop of Bristol, and
afterwards successively of Exeter and Winchester, one of the Seven
Bishops sent to imprisonment in the Tower of London by James the Second
in 1688. The "Song of the Western Men," written by Hawker, using the
old refrain, "And shall Trelawny die?" refers to that occasion:--

                 "A good sword and a trusty hand!
                   A merry heart and true!
                 King James's men shall understand
                   What Cornish lads can do.
                 And have they fixed the where and when?
                   And shall Trelawny die?
                 Here's twenty thousand Cornish men
                   Will know the reason why."

The "Jolly Sailor" Inn at West Looe is perhaps the most picturesque
building in the little town, whose long steep street goes staggering
up towards Talland, and its toppling chimney is a familiar object.
It is not so much an accidental as an intentional slant, designed to
counteract the down-draught of the winds.

[Illustration: THE "JOLLY SAILOR," LOOE.]

Talland, situated on the hill overlooking the solitary bight of
Talland Bay, is just a church, a vicarage, and the old manor-house
of Killigarth. The church is one of the six in Cornwall which have
detached towers. The others are St. Feock, Gunwalloe, Mylor, Lamorran,
and Gwennap. Part of Talland church is Early English, the rest
Perpendicular. It contains, among other memorials, a monument to "John
Bevyll of Kyllygath," 1570, with an effigy of him carved in relief on
slate, and a long metrical epitaph, full of curious obsolete heraldic
terms. If you seek to know anything of the marryings and intermarriages
of the Bevill family, be sure that this monument sets them forth in
full detail; and the fine bench-ends take up the story, and tell it
abundantly in shields of many quarterings.

[Illustration: TALLAND CHURCH.]

Talland was in the old smuggling days exceptionally notorious for
the frequent landings of contraband on the lonely little beach below
the church, and "Parson Dodge" was a famous devil-queller and layer
of spirits, far and near. But he could not, or would not, lay the
mischievous sprites who haunted his own churchyard, and were, in fact,
not supernatural beings at all, but smugglers in disguise, whose
interests lay in making Talland a place to be shunned at nights. There
is a great deal of smuggling history connected with Talland, and among
the grotesque epitaphs in the churchyard there is even one to the
memory of a smuggler, who was shot in an encounter with the Preventive

The cliffs between Talland and Polperro are in places fast crumbling
away, and no one seems in the least concerned to do anything; perhaps
because anything that might be done would presently be undone again by
the sea. "Ye med so well throw money in the sea as spend et on mending
they cliffs," is the local opinion. At Polperro itself the cliffs are
of dark slate, and seem almost as hard as iron.

I suppose no one will deny Polperro the dignity of being the most
picturesque village on the south coast of Cornwall. The place-name
means "Peter's Pool," and the sea does indeed exactly form a pool
in the little harbour at high water, retreating entirely from it at
the ebb. The entrance from the open sea is a narrow passage between
headlands of dark slate, whose characteristic stratification produces
weird spiny outlines and needle-like points, inclined at an angle to
the horizon. On the western of these two headlands formerly stood
a chapel dedicated to St. Peter, the peculiar patron of fishermen.
Instead of anything in that sort, the cliffs now exhibit a monster
black and white lattice hoarding, as though a mad Napoleon of
advertising had proposed to celebrate some one's pills and soap, and
had been hauled off to a lunatic asylum before he could complete his
project. A similarly hideous affair infests the cliffs by Talland, a
mile away. They are, however, not advertising freaks, but structures
placed by the Admiralty to mark a measured mile for the steam-trials
of new vessels. The artist-colony at Polperro, a large community, is
rightly indignant at this uglification, but fortunately it is not seen
all over Polperro.

The little town is in every way a surprise and a curiosity, and in
most ways a delight. The stone piers that project from either side of
the entrance to the harbour leave a space for entrance so narrow that
it is commonly closed in stormy weather by dropping stout baulks of
timber into grooves let into the pier-heads. The chief industries of
Polperro are the pilchard-fishery and the painting of pictures, and
it is because of the commercial, as well as the æsthetic, interest of
the artistic community, in preserving the old-world picturesqueness
of Polperro, that the wonderful old place remains so wonderful and
retains its appearance of age. The rough cobble-stones that have mostly
disappeared from other fisher villages are left in their wonted places,
and when the local authority a little while ago removed some, in the
innovating way that local authorities have, the loud cries of protest
that were made speedily caused the replacement of them. I do not think
there is any other place, even in Cornwall, which is situated in so
sudden and cup-like a hollow as Polperro, and with houses so closely
packed together and staged so astonishingly above one another. Port Loe
nearly approaches it, but that place is much smaller.

[Illustration: OLD BRIDGE, POLPERRO.]

The time for sketching and seeing Polperro at its best is in the
sweet of the morning, before the tender light of the sun's uprising
has given place to the fierce sunshine of the advancing forenoon. A
pearly opalescent haze then pervades the scene, in which the shadows
are luminous. Then the smoke from the clustered chimneys of Polperro
ascends lazily from the sheltered hollow: breakfast is preparing.
Polperro is unquestionably in many ways old England of the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries, surviving vigorously into the twentieth. The
artist, sketching here, is startled at frequent intervals by glissades
of slops, flung by housewives, adopting the "line of least resistance,"
over the rocks into the harbour. It is a custom that makes him nervous
at first, but he gets used to it. At Polperro, it is always well, in
seeking a picturesque corner, say half-way down, below any houses, to
make quite sure (if in any way possible to make sure), that one is
not in the line of discharge of any liquids or solids that in more
conventional places are deposited in the ash-bin or thrown into the

Many odd old cottages remain here, some of them with outside
staircases, and most roughly built of granite and slate, and
whitewashed. The chief industry of Polperro is evident, not only in
the fishy smells, or in the fishing-boats and the appearance of the
people; but its specialised character is hinted at by the sign of the
humble "Three Pilchards" inn on the quay, near the old weigh-beam.
Good catches of pilchards or bad make all the difference here, where
these peculiarly Cornish fish are largely prepared and packed for
export to Italy. An Italian packing-house has indeed an establishment
on the quay. The salted pilchards, long since known among the Cornish
as "Fair maids" from the Italian "fumadoes"--the original method of
preserving them having been by drying in smoke--are the chief source of
the Polperro fishermen's livelihood. Thus the time-honoured toast of
these otherwise sturdy Protestants:

      "Here's a health to the Pope; may he never know sorrow,
      With pilchards to-day and pilchards to-morrow.
      Good luck to His Holiness; may he repent,
      And add just six months to the length of his Lent;
      And tell all his vassals from Rome to the Poles,
      There's nothing like pilchards for saving their souls."

[Illustration: POLPERRO.]

Others beside the fisherfolk rejoice when the fishery is good. I refer
to the gulls. Nowhere is the seagull happier than in Cornwall, if
immunity from attack and the certainty of plenty to eat constitute
happiness in the scheme of existence as it is unfolded to gulls. The
Wild Birds' Protection Act is scarcely necessary for the protection
of gulls in Cornwall, and the birds are so used to this affectionate
tolerance that it might almost be denied that they are wild, except
technically. I am afraid the gull presumes not a little upon all this.
He seems to know that the fishermen dare not punish him, if sometimes
they feel inclined, for to ill-treat a gull is notoriously the way in
Cornwall to bring bad luck; and although they are incredibly ravenous
eaters of fish, it is one of the fisher-folk's most deeply rooted
convictions that the boats are lucky in proportion to the numbers
of gulls that accompany them. There is, of course, a good reason
at bottom for this, because the gulls are the first to note the
whereabouts of the fish, and scream and swoop down upon the shoals long
before any human eye can detect their existence. The gulls go out with
the boats and come back with them, and often they are the first to
return; the winged couriers who awaken the little port with news of the
home-coming of its men.

When the boats are in harbour, the gulls are at home, too. Every
roof-ridge is alive with them, and they even take an intelligent
interest in the domestic cooking. It is one of the most ridiculous
sights to observe a gull perched on the edge of a chimney-pot smelling
the odours that come up from cottage chimneys. When the tide is out,
the gulls quest diligently in the ooze and scavenge all the offal that
is plentifully flung into the harbour, for there is nothing nice in the
feeding of a gull. Dead kittens and dogs come as handy and as tasty
morsels as potatoes and cabbage-stalks. I have even seen a gull steal
and bolt a pudding-cloth; but what happened to him afterwards I don't
know. There are, indeed, few things a gull will not steal. The dogs
and cats in Polperro have even developed a way of furtively glancing
up at the roofs, for the gulls swoop down like lightning when the
cats' dinners are put outside, and their food is gone on the instant.
Thus you will notice the cats run to cover with their meal, while the
dogs do the like, or are careful to place one paw on their bone, lest
it be snatched away in a twinkling. Nay, worse; the gull ashore will
kill rabbits, rob nests, steal chickens, and poach young pheasants;
and the "jowster" who hawks fish through the villages not infrequently
finds his stock depleted through the same agency. And yet the gull is
suffered gladly. He is the most privileged and the hungriest thief in

A valley road leads inland from Polperro to the hamlet of Crumplehorn,
a pretty spot whose name originated I know not how. The coastwise road
goes through Lansallos to Fowey.

"A bit of a nip" they call the sharp road on the way to Lansallos, by
which you see that the old word "knap," for a hill, is degenerating.
Lansallos church tower, in rather a crazy condition, is a prominent
landmark. The coast-line beyond Lansallos juts out at Pencarrow Head,
a "cliff-castle" promontory, whose name comes from "Pen-caerau," the
fortified headland. There are several shades of meaning in "caer," of
which "caerau" is the plural form. It may indicate a town, a castle,
a dwelling, or a camp, just as a dwelling in remote times was of
necessity fortified against attack.

Lanteglos, inland from Pencarrow, is like Lansallos, lonely,
but it is tenderly cared for, after long neglect. The full name
of it, "Lanteglos-juxta-Fowey," sounds urban. The tall granite,
fifteenth-century canopied cross, standing by the south porch, was
discovered some eighty years ago, buried in the churchyard. Among the
brasses in the church is one for John Mohun and his wife, who died in
1508 of the "sweating sickness."

Polruan, the "Pool of St. Ruan," at the foot of the steep road leading
down from Lanteglos, is a sort of poor relation of the prosperous town
and port of Fowey over there, across the so-called "Fowey River," which
here and for five miles up inland is a salt estuary, with smaller
divergent creeks. The beauty of Fowey and its river unfolds with new
delights at every stroke of the oars, as the ferry-boat, gliding
through the translucent green sea-water, brings one across to the town


[A] See "The Smugglers," pp. 143-147.

                              CHAPTER IV


The old town of Fowey, "Foy," as it is called, and was in old times
often spelled, has a stirring history, resembling that of Dartmouth,
even as its appearance and situation are reminiscent of that Devonshire
port. Leland tells us that "The glorie of Fowey rose by the warres in
King Edward I. and III. and Henry V.'s day, partly by feats of warre,
partly by pyracie, and so waxing rich, fell all to marchaundize." The
"Fowey Gallants," for such was the title by which the seamen of the
port were known, or by which perhaps they styled themselves, were not
good men to cross, and they had a high and haughty temper that brought
them into conflict even with men of Rye and Winchelsea. It seems that
ships were expected to salute on passing those Cinque Ports, but the
men of Fowey refused, and being called to account for it, beat the
Sussex men, and further added to their offences by adding the arms of
Rye and Winchelsea to their own; an indignity felt acutely in those
times, when one might perhaps pick a man's pocket with less offence
than to assume his armorial bearings. The men of Fowey were well known
and dreaded by merchant vessels in the Channel; for, no matter the
nationality, they practised piracy on all and sundry. They landed,
time and again, on the French coast when we were at peace with France,
and plundered, and burnt, and killed. The French stood this for some
time, but were on several occasions obliged to fit out expeditions in
revenge; and no one who reads of the ways of those shocking bounders
can feel in the least sorry when he reads how the foreigners landed one
night, in the reign of Henry the Sixth, and fired Fowey, and killed
several of the townsmen. The lesson could not, however, be sufficiently
enforced, for the tough Fowegians rallied and drove the French again

At length, after centuries of turbulence, the privileges of Fowey were
taken away, about 1553, and given to Dartmouth, which itself was a
nest of pirates and buccaneers. But a good deal of fight seems to have
been left in Fowey, and its sailors in the time of Charles the Second
rendered good service against the Dutch.

The houses of Fowey press closely against one another, and line
the water very narrowly, and its "streets" are rather lanes. The
greatest glory of the town is the fine church of St. Finbar, whose
tall pinnacled tower, built of Pentewan granite, yellow with age, is
elaborately panelled. Behind it rise the battlemented and still more
elaborately panelled towers of Place (not Place "House" as it is
often redundantly styled), seat of the Treffry family. But most of the
old-time houses have in these later years been ruthlessly destroyed,
and the lanes of Fowey are becoming as commonplace as a London suburb.
Nay, even more, a suburb of London would be ashamed of the tasteless,
plasterful houses and vulgarian shop-fronts that have lately come into
existence here. It is a sorrowful fact that the West Country is the
last stronghold of plaster and bad taste and that things are now done
here, of which the home counties grew ashamed a generation ago. Lately
the old "Lugger" inn, almost the last picturesque bit of domestic
architecture in Fowey, has been rebuilt. Readers of "Q's" stories of
"Troy Town," by which, of course, Fowey is meant, will not, in short,
now find their picturesque expectations realised.


The last warlike experiences of Fowey, apart from the amusing antics
of the volunteers enrolled to withstand the expected French invasion
under Napoleon, celebrated by "Q," were obtained in the operations that
included the surrender of the Parliamentary army here in 1644. The
visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1846 is celebrated in a
misguided way, by a granite obelisk of doleful aspect on the quay. It
would add greatly to the gaiety of Fowey if it were disestablished.

St. Finbar, to whom the fine church is dedicated, was Bishop of Cork.
He is said to have been buried in an earlier church on this site.
The existing church, built 1336--1466, is one of the few in Cornwall
possessing a clerestory.

There are interesting monuments of the Rashleighs of Menabilly here;
the old family that came from Rashleigh in mid-Devon, but even then
bore a Cornish chough in their curious and mysterious arms. Their
heraldic shield includes, among other charges, the letter T, but the
meaning of it being there is unknown, even to the Rashleighs. The
family formerly owned Fowey. It was their Parliamentary pocket-borough,
and only their nominees could be elected. But this valuable privilege
passed from them in 1813, I know not how. It suggests, however, that
the Rashleigh punning motto, _Nec temere, nec timide_,--_i.e._ "Neither
rashly nor timidly," had in some way ceased to regulate their doings.

The Treffrys, too, are well represented in monuments and epitaphs, as
it is only right they should be, considering that their house, Place,
adjoining the church, has been their home for many centuries. They were
settled here long before the Rashleighs, but are now really extinct in
the male line. The great J. T. Treffry, builder of the harbour at Par
and constructor of the Cornwall Minerals Railway, and other works, was
an Austen before he assumed the name by which he is better known.

A former vicar of Fowey, the Rev. Dr. Treffry, who flourished in the
early part of the nineteenth century, before character had ceased
in people, and every man had his own noticeable peculiarities,
was outspoken to a degree. It is recorded that few dared let the
offertory-bag pass without a contribution, for if he noticed the
omission his voice would be heard in a stage whisper saying, "Can't you
spring a penny? I paid you an account last week."

No method of exploring the country on either side of the Fowey River
is to be compared, for ease and beauty, with that of taking boat on
the rising tide, and so being borne smoothly along those exquisite
six miles to Lostwithiel. Here, and for a long way up the estuary, is
deep water and safe anchorage for large vessels, as the pretty sight
of weatherworn ships anchored over against Bodinnick shows; their tall
masts and graceful spars contrasting with the wooded hills, and hinting
of strange outlandish climes to the nestling hamlets.

Bodinnick is, like Polruan, a ferry village, opposite Fowey. It looks
its best from the water. A mile up, on the same side, a creek opens
to St. Veep, a sequestered church dedicated to a saint called by that
name. Her real name was Wennapa, aunt of St. Winnow, and sister of
Gildas the historian.

The Cornish way of dealing with saints' names may seem to some
delightfully intimate, and to others a profane familiarity, almost
as bad as it would be to style St. John "Jack," but the West Country
saints are to the Evangelists and to the major saints what Irish and
Scotch peers are to peers of the United Kingdom; or perhaps, better
still, what Knights Bachelors are to Dukes. I do not mean to say that
they have not seats among the rest of the sanctified, but they are
decidedly of a lower grade; a good deal more human and less austere
than the great and shining ones. And when we find, as often we do find
among the Irish, Welsh, native Cornish, or Breton saints, that entire
families have attained to that state, we do right to look shyly upon
their title.

Further up the Fowey River, on our left side, we come to Golant and the
church of St. Samson, or Sampson, dedicated to a sixth-century Breton
saint, who early fled his country and was educated in Wales, and then
settled in Cornwall. Finally he returned to Brittany (when he thought
it quite safe to do so), and died Bishop of Dôl.

Passing Penquite, which means "Pen coed"--_i.e._ "head of the woods"--a
creek opens on the right, to Lerrin, a picturesque hamlet on the
hillside, where the creek comes to an end, and the futile comings and
goings of the sea die away in ooze. A prehistoric earthwork, running
inland between Lerrin and Looe, is locally attributed to the Devil, in
the rhyme:

              "One day the Devil, having nothing to do,
              Built a great hedge from Lerrin to Looe."

"Hedge," to any one from the Home Counties, indicates a boundary formed
by growing bushes. In Cornwall it is often either a rough stone or
earthen bank.

Above Lerrin Creek is St. Winnow, a fine old church standing by the
waterside. St. Winnoe is an obscure saint. He was son of Gildas, the
pessimist historian of the woes of Britain at the coming of the Saxons.
There is some good old stained glass in St. Winnow church, and an
inscribed font (inscription not decipherable).

[Illustration: ST. WINNOW.]

A curious anagram-epitaph on one William Sawle, who died in 1651,
may be seen here. It has been restored of late years by one of his
collateral descendants:

        "William Sawle, Annagr. I was ill; am wel.
        When I was sick, most men did deeme me ILL.
        If I had liv'd I should have beene soe still.
        Prais'd be the Lord, that in the Heavn's doth dwell,
        Who hath receiv'd my Sovle, now I AM WEL."

This perhaps plumbs the depths of tortured conceits, with its back
and forth play upon "William Sawle," "I am well," and the resemblance
of "Soul" to "Sawle": a closer resemblance in the speech of the West
Country than it would appear in print to be. Any day the stranger in
Devon and Cornwall may, for instance, hear the common salutation,
"Well, how be 'ee t'-daa, my dear sawle?"

"Aw, pretty tidily, thank 'ee."

There is no village of St. Winnow, only a farmhouse and a vicarage, at
the foot of a hill, bordered by a noble beech avenue.

About a mile above St. Winnow, the narrowing stream comes to
Lostwithiel quay, where the navigable Fowey River ends.


"Lostwithiel!" I like that name. It is musical. To repeat it two
or three times to one's self is an ineffable satisfaction. One is
immediately seized, on hearing it, with a desire to proceed to the town
of Lostwithiel. Romance, surely, lives there. Foolish country folk
in the neighbourhood, noting that great heights rise all around the
little town, say the meaning of its name is "Lost-within-the-hill."
I blush for them, for it means nothing of the sort; but who wants
to attach a meaning to that melody? Not I, at any rate, and I care
little whether it be properly "Les Gwithiel," the Palace in the Wood,
or the "Supreme Court." The old palace indicated is the ancient Duchy
House, a seat of the early Dukes of Cornwall, who also had their
Stannary courts, that is to say, their tin-mining tribunals, here. The
buildings, much modernised, in part remain; and up in the valley of the
Fowey, one mile further inland, are the remains of their stronghold,
Restormel, properly "Les-tormel," Castle.

There is not much of Lostwithiel. Past the railway station, and over
the nine-arched, partly thirteenth-century bridge across the river
Fowey, and you are in a town of about two thousand inhabitants, which
looks as though it accommodated only half that number. Yet, small
though it be, it is divided into two parts, Lostwithiel proper, and
Bridgend, and has a Mayor and Corporation. The central feature and
great glory of Lostwithiel is the lovely octangular stone spire
and lantern of its parish church of St. Bartholomew, a work of the
Decorated, fourteenth-century period of architecture, before which most
architects very properly abase themselves in humble admiration, while
many hasten to adopt its beautiful lines for their own church designs.
Lostwithiel spire has, in especial, been the model for the spires of
many latter-day Wesleyan and Congregational chapels.

[Illustration: FONT, LOSTWITHIEL.]

The description of architecture without the aid of illustration is
a vain and futile thing, and what the likeness of this work is let
the drawing herewith attempt to show. The tower itself is an earlier
building, of the thirteenth century, but tower and spire taken together
are of no great height--about 100 feet. The effective tracery of the
eight windows surmounted by gables is all of one pattern, except a
window on the north side, whose feature is a wheel. The font is one
of the most remarkable in Cornwall. It seems to be of the fourteenth
century. Its five legs are of different shape. The strangest feature
of its eight sculptured sides, which include a most clumsy and almost
shapeless representation of the Crucifixion, is a curious attempt at a
hunting scene, rendered in very bold relief. A huntsman on horseback is
shown, holding a disproportionately large hawk on one upraised hand,
and a queer-looking dog bounds on in front, in a ludicrous attitude.
This font is historically interesting, as figuring in the disgraceful
doings of the Parliamentary troops, who in 1644 occupied Lostwithiel
and used the church as a stable; baptizing a horse at it, and calling
it "Charles," as Symonds, the diarist trooper, tells us, "in contempt
of His sacred Majesty."

Probably one of the longest leases on record is alluded to, on a stone
in the wall of a shed at the corner of North Street and Taprell's Lane,
in the inscription: "Walter Kendall of Lostwithiel was founder of
this house in 1638. Hath a lease for three thousand years, which hath
beginning the 29th of September, Anno 1632."

                               CHAPTER V


There is little in Fowey for the landsman. Its chief delights are upon
the water: boating or sailing on the river, or yachting out to sea.
Yachtsmen are familiar figures, both at the inns and hotels of the
actual town, and at the new hotel outside, overlooking the Channel from
Point Neptune. A thirsty yachtsman, asking for some "Cornish cider,"
revealed by accident one article at any rate which Cornish local
patriotism does not approve. The Cornishman, it appeared, although
believing in most things Cornish, drew the line there, and Devonshire
cider was offered instead, with the admission that, although there
_was_ Cornish cider, no one who could possibly help themselves would
drink it.

The coast round past Point Neptune and by the wooded groves of
Menabilly, on to Polkerris, a queer little fisher-village, is much
better made the subject of a trip by sailing-boat than a tramp along
those rugged ways; and then, returning, the direct road from Fowey to
Par may be taken, past the lodge-gates of Menabilly, at Castle Dour.

The name originated in "Castell Dwr"--_i.e._, the "Castle by the
Water"--an ancient granite post, or cross, known as the "Longstone." It
is seen standing on a plot of grass in the road. This is the tombstone
of a Romanised Briton, and formerly bore the inscription, "CIRVSIVS HIC
IACIT CVNOMORI FILIVS," plainly. It is not now so easily read.

Soon the way leads almost continuously down hill to Par. On the
hedge-bank to the right is a striking modern wayside cross, bearing the
inscription, "I thank Thee, O Lord, in the name of Jesus, for all Thy
mercies. J. R., May 13, 1845, 1887, 1905." It was erected by the late
Jonathan Rashleigh, of Menabilly.

At the foot of the hill is Par. The name of the place means, in the
Cornish language, a marsh, or swamp, and Par certainly lies almost on a
level with the sea, where a little stream wanders out of the Luxulyan
Valley on to the sands of a small bay, opening to the larger bay of
Tywardreath. The original character of this once marshy spot is very
greatly hidden by the many engineering and other works established here
by J. T. Treffry. Here his Cornwall Minerals Railway, running across
country to the north coast at Newquay, comes to his harbour; and his
mines, canal, and smelting works make a strange industrial medley,
through whose midst runs the main line of the Great Western Railway.

The great enterprises of that remarkable man have long since suffered
change. His railway is now the Newquay branch of the Great Western, his
mines and canal have fallen upon less prosperous days, and the great
chimney of the smelting-works, 235 feet high--"Par stack," as it is
called--no longer smokes. The pleasant humour of the neighbourhood long
since likened silk hats, the "toppers" of everyday speech, to the big
chimney, and he who wore one was said to be wearing a "Par stack."

[Illustration: THE BISCOVEY STONE.]

There is no gain in the scenic way by following the coast from Par to
Charlestown. Nothing of any outstanding character appears along those
coastwise paths, which are long and obscure. This is not to say that
the road inland is in any way delightful. It is, in fact, a plaguey
ill-favoured road, for when you have left the various railway bridges
and junctions of Par behind, you come to a very Gehenna of a place;
a sterile plain through whose midst the highway proceeds bumpily.
Many years ago the miners turned the land at this point inside out,
in search of copper, and now that they have long left it, the place
remains the abomination of desolation, where nothing will grow amid
the mundic and heaps and hollows of tailings. South of the road at
Biscovey, past this desolate region, stood an ancient granite cross,
minus its head, but still seven feet eight inches high, known as the
"Biscovey Stone," and serving the humble office of a gatepost. It was
in 1896 removed to Biscovey churchyard. Its original function was that
of a monument to one Alroron, and it bears on its two broad sides, amid
curiously interlaced decorative patterns, the inscription "--Alroron
Ullici Filivs--."

The dusty road leads through Holmbush, a suburb of Charlestown, which
took its name from the wayside "Holly Bush" inn. Charlestown itself is
more curious than beautiful. It is, in fact, the port of St. Austell,
of which it is really an extension, and was formerly called Polmear.
Charlestown is a place with one small, but very busy and crowded dock;
and the dock and the quays, and all the roads into and out of the
place are a study in black and white, and barrels. The stranger to
Cornwall, proceeding westward for the first time, is apt to be puzzled
by these strange evidences. He has come, unaware, upon the first signs
of the great and prosperous Cornish china-clay industry. The whiteness
of everything that is not black is caused by the leakage of the
china-clay, and the blackness of everything that is not white is the
result of coal-dust.

China-clay is a substance greatly resembling chalk, and varying from
a putty-like consistency to a powdery brittleness. A little of it is
inevitably dropped in the cartage down from Carclaze, inland, where it
is got, through St. Austell, and down to the port, and a little more
is spread about in loading the vessels that take it abroad; and so,
as "mony a mickle makes a muckle," there is generally a good deal of
china-clay pervading the place. The mountains of clean new barrels,
just fresh from the cooper's, are for packing the clay for export.
Charlestown also does an import trade in coal, hence the alternative
to Charlestown's sanctified whiteness, but when it rains, as it not
infrequently does in Cornwall, the result here is a grey and greasy
misery, compact of these two substances.

China-clay is decomposed granite, rotted by the action of water during
uncounted thousands of years. Up at Carclaze and further inland, at
St. Stephen's-in-Brannel, it is dug out of quarries that were once
open workings for tin. The deposits are of great depth and extent.
Although so easily dug out, the white clay in its natural state is
mixed with hard and gritty particles of quartz, and has therefore to be
subjected to a refining process, to separate that undesirable element.
The method of separation is very simple, the clay being subjected to
a washing by which the heavy, useless particles remain, and the soft
material is carried down into a series of tanks. There it is left to
settle, and the water is then drawn off. The clay is then allowed to
dry, and is finally dug out and packed in barrels. Modern improvements
in the preparation of china-clay have been chiefly directed to the
quick-drying of the masses in these tanks, and minutes are now taken
instead of the months formerly occupied in natural evaporation.
China-clay, it may be added, is used for many other purposes than the
manufacture of porcelain, and, although the Staffordshire and foreign
potteries use it largely, it is extensively employed in loading calico,
and in giving inferior cottons a specious and illusory excellence. It
enters also into the composition of the heavier and more highly glazed
printing papers, chiefly those used for printing illustrations.

St. Austell and Carclaze owe their prosperity, in the origination
of all these things, to William Cookworthy, who first discovered
china-clay in England. He has his memorial in Plymouth, where he lived
for many years, for one of the fine series of modern stained-glass
windows in Plymouth Guildhall shows him as chemist and porcelain-maker;
but the landowners of Carclaze and the people of St. Austell have
certainly fallen short of their duty by failing to set up a statue of
him in some prominent place.

William Cookworthy, a native of Kingsbridge, in South Devon, was born
in 1705, one of the seven children of another William Cookworthy, a
weaver, who died early and left his widow and family with very narrow
means. They owed their sustenance, and the children owed their
education, to the Quakers of Kingsbridge. William was apprenticed to a
chemist and druggist, and eventually established himself in the same
way of business, wholesale, at Plymouth. The firm of Bevan & Cookworthy
prospered early, and Cookworthy at thirty-one years of age very largely
freed himself from its cares and devoted himself to preaching. Ten
years later, in 1745, he became interested in kaolin, or china-clay,
which until 1708 had been found only in China, giving that country the
entire output of porcelain, which from the land of its origin obtained
its very name of "china." Cookworthy, in common with several other of
his contemporaries, wished to produce "china," and when news came in
1745 that china-clay had been found in Virginia, he commissioned a
Quaker friend to obtain some for him. Travelling much in Cornwall, he
himself discovered a coarse variety of it on Tregoning Hill, in Germoe,
and a little later found the great deposits at Carclaze, in the parish
of St. Stephens, behind St. Austell.

In that year, 1758, he began experimentally making porcelain at
Plymouth. Already, in 1709, Dresden china was being made from the
kaolin found in Saxony, and a little later than his own beginning the
Sèvres porcelain factory was using a deposit found at Limoges. He was
joined by Lord Camelford, and a patent for making china was obtained in
1768, but the Plymouth factory was not at any time remunerative, and
the works were removed to Bristol and eventually into Staffordshire.
Cookworthy died in 1780, not in any way advantaged by his discovery.

The town of St. Austell--"Storsel," locally--does not in the least know
how it came by that name. An altogether uncertain "Augustulus" has been
presumed, while others think they find glimmerings of a hermit "St.
Austolus." It is a town of narrow, crowded streets, with little of
interest apart from the fine parish church, chiefly of the early part
of the fifteenth century. The font, however, is Norman, of the very
marked Cornish type, consisting of a bowl supported on four legs ending
in grotesque faces. The fine Perpendicular tower and the south aisle,
richly carved in the stubborn granite with numerous shields and devices
bearing the emblems of the Passion and Crucifixion, are among the most
ornate in Cornwall.

A mysterious inscription, whose meaning is still hotly debated, is
found above the west door, immediately surmounting a sculptured group
representing the "pelican in her piety." The old story of the pelican
wounding her breast--"vulning herself," ancient writers call it--for
the sustenance of her young, is here thought to typify the sacrifice
made by our Blessed Lord and Saviour for our sakes; and in this light
the inscription above may be read. The rudely sculptured letters of it
form the words and initials--

                           KY CH (or RY DU)

The original view was that RY DU was the correct rendering, signifying
in the Cornish language "God is King." Of the meaning of INRI there
can, of course, be no question; it is "Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judæorum."
It is now sometimes held that, as the lower line is Latin, the upper
is Greek, and is a contraction for Kyrius Christus, _i.e._, "Christ is
Lord." Yet other attempts take us into the Syro-Phœnician and Hebrew
tongues, and read the meanings, "Dearly Beloved," or, "He gave us His
blood." But no one will ever definitely put the question to rest.

There is but one other really interesting object in St. Austell.
That is the famous, but mysterious, Mengu, or Menagu, stone, removed
of late from the Market Place to the spot known universally in St.
Austell (but not officially named), as "Fool's Corner." It is placed,
or was placed, it is said, where the boundaries of the three manors of
Trenance--Austell, Treverbyn, and Towington--met. A brass plate fixed
upon it in 1892 gives a certain modicum of information respecting this
slab, but it is little enough, and to this day the words written by
Walter White, in his "Londoner's Walk to the Land's End," of 1854, hold
good. "Enquire," he says, "for anything remarkable in the town, and
you will hardly fail to be told of the Mengu Stone, regarded with some
veneration by its possessors because no one knows anything about it."
But is not that precisely the reason why so many things are venerated?
There is something of the sublime in the mere vague importance of
this stone, from which proclamations and announcements of local public
events have from time immemorial been made, and it is as important
to St. Austell as the famous stone of Destiny from Scone, now in the
Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey; the stone on which the ancient
Scottish kings were, and our own monarchs now are, crowned.

[Illustration: PORTHPEAN.]

Returning to the coast, at Charlestown, Porthpean is reached;
apparently a small holiday-resort of the burgesses of St. Austell.
You see from this sketch exactly what it is: a little sandy bay with
a few row-boats and sailing-vessels, a few bathing-machines, and a
refreshment-house or two. More or less steep and obscure paths lead
from it round Black Head, and so down hill into Pentewan, a very busy
little port with railway-sidings and docks, and vessels waiting cargoes
of tin-ore and china-clay.

Mevagissey, three miles or more, by Pennare and the cliffs, is two
staggeringly steep miles distant by road, ending in a murderous
crooked descent. At the same time, it is all nonsense to say that
cycling is not possible in Cornwall. Work, courage, and good, reliable
brakes are requisite, it is true; but although a good deal of hard work
and much walking uphill (and some down) are necessary, cycling, after
all, saves effort, here as elsewhere. In the far from bracing climate
of Cornwall, the exertion of carrying one's own body is often more
tiring than even pedalling hard uphill. Even on the shocking coastwise
bye-roads, apt often to be mere cascades of loose stones, and full of
sharp turns, it is often better to have a cycle than to be without one.
Even so, letting the machine go down these dubious ways, I murmur, as
did the pious knights of old, travelling the haunted valleys and the
darkling woods, '_In manus tuas, Domine_,' and brave the unknown perils
that lurk behind hairpin corners and down steep gradients.

Mevagissey is said to derive its name from Saints Mewan and Issey, to
whom its church is dedicated. It is a little town as crowded together
as Polperro, but not by any means so picturesque. Also it faces more
directly upon the sea, and although it offers no sands for the visitor
and has a very fishy, smelly little harbour, it has in many ways been
modernised. Take it for all in all, Mevagissey looks its best from
the sea. Perhaps Mevagissey has been frightened into modern ways, for
it had an unexampled experience among Cornish villages in 1849, when
cholera was so rampant that it was deserted until a thorough cleansing
was effected.

If we may trust a satirical saying of Fowey and St. Austell,
the Mevagissey people are not, or were not used to be, given to
acknowledging authority. One man they considered to be as good as
another, and thus the old local by-word may yet be heard in the
district: "Like the Mevagissey volunteers; all officers and no
privates." But the allusion is over a century old, and belongs to that
volunteering epoch when Napoleon was threatening to invade England; so
let us hope things have altered since then.

There are sands of some small extent at Portmellin, up out of
Mevagissey and then steeply down, half a mile distant, to where the
land begins to trend abruptly out towards Chapel Point, and a few
bungalows have, in consequence, been lately built in what was until
recently a lonely hollow. Looking backwards for many miles, the
china-clay works on the distant hills about St. Stephen-in-Brannel
shine white, like the glorious camp of some heavenly host.

Always steeply up, the road goes on to Gorran, a mile inland, with
Gorran Haven, a little crabbers' and shrimpers' village, as a kind of
seashore annexe. The Dodman, a desolate headland, shuts out everything
to the westward and forms the eastward horn of Veryan Bay. On its
cliffs, of three hundred feet and more, a coastguard station looks out
upon many empty leagues of troubled waters.

St. Michael Caerhayes lies snugly in a little bay within the greater
bay of Veryan. The road, curving a little way inland, out of sight
of the sea, descends steeply through overhanging trees and suddenly
emerges upon a level strand, where the sea comes rolling in, over sands
that afford a foothold as unyielding as the floor of a room. On either
side of the inlet rise picturesque rocks, those on the western side the
bolder of the two, and draped, moreover, with luxuriant vegetation,
and further crested with larch and pine. Whether you look out to sea,
or, standing on those yellow sands, face inland, the scene is of the
most romantic description and worthy of the great Skelt himself, of
the famous "Skelt's Juvenile Drama." Indeed, those massed and jagged
rocks, with darkling fissures, on whose summits the pine-trees seem to
cling desperately, might well have served as models for the set scenes
of Skelt's thrilling stage, in "The Red Rover," or "The Smuggler," or
other of his melodramas. Out to sea, in the "offing," ships hover;
inland, under the lee of the wooded rocks, rises a castle. The place is
instinct with drama, and it has a name of the strangest--St. Michael
Caerhayes--but it is quiet enough for all that, and there is no village.

The castle looks sufficiently thrilling, and might, with its
surrounding fitly set the stage in _Ruddigore_, but the inevitable
guide-book spoils the thrill it gives, by letting us into the secret
of its being built in 1808, when country mansions took the form of
"castles" only for "picturesque" reasons. No bad baronet resides
there, only the worthy commoner family of Williams; and any one who is
afraid of a person called Williams, who lives in a sham castle, must
be a poor creature, even though the castellan does display threatening
notice-boards, setting forth what trespassers may expect to suffer.
St. Michael Caerhayes was anciently the seat of the famous Trevanion
family, extinct a century or more ago, and their old house demolished
to make way for the present building. There are many place-names in
Brittany parallel with those in Cornwall, and St. Michael Carhaix is
one of them. Not only so, but a justification of Cornwall and of the
Breton "Cornouaille" calling cousins is further shown by a singular
occurrence which happened during our wars with France towards the
close of the eighteenth century. Among the French (or rather Bretons,
for Brittany is not France to a Breton, any more than Cornwall to a
Cornishman is England), among the Breton prisoners, therefore, landed
at Falmouth, was one Jean Trevanion de Carhaix.

In Mevagissey the people talk strangely about the seclusion sought
for at St. Michael Caerhayes, and tell weird tales of photographers
and artists prevented from taking views of this lovely spot. So it
was, perhaps, not altogether without trepidation that the sketch
for the accompanying illustration was taken, from the seashore. No
angry Williams, no brutal bailiff, appeared; and so perhaps the
Mevagissey folk exaggerate. And since then a report of the visit of an
antiquarian society to the dread castle itself has appeared, by which
it seems that the owner had not lured the party into his stronghold
with a view to casting them into noisome dungeons, or having them flung
from the battlements, or anything else in that full-flavoured way.
He simply welcomed them, as any civilised being would have done, and
the only outstanding feature of the day seems to have been his remark
that, except the collections of different kinds in the house, there was
really nothing of antiquity left; not even the stone sculptured with
arms, of the time of Henry the Eighth, which the guide-books declare to
be here, but is not.

[Illustration: ST. MICHAEL CAERHAYES.]

The Church of St. Michael Caerhayes stands high, somewhat inland. One
comes to it through a wan and sorry avenue of spindly sycamores,
past the lodge-gates of the "castle"; and then it is seen standing in
a bald, exposed situation beside the road. The last vestiges of the
olden Trevanions are seen in the church. An alien fowl has nested on
the site of their ancient home, but still the church houses the rusty
helmets of their funeral armour, and a sword, said to be the identical
falchion wielded by Sir Hugh Trevanion at Bosworth, August 21st, 1485,
hangs among them. The last Trevanions, whether pure-blooded, or merely
Bettesford-Trevanions, would seem, according to the evidence of the
monumental inscriptions of a century or so ago, their natural force
abated, to have slid early and gratefully out of an existence of pain
and suffering.

But the most interesting object in the church, interesting because of
its mystery, is a black-painted, life-sized statue, in Coade-ware,
dated 1812, of a naval officer, with a real sword. The singular thing
is that, although the antiquity of the thing is of the slightest,
nobody knows who is represented by it. It is thought to be one of the
Bettesford-Trevanions. Yet, although we have lost count of this recent
statue's identity, the mummified Pharaohs of thousands of years ago are
identified with certainty.

Veryan, the village that gives a name to the bay, does not lie upon
the seashore. You come to it round the majestically romantic cliffs
past Port Holland, a small fisher-hamlet perched upon the rocky outlet
of a quite solitary valley, and thence a little way inland, and
presently out again and very steeply and lengthily down, so that you
wonder when you will reach the bottom, to Port Loe, a gloomy inlet
amid dark overhanging cliffs. Down there is the poor fishing village,
in a primitive state, absolutely untouched by pleasure-seekers, and
apparently not thriving in its fishery. But its situation down there,
below the echoing cliffs reverberating to the mocking cries of the sea
gulls, is magnificent.

[Illustration: "PARSON TRUST'S HOUSES."]

Veryan, on the other hand, is a picture of inland prosperity. It is
a long, scattered village, beginning on a hill and continuing down
through a wooded valley, with the church at the bottom, and ending
on another hilltop. And at either end, the road is flanked by two
strange old thatched round-houses, with a cross on the roof of each.
The local story is that they were built by "Parson Trust," to keep
the Devil out of the village; but the identity of "Parson Trust" has
not been established. The simplicity which not only believes in a
personal Devil, but assumes that he must of necessity come by road, is
essentially and delightfully Cornish.

The road out of Veryan leads directly to Gerrans Bay, passing under
the shoulder of the strikingly sudden hill known as Carn Beacon. It
is a hill upon a hill, a sepulchral barrow heaped up upon a height
overlooking the sea; placed in this commanding position by way of
doing greater honour to the ancient chieftain buried there. This was,
traditionally, the sixth-century Cornish King and Saint, Geraint, or
Gerennius, who died in A.D. 596, from whom the village and the bay
of Gerrans are named. He is not to be confused with the Arthurian
Geraint, who died in battle. Tradition has been often proved true, but
the gorgeous story which told how the King had been buried here, in a
golden boat with silver oars, and with his sword and crown, has been
disproved, flatly enough, for the barrow was opened in 1855, and only
a stone chest containing the ashes of Geraint, or another, was found.
"Sold again!" as Smith Minor of the Lower Fourth might say.

The village of Gerrans calls for little remark. It stands high, some
distance back from the sea, and therefore suffers considerably from the
severe competition of its offshoot, Portscatho, down below, a thriving
seaside place on Gerrans Bay.

[Illustration: FALMOUTH HARBOUR.]

Three miles along a narrowing peninsula bring one to St.
Anthony-in-Roseland, where a charming little Early English church,
with stone spire, stands in the grounds of Place, a handsome mansion
belonging to the Spry family. In front of it rest the calm waters
of St. Mawes Creek, looking across to Polvarth and Porthcueil. The
extremity of the peninsula is occupied by St. Anthony's lighthouse,
lighting the entrance to Falmouth Harbour, over against Pendennis,
where the channel is one mile wide.

                              CHAPTER VI

                     ROSELAND--ST. MAWES--FALMOUTH

The great harbour of Falmouth and the many creeks of the estuary of
the Fal, running far inland to Truro and Tresilian Bridge, rival the
Hamoaze and the estuary of the Tamar in size, and more than rival
them in beauty. Or perhaps, instead of setting them in competition
with one another, it may be said that their beauty is of different
character. Along the shores of Hamoaze and Tamar, the great commercial
and naval and warlike interests of Plymouth and Devonport form striking
features, and you can by no means lose sight of them until Saltash is
passed. In Falmouth Harbour and along the broad estuary of the Fal,
past Carrick Roads and so on to Malpas, towns, commerce, and shipping
are only incidental and remote. If you want Falmouth, you must go seek
it; if you would seek its smaller brother, St. Mawes, on the hither
side, you must almost make diligent quest; and as for the villages of
St. Just-in-Roseland, Mylor, St. Feock, Lamorran, Ruan Lanihorne, and
others, why, they are all tucked away in creeks, in a kind of Robinson
Crusoe reclusion. To say that the creeks of Falmouth Harbour and the
estuary of the Fal resemble a hand with spreading fingers is a ready
and irresistible figure of speech, but it is a hand with at least nine
fingers, of very varying size. They are St. Mawes, or Porthcueil Creek;
St. Just Creek; Ruan Creek; Tresilian Creek; Truro River; Roundwood
Creek; Restronguet Creek, Mylor Creek, and Penryn Creek. It is about
nine miles, measured direct on the map, from the entrance to Falmouth
Harbour, between Pendennis and St. Anthony's lighthouse, to Truro, and
a little longer to Tresilian Bridge, but the course is anything but
straight, and therein--in the winding wooded shores, with inviting
channels opening out on either side--lies much of the charm of these


The district on this, the eastern, side of Falmouth Harbour, is
Roseland, not by any means so named from roses, but rather from
"rhos," meaning "moorland." It does not nowadays seem a good
description. You figure a moor as a ghastly inhospitable upland, where
it always rains or snows, and where the bleak winds beat upon the
traveller on its unsheltered wilds. Now the Cornish "Roseland" is, in
fact, a good deal nearer a land of roses than a terrible district of
savage moors; and although part of it is undoubtedly high and exposed,
it is not by any means an unfertile spot, and it abounds in the most
delightful valleys, deep down, where the last salt ripples of the
creeks lap lazily to the roots of oak-woods, and where the airs are
warm and steamy; where not merely roses will grow, but sub-tropical
plants flourish, and the fuchsia and the geranium come to amazingly
vigorous developments. Such is Roseland.

St. Mawes, and Falmouth too, and indeed most of the places beside
these waters, wear a very foreign look. The warm, languorous climate,
inducing luxuriant and exotic growths and unusual ways of building,
is largely responsible for this. St. Mawes, too, is built up-along
from the waterside, on the face of a hill almost cliff-like. It owes
its name to an Irish saint, who is variously styled St. Machutus, or
Mauduit. He is the St. Malo after whom the well-known port in Brittany
is christened. It is an ill-sounding name for a saint, whether we call
him "Mauduit" or "Malo," reminding one of the rhyme in Valpy's "Latin

                      "'Malo,' I would rather be,
                       'Malo,' up an apple-tree,
                       'Malo quam,' rather than
                       'Malo,' with a wicked man."

[Illustration: ST. MAWES CASTLE.]

St. Mawes Castle shares with Pendennis, on the opposite headland, the
duty of defending the entrance to Falmouth Harbour from the open sea;
but the saints--St. Mawes and others--preserve us from reliance upon
such defenders! They may have been formidable castles of the battery
kind when originally built by Henry the Eighth, who, apart from his
strange matrimonial experiments, is a very much misunderstood monarch,
but they could not nowadays give an enemy the slightest hesitation. All
the same, elaborate pretences are maintained, and Pendennis and St.
Mawes are girdled about with War Office prohibitions; just as though
they were not shams that fail to deceive any one.

Historians, too busy with the domestic affairs of Henry the Eighth, and
too interested in the great religious cataclysm of his reign, do not
award him the title of "patriot king" that is really his due. He was a
mighty builder of coastwise batteries against possible invasion; not
only ordaining the building of them, but travelling much to see that
they were built upon the most effective situations. From the coast of
Kent to the Isles of Scilly his pot-bellied batteries are to be found:
formidable in their day and still often occupied by details of Garrison
Artillery playing a great game of make-believe, in which neither the
foreigner nor the Englishman has any faith. Latin inscriptions carved
on the exterior walls of St. Mawes Castle give Henry his due, and, he
at last being dead, piously hope Edward the Sixth will resemble him.
Here is the English of them:

"Henry, thy honour and praises shall always remain."

"May happy Cornwall now rejoice, Edward being chief."

"May Edward be like his father in deeds and reputation."

I think the person who composed that last line and also the other
person who cut it in the stone must have smiled at it, just as every
one has done in all the three and a half centuries since.

Half-way across the entrance to the Harbour is the Black Rock, visible
at low water, but covered at the flood. It is the subject of a story
which tells how a Trefusis of Trefusis, not living on altogether
satisfactory terms with his wife, determined to be rid of her in an
ingenious way. "Shall we, my dear," said he, "sail down the harbour
and land at Black Rock?" "Agreed," she replied, unsuspecting; and so
they proceeded to the spot. He handed her ashore, and then jumped again
into the boat and made off, leaving her, as he supposed, to drown. But
unfortunately, from his point of view, some fishermen later on brought
her off and home. The lady bade them wait, and her husband would
suitably reward them. "To the Devil with you!" he exclaimed, in a fury;
"you have played me a sorry trick indeed, and so you'll get nothing.
You might have earned gold by leaving her there!"

There is ample opportunity in crossing from St. Mawes to Falmouth by
steamer to perceive the truth of Carew's remark, that a hundred sail
of vessels might anchor in Falmouth Harbour and not one see the mast
of another. In these latter days this magnificent haven is not put to
much use, and Falmouth has since 1850 ceased to be the West Indian
mail-packet station. In that year its long and honourable connection
with the Admiralty and the Post Office, which had been continuous since
1688, ended in favour of Southampton.

The town of Falmouth is seen hiding snugly away at the opening of
Penryn Creek, on the inner side of the low-lying isthmus connecting
the headland of Pendennis with the mainland. It is not an ancient
place, and did not, in fact, come officially into existence until 1660,
although some few years earlier the custom-house had been removed from
Penryn and a market had been established in 1652. On August 20th, 1660,
a proclamation was issued by the King, in answer to a petition by Sir
Peter Killigrew, commanding that "Smithike, _alias_ Penny-come-Quick,
shall for ever after this day be called, named, and known by the name
of Falmouth."

This was a great triumph for the Killigrew family, who had for half
a century been endeavouring to found a town on this site, two miles
nearer the sea than the old corporate town and port of Penryn. At
that period the Killigrews were seated at the mansion of Arwenack,
of which some few portions remain near Falmouth railway-station, and
they foresaw great profits accruing to them on a town being built
upon their land. Penryn had been built in its more inland situation
at a remote period when, by reason of raids and invasions, it was
dangerous to be seated near the sea, and the position of Arwenack was
certainly better for shipping. But the vested interests of Penryn
were endangered by the Killigrew proposal, and Penryn, and Truro, and
Helston as well, long bitterly opposed it, foreseeing much injury to
themselves in a rival springing up. The site of Falmouth was at that
time occupied only by two clusters of cottages that could scarce even
be termed hamlets. They were named Penny-come-Quick and Smithike, or
Smithick. The first of these places took its singular name from the
old Cornish "Pen-y-cwm," that is to say, "Head of the vale," to which
the Anglo-Saxon "wick"--_i.e._, "village"--had afterwards accrued.
"Smithick" was probably the site of a wayside smithy.

Falmouth town is practically one long, very narrow, and not very clean
waterside street of closely packed houses and shops, which shut out
all except occasional glimpses of the beautiful harbour, seen from a
quay here and there, or framed in by narrow alleys giving upon steps
going down to the water. There is much of the nautical Dibdin and
Wapping Old Stairs feeling about this long, long street of Market
Strand, with the strong sea air blowing in upon the otherwise stuffy
thoroughfare through these dark-browed openings. Suggestions, too, of
old smuggling days are found in queer sail-lofts overhanging the water;
suggestions not without plentiful warranty in old records, for we know
that smuggling proceeded impudently and openly at Falmouth in the last
quarter of the eighteenth century. The sheer matter-of-course of it
raises a smile. Men spoke of being--as of in the army or the navy--in
the smuggling "service"; which at once shows how widespread and highly
organised the operations were. Captain Pellew, brother of Lord Exmouth,
sent to Falmouth to put down smuggling, actually found some of his own
officers running contraband cargoes of wine, in open port and in broad

As you go seaward, past the railway station, the almost island
promontory of Pendennis rises up, and stretches a much greater
distance out to sea than the explorer who seeks to round the point
at first supposes. A fine, broad carriage-road describes a loop
round this headland. "Pendinas," "the headland castle"--for that
was the original form of the name--has been, as the name itself
implies, from the earliest times a place of defence, but the only
known event of any moment that is remembered in connection with it
is the stand here made for the King by Sir John Arundell of Trerice,
then in his eighty-seventh year, and known in all these parts as
"Jack-for-the-King." It was one of the most memorable deeds done in
those troublous, long-drawn contentions between King and Parliament.
With the exception of Raglan Castle, in Monmouthshire, which held
out to the last for King Charles, and only surrendered on August
19th, 1646, Pendennis Castle was the last stronghold to fly the Royal
Standard. It capitulated on August 16th, only three days earlier,
after a vigorous six months' siege, and when hunger, rather than any
quality of the enemy, had brought the garrison low. Hence the Queen had
embarked for France two years earlier, and the Prince of Wales departed
for Scilly in February 1646.

The stranger is more likely to be impressed by the ugly lines of
sharp-pointed pike railings that surround the precincts of Pendennis
Castle, and have been richly tarred, lest by any chance the spikes are
not sufficiently formidable, than by any appearance either of strength
or picturesqueness that belongs to the place. The military genius
that finds a first line of defence in the messy horrors of tar, seems
something not much better than the old practice in the Chinese Army, of
making horrible grimaces, wherewith to strike terror into the enemy.

You see, on returning to Falmouth from Pendennis, how entirely
land-locked the harbour appears to be. Not the slightest indication
points to which way the Channel lies. Yet this enclosed water has
been ruffled by great and disastrous storms, and in one of them, off
Trefusis Point, directly opposite the town, the transport _Queen_ was
lost, in January 1814.

The climate of Falmouth is tearful. I may be unlucky in the matter of
weather here, but I have never yet been at Falmouth when it did not
rain. But it is also phenomenally warm. St. Gluvias, by Penryn, is said
to be the warmest place in England. The Sailors' Home, on the quay by
Arwenack, gives earnest of these warm conditions. It is a great, grim,
eighteenth-century mansion of red brick, but made beautiful, almost
transfigured indeed, by a wonderful fuchsia, covering the whole of the
frontage up to the first-floor windows.

In the humblest cottage-gardens grows the fuchsia. It flourishes even
in the merest cobble-stoned backyards, enclosed within white-washed
walls, and neighboured by the washing-stool and tub, and the clothes
hung out to dry; and it is amidst such apparently unsuitable
surroundings, rather than in the most carefully tended gardens, that
this gorgeous alien seems most to prosper. For the fuchsia is an alien,
brought into Europe in 1703, from the Pacific coast of South America,
and named after an old-time German botanist of the sixteenth century;
one Leonard Fuchs. All through the West of England the fuchsia has
become--not common; we must not use that word, lest by any chance we
should seem to slight so exquisite a plant--but usual, and especially
it flourishes along the coasts, and thrives so greatly that it grows
in the open all the year round, and frequently attains such dimensions
that the stems of old-established plants are not uncommonly nearly as
thick as a man's arm.

Yet in 1788 there was but one fuchsia in England, and that was in
Kew Gardens. Soon after that date an enterprising nurseryman of
Hammersmith, one Lee by name, had secured cuttings, and was selling
plants at one guinea each. Thenceforward the spread of the fuchsia was

The variety seen in Devon and Cornwall is nearly always that with
abundance of small blossoms: scarlet petals, and blue or purple sepals.

The parish church of Falmouth is almost the oldest building in the
town, but it is hardly venerable. It is galleried within and hangs
gloomily upon the narrow street, squalidly mingled with a cab-rank.
It was built in 1663, and has the peculiarity of being dedicated to
Charles the First, King and Martyr; a distinction it shares with three
other churches in England and one in Wales; _i.e._ those of Tunbridge
Wells, Charles Church, Plymouth, Peak Forest, Derbyshire, and Newtown,
Montgomeryshire. A further peculiarity is that its tower is not square
on plan.

[Illustration: CHARLES CHURCH.]

There are many other public buildings in the town, none of much
interest; but it is interesting to know that there was once a Mayor of
Falmouth who thanked God when the gaol was enlarged. He, or his remark,
is quite famous, but I have no record of the period in which this
worthy, so thanksgiving for benefits received, flourished. There is,
however, no doubt at all that, if it was in the sixteenth century, when
such doings as those of the piratical Lady Killigrew (of whom we shall
hear at Penryn) were possible, not only the enlargement of a gaol was
required, but a special assize as well.

I believe the most interesting place in Falmouth is, after all, not
the famous harbour, nor Pendennis Castle, but Burton's Old Curiosity
Shop. It is a quite famous institution, and no one who has ever been
to Falmouth, and has not explored this home of curios, can really be
said to know Falmouth as intimately as he should. This sounds like
an advertisement, but Burton's is as superior to puffery as a museum
would be; and indeed it is not remotely unlike a museum. True, the
exhibits are for sale, but such a large proportion are so eminently
undesirable for the private purchaser that they assume the character of
museum exhibits unlikely ever to find another home. Such, for example,
is the skeleton of a whale washed up some years ago between Cadgwith
and Porthoustock. The imagination boggles at any private person buying
that. It would seem, indeed, that Burton (who is now deceased, and his
son reigns in his stead) had a _flair_ for curiosities and antiques of
all kinds, quite irrespective of commerce. He could resist nothing, and
was a fine miscellaneous feeder in this sort. But at the same time an
excellent man of business, keen on odd and striking advertisement; as
when he offered to purchase for £500 Smeaton's old Eddystone lighthouse
tower, demolished by the Trinity House in 1882. He proposed to re-erect
it on the site of his shop and store it with his curios, but the old
tower found a home on Plymouth Hoe instead. One may visit the Old
Curiosity Shop and wander at will, unattended, through its many rooms,
and never be solicited to buy; and great is the number of those who use
this privilege.

Among the oddest of these collections is a strange assemblage of
inn and trade signboards, mostly of Cornish origin, most of them so
fantastically grotesque in spelling and unconsciously humorous in
phrasing, that they would almost appear to be inventions, produced to
astonish and to raise a laugh, were it not that they are obviously old,
and that the proprietor keeps a register of their place of origin.
Thus runs the signboard of Ellen Tone's "Tempurence Hottell," from
Herodsfoot, near Liskeard:

                    "ELLEN TONE, sells here
              Lemanade and Gingur Beer,
              Cow hels and tripe every fridey
              Sekond hand cloes to make ee tidy,
              Crox and Kittles, pans and all
              And Godly bukes to save yer sole,
              Man-Traps, gins, and pattens likewise
              And on Saturday nights Hot Mutton Pies."

The signboard of one Roger Giles easily bears away the bell. It has
been printed before now, but is too good, whether genuine or not, to be
passed over:

                            =ROGER GILES,=

     =Surgin, Parish Clark and Sculemaster, Groser & Hundertaker=

 RESPECTABLY informs ladys and gentlemans that he drors teef without
 waiting a minit, applies laches every hour, blisters on the lowest
 tarms, and vizicks for a penny a peace. He sells Godsfathers
 kordales, kuts korns, bunyons docters hosses, clips donkies wance
 a munth, and undertakes to look after everybodys nayls by the ear.
 Joesharps, penny wissels, brass kanelsticks, fryin pans, and other
 moosical hinstruments hat greatly reydooced figers. Young ladies
 and gentlemen larnes their grammur, and langeudge in the purtiest
 mannar, also grate care taken off their morrels and spelling. Also
 zarm singing, tayching base vial, and all other sorts of fancy work,
 squadrils, pokers, weazels, and all country dances tort at home and
 abroad, at perfeksun. Perfumery and snuff in all its branches. As
 times is cruel bad I beg to tell ee that i has just beginned to sell
 all sorts of stashonery, ware, cox, hens, vouls, pigs, and all other
 kind of poultry, blackin-brishes, herrins, coles, scrubbin-brishes,
 traykel, and godley bukes and bibles, mise-traps, brick-dist, whisker
 seeds, morrel pokkerankechers, and all zorts of swatemaits including
 taters, sassages, and other garden stuff, bakky, zizars, lamp oyle,
 tay kittles, and other intoxzikating likkers, a dale of fruit,
 hats, zongs, hair oyle, pattins, bukkits grindin stones and other
 aitables, korne and bunyon zalve, and all hardware, I as laid in a
 large assortment of trype, dogs mate, lolipops, ginger beer, matches,
 and other pikkles, such as hepson salts, hoysters, Winsre sope,
 anzetrar--Old rags bort and sold here and nowhere else, new laid eggs
 by me Roger Giles; zinging burdes keeped, such as howles, donkies,
 paykox, lobsters, crickets, also a stock of celebrated brayder.

 P.S.--I tayches geography, ritmitmetic, cowsticks, jimnastics, and
 other chynees tricks.

                              CHAPTER VII


Flushing, a little over-the-water town opposite Falmouth, shares with
the neighbouring St. Gluvias the reputation of being the warmest
place in England. It is said to have been founded by Dutchmen, from
Flushing in Holland. Near by it is the hamlet curiously known as
Little Falmouth; a place with a few waterside houses and remains of a
granite-built dock, commanding views down to Falmouth and Pendennis,
which looks like an island from here. Little Falmouth, with its
decaying dock, forms a picturesque scene of blighted hopes.

The old town of Penryn, at the head of Penryn Creek, is even more dirty
than Falmouth, and does not look prosperous. Falmouth, as Penryn surely
foresaw, has filched away much of the trade, and although the shipping
of granite from the neighbouring quarries of Mabe and Constantine
gives employment still, it is not an increasing business. The parish
church is quite apart from the town, in the village of St. Gluvias. The
saint of that name appears to have been a Welshman. He spelt his name
"Glywys," a fearful mouthful for a Saxon to deal with, and apparently
not easy even for a Cornishman, seeing that Cornwall has modified the
name. Glywys was brother to St. Cadoc, or Cadwg, and I have no doubt
called cousins with half a hundred others.

[Illustration: LITTLE FALMOUTH.]

Penryn is closely associated with two Lady Killigrews, who are
generally confused almost inextricably with one another. The Killigrew
family of Arwenack, where Falmouth town now stands, had striven from
about 1602 for a new town and market to be planted there, and thus
earned the undying hatred of Penryn; and so it happened that when Sir
John Killigrew and his wife quarrelled and fought, he for divorce and
she against it, about 1620, it seemed the most natural thing in the
world for her to take refuge in Penryn, and there, encouraged by
the bad blood of the place, to protract ruinous litigation with her
husband. All the evidence seems to show that she was as bad a character
as possible, even though she came of an old landed family, the Fermors,
afterwards Barons Lempster and Earls of Pomfret. This Lady Jane
Killigrew was at last divorced, but the unhappy Sir John did not long
survive his victory, and his unamiable wife thereupon presented to the
Corporation of Penryn the tall silver Killigrew Cup still in existence,
inscribed: "1633 From Maior to Maior to the towne of Permarin, where
they received mee that was in great misery, Jane Killygrew."

The earlier Lady Killigrew was Mary, wife of another Sir John,
grandfather of the unhappy man just mentioned. It was in January 1583
that the Spanish ship _Maria_, upon which she exercised her piratical
genius, sailed into Falmouth Harbour and cast anchor. The crew remained
on board, but the two merchants who owned her cargo went to a Penryn
inn. Lady Killigrew seems to have entirely originated the scheme of
piracy and murder that was carried through. She procured a boatload
of fishermen, sworn to secrecy, who at midnight swarmed aboard and
murdered some of the Spaniards, and flung others into the sea. They
then took the vessel to Ireland. The spoils of the Spanish ship
consisted of holland-cloth and leather, together with two hogsheads
of Spanish pieces of eight. It had been intended to cajole the two
merchants aboard, on some pretext, and so to murder all concerned
with the vessel, but they remained ashore. Not even in those times
was it possible to commit piracy and murder in home waters altogether
with impunity; and by some means the owners heard of what had really
happened, and sought redress of the Government. In the end, Lady
Killigrew and two of her fellow-conspirators were found guilty and
sentenced to death. Unfortunately, the influence brought to bear on
behalf of Lady Killigrew procured her a pardon. The others, not being
persons of quality, were hanged in an expeditious and workmanlike

Round Trefusis Point opens Mylor Creek, a mile and a half long, with
Mylor village appearing at the opening and the much larger village of
Mylor Bridge at its inland extremity. Mylor is a favourite place for
afternoon excursions from Falmouth, and there are farmhouse tea-gardens
amid much charming woodland scenery.

St. Melor, to whom the church is dedicated, and after whom the village
of Mylor is in turn named, was traditionally martyred here. Other
legends, however, place the scene of his death in Brittany. He was son
of Melian, King of Cornu-Gallia, or Brittany, in the sixth century.
Melian himself is said to have been killed in A.D. 537, by his brother,
Rivold, and is regarded as something of a saint in Brittany. The
village of Guimiliau enshrines his name.

Rivold then, having ended King Melian, mutilated his son, Melor,
by cutting off his right hand and left foot; the object being to
invalidate him from the succession to the throne, the Armorican laws
forbidding any who suffered from physical disabilities from becoming
King. The affectionate servants of Melor, however, provided him with a
silver hand and a brazen foot, which became miraculously endowed with
the powers and attributes of his lost natural members. Melor, sent to
the monastery of Saint Corantine, became so saintly and therefore so
dangerous to the usurper Rivold, that his death was resolved upon. One
Cerialtan, a man-of-all-work in crime, was commissioned to end him; his
promised reward being "as much land as he could see from the summit of
Mount Coc"--wherever that may be. Cerialtan, in workmanlike manner,
cut off Melor's head as he lay asleep, and conveyed it to Rivold, who
carried out his compact to the letter, if not to the spirit; for he
caused Cerialtan's eyes to be put out, and then had him to the crest of
that high place and bade him look upon the land!

And that is all I know about the Life and Times of St. Melor; or at any
rate, that is the most likely among the different marvellous stories
from which the investigator is at liberty to choose. But legendary
vagueness pervades all of them, and there is the very wide choice of
dates between A.D. 411 and 537 for the speculative to select from.

Mylor church lies in a hollow, a favourite situation for churches
in Cornwall. Although now chiefly in the Perpendicular style, some
portions of a former Norman church, which must have been a building
of considerable richness and beauty, remain, including three Norman
doorways, all of unusual design. The hood-moulding of that on the north
side represents a snake, with its head to the west. The south doorway,
illustrated here, has, it will be observed, some curiously Flamboyant
tracery added to the round arch, with an odd variety of Perpendicular
panelling at the sides. The identical pattern, peculiar to Cornwall, is
found in a similar position on the south porch at Lelant, near St. Ives.


A monument in the church recalls a dramatic and terrible shipwreck
that happened scarce two miles away, off Trefusis Point, in Falmouth
Harbour. The epitaph briefly refers to it as under:

 "To the memory of the warriors, women, and children who, on their
 return to England from the coast of Spain, unhappily perished in the
 wreck of the _Queen_ transport, on Trefusis Point, January 14th, 1814."

Three hundred lives were lost on that occasion, and one hundred and
thirty-six of the drowned were buried here.

To Mylor belongs the distinction of possessing the tallest cross in
Cornwall. Exactly what it is like you may see from the illustration.
It does not actually look the tallest, because some seven feet of its
length are embedded in the ground. It measures in all 17 feet 6 inches.
No one until 1870 knew it to be a cross at all, for beyond the memory
of man it had fulfilled the useful office of buttress to the south
wall of the church, with its head covered up. In that year, during
the restoration then in progress, its nature was disclosed. It was,
however, a matter of considerable difficulty to raise so large a block
of granite again upright, and help was obtained from H.M.S. _Ganges_,
then lying in Falmouth Harbour.

The pastime of curious epitaph-hunting, which helps to occupy the time
of many explorers in the country, may be indulged in at Mylor with
certain prospect of reward. Here is a taste of their quality:

                            memory of m^r.
                          JOSEPH CRAPP, ship
                     wright. who died y^e 26th of
                     Nov^{br} 1770. Aged 43 years
                          Alass Frend Joseph
                      His End war Allmost Sudden
                       As thou the mandate came
                         Express from heaven.
                   his Foot it Slip And he did fall
               help, help, he cried, and that was all."

Opposite Mylor Creek, on the eastern side of the harbour, is the creek
of St. Just-in-Roseland, with St. Just's church down by the waterside,
among the trees.

The parson of St. Just-in-Roseland must surely be a kindly man. Instead
of threatening or rebuking the numerous visitors from Falmouth, who
come down the creek in boats and land to explore the place, and have
doubtless in the past pillaged the ferns and other things growing
in the beautiful churchyard, he displays the following notice in
the lych-gate: "Visitors are requested not to touch anything in the
churchyard, and then, by calling at the rectory, all those from beyond
the county of Cornwall will be welcome to a gift plant or tree, as a
souvenir of their visit to St. Just-in-Roseland."

In the great roomy church, which must always have been, as it is now,
many times larger than the needs of the place, there may be noticed a
tablet which describes how John Randall, for one thousand years from
his death in 1733, has "given to ye poor Widows and fatherless children
of ye parish, not having parish pay, Twenty Shillings yearly, and Ten
Shillings yearly to ye Minister, for preaching a Funeral Sermon."

[Illustration: ST. JUST-IN-ROSELAND.]

The next creek on the western side of the harbour is that of
Restronguet, a name which appears to mean "deep channel." Dense woods
line its banks, with the park of Carclew half-way along, upon the
left hand, and on the right the modern port of Devoran, carved out
of the parish of St. Feock in 1873, with the Penpoll Tin Smelting
Works fuming away, a mile below. Devoran is at the terminus of a
mineral railway from Redruth, which thus brings tin and copper-ore
to deep-water quays. Restronguet Creek will, however, need dredging,
for the mine-water, charged with mud, flowing down from the pits about
Gwennap, is shoaling the fairway, and has almost choked the forked
endings of the creek at Perran Wharf. This is the waterside extension
of Perranwell and Perranarworthal, _i.e._ "Piran the Wonderful"; the
really wonderful St. Piran, who voyaged from Ireland to the north coast
of Cornwall on a millstone. The grass that grows in the mud-choked
creek stretching towards Ponsanooth is in some way affected by the
sea-water in the ooze, turning it to the loveliest yellowish-green

Round Restronguet Point the channel comes to St. Feock, a tiny village
on a little creek of its own. The church here has a detached belfry,
standing beside the road, at a higher level than the body of the
building; and over the lych-gate entrance to the churchyard is an old
vestry or parish-room. A similar building is seen at the entrance to
the churchyard of Kenwyn, north of Truro.

The most exquisitely wooded reaches of the Fal are found above St.
Feock, where the river narrows and the banks rise more abruptly. The
scenery at this point, and on to Malpas and Truro, strongly resembles
that of the river Dart, and many are of opinion that it is really
superior. But these comparisons form the thorniest of subjects.

At the hamlet of Trelissick is the well-known ferry of "King Harry
Passage," now a steam-ferry conveying vehicles as well as pedestrians.
The "King Harry" whose name gives the passage a touch of romance, is
Henry the Eighth, who is said to have stayed a night at Trelissick,
when on his way to inspect the site of Pendennis Castle.

[Illustration: ST. FEOCK.]

The woods of Tregothnan, the wide-spreading park belonging to Lord
Falmouth, come now into view, where Ruan Creek opens on the right,
running three miles in an easterly direction. The creek takes its
name from the village of Ruan Lanihorne, at the furthest extremity,
where the waters of the Fal run white with the washings from
upland clay-workings, like a river of milk, and the mud resembles
cream-cheese. Midway is Lamorran, the detached tower of its church
washed by another branching creek.

[Illustration: MALPAS.]

Returning to the main stream, Malpas is reached in another mile and a
half, past Tregothnan and the hillside church of St. Michael Penkevil
on the right, and the ruins of Old Kea church on the left. St.
Michael's churches are generally on heights. This is on the Headland
of the Horse; for that is what "Penkevil" means. Just as the Cornish
word "eglos," for church, closely resembles the French _église_, so it
will here be noted how nearly like the French _cheval_ is the Cornish
"kevil," for horse. In the restored church are monuments to Lord
Falmouth's ancestors, notably to the famous Admiral Boscawen. The St.
Kea who gave his name to Kea church was a fifth-century Irishman who
lived awhile in Wales, in Cornwall, and in Brittany.

Malpas is said to mean "smooth passage," although the word certainly
seems to be a corruption of _malus passus_, a bad passage. It is
locally "Mopus." But whether a good or ill ferry, it is certainly a
very beautiful spot.

[Illustration: ST. CLEMENTS.]

Tresilian Creek, the ultimate extension of these waters, here branches
off to the right, with the waterside village of St. Clements round the
first bend, its rustic cottages and church embowered amid tall trees.
There is a charming little corner, illustrated here, behind the old
church, whose weathered age, and the bull's head and other symbols of
the four evangelists, that look curiously down from the angles of the
tower, demand to be put upon record. A very tall Cornish cross, of the
fifth or sixth century, stands at the back entrance to the vicarage,
with an abbreviated inscription in large letters running up the shaft.
It has been expanded into ISNIOCVS VITALIS FILIVS TORRICI.

[Illustration: MERTHER.]

Higher up the creek, a little distance inland on the right, is the
odd-looking little church of Merther, quite solitary except for one
woodman's cottage. It is dedicated to St. Cohan, or Coanus, and owes
most of its strangeness to the wooden, box-like finish to its tower:
giving the effect of a sanctified pigeon-house. A little statue of St.
Cohan, brought from his desecrated Holy Well, is within. The church is
not now used for services, and is only retained as a mortuary chapel.
"Merther" signifies "martyr," but history, and even tradition, are
silent on the reason for conferring the name.

Tresilian Creek (the name "Tresilian" means "the place of eels") ends
at Tresilian Bridge, spanning the dusty highway between Grampound and
Truro. Here is the battlemented gateway to the park of Tregothnan.


The quiet pastoral scenery, and the elms and other trees here fringing
the river, present a picture very little like Cornwall.

The bridge is modern, but the spot is historic; for this is that
Tresilian Bridge where the long contest in the Civil War in the West
was brought to a conclusion by the surrender of the Royalist Cornish
army under Lord Hopton, to Fairfax, March 14th, 1646. It was an
inglorious end to a struggle that had opened so brilliantly for the
King at Stratton, when Grenville and Hopton smote the Parliament
men hip and thigh, close upon three years earlier; but time told
continuously against the King, whose troops grew more and more
undisciplined and dispirited, while the earlier raw levies of the
Parliament had become the famous Ironsides, who knew little of defeat.

The final advance of Fairfax, commanding the forces of the Parliament,
into Cornwall was swift and certain. He was at Exeter on February 8th;
at Chulmleigh on the 14th; and took Torrington by storm on the 16th,
when he got Hopton's men on the run. Thence he advanced and entered
Launceston on the 25th, and had come to Bodmin Downs by March 3rd,
Hopton's force retreating and dissolving before him. The Prince of
Wales, who hitherto had lain at Truro, found it prudent to change his
residence to Pendennis Castle, Falmouth, and soon afterwards sailed
for Scilly. Hopton at last saw the hopelessness of further resistance,
and, after treating with Fairfax from March 8th, surrendered here,
on terms, on the 14th. The terms were mildness itself: officers and
private soldiers being allowed to depart to their homes on taking an
oath not to fight again against the Parliament; and the officers were,
in addition, permitted to keep their arms and horses.

                             CHAPTER VIII


Truro River runs straight up for two miles from Malpas, the cathedral
of Truro rising up from the valley ahead, and shining white amid a
setting of green trees and blue distant hills like some unearthly
building too beautiful to have been built by man. Very little else is
seen of Truro until quite close to the quays, where the navigation
ends, and it is something of a surprise to find the city a place large
enough to number 11,562 inhabitants. That is a small population, but it
is large compared with the expectations raised by distant views.

The name of Truro is said to derive from _Tru-Ru_, the "three streets,"
or roads; but there are four roads into Truro, and its streets are
many more than three. Bodmin is the county town of Cornwall, and
Launceston rivals it, but Truro has of late years risen into equal, if
not greater, importance, on account of its population, double that of
Bodmin, and by reason also of its more accessible situation. Bodmin
still keeps its assize business, and the county gaol is situated there,
giving a certain sinister significance to the information "he's gone
to Bodmin"; but Truro, as the capital city of a newly constituted
diocese, has a greater future, unless the Cornish folk become much more
criminal than they are now, which is not expected of them.

[Illustration: TRURO, FROM THE FAL.]

Truro lies down in a valley and the Great Western Railway stalks across
to the north of it on gigantic viaducts, the newer streets running up
towards the railway station. It is a clean, granite-built place, with
a well-defined aristocratic air, and down the gutters of its principal
streets, which are chiefly paved with granite setts and would thus be
very noisy if there were more traffic, run clear streams of water. As
an old county centre, the chief place of meeting for the landed and
leisured families of Cornwall in the old days before railways, when
Truro had a "season," and the society of Cornwall came hither to their
"town houses" to indulge in its gaieties, the aristocratic air it keeps
is by no means accidental. The "Red Lion" Hotel in the Market Place
was formerly one of these mansions, as its fine old unaltered front
shows. Foote, the actor, was born there.

Truro was raised to the dignity of a cathedral city in 1877, when the
new Cornish diocese was established, and the old parish church of
St. Mary in High Cross became automatically the Cathedral. But the
patriotic Cornish feeling which had thus at last again brought about
a bishopric and a cathedral in the West, about eight hundred years
after the see had been removed from St. Germans to Exeter, was not
content with making a mere parish church serve the occasion, and steps
were soon taken to build an entirely new cathedral. Such a thing as
the building of a cathedral in England had not been known for many
centuries; the full efforts of churchmen had been employed, ever
since the Reformation, in preserving and repairing those we already
possessed, not in creating new cathedrals. Moreover, most of our
cathedrals have been the products of centuries of growth. Even that of
Salisbury, the one example of an ancient cathedral finished according
to its original design, was not completed in less than a hundred and
forty years. Over £100,000 has gone to the building of Truro Cathedral,
begun in the laying of the foundation-stone by the Prince of Wales on
May 20th, 1880, and completed in the autumn of 1909, in the finishing
touches then put to the western towers.

The old church of St. Mary was demolished to provide the site, but the
fine Late Perpendicular south aisle was spared and incorporated with
the building, designed in the Early English style by J. L. Pearson,
that forms the cathedral to-day.

High Cross, in which the cathedral stands, is not a very roomy square
of houses and shops opening out of the Market Place in the centre of
the city, by a narrow passage, and upon other streets by somewhat
broader ways. But it is along this passage that the stranger usually
approaches. The cathedral is indeed new, but the old-established
cramped surroundings are quite characteristic of ancient cathedral
cities, and the calculated picturesqueness of the south side of
the building, viewed from this point, resembles that of some North
German cathedral. There the central tower and its stone spire, and
the lesser western towers and spires group richly together, with the
still smaller but very prominent south transept tower and its copper
spirelet, a very German importation. The poisonous oxidised green of
that copper spirelet is flagrant enough to spoil the whole day of an
artist. Down beneath it you see the surviving sixteenth century aisle
of old St. Mary's. I am glad they spared that aisle, for it is not
only beautiful in itself, but its venerable presence here serves to
illustrate that peculiarly English virtue, a continuity with the past,
a sense of history even in things new. But what will future generations
say about a late nineteenth-century cathedral whose general style is
that of the thirteenth century, and yet whose oldest part is genuine
sixteenth-century architecture? It could, perhaps, be wished that the
chimes of the cathedral clock had been harmonised to another tune
than the hackneyed "Westminster Chimes," that are noble enough in the
clock-tower of the Houses of Parliament, where they originated, but are
tiresome when repeated all over the country. The ancient proverb is
sadly at fault, for it _is_ possible to have too much of a good thing.

The new beauty of Truro Cathedral at present lacks those weatherings
that only time can give. The fine-grained granite and the Box stone
dressings have not attained the stains and bloom of years, and so
it is impossible to altogether judge the merits or drawbacks of the
exterior; but that the architect strove to be pictorial, and that he
rather overstrained in that direction, seems undeniable. The building,
only three hundred feet in its greatest length, from east to west, is
really one of our smallest cathedrals, six feet shorter than Rochester,
and it is ornamented to a degree that in places spoils the effect.
This is very noticeable in the south door, the usual entrance. It is
contrived in the south transept and is loaded with ornamentation that
emphasises the naturally squeezed-in appearance. The over-enrichment
was a mistake, but the cramped nature of this part seems to have been
unavoidable, considering the extreme narrowness of the site here.

[Illustration: TRURO CATHEDRAL.]

The interior discloses none of these limitations, and exhibits a noble
clerestoried nave of nine bays and of fine proportions. A very notable
feature is the beautiful baptistery close by the south door. Its many
slender columns and the artfully arranged half-light set off the rich
stained-glass with the effect of jewels. The choir is a light and
graceful and glorified continuation of the nave. Most of the windows
are already furnished with stained-glass, whose subjects include a
representation of Wesley preaching at Gwennap: a more liberal-minded
inclusion than any of which Hawker of Morwenstow would have been
capable, with his bitter remark that Wesley had made the Cornish
_change_ their sins; not get rid of them, you know.

A certain specious air of antiquity is given to the north transept by
the old monuments from St. Mary's, restored and built into the walls.
Notable among them is the Robartes monument of 1614. And history is
being quickly made here, for already Truro has come to its third bishop
and the cathedral is beginning to accumulate relics. Thus we see in
a case on the east wall of the south transept the pastoral staff
presented to Dr. Benson, the first Bishop.

There are also war memorials in the cathedral: tablets and flags
that tell eloquently of the latest great effort in the art of murder
by wholesale. It is a bitter commentary upon Christianity that in
twenty years from the beginning of the cathedral such things should
be necessary. But the fault was not ours, and no patriotic Englishman
would have those memorials away, for they show that we can still hold
our own against attack. "The men are splendid," as a famous dispatch
from those sun-scorched fields ran. Of their officers it were kinder
to keep silence, but perhaps their failure was merely the fault of the

There is an interesting museum of the Royal Institution of Cornwall
in Truro, with illustrations of South American scenes a good deal
too prominent on its walls; and there is a curious old inscription
carved in granite on a wall in the Market House. It belonged to an
older building, and runs thus: "Ienkin Daniel, Maior. Who seks to find
eternal tresvre, mvst vse no gvile in waight or measvre, 1615."


                              CHAPTER IX


Resuming the coast from Falmouth and leaving that town by Swanpool, an
easy woodland road leads past the little sandy bay of Maen Porth and,
avoiding Rosemullion Head, comes to the hamlet of Mawnan Smith, whence
most travellers go direct down to the crossing of the Helford River at
Durgan. But the church and the original village of Mawnan, such as it
is, lie straight ahead.

The church of Mawnan is far remote from the ordinary tourist track.
Very few are those who, exploring the rugged and greatly indented
coasts of Cornwall, endure to the end and do not presently take some
of the distant headlands and the obscure nooks and corners on trust;
and Mawnan stands above a remote little Land's End of its own that
overlooks the otherwise solitary mouth of the salt estuary called the
Helford River. You come past a few houses and then, through a farmyard,
to the church.

The inquisitive tourist may be recommended to visit that church, not
that it possesses anything above the average of architectural interest
in Cornwall, but because it is a prime example of what is done in the
High Church way in the nooks and corners. Obviously it is ardently
desired to put back the clock of progress at Mawnan, for the interior
of the church is lavishly decorated with texts and admonitions in the
old Cornish language, which became extinct so long ago that nobody
outside the ranks of scholars has the least recollection of it; and it
is quite certain that the villagers of Mawnan do not understand it,
any more than they would Coptic or Chaldee. So when they read on these
walls, among other things, "Da thym ythgu nesse the Thu," they are
obliged to take on trust the translations of this phrase and others,
that are thoughtfully provided on cards. This particular example means,
it would appear, "Good it is to me to draw near to God"; to which one
might offer the criticism, that the way would probably be rendered
easier by the adoption of a language more readily understanded of the
people. No one, however, would be in the least likely to criticise
these things if they were done only out of archæological zeal; but
they are evidences of obscurantism, and, taken with other things,
eloquent of an attempt to recover a lost priestly domination. The other
evidences are not lacking; notably among them the notices displayed
of some precious "Society of King Charles the Martyr," among which it
is sought to restore the old "Office for January 30th," introduced
by Bishop Duppa of Winchester at the Restoration in 1661; an Office
long ago removed from the Prayer Book, which is so much the better by
the loss of it. There is not so much to complain of in the passage
that runs, "Preserve from sacrilegious invasions those temporal
blessings which Thy Providence hath bestowed on Thy Church"; for, put
in other words, this is nowadays a prayer against Disestablishment
and Disendowment; and we have all of us the right of praying for our
continued existence. But few will be found to defend the supplication,
"Give us grace by a careful and studious imitation of this Thy blessed
Saint and Martyr," meaning thereby Charles the First. There are few who
are not sentimentally sorry for that unhappy King, born to trouble, and
earning more by his own actions; and we hate Cromwell and his men. But
those must be very few indeed who are prepared to regard Charles as a
Saint and a Martyr, and when any attempt is made to make him one we
forget our sympathies for a cultured and good-living King, unfortunate
enough to be born into distracted times and to be born without tact,
and unequipped with the sense of keeping faith with his opponents; and
we say that Charles was absolutely untrustworthy and a danger to the
nation, and that he deserved his fate.

[Illustration: THE HELFORD RIVER.]

The Helford River is a miniature Falmouth Harbour, with subsidiary
creeks. It is about six miles long and from half a mile to a quarter
of a mile wide, and is frequented only by a few small yachts and
sailing-boats. Above the passage-house at Durgan comes the singularly
retired hamlet of Port Navas, in a small creek, with a few thatched
cottages smothered in roses and jessamines. Yet the place is not so
retired and remote from the sophisticated world but that one of the
cottages boldly displays the notice "Afternoon Teas"; not merely "teas"
that are meals, but "afternoon teas" that are, in London at any rate,
understood to be, not so much teas taken in the afternoon (and when
else should they be taken?), as a sparing cup and an insufficient cake,
in conjunction with a great deal of more or less scandalous small-talk:

Polwheverill Creek runs up on the right to the granite-quarrying
village of Constantine, but the main Helford River continues past the
oyster-beds of Merthen to the hamlet of Gweek, where its farthest point
is reached.

[Illustration: MAWGAN-IN-MENEAGE.]

Returning round its southern shores, Mawgan-in-Meneage stands amid
great swelling green hills, wooded in rich parklike manner, at the
head of a tiny inlet. The St. Mawgan who has given his name to this
place, and to Mawgan-in-Pydar, on the north coast of Cornwall, was
the sixth-century Welshman, Maucan (the name means "master"), who was
head of a religious collegiate establishment in Pembrokeshire, and
there instructed many of the missionaries to Ireland and Cornwall, who
afterwards became sainted, in the copious hagiology of the West.

Ecclesiastically, this village of Mawgan is "in Kerrier," but it is
generally styled "in Meneage": the second syllable pronounced as in the
word "vague."

But "village" is only a conventional term, as applied here. There are
but half a dozen scattered cottages to keep company with the large and
beautiful church.


I sketched this view of Mawgan church in "soft weather," with rain
oozing down--not falling--a way it has in Cornwall. And a rustic came
to the stable opposite and opened the door, and said, "Come forth, my
son." I expected a boy to come out in reply to that somewhat Biblical
and patriarchal invitation, but it was a horse! So, just as in
Brittany, where you only get the "vraie Breton bretonnante" far away
from the towns, you find your characteristic expressions in the remote
nooks and corners of Cornwall.

The greater part of Mawgan church is of the late Perpendicular period.
A curiously constructed hagioscope, at the angle of the south transept,
is equally remarkable for the large blocks of granite used in it, and
for a low side window, now blocked up by the addition of a vestry.
There is a somewhat similar, but not so good, hagioscope at Cury.

A long way down Helford River from Mawgan comes Helford, a hamlet in
the parish of Manaccan. Helford is at the opposite side of the ferry to
Durgan, and lies down in a deep hollow of the hills. Many charmingly
rustic cottages and a delightful old farmhouse face an inner creek. It
is hot and steamy at Helford, and great pink ivy-geraniums ramble over
the house-fronts, sprawl over the thatch, and peep inquiringly into
bedroom windows.

Manaccan sits upon the hill-top. The great uncertainty often existing
as to the origin and meaning of place-names is well illustrated here.
Manaccan is well within the district of Meneage, which, by fairly
general consent, is taken to mean the "stony district," but there are
those who declare it to be in its origin "mynachau," that is to say,
"monkland." "Manaccan" has also generally been considered to mean "the
monks," but as the church is dedicated to Saints Menaacus and Dunstan,
it seems more likely that the place takes its name from the first
of these. Menaacus, Mancus, or Marnach, an early bishop, is buried,
according to William of Worcester, in the church of Lanreath, near
Fowey, and Lanlivery church is also dedicated to him.

The church is partly Early English, and has a very good Norman south
door. A curious feature is the very flourishing fig-tree that grows out
of the wall at the junction of the tower and nave, on the south side.

Manaccan stands on a lofty hill, softly clothed in rich fields and
luxuriant trees, not in the least characteristic of the stony Meneage
district in which it is situated.

From the heights of Manaccan a steep road, heavily shaded by tall
elms, leads to a parting of the ways, whence you may go direct to St.
Keverne, or turn aside to the left for the Durra Creek of Helford
River, which is some two miles in length, ending in what map-makers
style "Dennis Point," a corruption of "Dinas," an ancient British
word signifying a fortress of the earthwork and wooden palisade type,
constructed at the extremity of a headland, with the approach across
the neck of it cut off by a ditch. There is one of these strongholds
on either side of the entrance to the creek from the sea. Rabbits hold
the fort to-day, but should there come a time when invasions threaten
these parts, there can be little doubt of the eternal and unchanging
requirements of strategy bringing these salient points again into
use, just as, when the last conflicts in the great civil war were
disturbing the nation, the Royalists established themselves here, only
to be turned out by Fairfax.

[Illustration: ST. ANTHONY IN MENEAGE.]

The Durra Creek is generally passed by. Tourists hasten on to St.
Keverne, and know nothing of the lovely rugged woodland road that
runs beside the water to the church--one can scarce say the village
for there are but two or three houses, including the vicarage--of
St. Anthony-in-Meneage. St. Anthony stands at the very verge of high
water, where a little beach ends, on the landward side, in grassy banks
and blackberry tangles, from which spring great elms. Trees close in
everywhere, with the grey granite tower of the church in their midst
and a lovely old vicarage adjoining, wrapped, as it were, in flowers.
There is not, nor ever could have been, any need for a church at this
spot, and thus the legend accounting for its origin may very well be
true. According to this story, some notables voyaging from Normandy
in mediæval times were in great peril of shipwreck, and vowed St.
Anthony a church if he would only bring them in safety to shore. They
made land here, in the Durra Creek, and accordingly the church was
built at the place where they set foot. There are numerous legends of
this kind in Cornwall, and all around our coasts; and there is, in
general, no occasion to doubt their truth, the absolute uselessness,
as a rule, of these votive churches being presumptive evidence of the
genuine character of their story. At the same time, it is impossible
to believe that St. Anthony, or the saints to whom those other churches
are dedicated, personally intervened because they were promised
churches in places where they could not possibly advance the cause of
religion. Surely we ought to have a better opinion of the saints than
to believe them animated by such appeals to personal vanity.

The church of St. Anthony-in-Meneage fell gradually into decay. It was
"awl davered," as they say in these parts, _i.e._ mildewed, and was
not restored until recent years, when its mouldy interior was cleaned
and the rotting woodwork removed. The usual cheap and nasty fittings
of pitch-pine have been installed in their place. It was impossible to
spare the decayed woodwork, of which two fragments remain in the tower.
The vicar, at the time when the present writer was here, brought them
forth to show a boating-party who had landed on the beach, and the
party gushed plentifully over them. "How beautiful! how interesting!"
they exclaimed; insincerely, because any beauty or interest they may
once have had has utterly vanished, and left merely two almost formless
logs, not good enough for firewood. The really interesting object no
one understood or appreciated. This was the beautiful granite font of
the thirteenth century, an exceptionally interesting example, one of
the somewhat rare inscribed fonts. It is adorned with shield-bearing
angels and has the inscription, "_Ecce Karissimi de Deo vero
baptizabuntur spiritu sancto_," with the initials, Q.P., B.M., B.V.,
P.R., repeated. No one appears ever to have explained the significance
of those initials, but it may perhaps be considered that they are not
only those of the donors, which seems obvious enough, but that they are
also those of the storm-tossed voyagers who gave the church.


Inside the protecting shoulder of Nare Point lies Porthallow, a fishing
cove, and beyond it, in the next bight, is Porthoustock, whose fishing
is now mixed with the exportation of granite. Up out of Porthoustock,
over the hill and on to the next point, and you have come to the most
recently tragical outlook upon the Cornish seas, for there, offshore,
lie the Manacles rocks. No one but a seaman would take particular note
of them, for they do but rise unobtrusively from the water.

Their odd name, forbidding and ominous though it be, and apparently
allusive to the fast hold they often keep upon vessels unlucky enough
to go out of their course among them, is only accidental; their
original title having been, in the Cornish language, "maen eglos," the
"church stone." Why they were so called does not appear. A bell-buoy,
floating out there, giving out a harsh knell, might seem to justify the
name, but the rocks were so called long centuries before the Trinity
House placed their buoy here. There is no sadder sound than that of
a bell-buoy, tolling on the brightest day with the note of a funeral
knell; a likeness well justified here, for many have been cast away on
the Manacles, notably in the wreck of the _Dispatch_ transport, January
25th, 1809, when sixty-four were lost; and in that of the _John_
emigrant ship, May 1855, with the loss of nearly two hundred.

The terrible wreck of the American steamship _Mohegan_, on Friday,
October 14th, 1898, is the latest tragedy associated with the fatal
Manacles. The vessel was on its way to New York, and had left London
the day before, carrying fifty-three saloon passengers, a crew of one
hundred and seven, and a stowaway. Between half-past six and seven
o'clock, when the saloon passengers were at dinner, every one on
board was suddenly terrified by a violent crashing and grinding and a
succession of shocks, indicating only too surely that the vessel had
run upon a reef. All the ship's lights went out, and the horror of
darkness was added to the peril of the occasion.

The sun sets at nine minutes past five in the evening on October 14th,
and it is normally quite light for an hour later. It is therefore
incapable of explanation how, in something like another half-hour, the
_Mohegan_ should have been as much as ten miles out of her course,
especially as the south-westerly trend of the land towards the Lizard
must have been very noticeable. Nor are these coasts ill-lighted.
The Eddystone and Falmouth harbour lights, which the _Mohegan_
had already passed, and the Lizard light ahead, form a remarkable
triangular display for the guidance of the mariner. But it should be
noted, perhaps, that the last half-hour of daylight may be especially
dangerous. The lighthouses have already lit their warning beams, but
they are only faintly to be seen in the still radiant western sky, and
only gather strength when the afterglow has died away and darkness
falls upon the restless sea and the sombre coast. Another explanation
of the captain being so far out of his reckoning was sought in the
_Mohegan_ being a new ship, and her compasses possibly not true; but
nothing can actually be known, for all the officers of the ship were
drowned. A strong south-easterly wind was blowing at the time, and the
bell-buoy on the southern ledge of the Manacles at such times rings
loudly; but no one on board appears to have heard its warning. Only two
boats could be launched, so swiftly did the _Mohegan_ sink, and one
of them was capsized. The Porthoustock lifeboat saved many, but one
hundred and six were drowned.


  _Gibson & Sons, Penzance._]


A landsman, looking out on some calm day from the low headland that
stretches insignificantly out to sea south of St. Keverne cannot easily
comprehend the dangers of the scatter of rocks extending seaward for
nearly a mile and a half. The spot is by no means dramatic. It is even
commonplace, and has no hint of the scenes of terror and despair that
have been enacted out yonder. And the photographs of the wreck that
were afterwards plentifully taken are probably the tamest among such
things, showing merely the funnel and the four masts standing upright
from the waves and disclosing that the _Mohegan_ sank on an even keel
in comparatively shallow water. Those views, taken from the water,
on a calm sea, only, in the present writer's imagination, add to the
pity of the occasion, for in shallow water and so near land, it seems
exceptionally hard that so many should have lost their lives. The
remarkable attraction of the Manacles rocks for vessels was illustrated
the following year, when the _Paris_ strayed among them, happily
with no disastrous results. The Glasgow barque _Glenbervie_ struck in
moderate weather one night, in January 1902, on the Ray, a rock two
miles distant, off Lowlands Point, and although the crew were saved,
the vessel became a total loss.

The narrow and miraculous escapes from among this tangle of reefs have
been many. The _Cornish Magazine_, now extinct, once published an
article, in which the writer spoke of a Porthoustock fisherman telling
him, from memory, the names of thirty vessels of all kinds, from
steamships down to ketches, that had been totally lost here. He told a
thrilling tale of a ship drifting inshore in a fog, and of the captain
anchoring until the fog cleared away, when he sailed off in safety, to
the astonishment of the many who had collected on the cliffs. There
was also the story of the steamship which came so close to the cliffs
that the noise of her engines could be distinctly heard on shore, but
she, too, got away. Many have been the ships among the Manacles, and
no word ever said about it; their captains even going the length of
covering over the name of their vessels with a sail, lest their mistake
in navigation should be published to the world.

The village of St. Keverne lies rather over a mile inland.

"St. Keverne" is another form of "St. Piran." It has also been spelled
"Keveran" and "Kieran." Its church is very large and roomy, and is one
of those few in Cornwall that have a spire. The fine inscribed font
has demi-angels at the angles, holding crossed swords.

[Illustration: ST. KEVERNE.]

In the churchyard, among other memorials of shipwreck, is the granite
cross, bearing the simple inscription, "MOHEGAN, R.I.P." marking where
lie many of the dead who were lost in that wreck. Near by is the
touching epitaph upon "Charles Cyril Brownjohn, London, aged 23. S.S.
_Mohegan_, Oct. 14, 1898. The devoted and only son of a widowed mother.
He never said an unkind word to her in his life."

I do not think there were ever any distinguished persons born at St.
Keverne. One notoriety, Sir James Tillie, was born here, and one other
was vicar, as would appear from the records of 1467, in which, among a
number of piratical Cornishmen, who had helped themselves to a quantity
of merchandise from a Breton ship, we find the vicar, whose share of
the booty was three tuns of wine. An order was given to arrest these
enterprising persons, but they could not be found; and so St. Keverne
apparently had a new, and let us hope, a better, vicar.

                               CHAPTER X


Striking inland from St. Keverne for Coverack Cove, something of the
stony character of the Meneage and Lizard districts is seen, together
with a good deal of the widespread lack of signposts common to all
Cornwall, but particularly distressing here. Wherever it is possible
for a stranger to lose his way--and that is very often here--be very
sure that the County Council has forgotten to place a sign-post; and
furthermore, be equally certain that, at those points where no one is
likely to go wrong, there will be very informative ones: exercises in
the obvious. But there is a deeper depth than this. A fork of roads may
be duly sign-posted, but it often leads to another, and a much more
puzzling and quite lonely fork, a long way ahead, where not the least
indication is vouchsafed. You are lucky if you do not at last find
yourself in the yard of some "farm-place," and have to return a mile or
more. Sorrow's crown of sorrow is, however, attained when a signpost
is seen in the distance. You hurry up; it points the way to, let us
say, the "Hotel Parvenu," one of the several up-to-date barrack hotels
that have of late risen upon desirable view-points. I want to know why
these things should be; not the hotels--we know the reason of them--but
why they should be allowed to play these dirty tricks on travellers.
We cannot all be guests; nor, perhaps, would very many who could. Why,
then, should the County Council permit the existence of these purely
commercial notices?

Coverack village, down upon the Cove, was the scene of the _Dispatch_
transport wreck in January 1809. A monument in St. Keverne church
narrates how over sixty were lost on that occasion, including
Major-General Cavendish. They were fresh from the blood-soaked fields
of Spain and the retreat upon Coruña.

Those who originally named Black Head, beyond Coverack, could scarce
have had any choice in the matter, for it is a lowering, sullen-looking
point. But the rock is rather a dark green in its original tone, when
closely examined. It is, in fact, the famed "serpentine" rock that
extends all the way from this place, past the Lizard, to Mullion.

The way round by the cliffs to the next headland, Pedn Boar, and beyond
it to Caraclowse Point, where there is a "cliff castle," is wearying in
its ups and downs with a stream to cross in one rugged valley, without
being exceptionally fine; but the paths or ragged grasslands on the
way to Kennack Sands give easier going. Kennack Sands form the only
available sandy foreshore for many miles along this rugged coast, where
the savage cliffs descend as a rule sheer to the water, and the jealous
sea generally leaves but a narrow sandy selvedge at the ebb. Small
wonder, then, that bungalows for summer bathers have appeared here.

But the trivial urbanities of Kennack soon fail him who fares by the
cliffs on to Caerleon Cove and Poltesco. Brambles clutch at his clothes
and bid him stay; stones, loose and knobbly, and tripsome, lie along
the path the coastguards seem to patrol all too seldom, and presently
the small cove of Caerleon appears, with a stream running down to it
and the derelict works of an abandoned serpentine factory on the shore.
Up inland, past a cottage, with a notice declaring that trespassers
will be prosecuted (which of course the wise pedestrian treats with
contempt), and then past a tree-surrounded farmhouse, displaying the
more hospitable intimation of new milk being sold, the watery valley
of Poltesco is reached, where a great mill-wheel, amid a paradise of
ferns, is worked by the spattering stream. I should think Poltesco
might be a very tedious place on a wet November day, and not good for
rheumatism; but, as an American girl tourist remarked, in summer it is
"just heavenly."

Abandoning the coast at this point, and content with seeing Ynys Head
in the distance, I walked the half-mile uphill to Ruan Minor, a pretty
little village with a very small but very perfect little Perpendicular
church, whose pinnacled tower, although well-proportioned, is not
higher than the roofs of the village houses.

[Illustration: CADGWITH COVE.]

The half-mile hence to Cadgwith Cove is a zigzagging and steep descent.
Deep down lies the village, with a street clinging to the sides of the
descent and thatched cottages at the bottom, facing the sea; one or two
in front of their fellows standing on a rocky projection called "The
Rodden." The sea comes hissing in upon a pebbly beach, alongside tall,
sheer cliffs.

It is even steeper up out of Cadgwith on the coastguard path to the
Lizard than on the other side; an obscure path leading up to scrubby
fields and a modern villa called "White Heather," facing the sea in
what seems a not altogether permanently safe position, considering
that the "Devil's Frying Pan" is in front of it. This is a chasm
formed in the cliffs by the falling in of the roof of a cave, leaving
a huge pit-like opening in the cliff-top, with a neck of land forming
a natural arch on the edge of the cliffs. Down below, the sea comes
foaming and hissing at high tide among the scattered boulders in a way
that suggested to some imaginative person the idea of a frying-pan. A
not very safe path leads round the landward edge of this place; but
the best and most impressive view is from the sea. It is a very short
boating trip from Cadgwith to the Devil's Frying Pan.

A boating trip is certainly the best method of seeing the coast between
Cadgwith and the Lizard. You see more, and to better advantage, than
by tramping round the interminable headlands and down one not very
interesting valley, up to the next hill, conscious all the while that
the real beauty of the coast lies under your feet, in the sea-fretted
caverns that the waves never leave. The finest of these is Dolor
Hugo: _ogof_, the old Cornish word for "cave." This is a magnificent
cavern in the dark but richly variegated serpentine rock. The archway
rises high overhead, admitting boats easily in calm weather, but the
roof soon descends and exploration cannot be pushed far. The Lizard
boatmen, too, are very alive to the dangers of the place. The solemn
beauty of it and the heavy ground-swell impress the stranger with a
full sense of the risks incurred in visiting Dolor Hugo, except in the
calmest weather.

[Illustration: THE "DEVIL'S FRYING PAN."]

At Cambarrow, the next headland, is the cavern of Ravens' Hugo, a
narrower fissure, the entrance hung with wild growths. Then comes
the sheer cliff called "The Balk," where serpentine quarries may be
observed, and round its precipitous adamantine wall the deeply cleft
little Church Cove, known also as Perranvose, Parnvoose, or Lizard Cove.

Church Cove itself is an almost solitary place, a narrow strip of beach
between sheer rocks; but the cottages along the tree-shaded lane that
runs up to Landewednack are as homely and sheltered, and as richly
embowered in roses, fuchsias, honeysuckle, and hydrangeas, as any place
in the West. All around is the level, treeless, windswept heath of
the Lizard district, but down in this sheltered hollow one is in the
atmosphere of a conservatory. Perhaps one person among every hundred of
those who come to Lizard Town discovers Church Cove and the village of
Landewednack, which is the mother-village whence Lizard Town, half a
mile away, has sprung; and the ninety and nine return home, having just
caught a glimpse of the lighthouse, and think, vainly, they have seen
all there is to be seen.

I have quite a budget of curious facts concerning Landewednack and its
church. To begin with, it is the parish church of that odd collection
of houses--the very negation of architecture--"Lizard Town," which
occupies the plateau just beyond this dell. That a place should elect
to style itself "Lizard Town," when it might be, and properly is,
Landewednack, is an odd study in perversity. Landewednack church is
also the most southerly church in England, and in it was preached in
1674 the last sermon in the Cornish language. A few years later, 1683,
died the Rev. Thomas Cole, stated in the register to have been 120
years of age. In the churchyard lie a number of persons who died of the
plague in 1645, but the spot where they were laid is unmarked.

[Illustration: LANDEWEDNACK.]

Furthermore, the stranger will not fail to observe that the huge
stones of which the tower is built are partly grey granite and partly
of local serpentine, giving a curiously irregular chessboard kind of
appearance. The dedication of the church is said to be to St. Winwaloe.
The place-name has its fellow in Brittany--that other Cornwall--in

The church of Landewednack consists of nave, north aisle, and a south
transept, which has a low side-window at the angle formed by its
eastern wall and the wall of the nave. The font, dating from about
1404, is mounted on four modern pillars of polished serpentine. The
bowl bears an inscription including the name of the rector at that
period, "I.H.C. D. Ric. Bolham me fecit."

And now we come to Lizard Town. No one ever planned Lizard Town, any
more than its houses were designed. They were merely built, and the
"town," which is a simple collection of cottages and a hotel or two of
sorts, is much smaller than many villages. Its population, including
Landewednack, is only 683. Lizard Town simply grew at haphazard, on the
extremity of the level, heather-clad waste of the Lizard promontory,
and with so little directing hand or purposeful mind that its component
houses form hardly any recognisable lines of streets, running in any
definite directions. They may be fitly likened to a flock of sheep
huddled together, facing all ways, to escape a tempest raging from
all quarters at once. The population appears to a casual observer to
consist wholly of families of Jose and Roberts, all inter-related,
like the Cadgwith people, who are all either Janes or Stevenses. And
they are nearly all workers in serpentine, whose little workrooms and
shops are all of one peculiar pattern, with a small show-window closed
at night by a hinged shutter. In every one of these shanties a lathe
is at work shaping the rough serpentine rock down, and then turning
it into one or other of the many ornamental articles exposed for sale
in the windows: paper-weights, candlesticks, pen-trays, models of the
Eddystone lighthouse and of Cornish crosses, and so forth; beautifully
polished. "Serpentine" gets its name from the coloured streaks and
patches it displays.

The "Lizard district" is the name given to all that boldly projecting
peninsula south of the Helford River: the district that is properly
"Meneage," the "stony district," but "Lizard" is only rightly applied
to the actual headland. It has nothing to do with the reptile lizards,
but is equal to the Welsh "Llidiart," indicating a rocky height. There
is a Weston-under-Lizard in Staffordshire. The peninsula forms the
most southerly projection of England, and the Lizard Point by day or
the Lizard Light by night is the first glimpse homeward-bound voyagers
obtain of old England from the decks of the great steamships passing
up Channel. It is a wild, but scarcely picturesque land, consisting
of a high, but level, plateau of heaths and moors. Goonhilly Downs,
in its centre, in spite of their name, are not hilly, nor are they
what we generally understand to be downs, but just gently undulating,
or even flat, stretches of uncultivated and uncultivable land that
by some are styled "dreary." But the justness or otherwise of that
expression entirely depends upon the circumstances of the moment.
Given bad weather, Goonhilly Downs and the whole Lizard peninsula
are, indeed, dreary to the traveller, for shelter along the exposed
roads, for the most part treeless, lonely, and quite innocent of
hedges, is unobtainable for many miles; but in fine weather the purple
heather, the occasional wooded hollows and the innumerable grey
boulders scattered in these wilds, make a pleasant holiday jaunt.
From a cycling point of view, the roads are perfection, and although
dreariness is again the word when a cyclist strives along them in the
teeth of a gale, to be blown mile after mile on a cycle with the wind
is exhilarating. There are few villages here. Inland from Lizard Town
you see the church-tower of Grade peering across the flats, but it is
a village only of "farm-places." Grade church takes its name from St.
Grada, Crida, or Credanus, a more or less mythical companion of St.
Petroc, but it has been re-dedicated to Holy Cross.

Even less of a village is Ruan Major, whose church is seen amid a
cluster of trees on the right of the road to Helston. Ruan Major is a
paradoxical place, much smaller than Ruan Minor, consisting as it does
of a church and a farmhouse. St. Ruan, or Rumon, its godfather, was a
sixth-century Irish hermit who resided here--if that mode of living
may be called residence--both before and after he went to Brittany,
where he was not altogether favourably received. That he was much
better thought of in Cornwall and Devonshire seems evident in the
places named after him, and in the great honour paid to his relics
at Tavistock Abbey. The farm at Ruan Major and the little woodland
distinguishing the place from the surrounding open heaths perhaps
represent the "nymet," or sacred enclosure made by St. Ruan around his

Such then, with an occasional old manor-house and park like
Trelowarren, Bochyn, and Bonython, the last near Cury, formerly seat of
the old family of Bonython, is the wide district at the back of Lizard
Town. Strangers simply hurry over it, by motor-car or Great Western
motor-omnibus, all anxious to reach the Lizard itself, and to explore
Kynance Cove and be off again.

The Lizard lighthouse is three-quarters of a mile distant from Lizard
Town. It occupies the extremity of the point, the _Ocrinum_ of Ptolemy,
and is the successor of a lighthouse first erected in 1619 by Sir John
Killigrew. That early light was only established in the teeth of the
strongest discouragement by the Trinity House, which in those times
adopted what seems to us an extraordinary policy, directed against
the increase of lighthouses. Sir John Killigrew proposed to set up a
light here at his own expense and to gather voluntary contributions
from ship-owners towards the cost of it, but he found it necessary to
first obtain a licence to do so, and therefore petitioned James the
First to that effect. He would pay twenty nobles a year for leave to
collect voluntary sums for a term of thirty years. This proposition,
submitted to the Trinity House, produced the criticism that a light
was not required upon the Lizard, and that in fact any such light
would be dangerous, for it would serve as a beacon for pirates and
foreign enemies. But the King, really in this instance the Solomon his
flatterers pretended him to be, disregarded the unfavourable report,
and granted the petition, with the only proviso that the light should
be extinguished in time of war, when the approach of an enemy was
suspected. Killigrew thereupon began and soon completed his lighthouse,
much to the anger of the coastwise people. "The inabytants neer by,"
wrote Killigrew, "think they suffer by this erection. They affirme I
take away God's grace from them. Their English meaning is that now they
shall receve no more benefitt by shipwreck, for this will prevent yt.
They have been so long used to repe profitt by the calamyties of the
ruin of shipping that they clayme it heredytarye, and heavely complayne
on me."

A year's working, including the cost of building, cost Sir John
Killigrew £500. The light displayed was a brazier of coal, and this
alone cost ten shillings a night. As for the "voluntary contributions"
expected, they were simply nonexistent, and in consequence Killigrew
petitioned for, and obtained, the right to levy dues of one halfpenny
a ton on all passing vessels. Even then, he took nothing but a loss
out of his enterprise, for shipowners, backed by the Trinity House,
refused to pay, and in the end the lighthouse was pulled down.

The existing lighthouse dates from 1748, when a Captain Farrish
proposed a building that should display four lights. This was a wholly
commercial speculation. Farrish proposed to pay a yearly sum of £80 to
the Trinity House for leave to build, and obtained a lease of sixty-one
years; but the lease was taken over and the lighthouse actually built
by Thomas Fonnereau. The lights were first displayed on August 22nd,
1752, in the presence of a great assemblage of people, who had come
long distances to honour the event. Two lights appear to have been
substituted for the four in 1792, but not until 1813 did the coal
braziers give place to oil, and oil was replaced by the electric light
in 1878. About 1902 the lights were reduced to one powerful revolving
electric beam, the strongest in the world, visible for twenty-three
miles, and showing once in every three seconds. It is aided in foggy
weather by the most dismal of foghorns.

Hard by the lighthouse stands a notice-board of the National Lifeboat
Institution, giving a plain record of the doings of the successive
lifeboats that have been established down below, in Polpear Cove.

The Lizard lifeboats have rendered noble service, as shown by the board
telling the doings of them:

                        LIFEBOAT _ANNA MARIA_.

                                                   LIVES SAVED.
  1861. Aug. 10.--Schooner, _Hurrell_, Penzance            4
  1868. March 27.--Schooner, _Selina_, Swansea             2
  1873.   "    1.--Barque, _Fomahault_, Griefswald        11
  1879. June 15.--Brig, _Scotscraig_, Dundee               9
  1882. Aug. 9.--s.s. _Mosel_, Bremen                     27

                     LIFEBOAT _EDMUND AND FANNY_.

  1886. Sept. 28.--s.s. _Suffolk_, London                 24
  1887. March 13.--Schooner, _Gipsy Queen_, Padstow        5
  1888.   "   10.--Barque, _Lady Dufferin_, Plymouth      17
  1893.   "    4.--s.s. _Gustav Bitter_, Newcastle         3
  1897. Nov. 23.--s.s. _Landore_, Liverpool               12
  1898. Aug. 6.--Barque, _Vortigern_, London              --
  1900. Nov. 24.--_Glint_, Stavanger                       4


  1907. March 17-18.--s.s. _Suevic_, Liverpool           167
  1907. July 23.--Ketch, _Fanny_, Bideford                 3

The bald, unvarnished statement in this list under date of March 17th
to 18th, 1907, giving the list of saved from the _Suevic_, hides the
very narrow escape of the passengers and crew of that White Star
liner. She was homeward-bound from Australia, and had on board between
three and four hundred passengers, and a cargo of frozen meat. In the
middle of the night she struck upon the Brandies Rocks, immediately
under the Lizard lighthouse; thus affording another extraordinary
instance of the fatal attraction this, the most salient southerly
point of land in England, has for vessels, in spite of the lighthouse
exhibiting the most powerful light in the world. The Lizard, Cadgwith
and Mullion lifeboats put out, on hearing the news, and landed many of
the passengers, and one hundred and forty were taken off by the tug
_Triton_ of Falmouth. Fortunately the weather was moderate. The hull
was severed by dynamite about a week later, and towed round to Falmouth.

Scattered reefs stretch out beyond Lizard Point, and form the special
dangers of the place. They are known in general as "The Stags." A
vessel, wrecked on the Stags about 1845, was driven on to the island
rock of Crenval, where the crew refuged all night, while the good ship
was being reduced to matchwood by the waves. The next morning they were
brought ashore, and were greeted by their own cat, which had either
swum to land, or had been carried on the wreckage. Its tail had somehow
been nipped off in the process. The cat was sold to an innkeeper in
Lizard Town, and was long looked upon as very much of a hero.

Immediately to the eastward of the lighthouse is the funnel formed
in the cliffs by the falling in of the roof of a cave known as Daws'
Hugo. This subsidence happened on February 19th, 1847, and the hollow
thus produced was immediately given the name of "Lion's Den." Beyond
it is Housel Bay, with a hotel on the cliffs. The rugged Penolver Head
comes next, and then the amphitheatrical Belidden Cove, with Beast,
or Bass Point, enclosing it. Lloyd's signalling station, displaying
the word LLOYD'S in gigantic letters on its sea-front, stands on Beast
Point. Hence inward and outward-bound ships are telegraphed to London
as having "passed the Lizard." Beyond Hot Point, the next headland, the
coast comes to Kilcobbin Cove and again to Church Cove.

                              CHAPTER XI


From Polpear Cove to Kynance Cove is a tramp to be undertaken only by
the leisured. The distance is but four miles along the cliffs, but the
hurried persons who oftenest come to the Lizard have not the time or
the inclination for it, and go direct across from Lizard Town.

The way to Kynance Cove from Lizard Town is strictly a pedestrian's
journey and lies largely upon the tops of hedges. Those who have
never yet made the acquaintance of a Cornish hedge cannot fail to be
surprised at this, but a hedge in the Home Counties and a hedge in the
West Country are apt to be very different things, and a Cornish hedge
is generally a substantial bank of stones and earth, not infrequently
with a broad, well-defined footpath on top. Such hedges are those that
partly conduct to Kynance Cove.

But I shall proceed by the cliffs, first noting the cave that is to be
seen at low water down at Polpear, and the Man-o'-War Rocks out at
sea. The name was originally "Maen-an-Vawr," the "great stones," but
the tradition of the wreck of a transport there has definitely changed
it. The cliff-walk passes "Pistol Meadow," in which numerous mounds
still show the places where the seven hundred dead on that occasion
were buried. Only two persons are said to have been saved. It is
strange that neither the date of the wreck nor the name of the ship has
been preserved.

Old Lizard Head, the "false Lizard" as it is sometimes called, gives
way to Crane Cove and the larger cove of Caerthillian, where a stream
comes down a ravine to the shore. This in turn is succeeded by
Pentraeth Beach and by the tall cliffs of Yellow Carn, with the rock of
Ynys Vean, _i.e._ "Little Island," about as big as Westminster Abbey,

And down there in front is Kynance Cove, a not very remarkable place
at high tide, but of a justly famous beauty at low water. You look
down upon it from the cliff called the "Tar Box," which has not the
slightest suggestion of tar in its composition: it is properly "Tor
Balk." A stream comes swirling down the rock-strewn valley that
descends to the Cove. It is from this the Ky-nans, _i.e._ "Dog's Brook"
it is said, that Kynance Cove takes its name.

[Illustration: KYNANCE COVE.]

There are but two or three cottages here. Not yet has a hotel been
built, but who knows how long before such a thing shall come to
pass, and it be possible to sit at a window of its dining-room,
overlooking this most typical Cornish scenery, while a German waiter,
introducing the soup, asks: "Thig or glear?" May it be long years yet!

Every one knows that the beauties of Kynance are only unveiled at the
ebb. Then the sands, the delightful, soft, light-yellow sands appear,
where were only heaving waters, and the great islanded rocks are seen
embedded in them. There is plenty of colour, and plenty of drawing too,
at Kynance: the streaked black, green, purple, red, and pink serpentine
rocks, the yellow sands, and the translucent green sea glow brilliantly
under a sunny sky; and under any conditions, except fog, the Cove at
ebb is full of striking forms. On the west side, between the mainland
and the crag called Asparagus Island, rises the Steeple Rock, sometimes
called the Soap Rock, from the veins of steatite it contains. It is
no fanciful name, for quarries of steatite were worked long ago in
the cliffs beyond Rill Head, and the product dispatched to wholesale
soap-boilers, and also to Staffordshire, for use in pottery-making. No
asparagus now grows on Asparagus Island, which is a rather fearsome,
craggy place to climb, especially as not merely a fall on jagged rocks
is possible, but a descent afterwards into the horrible green depths
of the sea, where the congers live. For this chamoising over the rocks
rubber-soled shoes are the best and safest. In them you may dare things
not easily to be contemplated in less pliant footgear, and thus may
scale the pinnacled rock, and look down from its further side on to
Gull Rock and the deep-water channel below.

But the most engaging thing about Asparagus Island is the Devil's
Post-Office, which (_facilis descensus Averni_, you know!) is quite
easily reached. It is in working order just below half-tide. At the
flood it is entirely submerged. Sometimes it is known as the Devil's
Bellows, or again as the Devil's Throat; but whether it be Throat,
Bellows, or Post Office, the personality of the owner is unchanged.
This natural curiosity is a fissure traversing the entire mass of
Asparagus Island, through which the sea-water is forced in conjunction
with air, emerging violently and with a reverberating rumbling report,
through a narrow slit, not unlike a letterbox. To "post a letter" at
this aperture immediately after one of these spoutings is rather a
startling experience, unless you have been told of it beforehand. You
unsuspectingly lean over and hold a piece of paper at the orifice,
and it is rudely and violently snatched away, to the tune of a harsh
indrawn snarl, a sound just as though a giant had sharply drawn his
breath in between his teeth. And very often it will happen that, in a
sudden outrush again of air and water, your letter will be returned
to you full in the face on the instant, with a most discourteous
drenching. There are gorgeous caverns, dry at low-water, round past the
Steeple Rock, known as the Drawing-Room, the Kitchen, and the Parlour;
but the finest view-point at Kynance is eastward, back towards the
Lizard, with the Lion Rock in the foreground.

The Lion Rock is doubtless so called because it has a certain majesty
of outline, and because it does suggest a crouching attitude, as of an
animal in readiness for an attack. But it does not look like a lion,
and indeed lacks a head, and without a head the noblest lion is a poor
thing. But it is true that the longer you look at the Lion Rock, the
more you are impressed.

Let those who seek to return direct inland to Lizard Town have a care
how they follow the direction indicated by a signpost, which obligingly
indicates "The nearest way to Lizard Town." I am inclined to think that
the old piskies, devils, and malicious sprites that used to inhabit
Cornwall and lure travellers out of their way, now occupy the bodies of
all those people who have anything to do with signposts. They generally
manage in some way to mislead, and very often indeed they are repainted
at the height of the tourist season, when strangers are mostly about;
and who else beside a stranger has any need of a signpost?

That is to say, the first part of the repainting--the obliterating of
the inscription--is done then: the re-lettering may, and does, wait.
This is a joke so entirely after the heart of one of those inimical old
sprites that I am convinced, though they be gone, their wicked souls
go marching on in the persons of road-surveyors and people of that

But the wickedness of the Kynance Cove signpost lies in the fact that,
although it tells of Lizard Town, its arm points slightly away from it,
along a rough cart-track. Now, as in an otherwise roadless and pathless
moor such as this the inclination is always to follow any sort of a
track, how much more likely then it is that the stranger should take
this cart-track, especially when the signpost points to it! And, you
know, it leads right away inland; and at last, after a long while, you
see Lizard Town, miles away on the right, across the flatness of the
heath. In tracking then across to it, in that hummocky wilderness of
gorse and heather, you soon grow quite familiar with _Erica vagans_,
the Cornish heather, which botanists say is peculiar to the soil of
this district, and get an intimate acquaintance with the prickly
qualities of gorse.

Resuming the way along the cliffs from Kynance, Rill Head projects
boldly, with a pile of rocks on its summit known as the Apron-String.
Here, according to the legend, the Devil dropped an apron full of
stones he was carrying, to build a bridge across Channel for smugglers
to come over. In despair, he then abandoned the task. I do not think
this can be a genuinely old legend, for the Cornish, in company with
all seashore peoples, were too prone toward smuggling, and thought it
too natural a thing, for the suggestion of a devilish coadjutor to
come from them. "The Horse" is the name of the next headland, with
a dangerous saddle-backed ridge, infinitely tempting to adventurous
climbers who do not mind bestriding it, with the knowledge that a
false step will probably send them to Kingdom Come on the moment. In
the dour, black little Cove, "the Horsepond," overlooked by beetling
cliffs, is Pigeon Hugo, only to be seen from a boat.

The scenery has here again attained to a black and savage grandeur, and
the sea is not to be reached at all except at the deep hollow in the
cliffs known as Gue Graze. Here were situated the soapstone quarries,
and streaks of steatite, the "soapstone" in question, are easily
found. They are of a dirty white hue and the substance feels greasy or
soapy to the touch. Chemically, it is "magnesia," and commercially is
generally known as "French chalk," used in softening boots and shoes,
and by tailors.

The bold promontory of Vellan Head now leads round to Pol Cornick, and
then to the bastioned heights of Pradanack, where Mullion Island comes
into view, a long way ahead. The chance explorer here has the scene
entirely to himself: to himself and the gulls, and the bunnies that
inhabit among the bracken and grey-mottled boulders.

A final stretch of cliff-tops, and you presently are looking down
upon Mullion Cove, properly "Porthmellin," for the village of Mullion
is close upon a mile inland. "Porthmellin" means Mill Cove. Mullion
Island, a great black rock with some real grass on it, stands
_guardant_, as it were, in advance, with other black and monstrous
rocks on either side, those over to Poldhu blacker than their fellows;
and gulls, emphasising the blackness and their own whiteness, poise,
screaming, in air against them.

A smart hotel--I do not know the name of it--stands on the headland and
seems to insolently hint that, even here, mankind has tamed the wilds.
He certainly has made the Cove, down there, look toy-like, and the
road up to Mullion village now resembles that through some ancestral
park. But nature has provided the huge and savage setting that makes
the little enfolding walls of the harbour, the little pool within, and
the two or three little houses, look smaller than they really are.
A general deceptiveness as to scale pervades the Cove: the rock of
Mullion Island is, for instance, a mile in circuit, and does not appear
to be one quarter that size. But the calm of a typical August day is
the deepest deception of all. It requires one of the autumn equinoctial
gales to reveal the innate unconquerable savagery of the place, when a
strong man can scarce stand before the wind, and giant waves leap over
the arms of the harbour and rush, seething and hungry for prey, up the

[Illustration: MULLION COVE.]

There are many records of wrecks at Mullion Cove and the cliffs between
it and the Lizard. From them I take that of a wreck on the rocks of
Mên-y-Grib = "Rock like a Comb," in 1867.

Undoubtedly the Cornish coasts have their mysteries, but none of them
is quite so mysterious as the wreck of the Dutch barque, _Jonkheer
Meester Van de Wall van Puttershoek_, which happened on the night
of March 25th, 1867. This vessel, of 650 tons, Captain Klaas van
Lammerts, homeward-bound from the East Indies with a cargo of sugar,
coffee, spices, and tin, was worth about £45,000, and had twenty-five
persons on board. She had been observed, the afternoon before, beating
up Channel in a gale, and it was then noted that she was being very
clumsily handled and would perhaps not succeed in rounding the Lizard.
The wreck took place at night, and all on board were drowned, except
one man, a Greek sailor, who was discovered the next morning, climbing
along the rocks between Polurrian and Poldhu.

"My name," he said, "is Georgio Buffani. I was seaman on board the
wrecked ship, which belonged to Dordrecht. I joined at Batavia, but I
do not know either the name of the ship or that of the captain."

He repeated this extraordinary statement at the inquest on the
drowned, and being shown a list of Dutch East Indiamen, picked out the
_Kosmopoliet_, as a likely one. The inquest therefore was concluded
on the assumption that this was the lost vessel. The Greek then left
and was not again heard of. Soon afterwards, however, the Dutch consul
at Falmouth came with the captains of two Dutch Indiamen then lying
in port. One of them declared that the _Kosmopoliet_ would not be due
for nearly another fortnight, and was convinced that the lost ship was
the _Jonkheer_. The vicar of Mullion then appeared with a fragment of
flannel he had found, marked "6 K. L." "Yes," said the captain, "it
must be the _Jonkheer_, for those are the initials of her captain,
Klaas Lammerts."

"On the Friday following," continues the vicar, "when the consul and
this Dutch captain again visited Mullion, the first thing handed to
them was a parchment which had been picked up meanwhile, and this was
none other than the masonic diploma of Klaas van Lammerts."

There were some curious incidents in connection with this wreck, and
the Greek sailor himself was something of a mystery: a kind of Jonah
to ships. It was the third time, he said, he had been wrecked, and
on every occasion was the sole survivor. It was noticed as singular
that he was wearing a lady's gold watch and chain; and piecing one
suspicious circumstance and another together, very grave thoughts were
entertained that there had been a terrible mutiny on board. But the
secret of it was shared alone by the Greek sailor and the sea. The
coast was thickly strewn with coffee-berries and sugar-baskets from the
cargo of the wrecked ship. Penzance speculators who carted many tons of
coffee away, lost heavily when it was discovered that the berries had
all been spoiled by sea-water.

The smuggling and the wrecking that once distinguished Porthmellin and
Mullion village may be traced in old records: the wrecking, I hasten to
say, not of that criminal, murderous type which produced wrecks, but
the fierce hunger for wreck of the sea which animated all coastwise
dwellers, and is still only dormant.

The chief smuggling incident is that of the _Happy-go-Lucky_, an armed
lugger of fourteen guns, commanded by one Welland, of Dover. She was
located off the Cove on April 4th, 1786, by the revenue-cutters _Hawk_
and _Lark_, and captured after a running fight in which Welland was

As to the "wrecking," an account, written in 1817, tells us vividly
about it.

"The neighbourhood is sadly infested with wreckers. When the news
of a wreck flies round the coast, thousands of people are instantly
collected near the fatal spot; pick-axes, hatchets, crow-bars, and
ropes are their usual implements for breaking up and carrying off
whatever they can. The moment the vessel touches the shore she is
considered fair plunder, and men, women, and children are working on
her to break her up, night and day. The precipices they descend, the
rocks they climb, and the billows they buffet to seize the floating
fragments are the most frightful and alarming I ever beheld; the
hardships they endure, especially the women, in winter, to save all
they can, are almost incredible. Should a vessel, laden with wine or
spirits, approach the shore, she brings certain death and ruin to
many with her. The rage and fighting, to stave in the casks and bear
away the spoils, in kettles and all manner of vessels, is brutal and
shocking. To drunkenness and fighting succeed fatigue, sleep, cold,
wet, suffocation, death. Last winter we had some dreadful scenes of
this description. A few in this neighbourhood, it seems, having a
little more light than others, had scruples against visiting a wreck
that came ashore on a Lord's day, lest it should be breaking the
Sabbath; but they gathered all their implements into a public-house
and waited until the clock struck twelve at midnight. Then they rushed
forth; all checks of conscience removed."

There is scenery here, to be explored at low water, as fine as that of
Kynance itself, if not finer. At any rate, it is of a more stern and
rugged order. Mullion Cave is a cavern indeed, with a generous opening
and deep black depths which it is the proper thing here to illuminate
with torches, or by the more ready, if also more evanescent, method of
lighting a newspaper.

Mullion village, away up inland, has a church dedicated to St. Melyan,
and some fine old bench-ends; but Mullion is perhaps more celebrated
through Miss Mary Mundy, the "Old Inn," and Professor Blackie.

Many years ago, in those days when railways were uncommon in Cornwall,
and when the comparatively few tourists generally walked, the "Old
Inn" at Mullion was made famous. Those were remarkable tourists in
that era. You can see exactly what they were like by referring to old
pages of _Punch_, where they will be discovered, generally pictured
by John Leech, in peg-top trousers, and wearing hats like inverted
pudding-basins, and long side-whiskers, which they were for always
pulling out, superciliously, between finger and thumb. Things have
greatly altered since then, perhaps for the better, perhaps not. I will
not presume to say. But I do hope pudding-basins and Dundreary whiskers
(otherwise "let-us-prays") and peg-top trousers will not come in again.

Those were the times when poets and literary men of repute, walking
round the coasts, did not disdain to write tributes in the visitors'
books of rustic inns. There were few inns and no hotels, and
visitors'-books were rarities. To-day, they all abound, but you will
seek in vain for any literature left behind by visitors, whose tributes
are generally of the kind I observed at Land's End, among which one
person had described himself as "King of the Cannibal Islands," and
incautiously expressed a desire to eat the donkey outside, he felt so
hungry. To this a later visitor had added, "Cannibal indeed!"

Professor Blackie in 1872 made the "Old Inn" and Mary Mundy who, with
her brother, kept it, famous. He wrote fourteen verses in her book--no
fewer than that!

Mary Mundy was, I believe, very proud of them, but they just serve to
show that when a literary man, or a professional man, writes undress
verses, so to speak, he is capable of many lines that not only will
not scan, but are also in horribly bad taste. The patronising air, the
liberty taken with the landlady's name, are they not insufferable? and
the fleshly delight over roast duck and cream, is it not revolting?
The verses are entitled: "_Laudes Hospitii Veteris, et Dominae Mariae

             Full many bright things on this earth there be,
             Which a pious man may enjoy with glee
                 On Saturday or Sunday;
             But the brightest thing that chanced to me,
             In Cornish land, was when I did see
                 The 'Old Inn,' by Mary Mundy.

             'Twas on Saturday afternoon
             That I was trudging, a weary loon,
                 To spend at the "Lizard" my Sunday,
             When thro' the corner of my right eye,
             The happy sign I did espy--
                 "OLD INN, by MARY MUNDY."

             So I went in, and out came she
             With a face from which blue devils would flee,
                 On Saturday or on Monday;
             And I said, as soon as I saw her face,
             "I could not be housed in a better place,
                 So I'll just stay here till Monday."

             Quoth I, "Could you give me a dinner well spread--
             An old arm-chair, and a well-aired bed,
                 And a good short sermon on Sunday?"
             Quoth she, "Indeed, sir, that we can,
             For I guess, no doubt, you're a gentleman,
                 As sure as my name is Mundy."

             I went upstairs with a bound and a hop,
             And I looked around the tight little shop,
                 And I said, "Miss Mary Mundy,
             There's not in London a grand hotel
             Where, with such comfort, I could dwell
                 As with you, my dear Miss Mundy."

             "You've got the tongue of a gentleman,"
             Quoth she; "I'll do the best I can,
                 On Saturday or Sunday."
             "That's just the thing we all should do;
             But they who do it are few, and you
                 Are one of the few, Miss Mundy!"

             But now to tell the feast she spread,
             And with what delicate zest we fed,
                 On the day before the Sunday,
             Would stagger the muse of a Tennyson,
             And bring from the Devil a benison
                 On the head of Mary Mundy.

             A London Alderman, sleek and fat,
             Would sigh for the sight of a duck like that
                 Was served to us by Mundy.
             A roasted duck, with fresh green peas,
             A gooseberry pie, and a Cheddar cheese,--
                 A feast for a god on Sunday.

             But the top of her skill I well may deem
             Was the dear delight of the Cornish cream
                 Both Saturday and Sunday.
             That down my throat did gently glide,
             Like sweet Bellini's tuneful tide,
               By the liberal grace of Mundy!

             And then to crown the banquet rare,
             A brandy bottle she did bear--
                 (God bless thee! Mary Mundy!)
             And said, "Full sure, a gentleman
             Abhors the lean teetotal plan
                 On Saturday or Sunday."

             And when my weary frame did glow
             With genial warmth from top to toe
                 (Good night, my dear Miss Mundy),
             I slept on bed as clean and sweet
             As lass that goes so trim and neat
                 With her lover to church on Sunday.

             But why should I go on to sin,
             Spinning bad rhymes to the good Old Inn
                 While the bell is tolling on Sunday?
             I'll go and hear short sermon there,
             Tho' the best of sermons, I declare,
                 Is the face of Miss Mary Mundy!

             And I advise you all to hold
             By the well-tried things that are good and old,
                 Like this snug house of Mundy;
             The good Old Church, and the good Old Inn,
             And the good old way to depart from sin,
               By going to church on Sunday.

             And if there be on Cornish cliffs,
             To swell his lungs with breezy whiffs,
                 Who can spare but only _one_ day,
             Let him spend it here; and understand
             That the brightest thing in Cornish land
                 Is the face of Miss Mary Mundy.

Long ago Mary Mundy and her brother left the "Old Inn," and at this
time of writing they are old and poor. How it came that they were
jockeyed out of their house I shall not tell here; they will tell it
at Mullion; but those who did it, I like to think, did not reap the
reward they expected, for the increased business looked for has gone
to the great new hotels built overlooking the sea itself, from which
Mullion is one mile distant.

                              CHAPTER XII


A coastguard path runs along the cliffs from Mullion Cove, descending
to the sandy shores of Polurrian, and thence to the smaller, but still
sandy, Poldhu Cove. Enterprising builders of hotels have erected
large and florid and up-to-date caravanserais here, and golfers have
impudently taken possession of the waste-lands. And wireless telegraphy
presides visibly over the scene; visibly because, although wireless in
one sense, it still has taken, besides the four enormously tall iron
and steel towers that stand on Poldhu headland, a vast quantity of
interlacing wires to form this chief among the Marconi stations. Those
great towers, with their staircases that go winding round and round to
the dizzy summits, are an obsession, not only here, but all over the
Lizard district. You may see them quite easily, ten miles away.

It is the last touch of modernity; and yet, you know, although these
towers are so ugly, they are the visible representatives of an
invisible power of communication through the ether that is very much
more wonderful than any tales of magic ever told in Cornwall.

For the other modern things in Cornwall--barrack-hotels, golfers,
"tinned" bread, and scientific methods of dealing with the milk--there
is no excuse. Before these developments, Cornwall--save in the matter
of overmuch rain--was near perfection.

The curses of modern Cornwall, from the point of view of any one
who prefers honesty, old-fashioned ways, and the continuance of the
ancient manners and customs of the delightful country west of the
Tamar, are High Churchism, golf, tin bungalows, huge caravanserai
hotels, and tinned bread. To these some might add "Riviera" expresses
and motor-cars, for they are opening up, between them, the uttermost
corners of what was once a difficult land for the tourist; and the
more you do thus "open up" Cornwall, the less like the dear delightful
old Duchy it ever becomes, and the more closely it approximates to the
cockneyfied shores nearer London.

Golf is certainly the prime offender. It is a scourge that has
devastated the once beautiful wild sandhills and coastwise heaths,
and reduced them to the titivated promenading grounds of the wealthy
bounders who generally used to confine their energies to the unhealthy
atmosphere of the billiard-room. The newer order of things is better
for the bounders, but very bad for the unconventional beauties of the
wilds. That desolating game is producing, here as elsewhere, a loafer
class of caddies, cockneyfying and undermining the sturdy Cornish
character, and changing the uprising rustic youth into a loafing,
cigarette-smoking type of wastrel who becomes unemployable and vicious
when youth is left behind, having learnt nothing but the vices of the
rich, which they have not the means to satisfy, while they have lost,
beyond recovery, the habit of industry. It was a bad day for England
when golf crossed the Scottish border and invaded our land.

Most of the other curses of Cornwall are the direct and inevitable
outcome of better local intercommunication, and of easier travel and
the consequent increase of tourists and summer residents. Few ever
foresaw, when corrugated, galvanised iron was introduced, how in less
than a generation the tin Bungalow and the Simple Life would go hand
in hand, and settle on the loneliest spots to be found along our
seaboard. I will leave it for future philosophers to determine which
invented the other; whether the Bungalow produced the Simple Life, or
whether an already existent desire for the simplification of existence
produced the Bungalow; with passing references to the Servant
difficulty and to that latter-day institution, the Week-end. But it is
now a well-understood and greatly practised thing that you may cheaply
live in a tin house in the wilderness, without servants, on tinned
provisions, and on tinned bread from the nearest machine-bakery, and
yet be in the intellectual movement of the time, and without reproach,
even though your sanitary arrangements be such that even the old-time
cottager might consider scandalous, and although, with the lengthening
of your sojourn, your rising zareba of empty tins makes ever more
squalid the surroundings.

Machine-made bread is a very real offence and distress to any one who
has known Cornwall for a considerable number of years, for it is a
comparatively recent introduction. Until quite lately, Cornwall was
one of the last strongholds of that admirable lady, the old-fashioned
housewife who was proud to make her own bread. She would, dear lady,
as soon thought of getting outside help for having the beds made, as
purchasing what she would have called, with contemptuous inflection,
"Baker's bread." But nowadays not only the resident, but the farmer
even, and the veriest cottager, gets his loaf from the baker's cart
that has now taken to calling for orders every morning, even in rural
districts, as though they were merely London suburbs. And such a
perverted taste in bread exists that not merely decent "baker's bread"
now prevails in these parts, but a dry, husky, leathery kind, that is
baked in tins, which Providence never intended bread to be.


                 He thought he saw the sun to shine
                   Effulgent o'er the land
                 He looked again--it rained in sheets,
                   With mud on either hand,
                 "If it were only dry," he said,
                   "This country would be grand."

                 He thought he saw a rustic inn
                   Of which the poets tell;
                 He looked again, and lo! it was
                   A brand-new Grand Hotel.
                 He looked a trifle glum, and said:
                   "Alas! it is not well."

                 He thought he saw a table spread
                   With honest English cheer;
                 He looked again, and there he saw
                   Tinned bread and lager beer.
                 He turned away, and sadly said:
                   "I take no luncheon here."

                 He thought to quench a raging thirst
                   (The way was long and rough);
                 He bought a glass of milk, and cursed:
                   'Twas "separated" stuff.
                 He hurried off; of modern ways
                   He'd had about enough.

                 He thought he saw a fisherman--
                   One of a sturdy race--
                 He looked again, and saw a youth
                   Of weak and vicious face.
                 "A golfing caddie," he remarked,
                   And fled the curséd place.

From Poldhu the cliffs die down for an interval and disclose a flat
shore. The little church lying down there, on the other side of
the sandy cove, its small detached tower half built into the rocky
hillside, is that of Gunwalloe. There is no village of Gunwalloe, and
the living is held with that of Cury, two miles inland. Scarce removed
above high-water mark, and in storms exposed in a large degree to the
fury of the waves, the lonely situation of Gunwalloe church excites
much wonder. Legends tell with misty vagueness that it was founded here
as the result of a vow made by a storm-tossed mariner that, should
Providence bring him safe to land, he would build a church where he
came ashore. There is not the least reason for doubting the truth of
this, and indeed it is the only probable explanation of a church being
built on such a spot. The existing building is a late fifteenth-century
structure obviously replacing a very early building, of which the
bowl of a Norman font is the only relic. The usual mean and skimping
restoration and refitting with pitch-pine may be noticed here.

St. Winwaloe, to whom the church is dedicated, died, in A.D. 529, Abbot
of Landevenec, in Brittany. His life was written by Abbot Wurdestan
of that place, in A.D. 884. "Gunwalloe" is simply a perversion of his
name, which is sometimes also written "Guenole." A curious epitaph may
be noted, on John Dale, drowned April 1808, in attempting the rescue of
a sailor wrecked on Loe Bar.

                  "When softest pity mov'd his heart
                    A brother's life to save,
                  Himself alas! a victim fell
                    To the relentless wave.

                  "But though his mortal part be dead,
                    His spirit lives above;
                  Where he may bathe from dangers free
                    In seas of heavenly love."

It is a disastrous sign of the times that at Cury, and here at
Gunwalloe, Ritualistic excesses are alienating from the Church of
England even those few who have hitherto adhered to it. These doings
so angered the people a year or two back that they threw the pictures
and candles and other Romish frippery into the sea; but the folly of it
goes on, and theatrical parties, wrongly styled religious processions,
of clergy proceed occasionally, with pomp of vestments and swinging of
incense, to the shore, reciting prayers for those drowned at sea, who,
poor souls are quite beyond this sort of thing. Even the bunches of
flowers the children are taught to throw into the waves don't help them
to salvation.

[Illustration: GUNWALLOE.]

Among the many wrecks at Gunwalloe, the story of what is called the
"Dollar Wreck" stands out most prominently. On a stormy night in 1787
a Spanish vessel struck on the cliffs by the church and became a total
loss. She had among her cargo a great quantity of silver dollars,
computed at the lowest at seventeen tons weight. Ever since that time
the story of the "dollar wreck" has been kept alive, not only by
tradition, but by scattered coins being occasionally flung upon the
beach by the waves, after some exceptionally heavy storm. Gunwalloe, in
fact, reeks with well-authenticated stories of dollars. The earliest
among these is that of a wonderful dream by a Mrs. Jose, not long after
the wreck. She saw in the vision a heavy bag of dollars lying on the
sands, and begged her husband to go and secure it. He laughed the idea
to scorn, but she persisted and was so in earnest about it that she got
up and dressed; and there, sure enough, lay the bag of dollars. But
just as she was rejoicing over the find, a number of wreckers happened
along this way and seized the treasure for themselves, quarrelling over
it until they resorted to bloodshed.

In 1845 a serious attempt was made to secure the buried dollars. The
position of the wreck was located, iron stanchions were fixed in
the cliffs, and a stone dam built out to enclose the spot, with the
intention of pumping out the water, but when those preparations were on
the eve of completion a storm came and utterly abolished all the works.
Another party of adventurers tried, about 1865, and sank a shaft into
which the sea burst, and in 1872 a further effort was made. The scheme
of operations was on this occasion altogether different, the idea being
to introduce pipes into the water and by powerful pumps to suck up the
sand and incidentally the dollars. But storms made short work of that
enterprise also. Attempts are even now in progress for the recovery of
the treasure that has been waiting over a hundred and twenty years for
the finding.

A mysterious wreck, not, however, so mysterious but that it was quite
certainly the result of foul play, happened on Gunwalloe sands on April
21st, 1890. The steamship _Brankelow_, from Cardiff for Cronstadt, with
a cargo of 3,000 tons of coal, ran at full speed ahead at midnight on
to the sands. Fortunately it was not rough weather at the time, and the
crew were got off safely, although it was stated that they were all
drunk. The cause of the vessel being driven directly for the land was
found to have been a malicious tampering with the compasses by Trades'
Union men at Cardiff, and by violent damage done wilfully to it on the
voyage. Two magnets had been inserted at Cardiff, by which the needle
was wrong to the extent of five points. The _Brankelow_ eventually
became embedded in the sand and was a total loss.

Up out of Gunwalloe the road skirts Halzaphron Cliffs, and thence
descends to the sands of Loe Bar. At Halzaphron on November 4th, 1807,
the ill-fated _Susan and Rebecca_ transport, homeward-bound from Buenos
Aires, was wrecked. Of the 180 on board, forty-one were drowned and
buried on the cliff-top. H.M.S. _Anson_ took the sands on Loe Bar,
December 28th, 1807, and was wrecked, with the loss of her captain and
sixty sailors.

[Illustration: LOOE POOL.]

Loe, or properly Looe, Bar is a belt of sand thrown up by the sea,
obstructing the outflow of a stream called the Cober, which has too
feeble a discharge to clear away the obstruction, causing the valley
running two miles and a half inland to Helston to assume the aspect
of a lake. In the summer these waters would to some degree percolate
through the sand, but in the winter's rains they could not escape so
quickly, and consequently the level of Looe Pool would rise by some
ten feet or more, a source of some inconvenience. From this arose an
ancient custom, by which the corporation of Helston presented the
lord of the manor with a leathern purse containing three-halfpence,
soliciting permission to cut the sandbar and so permit the water to
escape. Permission graciously accorded, workmen were engaged who cut
a trench in the sand, and so the stream burst through and regained
its summer level. This done, the sea began to choke up the outlet as
before, and the process was repeated the next winter.

This quaint old custom is now a thing of the past, it having been of
recent years somewhat belatedly realised that a culvert constructed
under Looe Bar would effectually drain the waters off, without the
periodic cuttings.

But Cornwall being the Cornwall of legends, it was known perfectly well
that satanic agency and not natural forces originally produced Looe
Bar. Time was, according to these legends, when Helston was a thriving
port, with trading vessels sailing up the estuary. It was Tregeagle
who did the mischief. Every one in Cornwall has heard of Tregeagle,
the dishonest steward, who pervades many legends and lives in many
centuries, these stories not being particular in the matter of ten
centuries or so. Set to work by St. Petroc at Gunwalloe, his task was
to carry sand in sacks across the mouth of the estuary and empty them
at Porthleven. Laden with a sack of enormous size, the doomed spirit
was wading across when one of the wicked demons, who were always on the
watch for him, tripped him up, and the contents of the sack fell into
the sea.

Helston is nowadays a quiet, uninteresting town, by no means looking
its age. It was in existence at the time of the Norman Conquest, for it
appears in Domesday Book as "Henlistone." Of its castle, as likewise of
its old-time Parliamentary importance of returning two members, nothing
is left; and only once a year does Helston advertise its existence to
the world, when its annual Furry, held on May 8th, is duly chronicled
in the newspapers. It attracted more attention in 1907, because that
was the year of Sir William Treloar, a native of Helston, being Lord
Mayor of London; and the sun shone that day on the unwonted spectacle
of a Lord Mayor jigging down the principal street of Helston in the
Furry Dance:

                  "With Hal-an-tow, Rumbelow!
                  For we are up as soon as any, O,
                  And for to fetch the summer home,
                  The summer and the may, O!
                  For summer is acome,
                  And winter is agone."

Such is the chorus of the Furry Song, sung to an immemorially ancient
tune. The Furry, which some hold to be a survival of the Roman
"Floralia," and is obviously in any case a celebration in honour of
spring, is observed with great earnestness and is officially recognised
by the Mayor and Corporation of Helston, who take active part in it.

The woods of Penrose descend beautifully to the shares of Looe Pool,
and they are exchanged with some regret for the not very interesting
cliff-road on to Porthleven, a small harbour town, situated on steep
hillsides overlooking a pool. Granite is shipped at the quays, and much
yacht- and boat-building is carried on. Inland is Breage, a village
lying just off the modern high-road between Helston and Penzance, and
suffering from the fact that it has thus been shouldered aside, in the
deviation of traffic. You may perceive, in the following lines, the
pronunciation of the place-name:

              It lies off the road to the Lizard,
                The weary old village of Breage,
              You need be no prophet nor wizard
                To tell that its living is vague.
              Its cottages falling in tatters;
                Their thatch sprouting grasses and weeds;
              A place where not anything matters:
                A village that nobody heeds.
              Its existence is rather uncertain,
                Its future decidedly vague,
              Unfertile the tillage around that old village,
                The derelict village of Breage.

[Illustration: BREAGE.]

The church is dedicated to a woman-saint, Breaca, one of the band of
Irish missionaries who landed at Hayle River. It is a large and fine
building. A prominent feature of the interior is a fresco, discovered
of late years, representing the Saviour as the benefactor of all
callings. The almost nude figure, ten feet high, is crowned. Gouts of
blood, like crows' feet or broad-arrow marks in shape, are plentifully
distributed over body and limbs, and all around are shown some fifty
articles of handicraft, including scythe, rake, saw, trowel, plumber's
iron, harp, zither, pitcher, cart, plate, sickle, axe, anchor, anvil,
and horseshoe, all connected with the figure by spurts of blood,
typifying the blood of Christ crucified sanctifying all callings. The
wheel on which the figure stands seems to typify eternity. A similar
fresco has already been noted at Poundstock.

The coast from Porthleven offers no exceptional features until after
passing Trewavas Head, when the smooth expanse of Praa Sands is seen.

Here the iron barque _Noisiel_, of Plymouth, was driven ashore in a
storm on the night of Friday, August 4th, 1905, and became a total
wreck. She was on her way from Cherbourg with 600 tons of armour-plate,
and weathered Rinsey Head only to become embayed off Praa Sands.
Anchors were let out, but failed to hold on the sandy bottom, and the
_Noisiel_ was driven in, broadside on, and the waves speedily broke her
back. The crew mostly jumped overboard and struck out for the shore.
Two of the nine aboard were drowned. The vessel was a total loss. Some
of the armour-plates still remain, half buried in the sand.


  _Gibson & Sons, Penzance._]


A little way onward and a quarter of a mile inland is the fine old
embattled tower of Pengersick Castle. It stands in a pleasant meadow,
and is now part of a "farm-place." The tower is of comparatively late
date, and seems to have been built in the reign of Henry the Eighth
under mysterious circumstances, by a person named Millaton. We need not
believe the tale that he had committed a murder in some distant shire,
and hid himself here, building the tower for defence, in the event
of justice nosing him; for the arrival of a stranger and the hasty
building of a defensible tower would at once have attracted undesirable
curiosity. Moreover, the masonry is of such exquisite fineness that it
is quite evident it was only built at leisure and by the most skilled
of craftsmen. Millaton is further said to have lived here with his wife
an unhappy existence. They hated one another to extinction; but at
last he pretended a reconciliation and planned an elaborate dinner to
celebrate the event. After dinner he raised his glass, in a toast, and
drained it off. She followed suit. Then said she: "Yours was poisoned,
and in three minutes you will be a dead man!"

"So was yours," he rejoined, "and you will be a dead woman in five

"No matter for that," replied his wife, "for I shall have two minutes
left, in which to kick your dead body!"

Germoc lies just inland from this place. Its church, in a hollow
beneath the high-road, is dedicated to St. Germoch, another of the
Irish saints. "St. Germoe's Chair," a canopied stone building, stands
in the churchyard. The corbel-stones of the south porch are carved with
figures of monkeys.

[Illustration: PENGERSICK CASTLE.]

Beyond Pengersick comes Hoe Point, and then Prussia Cove.


  _The Coast of Cornwall_


                             CHAPTER XIII


I had for long years wished to come to Prussia Cove, but for one reason
and another had always fallen short of it. If you are staying, for
example, at Penzance, Prussia Cove is a little beyond your ken; and if
Lizard Town or Mullion is your headquarters, then again the place is
remote. Therein you perceive at once a survival of its ancient solitary
and out-of-the-way situation, which made the place an ideal smugglers'
resort. For Prussia Cove is famous above all other places in Cornwall
in smuggling annals. Not, mark you, the mere legendary smuggling
tales, but sheer matter-of-fact details about the shy industry:
details that are so hard to come by; facts for which the historian of
smuggling cries aloud, and rarely gets. There are two coves: Prussia
Cove, originally named Porth Leah, and Bessie's Cove, separated from
one another only by a projecting reef. Bessie, who gave her name to
the westerly of the two inlets, was one Bessie Burrow, who kept an
inn called the "Kidleywink," on the cliff-top. "Kidleywink" was not
precisely the sign of the house: it appears to have been an old slang
Cornish term for a public-house.

The "King of Prussia" who imposed that title upon the erstwhile Porth
Leah was not in the first instance Frederick the Great, but John
Carter, the eldest of a family of that name who were settled here
in the eighteenth century. Among the eight Carter brothers and two
sisters, children of one Francis Carter, miner and small farmer, who
died in 1784, we hear in detail only of the three brothers, John,
Henry, and Charles. Ostensibly all small farmers and fisherfolk, they
were really smugglers on an extensive scale; "free-traders" in a bold
and open way, greatly respected round about by all the squires and
considerable people who knew them. They had, each one of them, the
reputation of being honest men who would touch nothing that was not
their own, and sold excellent cognac, hollands, and other articles
at fair prices. Very well thought-of men, I assure you, with whom
some "great men," darkly hinted at, did not disdain to enter into

John Carter took his nickname of "King of Prussia" from the boyish
games of "King of the Castle" in which he and his brothers used to
fleet their youth away, and the name stuck to him in after life,
as often is the way with great and celebrated personages. Even so,
Dickens, the "Boses" (for Moses) of his and his brothers' games,
became "Boz"; and Louisa de la Ramée, who as a baby lisped her name,
"Ouida," became in after years famous in that signature. So the "King
of Prussia," _i.e._ John Carter, is in good company. In 1770 he built
a substantial stone house on the cliffs, and appears to have used it
in part as a residence, partly as a store for smuggled goods, and in
some degree as an inn (I fear quite unlicensed) known as the "King
of Prussia." There he lived until 1806, and from a small battery he
had constructed he had the impudence to fire on one occasion upon the
_Fairy_ revenue sloop, which had chased a smuggling craft into the cove
and had sent in a boat-party. The boat retreated, and notice being
given to the collector of customs at Penzance, a military force was
despatched to reduce his fort, by taking it in the rear. The smugglers
retreated to the "Kidleywink" and the soldiers then left for Penzance,
perhaps having demolished Carter's emplacements.

Elsewhere than in Cornwall all these things would have produced
bloodshed; but nothing more seems to have been said about the affair,
which is delightfully, entirely, and characteristically Cornish; own
cousin to Irish escapades, just as the Cornish might, if they cared to
do so, even call cousins with the Irish themselves.

Of Charles Carter we hear little, but of Henry--"Captain Harry"--a
good deal. He had many adventures; was "wanted" by the excise and fled
to America; returned and recommenced adventurous smuggling voyages to
Roscoff in Brittany; was made prisoner of war in France, and then
settled as agent for his brothers in Roscoff. He had all his life
been troubled by the qualms of religious fear, and had in 1789 become
converted. In after years he retired and lived in a small way as a
farmer in the neighbouring hamlet of Rinsey, where he died in 1829.
He wrote his Autobiography, a human document of singular interest,
and preached fervently while still actively a smuggler, doubling the
parts of saint and sinner in the most extraordinary way; entirely
without suspicion of false dealing. He feared God and failed to honour
the King, in the important respect of chousing him out of his inland
revenue as far as it was possible for him to do. He lived respected
and died lamented. I have had occasion to refer to him at length
elsewhere[B] and I have no doubt that, according to his lights, he was
an entirely honest man.

Prussia Cove at the present time of writing is a place wholly
uninteresting. The "King of Prussia's" house was pulled down in 1906,
and a new road is on the site of it. Caverns, said, of course, to have
been the Carters' storehouses, yawn darkly in the low cliffs, above
high-water mark. A barbed-wire squalor abounds along the winding road,
and through the garden of an uninviting residence you come down to
Bessie's Cove and the dark rocks going sheer into the water; always
with "Trespassers will be Prosecuted" staring you in the face from
makeshift posts and notice-boards.

Going up out of the region of these singular developments, I met a man
raking over some stones recently placed in the road: a good-looking
man, with a beard and an indefinable air of being a retired officer
of the Royal Navy. He asked what I wanted there, a question I thought
impudent; but giving the inoffensive answer that I had been seeking
Prussia Cove, the scene of Carter, the smuggler's activities, and could
not find Carter's house, he replied that he thought people coming to
see the place for that reason was sheer morbidness.

"How so?" I asked.

"Oh!" said he, "all that kind of thing is past and done away with; and
besides, I've had the house pulled down; and this is a private road."

"Oh!" I rejoined, "the deuce it is, and you have! Who does it belong
to, then?"

"To me; but don't you trouble about that. Go just where you like."

I told him, as nicely as possible, that this was precisely what
I intended to do; and then this apparently contradictory but not
unamiable person began to dilate upon the want of respect the Cornish
had for antiquity. The text for this was the cantankerous nature of two
old maiden ladies, who jointly owned an old wayside smithy on the high
road between Ashtown and Germoe. When one had agreed to sell it to my
informant, if he could obtain her sister's consent, he went to the
other sister with the proposition.

"What does my sister say?" she asked.

"She agrees."

"Then I won't!"

And as neither would agree upon anything concerning it, the building
was unsold and went tenantless. Thenceforward, it fell into disrepair,
and eventually fell down altogether.

Laughing at this ridiculous, but true, story, I went my way. I
discovered afterwards that the narrator of it was the locally famous
Mr. Behrens, who has purchased the land in and about Prussia Cove and
has figured in some bitterly fought right-of-access cases here.

The headland beyond Prussia Cove, forming the eastern horn of Mount's
Bay, is Cuddan Point. The meaning of "Cuddan" is said to be dark, or
gloomy, but there is nothing exceptionally so in this not very striking
point, and the autumn corn-fields render the approach to it even
cheerful. But there is nothing gained by toiling to its extremity. The
embattled granite house looking over Mount's Bay from hence is known as
Acton Castle. From it the coastline can be plainly seen for miles.

Whichever way you go, by cliffs or by the high road, to Perranuthnoe,
the way is extremely dull, and Perranuthnoe--now called locally merely
"Perran"--is a dull little village. According to a wild legend, it was
to the shore by Perranuthnoe that an ancestor of the Trevelyans came on
horseback from the submerged land of Lyonesse between Land's End and
Scilly. The roaring waters that had engulfed that fabled land and its
140 churches could not keep pace with his marvellous steed.

The scenery has for several miles past been distinctly inferior in
interest and beauty to that of Mount's Bay and westward; but as it
is the most truistic of truisms that every eye forms its own beauty,
there may conceivably be those who can find it otherwise. The proof,
or disproof, of the assertion lies with the explorer; he is a poor
creature that takes his opinions ready-made.

Regaining the dull high road from Perranuthnoe, the very considerable
village of Marazion is met, fringing the highway. There is very much
more of Marazion than those who look at it from below would suppose,
but as the view _from_ Marazion is infinitely better than any view _of_
it, there need be no curiosity cherished by Penzance visitors looking
eastward, as to what is there, immediately over the shoulder of the
hill, beyond the Mount. Yet, if there can be no interest in Marazion,
there is plenty of the antiquarian kind in its parish church of St.
Hilary, over a mile distant, away back in a north-easterly direction,
in a lonely situation off the road. It was in 1853 that the body of the
church was burnt down, with the exception of the Early English tower,
with stone spire, remarkable in Cornwall, where spires are rare. In the
rebuilt church, removed from the churchyard, now stands the famous
"Constantine stone," inscribed

             IMP . CAES . FLAV . VAL . CONSTANTINO . PIO .

Rendered in full, this, the longest Romano-British inscription in
Cornwall, becomes a dedication to the Emperor Constantine the Great.
The date has been fixed at A.D. 307. The stone was perhaps a milestone,
but there is very much more about the ruling monarch than modern
travellers would welcome, and if there was ever a mileage inscription
as well, it has wholly disappeared. It will probably be conceded by
all that in the matter of milestones, at any rate, we are superior to
the Romans. It is a somewhat curious coincidence that a contemporary
milestone has in recent years been discovered at Tintagel, bearing an
inscription to Licinius, co-ruler with Constantine.

[Illustration: THE "NOTI-NOTI STONE," ST. HILARY.]

A more mysterious stone exists at St. Hilary. This is the well-known
but imperfectly understood "Noti-Noti stone" a seven-foot long block
of granite, inscribed with those two words and six not very distinct
symbols supposed to represent masonic tools. Some antiquaries are
disposed to regard it as the tombstone of an unknown Notus, the son of
Notus; but the meaning is quite uncertain.

But to return to Marazion, where another insoluble problem awaits
us and wordy warfare continually rages around the derivation of the
place-name. It was once alternatively, in the local speech, "Market
Jew," and thus arose the popular legend that the Jews anciently
established here a market for tin. But it seems reasonable to suppose
that "Market Jew" was only a corruption, by people who had almost
wholly forgotten the now extinct Cornish language, of the Cornish
words _marghasiou_, signifying "markets." Those "Jews" are supposed
to have really been Phœnician traders. A further theory, that the
name derived from _Margha-ziawn_, meaning "market-strand," deserves
consideration. But whatever may be the truth, there is no doubt that
here was situated a tin-smeltery in very remote times, for in 1849 the
ruins of such a building were discovered. The Marazion people styled
it, of course, the "Jews' House," and some of the "Jews' House tin"
found there is to be seen in the museum at Penzance. A great deal of
ingenuity, unsupported by any real evidence, has been employed in
attempts to solve the meaning of the place-name, and it has been put
forward that the spot was originally inhabited by a colony of Jews, who
handed down the bitterness of their exile by styling it "Mara-Zion,"
_i.e._ "Bitter Zion." Still another theory has been advanced, namely
that St. Michael's Mount was the original Marazion, from the Hebrew,
"marath-aiyin," "the landmark"; the Mount being the most prominent
object for many miles out to sea. So it will be perceived that there is
no lack of choice.

Coming down the long street of Marazion to the shores of Mount's Bay,
the most remarkable scene in Cornwall opens out before you. There
stretch the flat curving shores of the bay, fringed with sands, but
for the most part solitary, with the last miles of the Great Western
Railway running along the levels, just above high-water mark; and
Penzance town showing white in the distance, three miles away. There
are more beautiful bays in Cornwall, and better sands, and repose
rather than ruggedness is the note of the scene; but the great
distinguishing feature of Mount's Bay--the feature that gives the
bay its name--is St. Michael's Mount, rising majestically in the sea
off Marazion, half a mile distant from the mainland, with its castle
and priory, now the residence of Lord St. Levan, cresting the rocky
pyramid with a coronet of towers and pinnacles. St. Michael's Mount
is an inspiring sight, whether you are in expectation of seeing it or
not. But nothing is unexpected in the way of scenery nowadays. You know
what lies round every bend of the road. If we could only recapture the
unexpected, how fine that would be!

But, whether you first see St. Michael's Mount at high tide, when it is
an island, or at the ebb, when it is joined to the land by half a mile
of slimy, seaweedy causeway, it is grand.

At the same time, I like best to think of St. Michael's Mount as I
first saw it, on first coming into Cornwall. I had come by train from
Paddington, and the day had long given place to night. The weary train
pulled up for the ticket-taking at Marazion Road, and in the quiet
interval the wind boomed about the station buildings, and the wash of
the waves could be plainly heard on the sands. Eagerly one looked out
upon the night for a possible glimpse of the famous Mount, and there
indeed, guided by a twinkling light so high that it looked like a star,
the eye saw vaguely a monstrous pyramidal bulk, a something darker than
the surrounding darkness. "It is the Mount," I said, and a thrill of
romantic delight possessed me.

Well, you know, St. Michael's Mount is 231 feet in height. It is no
mean altitude, and the rise is so sharp up its sides that one need not
be of the Falstaff kind, fat and scant of breath, to find the climbing
it something tiring on a hot day. But St. Michael's Mount the next
morning was a less impressive object than that darkling glimpse gave
warranty for. It was inevitable. Just as the impression overnight had
been finer than expected, so the reality suffered. But ordinarily St.
Michael's Mount does not disappoint; always with this proviso, that
you do not see its bigger brother, Mont St. Michel, on the coast of
Normandy, first.

An ingenious eighteenth-century writer remarked of St. Michael's
Mount that "it seemed emblematic of a well-ordered State, its base
being devoted to Trade and Commerce, its sides to the service of the
country, and its summit to the glory of God." By "trade and commerce"
he indicated the little village and harbour at the foot of the Mount,
and the reference to the glory of God was of course an allusion to the
remains of the Abbey, but what he could have meant by "the service of
the country" I cannot tell, unless by any chance it was an allusion to
the ineffectual popgun battery mounted on the crags.

The history of St. Michael's Mount begins like most history, in
uncertainties. It is supposed--and much criticism has not destroyed
the supposition--that it is the place called _Iktis_, referred to by
Posidonius, who travelled in Britain during the first century before
the Christian era. He spoke of the "little islands called Cassiterides,
lying off the coast of Iberia," from which much tin was obtained,
and then mentioned the isle of Iktis, in Britain. It is quite clear,
therefore, that the supposition that by the Cassiterides he meant the
Scilly Islands, or any islands in Britain, must be baseless. They were
what we know as the Balearic Islands, off the coast of Spain, the
_Iberia_ of the ancients. But in other writers we find the Cassiterides
to indicate tin islands in general.

Diodorus Siculus, who was contemporary with Julius Cæsar, and wrote
a _Universal History_, a considerable undertaking for one man even
then, appears to have copied a good many of the statements made by
Posidonius, in addition to having described places seen in his own
travels. He is not always regarded as a reliable authority, but there
seems no reason to doubt the essential truth of his statements.
Referring to "Belerion," otherwise Cornwall, he says: "The inhabitants
of that extremity of Britain both excel in hospitality and also, by
reason of their intercourse with foreign merchants, are civilised
in their mode of life. These people prepare the tin, working very
skilfully the earth which produces it. The ground is rocky, but has
in it earthy veins, the produce of which is wrought down and melted
and purified. Then, when they have cast it in the form of dice-shaped
cubes, they carry it into a certain island adjoining Britain, and
called Iktis. For, during the recess of the tide, the intervening
space is left dry, and they carry over abundance of tin to this place
in their carts. And there is something peculiar in the islands of
these parts lying between Europe and Britain, for at the full tide
the intervening passage being overflowed, they appear islands, but
when the sea retires, a large space is left dry, and they are seen as
peninsulas. From them the merchants purchase the tin of the natives and
transport it into Gaul, and finally, travelling through Gaul on foot,
in about thirty days they bring their burdens on horses to the mouth
of the river Rhone."

That Diodorus should refer to "islands," rather than the one island
that becomes a peninsula at low water, has been held as a proof that
he knew nothing at first hand about this coast, but it may well be
that in the changes known to have taken place here, other islands
have disappeared. Quite apart from the fantastic legends of the lost
land of Lyonesse between Scilly and the Land's End, where the lone
waters, empty except for a few intervening reefs, now roll, it is
quite certain that at some early period what is now Mount's Bay was a
forest. Hunt, in his "Popular Romances of the West of England," tells
us--not romancing: "I have passed in a boat from St. Michael's Mount to
Penzance on a summer day, when the waters were very clear and the tide
low, and seen the black masses of trees in the white sands, extending
far out into the bay. On one occasion, while I was at school at
Penzance, after a violent equinoctial gale, large trunks of trees were
thrown up on the shore, just beyond Chyandour, and then with the other
boys I went at the lowest of the tide, far out over the sands, and saw
scores of trees embedded in the sands. We gathered nuts--they were
beech-nuts--and leaves in abundance." I, too, have found, cast upon the
shore, traces of this submarine forest.

Now it is a curious thing, in this connection, that, among the various
names by which St. Michael's Mount has been known, including the
earliest of all, "Din-Sûl," or the "Fortress of the Sun," is that of
_Carregloose-in-coes_, which, spelled in slightly different ways,
means the Hoar Rock (that is to say the grey rock) in the Wood. "Coes"
appears to have been a form of the early British "coed," for woodland.
The town of Cowes, for example, in the Isle of Wight, takes its name
from the woodlands that once occupied its site. St. Michael's Mount
was once, therefore, a part of the mainland, and if we observe, still
further, that the Chapel Rock on the approach to it, and the great
pyramidal form of the Mount itself are hard greenstone and granite,
resting upon slate and clay, we shall see exactly why they remain
whence all other land has disappeared.

That foreigners, in times long before the Romans came to Britain, were
accustomed to resort to this neighbourhood for tin has already been
shown, and that they were Phœnicians is certain. Many people dismiss
the Phœnicians as a people almost as mythical as the phœnix itself,
but they were the earliest maritime traders. They were the people who
founded Carthage, and they penetrated to the ends of the known world.
Also they were of a strongly marked Semitic, or Jewish type; and thus
ancient Cornish traditions about "the Jews" are well based on facts.

As "St. Michael's" Mount the island became early known. At some
uncertain time the Archangel is said to have appeared here to some
hermits, and the place was therefore already holy when St. Keyne came
from Ireland in A.D. 490 and visited it. Edward the Confessor, in the
eleventh century, granted St. Michael's Mount to the Benedictine Abbey
of Mont St. Michel in Normandy, and until the reign of Henry the Fifth
it remained the property of that Abbey, with a priory established on
its summit. It was then transferred to the Abbey of Sion, in Middlesex.

The Abbey of Mont St. Michel and the Priory of St. Michael's Mount
were fortresses, as well as religious establishments. The monks had
fortified themselves for their own protection, and the strongholds
seemed so useful to men of strife that we early find St. Michael's
Mount seized and held by them when trouble was brewing. Thus, when
Richard Lion-heart was a prisoner abroad, one Henry de Pomeroy got
possession of the Mount on behalf of John. But when Richard, contrary
from all reasonable expectation, returned, the position became
untenable, the garrison yielded, and Pomeroy opened one of his veins
and bled himself to death; a more excellent way than reserving himself
for the picturesque and long-drawn agonies that in those times were the
penalty of high treason.

A more desperate affair was that of 1471, when the Earl of Oxford,
and a party of fugitives from the Yorkist crowning mercy at Barnet,
fled from the vengeance of Edward the Fourth and took possession of
the Mount. They came as pilgrims. You may quite easily picture them
coming to the shore, pausing a moment at the Chapel Rock, then with
a chapel on it; and thence walking the causeway to the Mount, kissing
the relics at the foot of it, praying at the two wayside crosses up its
steep sides and then admitted to the Priory itself, where, with drawn
swords, produced from beneath their travel-stained pilgrims' garb,
they soon made themselves masters of the place. Sir John Arundell,
sheriff of Cornwall, was sent to dislodge them, and was after several
attacks slain on the sands. According to the received account, Edward
the Fourth pardoned the Earl of Oxford, on account of his so gallantly
defending himself here; but we may well suppose that he "pardoned" him
because he could not by other means dislodge this valorous rebel.

The Priory became a sanctuary for Lady Catherine Gordon, wife of
Perkin Warbeck, in the time of Henry the Seventh, but sanctuaries were
generally violated, and this was no exception. She was dragged out and
sent to London.

During the west-country rebellion against the reformed religion in
1549, the Priory having by that time been dissolved and the property
granted to the Arundells of Lanherne, Humphrey Arundell held it for
the rebels. It was taken and retaken in the fights that followed,
and Arundell at last was captured and put to death. The last warlike
operations at St. Michael's Mount were the defence by the Royalist,
Sir Francis Basset, and the capture by Colonel Hammond, on behalf of
the Parliament. Since 1660 it has been the property of the St. Aubyn


  [_From the painting by Clarkson Stanfield._


The village at the foot of the Mount, with its little harbour, occupies
a humble feudal situation beneath the castle of my Lord St. Levan.
If you would seek revived mediævalism in a democratic age, then St.
Michael's Mount is the place to find it, for Lord St. Levan maintains
a body of gorgeously liveried boatmen to row him across, to and from
his island hold; and nowadays, instead of being free to ramble about
the craggy sides of the Mount, the stranger must resign himself to
a guide. Whether wanton mischief on the part of holiday-makers, or
the scattering of sandwich-papers, has aught to do with this changed
condition of affairs, or whether it is merely due to the increased
consideration the St. Aubyns cherish for themselves since the barony of
St. Levan was conferred upon the family in 1887, I will not pretend to

The interior of the castellated residence is of somewhat varied
interest. The chapel, although originally of Perpendicular
architecture, was so altered in the "restoration" of 1826 that it is
now merely a melancholy example of what was in those days considered
to be Gothic. It is chill and bare and quite without any feature of
note, with the exception of one thing that, being just a hole in the
floor, can scarce be described as a "feature." This is an _oubliette_,
discovered during the works of 1826.

Romantic novelists have been largely responsible for a general
indifference to the very real mysteries and tragedies of ancient
buildings, and the public, unable to distinguish between fact and
fiction, have agreed to look upon everything out of the common as
fiction. Yet here, the workmen of some eighty years ago, removing the
old woodwork, discovered a walled-up door in the south wall, and,
opening it, a narrow flight of stone steps was revealed, leading down
into a grim stone cell, six feet square, without any window or other
opening than the door by which they had entered. They were horrified by
stumbling in the darkness of that dreadful place upon what proved to
be the skeleton of a man of extraordinary height. Who that unfortunate
wretch was, flung into this living tomb, to be conveniently "forgotten"
and to die of starvation, has never been discovered. The appalling
cynicism that constructed this particular example of an _oubliette_
beneath the chapel floor is worthy of remark. While the doomed man
lay there, above him the pious castellan and his fellow-villains were
praising God.

The Chevy Chase Hall, a room formerly the refectory of the Priory,
but remodelled in the seventeenth century, is a small apartment with
timber roof. The name now given it refers to a curious plaster frieze
representing hunting scenes. The Tower is the oldest portion of the
buildings, rising to a total height of 250 feet from the sea. A
projecting granite framework, looking out from the south-west angle of
the battlements, is known popularly as "St. Michael's Chair." It is
really the frame of an ancient lantern, beacon, or cresset, lighted
in former times to guide the fishing-boats safely into harbour; but
a legend has obtained currency that any sweetheart, or husband, or
wife, first taking a seat in it will be "master for life." It is not
a difficult matter to edge into the "chair," but it requires rather
more agility, and a cool head, to return. In spite of this, very many
women do perform the act; which shows at once their superstition and
the real keenness they have to obtain the upper hand. But at the same
time, it may not inaptly be supposed that, to any contemplative and
philosophical man, the spectacle of his chosen one attempting the
hazardous feat will be something in the nature of a danger-signal. If
the loved one be now ready to risk a broken neck for this supposed
advantage, what, he might suppose, will be his chance of happiness?

[Illustration: ST. MICHAEL'S CHAIR.]

The church-tower peeping over the hill-top on the right hand, as you
proceed along the dull flat road to Penzance is that of Ludgvan, and
the marshes are those of Ludgvan Leaze. Ludgvan church, although an
extremely blue-mouldy edifice, is not without interest and has a
particularly good tower. Moreover, there are tablets in it to the
memory of the Davy family, of whom the celebrated Sir Humphry, born
at Penzance in 1778, is the most notable. Dr. Borlase, who may be
described as the father of Cornish archæology, was rector here for
fifty-two years, and died in 1772. A well in Ludgvan has, by ancient
tradition, the curious property of insuring whosoever drinks of its
water from being hanged. It may be testimony to the law-abiding
character of the Ludgvan people that they do not set much store by
the virtues of their well; but at the same time they are somewhat sly
humorists, as perhaps any stranger not duly forewarned may discover,
on asking if there is anything of interest in the place. "Oh! yes,"
you are likely to hear; and then comes the story of the well and an
urgent invitation to drink of it, by way of insurance. The origin of
this legend is altogether unknown, but may be an entirely distorted
recollection of some special property connected with a holy well of
St. Lidgean, one of the numerous Irish saints of Cornwall, whose name
survives in that of the village.

Behind Ludgvan, rising to a height of 765 feet, is the hill of
Castell-an-Dinas, not perhaps so much a hill as a culmination of the
downs stretching between the north coast of Cornwall and the south,
a distance from sea to sea of only five miles between Marazion and
Hayle, and between Penzance and St. Ives of only seven miles. From
the hill-top both the Bristol and the English Channels can at once be
seen. Castell-an-Dinas is a prehistoric camp, with a modern roughly
constructed stone tower, locally known as "Roger's Tower," in its
midst. It seems to have been built about the time when one "J. H., aged
63" was buried, in 1823. This person, together with three others of his
family who died in 1812, lie within a little walled enclosure on the
hillside. He had some dispute with the vicar of Gulval, and so refused
to allow any of his family to be buried in the churchyard. Something of
a key to his sentiments will be found in the inscriptions within the
enclosure: "Custom is the idol of fools," and "Virtue only consecrates
this ground."

As Penzance is approached, Gulval appears on the right, its
church-tower glimpsed from amid its surrounding trees. The flat fields
are devoted to the cultivation of broccoli, and early vegetables,
fruits, and flowers for the London market. The saint whose name is
hidden in that of Gulval is said to be Wulvella, a Welshwoman, sister
of St. Pol de Leon to whom the church of Paul near Mousehole, is
dedicated. It is also said to indicate St. Godwald, a sixth-century
Welsh bishop-hermit.

Gulval is one of the prettiest churchyards in Cornwall, beautiful
with subtropical plants and pampas grass. Behind Gulval, on the little
Trevaylor brook, is Bleu Bridge, a footbridge only remarkable for a
tall granite pillar at one end, inscribed lengthways QVENATAVCI ICDINVI

Penzance is reached past the fringe of houses called Chyandour, on
the level, approaching the railway station, where the Trevaylor brook
enters the sea. "Chyandour" means "the house by the water," and
probably marks the site of a prehistoric settlement of tin-streamers.
Tin-smelting works are now situated on the brook.


[B] "The Smugglers," pp. 165-182.

                              CHAPTER XIV


Penzance is 279-1/2 miles from Hyde Park Corner, London, by road, and
305-1/4 miles by Great Western Railway. Until some ten years ago, when
the Great Western adopted a shorter route, and cut off some of the
generous curves with which Brunel had endowed the Cornish portion of
the line, the mileage was 328. The name, originally spelled "Pen Sans,"
and still pronounced so, means Holy Head, or Headland, but there is
some uncertainty as to the precise significance. A chapel dedicated to
St. Anthony once stood on the bold bluff by the harbour, where the not
very satisfactory church of St. Mary, built in 1834, is now situated;
and it may have been from this sainted headland that the place-name
derived. But for long centuries the Holy Head has been thought that
of St. John the Baptist, and when in 1614 Penzance adopted a borough
seal, it was the head of the Baptist on a charger they selected for
the town's device. The old springtime festival, held from distant
centuries in the streets of the town, takes place on the eve of St.
John the Baptist, and on the eve of St. Peter.

[Illustration: ARMS OF PENZANCE.]

Penzance is by no means a parasite seaside town, existing only for
and on visitors. It is a busy market-town all the year round, with a
considerable harbour. The long straight thoroughfare of Market Jew
Street, rising steadily to the Market House, which is the centre of
Penzance, is a street of shops. The Market House is a rather gloomy
granite building, with a cupola that bulks out conspicuously in distant
views and stands for Penzance. Indeed, in reminiscences of the place
you do not so much as think of the sea-front as of this extraordinary
municipal building, that shows the ideas of Ionic architecture
prevailing in 1837, the time when it was built. The Market House is, in
short, the quintessence of Penzance, and that is the reason why I have
included an illustration of it. Be quite sure it is not for its beauty,
or for the justness of its proportions, nor even for the white marble
statue of Sir Humphry Davy that has stood since 1872 in front of it, on
the site of the house in which he was born. He is Penzance's greatest
son, and was born here in 1778. Philosopher and chemist, and inventor
of the miner's safety-lamp, I dare to believe him a greater and a more
practical man than Sir Isaac Newton. Davy died at Geneva in 1829, and
was buried there.

Davy at any rate was a man far more practical than the wiseacres who
built the Market House, blocking up the middle of the street just
where it is at its busiest, and where traffic pours in from confluent

The ancient market-cross stood until recently at its western end.

Penzance market-cross stood until 1829 in the Green Market, but was in
that year removed to the corner of a house in North Street. When that
house was demolished, in or about 1868, the cross was again moved on,
finding a home, appropriately enough, in the west wall of the Market
House. There it remained, its inscribed side hidden against the wall,
for some thirty years. Loungers leaned lazy shoulders against it,
butchers rested sides of meat on it, and it grew, about the head of
it, a greasy object. And then some one, in July 1899, hit upon the
brilliant idea of removing the cross and cleaning it, and placing it
upon a nice new base in the Morrab Gardens, with a metal plate setting
forth the year when these things were done. And there it is dripped
upon by trees, and although granite is a hard and obstinate substance,
yet we have it upon unimpeachable authority that "constant dropping
will wear away a stone," and certainly the cross was better preserved
by its greasy daily experiences at the back of the Market House than in
its present dank situation.

Although it is in shape and size (5 feet 6 inches high), just a typical
Cornish cross, it is one of the most interesting: the front of it
curiously incised with little holes, while the back, hitherto hidden,
bears an inscription, which has been read as "Hic procumbunt corpora


Beyond this hub of Penzance is the more residential part, Alverton;
and Alverton itself is of two quite distinct periods. Firstly,
the delightfully quaint and cosy-looking Regency bay-fronted and
plaster-faced villas by the Morrab Gardens, and then the modern
stone-built residential suburb about Morrab Road.

The sea-front is quite casual. It boasts a hotel or two and some more
early Regency cottages, and the broad asphalted parade, raised by a few
feet above the narrow beach, commands widespread views over the shallow
waters of Mount's Bay; but it is not thrust forward by Penzance as a
great feature. It just happened, so to speak.

Almost coterminous with Penzance is Newlyn, on the west. The name
of Newlyn does not indicate "new lake," or indeed, anything new,
but derives, like that of Newlyn near Newquay, from St. Newlyna, or
Neulwyn, a Breton maiden, who was murdered by a suitor whose love she
did not requite. Pontivy Noyala, in Brittany, owes the second half of
its name to her.

Newlyn is, of course, a busy fisher-village, and has now got a harbour
of its own. They are wilful people at Newlyn, or were, as the following
story will show.

Tithe of fish, as of other things, was claimed of old by, and paid
to, the clergy, but that is now a thing of the past. The sturdy
fisher-folk of Newlyn were among the earliest to resist it. They banded
themselves together, painted "No Tithe" on a board which they nailed to
a wall, to keep their determination hot, took especial care of their
fish-offal, to the sorrow of the gulls, and waited. It was not long
before the lawyer came to distrain for tithe. He got it, "in kind." The
contents--extremely unsavoury--of various offal-tubs were poured over

About the year 1885 Newlyn began to be genuinely astonished. Now
your true Cornishman--and they are all Cornishmen and true who live
at Newlyn--is not easily astonished; that violent rippling of the
mental surface is difficult to accomplish here. So the thing that
thus surprised this fisher-town must have been, and was, remarkable.
It was nothing less than the discovery of the artistic possibilities
of the place. Every one who knew Newlyn knew well enough that it
was picturesque: guide-books had told them so, and those who could
not discover it for themselves, and knew only of the fishy smells
that pervaded the seashore and the crooked alleys, would read to
one another in those guide-books, "The village is picturesque," and
then perceive that this was indeed the case. But although J. C. Hook
had for many years painted Cornish seas, no one had yet painted the
life of this place, or of St. Ives, or that of any other among the
many characteristic villages of these coasts. Cornish landscapes and
seascapes, yes; but the everyday existence of the folk who peopled them
had not been revealed to art as a thing well worthy of treatment, alike
for its drawing and colour, and for its mingled pathos, nobility, and
the virtue of long endurance.

The Newlyners, be sure of that, did not suspect themselves out of the
common. Visitors to Penzance discovered Newlyn as a curious place worth
a morning or an afternoon's exploration, but not a place where the
polite might stay. That is to say, here is no up-to-date hotel, and the
folk are, or were, primitive. Their natural politeness cannot be in

Then Mr. Stanhope Forbes, who has since attained to the dignity of
"R.A.," found Newlyn and perceived its artistic value. He and Frank
Bramley were the founders of what has become famous as the "Newlyn
School." They painted fish sales, domestic auctions, village weddings,
Christmas-Eve in Penzance, "Hopeless Dawn" in a fisherman's cottage
when the fishing-fleet has been storm-tossed, and many another episode
in the life of the people, and quite early their success brought about
the large artist colonies that have since settled, not only here,
but at St. Ives, and Polperro, and many another old-world waterside
village in Cornwall, their practice that of the pioneers of Newlyn; for
although there are different "schools" of fish, pilchards, mackerel,
and other, in Cornish seas, there is only one "school" artistic. Now
it is a strange thing that although the Newlyn School is essentially
English (or perhaps we should say Cornish) in its subjects, its methods
are distinctly French in their origin.

It is nothing that the Newlyn School is that of open-air painting,
for the Pre-Raphaelites began to discredit the mere studio-painter
so far back as 1848; but the peculiarly broad, frank technique,
honestly, and perhaps also ostentatiously, displaying the brush work
by which its results are obtained, is a distinct importation from
the French schools. It has certainly taken root and thrived well
here. This purely technical innovation, owing something, but not
much, to the impressionists, was applied to subjects that had rarely
ever been selected before, and with equal frankness, just as they
presented themselves; so that it became with some critics a reproach
to the Newlyners that they had no selective qualities, and no power
of composition, and merely rendered what they saw, as crudely as a
photograph. To which these new men might have replied that a striving
after mere prettiness was not their object, but that they did indeed
endeavour to render those things they saw around them, just as they

That everyday working clothes and sea kit were worth painting was a
surprise to the men of Newlyn, and the especial beauty of a weathered
and well-worn dress was not easily revealed to the Newlyn women and
girls. Many an artist, here and elsewhere, has been sadly put about by
the fishermen who, having vanished for a while to "clean themselves
and get a bit tidy-like" have come back in some go-to-meeting or other
impossible garb; while legends that painters personally disliked
cleanliness and order arose from the despair of some at the seeming
impossibility of explaining that, artistically speaking, Sunday
frocks, tidy hair, and clean pinners were not improvements upon the
usual week-day dishevellment, and that to be bare-legged was sometimes
better than to be wearing nice new boots. But to-day every one in
Newlyn knows much better than that; all have got some idea of artistic
terms and slang, and scarce a man among the blue-jerseyed lot who
lean against the railings on the cliff-top between going out to the
fishing-grounds and digging the potato-patch but has sat as a model or
has watched the progress of a canvas.

In these latter days there is added to the traditional Newlyn
industries a newer occupation, which also bids to become in course of
time traditional. It is that of posing for artists. Be sure that if you
loiter here with anything suspiciously like a sketch-book, and wear
something of an artistic appearance, you will be hailed by expectant

"Would ye like me to sit for 'ee?"

"You're too tidy, I'm afraid," you perhaps say at a venture; but there
is no use in that, for it is immediately met with: "All right, sir; I
knows what 'ee want. I'll just goo inside an' put on me old hat an'

He does so, and produces articles battered and covered with the dust
and mellow tints of age, and hung, like bottles of old port, with

That part of Mount's Bay in which Newlyn is situated is known as Gwavas
Lake. Many years ago, the enterprise and daring of the Cornish miners,
who had located a vein of tin, caused the opening of a novel kind of
mine at the distance of a quarter of a mile from the shore. The Werra
Mine shaft was sunk in an iron caisson to a depth of a hundred feet,
and tin to the value of £3,000 was dug out before the courage of the
adventurers gave way and the speculation was abandoned.

High on the hillside above and beyond Newlyn stands Paul, less
a village than a church presiding over a few farms: all very

I do not think many people would spend much time in considering Paul as
the site for a desirable residence. It stands in too lofty and exposed
a situation for that: on an upland bracing enough in summer, but in
winter a very playground of the winds. Few trees grow on those heights,
and thus the tall tower of Paul church is not in the least hindered
in its function of standing there as a landmark. From most points of
view you perceive it, rising gauntly against the sky-line, in apparent
solitude: the bulky tower of a church that must always have been larger
than needful for its surroundings.


No one ever thinks of adding "Saint" to the name of Paul, although
the place derives its name from a saint: not the apostle Paul, to
whom the church was long ago re-dedicated, but to St. Pol de Leon, a
distinguished sixth-century Welsh missionary, who settled at that place
in Brittany. The church contains a monument to Sir William Godolphin,
dated 1681, and hung with his helmet, breastplate, sword, and rapier;
but Paul is famed for a much more humble person: the well-known Dolly
Pentreath, who, according to the monument erected here to her in 1860,
by Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte, was the last person who spoke the
Cornish language. The interest of this scion of the Bonapartes in Dolly
Pentreath was that of a student of languages. Other Bonapartes might
dream of glory and Empire; he was a philologist, and took a great deal
more interest in the memory of this old fish-wife, who died in 1778
and spoke a dying tongue, than in marshals and generals. According
to surviving tales of the old woman, she was a very unamiable,
cross-grained old person; and it has been left to later investigators
to throw doubt upon this accidental fame. No one, of course, speaks
Cornish now, but phrases and odd words of that extinct tongue are still
current. I have heard--it was twenty years ago, at Mousehole--a mother
calling her child indoors at dusk, "or else the bukkha-dhu will have
you"; and "bukkha-dhu," which means "black spirit," is both Cornish and

A specimen of Cornish on the monument to Dolly Pentreath renders the
ordinary person quite reconciled to its being an extinct language. Here
it is: the twentieth chapter of Exodus, twelfth verse:

"Gwra perthi de taz ha de mam: mal de dythiow bethenz hyr war an tyr
neb an Arleth de Dew ryes Dees."

That is to say:

"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the
land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."

No one knows how Mousehole, the fisher-village beyond Newlyn, got its
name. It lies, it is true, in a hole, but so also do most of these
villages; and there is also a cavern along the shore, beyond the
little harbour, but it is not supposed that it originated the name.
Mousehole is a smelly place, but its smells are neither so many nor so
penetrating as they used to be. It is remarkable for the sturdy old
granite manor-house of the Keigwin family in its very midst, with very
boldly projecting porch. For many years past it has been the "Keigwin
Arms" inn. Some history attaches to it, for it was here, in front of
his own house, that Jenkin Keigwin was killed in 1595, struck down by
a cannon-ball fired by the Spaniards in their raid of that year upon
Penzance, Newlyn, and Mousehole.

St. Clement's Island, just off Mousehole, had once a chapel on its
inhospitable rocks.

The cliff-paths from Mousehole for Lamorna Cove trend inland through
the farm-place of Kemyll Wartha, and then descend steeply to the
landward end of the deeply indented little bay, where the sea comes
surging in amid great granite boulders, to the grassy and rushy
fringe of a brook hurrying down from a valley dense with trees and
undergrowth. Commercial activities, in the way of granite quarrying,
are evident on the cliffs at Lamorna.

On the way inland from Lamorna Cove to Boleit, lying a little on
the right hand in the picturesque valley, stands the deserted old
manor-house of Trewoofe, once the seat of the Levelis family, extinct
in 1671. The ruined rooms and the curiously and richly decorated
doorway date from about a hundred and thirty years earlier, when it is
quite evident that the Levelis family were alike prosperous and filled
with the conviction that they would continue in the land for many more
generations. They traced their descent from Norman times, and their
doings are still the theme of many legends in Penwith. But nothing
became that long-descended family more than the charming epitaph on the
last of their race, written by some unknown hand, still to be read in
the neighbouring great church of St. Buryan:

 "Here lyes the Body of Arthur Leuelis, of Trewoof, in this Parish,
 Esq., who departed this life the 2^{th} day of May, Anno Dom. 1671.

          This Worthy Family hath Flourish'd Here
          Since William's Conquest, full Six Hundred Year.
          And Longer much it might, But that the Blest
          Must spend their Seauenths in a Blessed Rest.
          But yet this Gentleman (Last of his Name)
          Hath by his Vertues Eternized the same,
          Much more than Children could, or Bookes, for Loue
          Recordes it Here in Heartes, in Life Aboue."

Half a mile from Trewoofe, crossing the Lamorna Brook and proceeding
along the Trereen road, is the very small hamlet of Boleit, the
"place of slaughter"; traditionally the place where Athelstan finally
overthrew the Cornish, A.D. 936, in a great battle. Certainly the
mounds and the standing-stones here and in the immediate vicinity make
it quite evident that some great event has happened here. The nearest
rude stone pillar bears the name "Goon Rith," which means the "Red
Downs," and is really the name belonging to the surrounding hill-sides.
A "fogou," or underground passage, a hiding-hole for prehistoric
people, exists near at hand, in a very wilderness of undergrowth and
brambles, and still justifies the forgotten builders of it by being
extremely difficult to find. It is about thirty-five feet long, with
another passage leading at right angles out of it. This retreat is
formed of granite slabs inclining inward, and roofed by other slabs,
covered with turf.

Two tall granite pillars stand to the right of the road at Boleit.
They are known as "the Pipers," and are connected in legend with the
prehistoric stone circle three hundred feet distant at Rosemoddress,
known as the "Merry Maidens," or formerly the "Dawnz Maen," the
"dancing stones." Another circle of "Merry Maidens" stands at
Boscawen-Ûn, two miles distant, on the other side of St. Buryan. The
legend attached to them says they were a party of girls turned to stone
as a punishment for dancing on Sunday, together with the two pipers who
played to them.

I well remember, a good many years ago, seeking this circle of nineteen
stones, at the conclusion of a day spent at Land's End, and on the
return to Penzance. I floundered into a boggy bottom at eventide, on
the way to it, and emerged from the sloughs only by the directions of a
farmer who happened to be working in his fields not far away. It was an
eerie place to stumble into at the sunset hour, and it was a still more
eerie experience amid these stones to meet a woman who might have been,
from appearance and manner, one of the weird sisters in _Macbeth_. She
mumbled incomprehensible things, and stared wildly, and seemed in every
way a fitting inhabitant of that place at that hour. I found afterwards
she was really a harmless madwoman of that neighbourhood, who wandered
aimlessly about.

"Skeers some folk, she does," said a neighbouring farmer, "starring at
'n like a conger, and sayin' things nobody can't make out nohow."

The coast-path leads past Boscawen Point and then trends slightly
inland, and descends to the charming little St. Loy's Cove, through
some woods. In another mile the track opens out a view of the wooded
valley ending in Penberth Cove, furnished with its stream as usual, and
with two or three primitive cottages of picturesque build, occupied by
fishermen. The shore at Penberth is paved with great blocks of granite;
not naturally paved, but laid there at some period by human hands, with
considerable pains, and for no apparent advantage.


The way round by the cliffs direct to the headland of Trereen Dinas,
where the famous Logan Rock is situated, is scarcely to be ventured.
The best way is up the delightful valley of Penberth, past the
mill-house, and so round to the left by the "Logan Rock Inn," in the
hamlet of Trereen.

                              CHAPTER XV


It is half a mile from the stony hamlet of Trereen to the Logan Rock,
which stands up against the skyline towards the seaward extremity of
that magnificently rugged headland, Trereen Dinas. The narrow neck
of this peninsula is deeply scored across with a ditch and heaped
with a parallel wall of stones and earth, the defensive works of a
long-forgotten people, but it is not so much to see these vestiges of
insecure prehistoric times, nor even to view the fine scenery, that a
continual stream of visitors comes hither all the summer. It is the
Logan Rock that attracts them. This rock, one of the many "logans" in
Cornwall which are so balanced or pivoted by the natural weathering
of ages that they "log," or oscillate slightly, to a vigorous push,
is the most famous of its kind, both for its own self and for the
circumstances of its later history. It is an irregular cube of granite
weighing sixty tons, some say ninety, poised upon a great mass of
fantastic rocks, curiously jointed, and overlooking the sea from a
height of about two hundred feet. Borlase, writing in his "Antiquities
of Cornwall," 1754, declared it to be "morally impossible that any
lever, or indeed force, however employed in a mechanical way, can
remove it from its present situation." The same view was held by the
country people, and so worked upon Lieutenant Goldsmith of H.M.S.
cutter _Nimble_, cruising off-shore on the look-out for smugglers,
that he determined to overthrow the stone and thus prove himself a
fellow clever beyond all expectation. So, on April 8th, 1824 (it would
have been more appropriately done on the 1st), he landed with a boat's
crew of nine men, and with handspikes and much personal exertion did
succeed in performing that which Borlase and the united voice of the
countryside had declared to be impossible. He overthrew the Logan
Rock, and had it not become lodged in a cleft, it must have descended
into the sea and been lost for ever. He did, incidentally, a great
deal more. The wanton act of folly rightly aroused Cornwall to furious
indignation, and he went in great personal danger for awhile. If such
an ass as he had been lynched it would have been a salutary warning to
others. The Admiralty could not ignore the anger that had been aroused,
and speedily intimated to Lieutenant Goldsmith that he must either
replace the rock or lose his commission. The tackle for the purpose was
lent to him from the dockyard at Devonport, and after much preparation
and the construction of elaborate staging, the rock was returned to
its place on November 2nd, in the presence of a vast crowd assembled
to witness it. The work was costly beyond the means of a lieutenant,
and was carried through by subscription. Goldsmith's career was ruined
by this act of folly, and he died in 1841, without promotion. The
"logging" of the rock was quite destroyed and, although it appears
still to be delicately poised, it requires great exertion to induce
even the suspicion of a tremor.

[Illustration: TREREEN DINAS.]

[Illustration: THE LOGAN ROCK.]

There is an excellent good climb for the young and active and the
reckless down from this grim granite promontory of Trereen Dinas to an
exquisitely secluded sandy cove, and thence up again, and over more
tumbled hummocks of the all-pervading granite, to the sandy and shelly
shore of Porthcurno, properly Porth Kernow, the "Port of Cornwall."

But halt awhile! secluded, did I say that sandy cove to be? So it
may seem at certain hours of the day, when the young barbarians of
the Eastern Telegraph Company are in office, at work; but even then,
when this yellow strand under Trereen Dinas is indeed solitary,
the observant explorer, who thinks himself one of the very few who
ever scale these rocks and pace these selvedges of the sea, will be
startled, even as was Robinson Crusoe on a memorable occasion, by the
imprint of a human foot. _A_ human foot? Nay, dozens of them, for
this is, in short, one of the favourite bathing-coves of the ninety
or so telegraphist probationers of the Eastern Telegraph Company
at Porthcurno. For at Porthcurno the cable lands from Gibraltar
and all the wide world, including the Cocos Islands and places of
unpronounceable name in tropic climes, where white men sweat and fume
far from their kind and dwell lovingly on the good time coming, when
they shall be home and in London again, living instead of existing.

At Banjoewangi (which is a real place on the Telegraph Company's
system, somewhere back even of Back of Beyond, and not what it looks
like, a nigger-minstrels' kingdom-come), London, you know, seems a very
desirable place.

Well, here is the E. T. C. telegraph station, up inland a quarter of
a mile from the cove; a square white building with a flat, bomb-proof
roof, and here in various quarters are the officials, and here too
are some ninety probationers of sixteen to eighteen years of age, or
thereabouts, all learning telegraphese, the punching of dots and dashes
on endless tapelike strips of paper and the reading of the same: a
sufficiently beastly business, so what wonder if these ninety in their
off-hours be somewhat untamable!

All these things are late developments. A few years ago Porthcurno was
a wild little place, and quite behind the age. Now it is perhaps even
a little in advance of it. An almost typically suburban street runs up
inland, and on the elegantly thin iron telegraph-poles that carry the
land-lines of the E. T. C. are incandescent electric globes with white
shades, which light the road at night. And on the cliffs the Telegraph
Company is trying a wireless installation of its own, of which the
visible evidence is a very tall and very groggy-looking pole, stayed
and tied elaborately. Such is Porthcurno, the "PK" of telegraphists.

From Porthcurno, to reach the church of St. Levan, you take the church
path, avoiding the hideous houses on the headland, plastered and of a
dismal neutral tint, that have recently been built there. Through three
fields runs the church-path, and then the sea, with distant horizon,
opens out between the flanks of a combe, the four pinnacles of St.
Levan church-tower suddenly rising before you, scarce above your line
of vision. The church, in fact, is built in a hollow--once a solitary
hollow--giving upon the sea, a place where few strangers ever came in
those distant fifth-century days when St. Levan lived the hermit life.
We know very little of that saint, except the tale of the disastrous
entertainment he offered his sister when she came to visit him here. It
seems that he subsisted entirely upon the fish he caught, and thinking
he would spread a dainty meal before his visitors, he went out and
caught a chad. The fish that came to his line he did not consider
good enough, so he threw it back. Not before the identical fish had
been caught three times did he accept the inevitable, and he cooked
it accordingly; but at the first bite the child was choked. St. Levan
was illogical enough--and I think blasphemous enough--to consider this
a judgment of Providence upon himself for refusing what had been sent
him. The chad was long called locally "chack-cheeld." "St. Levan's
Path" to the rocks where he used to fish is still pointed out.

[Illustration: ST. LEVAN.]

The place teems with legends. Thus, the great granite rock in the
churchyard, called "St. Levan's Stone," with a grass-grown gap in it,
is the subject of a local rhyme, which tells us that when this slowly
widening fissure has grown large enough for the passage of a packhorse,
the Day of Judgment will be at hand. Personal observation and judicious
enquiries justify me in assuring trembling sinners that, if this be
indeed a guide, that day is yet far off.

I have said St. Levan was solitary. The immediate neighbourhood of
the church is even now not very densely populated, for the visible
buildings are only the rectory and a cottage; and it can, I conceive,
scarcely be called cheerful; for the bell-buoy on that submerged rock,
the Rundlestone, out to sea, is for ever heard tolling, sometimes
like a funeral knell and at others like some harsh gong, calling lost
mariners to dinner down there in weedy caves with the mermaids.

The little church of St. Levan is rich in old bench-ends, displaying
his fishes, a palmer with cockle-shells in his hat, knights, ladies,
and jesters; while the chancel-screen is enriched with the eagle of
St. John, the lily of the Virgin, the sacred monogram, and the spear,
nails, and hammer of the Crucifixion. The Virgin herself is rendered,
with round silly face and coif and fifteenth-century ruff. There has
been a great deal of restoration effected here of late years.

A sundial in the churchyard displays a solemn motto: _Sicut umbra
transeunt dies_, and a memorial to one of the Telegraph Company's
probationers, drowned while bathing at Porthcurno, stands near by the
grave of Captain Henry Rothery and the twenty-two others lost in the
wreck of the _Khyber_ at Porthloe in the storm of March 15th, 1905.

The narrow cliff-path from St. Levan presently leads to the small and
rocky fishing-cove of Porth Gwarra, the foreshore roughly paved with
granite blocks in between the projecting rocks, which are here hollowed
into caverns, where the few boats and lobster-pots are stored. A yellow
snapdragon grows profusely in the cliffs here, and ivy richly mantles
some of the crags along the coast towards Land's End; while a curious
plant with fleshy leaves, curved like giant talons, and red and yellow
flowers, called the "ice-plant," thickly drapes many of the rough walls
enclosing fields.

The cliffs here rise to their grandest in the magnificent piles
of granite blocks towering up at the crested promontory of
Tol-Pedn-Penwith, the "Holed Headland in Penwith." The cliff-top
walk has here broadened out to an expanse of short moss-like grass
interspersed with rabbit-burrows, knobs of lichened rock and tufts of
thrift or sea-pink. It is good going for the pedestrian, but the grass
is apt to be slippery. A stranger wandering here alone suddenly finds
the chasm that gives Tol Pedn its name, directly in his path.

There are few places on the coasts of Cornwall really dangerous,
unless you go out of your way to court danger, but this abrupt hole in
the cliff-top is really a deadly place. That no one appears ever to
have fallen down it and broken his neck seems to be because strangers
who walk these cliffs generally do so with a very proper sense of the
perils which lie in the way of those who do not exercise due caution.
Any one who walked here in one of the frequent sea-fogs would stand an
excellent chance of walking right over the edge of this hole in the
headland, and so falling an inevitable one hundred feet to his death.
This great circular gap, the "Funnel," as some call it, is about thirty
feet across, and is a real startler. It was formed just in the same
manner as the "Lion's Den," near the Lizard, and the "Devil's Frying
Pan," near Cadgwith, by the falling-in of the roof of a cave; and the
beach down below communicates with the sea. Adjoining it, from the
cliffs' edge, rises the impressive pile of granite rock called "Chair
Ladder," tinted all hues by weathering and by lichens, from black and
grey to green, red, and a vivid orange. It is not difficult to climb
down into the black depths below Chair Ladder, or to the beach, but
it requires rather more energy to return. To style Chair Ladder and
the other rocky spires neighbouring it piles of rock is by no means
straining language, for they have exactly the appearance of having been
heaped one upon another by some superhuman energy, the granite cubes
being jointed like so many blocks of rude cyclopean masonry. The
coast here indeed displays some of the most curious imitative forms in
natural architecture, and every point and every little porth has its
old Cornish name.

[Illustration: "CHAIR LADDER."]

The point of Carn Guethensbras, the "Great Carn," juts out beyond Chair
Ladder, and encloses Porthloe, the "Lake Port." It was here that the
homeward-bound sailing ship _Khyber_, from Australia, was cast away in
March 1905, and twenty-three of the twenty-six aboard were drowned. An
Admiralty signalling station has since been established on the cliffs.

I was walking here in August 1909, and two men came hurrying out of the

"Are you a doctor, sir," they asked.

I felt unreasonably ashamed that I was not.

"What's the matter?"

"Why, 'zno, a man, one of a party camping tu Porth Gwarra, runnen along
th' cliffs, has fell'd down a hunner 'an twenty feet, an' scat's head
all to bits, an' we'm most at our wits' end what to du."

It seemed, hearing a report like this, that there was really nothing
to do but hold an inquest; but doctors had been telegraphed for to
Penzance, and when at last they arrived, the man was not dead. It
was a marvellous escape. Falling down the jagged rocks, into a place
difficult of access, from which the coastguard only brought him up on a
stretcher after great exertion, he was not killed outright; and indeed,
according to later advices, eventually recovered.

A lovely nook opens out beyond Pendower Cove, at Nanjizel, or Mill
Bay, where there is a natural archway and a tall rifted cavern in the
headland of Carn-les-Boel, known as the "Song of the Sea," perhaps the
most entirely beautiful and romantic cave in Cornwall.

Past this, the point of Carn Voel is reached, with the "Lion's Den"
cavern. Ahead, the heights of Pardenick Point rise in columnar majesty,
the point whence Turner painted his view of the Land's End, that
extraordinarily fantastic and darkling composition, in which the rocks
on the hillsides look more like sheep than rocks.

There stretch the stacked rocks of _Bolerium_, the Land's End, in
Cornish "Pedn-an-Laaz," and in Welsh, "Pen-Gwaed," the Headland of
Blood; in effect not remotely resembling bundles of cigars set on end.

                              CHAPTER XVI


Most strangers obtain their first sight of Land's End at the conclusion
of a direct walk or drive from Penzance. It is generally the first
place the stranger desires to see, and he makes directly for it along
the high road that runs inland.

The Land's End district, stretching westward from Penzance, forms
the hundred of Penwith, a Celtic word meaning the "great, or chief,
headland"; and Land's End itself was formerly "Penwithstart," a curious
word produced by the association of the Celtic "Penwith," which had in
very early times come to mean the district in general, with the purely
Saxon "steort," or "start," a word which indicates a projecting point:
an object that in fact juts, or starts, out. Hence, for example, the
name of the Start, that prominent headland in South Devon, one of the
most salient promontories along our coasts.

The aspect of the country, as you proceed from Penzance into the Land's
End district, is quite in keeping with the name. Everything appears
to resign itself to an ending. The town of Penzance looks like a last
great urban effort, and the railway itself seems to come, tired out,
to the shores of Mount's Bay, and to expire, rather than come to a
terminus. It cannot make an effort even to get up into the town, but
stops on the doorstep, so to say. And the large white granite station,
with iron and glass roof, more resembles an aviary than a railway
terminus, the sparrows assembling there in multitudes on the tie-rods,
and chattering in almost deafening fashion. In those very considerable
intervals between the coming and going of trains one may stand on the
platform and not be able to hold a conversation, owing to the sparrows.


The western suburb of Alverton, with its beautiful gardens, and the
birthplace, or early home, of Edward Pellew, afterwards Viscount
Exmouth, left behind, and the elm-avenues of Trereife and the stream
at Buryas Bridge once passed, on the main road to Buryan and Land's
End, you come to an elevated tract of country where trees are few.
Cultivation gradually grows the exception, instead of the rule, and
there is a look as though Nature herself had grown weary and presently
could do no more.

Three miles out from Penzance the road forks. You may go equally well
either to right or left. Let us take the left-hand road, through the
half-way village of St. Buryan, which itself adds no hospitable note
to the scene, but seems to stand on the windy upland as an example
of how ashen-hued and weatherbeaten a village may be. The tall, dark
church-tower rising from its midst and serving as a landmark for
miles, is the most striking feature of the place. St. Buriana, the
patron saint, was originally Bruinech, daughter of an Irish chieftain,
who adopted the religious life. The existing church, successor of a
collegiate establishment founded by Athelstan, the Saxon conqueror
of Cornwall, in A.D. 936, stands on the site of her oratory. It was
last rebuilt in the Late Perpendicular style prevailing so largely in
Cornwall, and is a fine large building. Two ancient granite crosses on
steps stand outside; one in the churchyard, the other in the village

From St. Buryan the road descends presently to the valley of Penberth
a wooded interlude, and thence rises to other bare and bleak heights,
passing at one mile from Land's End the turning that leads to Sennen,
on the alternative road.

Sennen takes its name from Senan, one of the numerous Irish missionary
saints. He returned to Ireland, and died there. It was perhaps
the friendship he cultivated with the Welsh St. David that led to
Llansannan church in Denbighshire being dedicated to him.

Sennen is the very negation of life. Conceive a village that is no
village, but only a small, grey, solemn church, a plainly built inn
with creaking sign, swaying in the wind, a few whitewashed granite
cottages, and a gaunt granite chapel. Through the place runs the road
to the Land's End, and all around are fields enclosed within stone
hedges. Never a tree in sight. That is Sennen. If you be a painter,
you will not need to set your palette with many or brilliant colours
to represent it as it is. It does not seem attractive; but in spite of
all this gaunt, weatherbeaten character Sennen is not unlovely. The
pearly, often opalescent, qualities of the Cornish skies are capable
of transcending even four-square grey granite houses with slate roofs,
and ugly chapels of the like, and of glorifying even stone hedges and
unfertile fields; and so long as Sennen remains true to itself and
innocent of red brick and ornament, which would be alien here, and
therefore vulgar, even its weatherbeaten self is not without charm.

But if Sennen be indeed in the restricted key of grey and white, there
is plentiful colour on the moorland around it, where the gorse spreads
like lavishly flung gold, mingled with abundant purple heather. Not
the scent of the sea, but the honey-like fragrance of those blossoms,
pervades the place. The sea, indeed, although only a mile distant,
whether at Land's End or at Sennen Cove, is not in view, nor is there
any hint of it. Only the treeless land, the sudden gusts of wind that
come booming along in a clear sky, and the sign of the inn give any
idea of its neighbourhood. The sign reads, as you go west, "The Last
House in England," and as you return it is "The First." But effluxion
of time and the insistence of enterprise have qualified these legends,
and there are two others, at Land's End itself: "The Land's End Hotel,"
and a little shanty where refreshments are to be had.

And from the turning to Sennen one comes thus along an unromantic final
stretch of road to Land's End.

The name, "Land's End," has an eloquent appeal understood, or if not
really and truly understood, certainly felt, by all. When one first
heard of Land's End, it was in those early years, when it indicated an
actual ending, in which the lesson presently to be learnt--that the
earth is round--had no part. The image then figured in the mind was
that of a place truly ultimate, unqualified by the statement that it
is so many thousands of miles across the seas to America, where the
land commences again. To know that it _does_ commence again is perhaps
disappointing: just as a sequel to a story is an ill thing alike for
the dramatic ending of that story and for the sequel itself.

And now we all know that, as the world is round, there cannot be any
land's end, anywhere, here or at Finisterre, or in any other country;
and that in the quest of it we should be like so many futile Wandering
Jews. One almost envies those heretics--that small but constant
band--who persist in their faith that the earth is flat; for that view
surely connotes a Land's End, somewhere. Meanwhile, we must put up with
the chastened feeling of romance with which a journey to the Land's End
of Cornwall is first undertaken.


  [_After J. M. W. Turner._


I cannot, at any rate, find fault with the circumstances of my own
first journey to this spot, from London, many years ago. It was before
photographic and other illustrations had multiplied so vastly, a time
before even the untravelled were very well acquainted with the general
appearance of the most distant and obscure places; and one could still
cherish some feeling of curiosity. In those days the Great Western
Railway, while issuing excursion tickets to Penzance and elsewhere, did
so as though it were a weakness, of which it were well to say as little
as possible. The hoardings did not in those times flame with pictures
of places which were apparently created for the benefit of enterprising
railway companies.

I made that excursion journey alone from Paddington to Penzance; and
when the long day was drawing to its close and the train, having left
Truro, and most of the other passengers, behind, began to wind through
the mining-fields of Chacewater and Scorrier, where the deserted
mines and their ruined chimney-stacks and 'count-houses looked in the
gathering twilight like so many weird beasts of the world's youth,
then, as I gazed pale-faced, from a corner of the unlighted carriage,
I felt I was indeed coming to the Land's End. Perhaps, also a little
sorry for having come. But that was the dramatic, and therefore the
right, way. Penzance formed a cheerful interlude for the night, and
then on the morrow came the ten miles' walk to Land's End itself.

One has plenty of company here. Brake-loads of people, cyclists,
motor-cars, all day long: contemplative people, reverent people,
disappointed and irreverent people, a little contemptuous. You can
see the thought, "Is this all?" visibly expressed upon their faces. I
don't know what they expected: perhaps something in the nature of that
childish vision of an abysmal ending, with a horned and hoofed personal
devil over the edge; or, at the very least, whales spouting and sharks
swimming. And really the cliffs are but some sixty feet high, and it
is not a difficult matter to scramble down to the shore, such a tiny
exigent bit of shore as there is, at low-water.

The very worst thing to do, to get an adequate idea of Land's End, is
to stand upon Land's End itself. It is not impressive, and you want
that which you will hardly get here, except on a winter's day or late
in the evening: solitude. It is, in fact, not so much the comparative
tameness of the spot as the too much company that is really at the
bottom of the not very reasoned dissatisfaction most people feel here;
and the guides who wish to point out "Dr. Johnson's Head," the "Armed
Knight," and other rock-resemblances, are a nuisance. No: go rather
a little to the north of Land's End, and then look back upon it, and
thence you will see the little crowds of people clustered about it,
giving a much-needed idea of scale; and the natural arch beneath it
then is visible, and Enys Dodnan and other rocky islets come properly
into perspective, with the Longships lighthouse yonder; and, if it
be sunset, you may see the round red face of the sun setting on the
distant horizon, with some scattered black specks in front. Those are
the Isles of Scilly, twenty-seven miles away. The sea in between is
"Lethosow," traditionally the site of that lost land of Lyonesse which,
with its one hundred and forty churches, was suddenly overwhelmed by
the sea in a great storm, vaguely about a thousand years ago. Carew
indeed gravely tells us that fishermen at the Seven Stones (a lonely
reef thirteen miles north of St. Mary's Island, marked by a lightship)
have drawn up with their nets pieces of doors and windows! The
Fishermen even to this day call the spot "The City."

The Longships lighthouse is about a mile and a half out at sea, but
such is the deceptive purity of the atmosphere that, to a Londoner,
it looks less than half that distance. Carn Brâs, the reef on which
it stands, rises forty-five feet above the sea at low water, and all
around it are numerous rocks, marked on Ordnance maps "Kettles Bottom."
The original lighthouse, built in 1793, was a very stumpy affair,
and was rebuilt in 1872. It has a singularly tragic record. Four of
the lighthouse men have at different times been washed off the rock
and drowned, the last in 1877; another died in the lighthouse, one
went raving mad, and another committed suicide. He lacerated himself
severely and his two mates staunched his wounds by stuffing them with
tow. They hoisted signals for assistance, but stormy weather severed
all communication for some days, and he was at last landed only to
die. It is a melancholy history, and that and the weird noises made by
the sea in caverns under the reef make the Longships one of the least
desirable of berths at the disposal of the Trinity House.

Here in November 1898 the steamship _Bluejacket_ ran at full speed upon
the rocks.

The Wolf lighthouse, eight miles from shore, is a picture of utter
loneliness. It was built between 1862 and 1869 on the reef of that
name, awash with the tide at high-water, and cost £62,726.

                             CHAPTER XVII


The Isles of Scilly lie twenty-seven miles off the mainland and forty
miles from Penzance, the nearest harbour from which you can voyage to
that fortunate archipelago. It is possible in these days to reach St.
Mary's, the capital of Scilly, in a little over sixteen hours from
London, doing it luxuriously, as far as the railway portion of the
journey is concerned, by taking the 9.50 p.m. train from Paddington,
which arrives at Penzance terminus at 7.30 the next morning, leaving
two and a half hours' rest before the steamer _Lyonesse_ leaves for the
islands, a voyage of about four hours. But this is suspiciously like
toiling to get your pleasure, for night travel, however well-appointed,
is tiring, and then you miss the scenery on the way. Upon this
writer at least, the delights of the country, as seen framed in the
carriage-windows of the flying express, never pall, and he who forgoes
the daylight journey by the Great Western Railway misses much. The
best method of reaching Scilly is therefore by taking the 10.30 a.m.
restaurant car train _ex_ Paddington, which delivers you upon Penzance
platform at 5.5 p.m.; a railway journey of 305-1/4 miles, performed at
the rate of nearly fifty miles an hour throughout.

The _Lyonesse_ leaves Penzance at 10 a.m. Over that voyage of forty
miserable miles--miserable or magnificent according to whether you are
what is called a "good sailor" or not--I would like to draw a veil.
Once the steamer has passed the Rundlestone and left the lee of the
land (with some even before) the woes of the "bad sailor" begin. Do I
not know it, all too well? Alas! yes. But the potent charm of Scilly
may well be deduced from the fact of such a voyager revisiting the
islands, knowing full well that even a "good passage," which phrase in
these rolling leagues seems like the ill-timed saturnine humour of a
misanthrope--will prostrate him in the scuppers, or fling him athwart
the bulwarks, yearning for peace and rest in the creaming billows that
go dizzily seething past. Here let me not fail to add, for the comfort
of those who would dare the deed, that "once pays for all," as the
old proverb says. Your miseries, generally speaking, are confined to
the outward voyage, and, although you may be thoughtful and perhaps
apprehensive of the like disturbance in returning, Neptune generally
refrains from exacting other tribute. You have paid your footing, if
staggering along the heaving deck (ugh!) may so be called; and having
paid your fare in money and in kind, are free of the ocean blue.

The Scillies rise slowly out of the waters as you approach. There
is St. Mary's Island ahead, with St. Martin's on the extreme right,
rising behind the numerous rocky islets known as the Eastern Islands,
comprising Menewethan, Great and Little Inishvouls, Great and Little
Arthur, Ragged Island, Hanjague, Nornor, Great and Little Ganilly, and
Great and Little Ganinick. There are two means of approach to the pier
at St. Mary's, to which the steamer comes: if it be high tide, by Crow
Sound; if at ebb by the circuitous route of St. Mary's Sound. It is the
last despairing misery of the sea-sick, who know nothing of the local
conditions of navigation, to notice that the captain, apparently out
of sheer wanton cruelty, is making a prolonged circuit of the island
before coming to an anchor.

But these miseries are speedily forgotten when once you have set foot
upon the quay at Hugh Town, St. Mary's; for you realise at once that
you have come to a new and strange, and interesting, land.

The Isles of Scilly are the land of the narcissus and the daffodil,
but not of those alone. Arum lilies, stocks, wallflowers, and crimson
anemones are grown abundantly. There are in all 3,600 acres in the
islands, and of these 2,000 are cultivated, chiefly nowadays in the
flower-farming interest. It was in 1878, or thereabouts, that the first
ideas of flower-farming took root in Scilly. There had always been,
time beyond the memory of man, more or less wild narcissi growing on
the isles. It was thought, without any evidence being available, that
the old Benedictine monks of Tresco had introduced them. There were
eight varieties known to botanists. Some time subsequently to 1834,
Mr. Augustus Smith, the then Lord Proprietor of the islands, uncle of
the present Mr. Dorrien-Smith, introduced many others to Tresco, and
it is claimed for him that he was the first to see the possibilities
of a London market for these delightful flowers, blossoming here so
early, when London is still shivering in midwinter. According to this
article of faith, he advised some of his tenants to grow them and send
them up to Covent Garden for sale, himself sending the first lot, and
realising £1 profit from the transaction. According to other versions,
it was Mr. Trevellick, of Rocky Hill, St. Mary's, who made the first
consignment; and there is a circumstantial story which tells us that
he and a few pioneers, who despatched a few bunches in those early
years, when fresh spring blossoms first took London with delight,
realised thirty shillings a dozen bunches. A bunch in Scilly is a dozen
blooms; and therefore those fortunate few took twopence-halfpenny
apiece for narcissi. It seems almost too good to be true, and still
the Scillonians (there are no "Scilly people," as Sir Walter Besant
makes Armorel say, in his delightful "Armorel of Lyonesse") talk in
reverential tones of those wonderful days.

At that time the islanders were making a moderate livelihood out of
growing early potatoes; I have seen the quays of St. Mary's heaped high
with boxes of them. But nowadays let those grow "new potatoes" who
will. Scilly knows a more excellent way, and specialises in flowers
so completely, that no one would be in the least surprised to hear of
potatoes being imported, just as Scilly imports its cabbages and other
vegetables, its butter, and most other things, from "England."

The growth of flower-farming in Scilly has been continuous, and is by
no means restricted to St. Mary's: the "out-islands" take an active
part. But it is not the easy business it was, for the increased output
has naturally by degrees brought prices down, and a steady shilling a
dozen bunches would now be considered good. The business increases so
surely that this year's figures are out of date the next season. It was
considered remarkable in 1893, when the shipments amounted to something
over four hundred tons, but those of 1910 exceeded one thousand tons,
valued at £40,000. Of this total, the sum of £25,000 is reckoned to
be clear profit. So, although the flower-farmers have now to work for
their increase, the results are not discouraging, and the Scillies
still remain, and increasingly become, the Fortunate Isles. The climate
is mild and equable, there are no poor; "penal" Budgets raise no
alarms, for the isles are free from income-tax; and the wan, ragged,
famished spectre of unemployment, or of the unemployable, is unknown.
Scillonians read of it in the newspapers that occasionally come their
way, and ask visitors what it is!

Every one works in Scilly. I have seen it stated that Scillonians never
hurry. The person who made that statement can never have witnessed the
desperate efforts often made to pack the flowers, and get them on to
the quay at St. Mary's in time for the steamer, which, in winter, when
the flower-harvest is at its height, sails only thrice a week. If the
steamer is missed, that consignment is worth just nothing at all, for
it has to be on sale in London the next morning.

Visitors to Scilly, who commonly travel in summer and autumn, see
nothing of these activities. Then, if ever, the islanders who are
flower-farmers take things easily, and the little fields where the
daffodils and the narcissi grow are of comparatively small interest,
being bare of leaves or blossoms.

The fields are all carefully hedged round with shrubs calculated to
ward off the winds, which are the farmer's greatest enemy. They are
hedges of tamarisk, of laurel, and of escallonia; but chiefly of
escallonia, a small-leaved evergreen shrub with a close-growing habit.
Strangers at the first sight of its small delicate pink, waxlike
blossoms are taken with delight, but it is to the islanders a mere
commonplace. Some fields are large, but most very small, giving less
chance for the winds to come and play havoc, and the hedges grow to
great heights. Picking the blossoms begins as early as Christmas and
generally ends in March, when the season "in England" begins, and
Scilly rests from its labours, happy in the knowledge that it has
skimmed the cream of the trade.

Photographs of fields rich in daffodil and narcissus blossom are
familiar, but not readily to be understood, unless on the assumption
that they represent a glut in the market, rendering it not worth while
to pick them; for the practice is so to arrange the crop that there is
a succession of blossoms in the two months and a half, and always to
pick them before they are actually opened in full. They are then taken
to long glass sheds, and having been tied in bunches of a dozen, are
placed in water. Packing then follows. In the height of the season the
school-children have a month's holiday from school, especially to help
in the work of picking and packing. There are about four dozen bunches
to a box, and 240 boxes to a ton. Often the packing is continued all
night and into the early hours of the morning. Steam-launches bring
laden boats in from the out-islands by nine o'clock in the morning,
and an hour later there are perhaps fifty tons of flowers aboard the

Such are now the chief activities of the Scilly Isles, and they, with
fishing and piloting, make up the entire life of the archipelago.
Formerly it was new potatoes, and before that a little kelp-burning,
and before that a good deal of smuggling kept the islanders alive.

Whence the isles derive their name no man knows. They are first
mentioned by Ausonius, who styles them _Sillinæ Insulæ_. Some declare
them to be named from a branch of the ancient Silures; others consider
"silya," a name for the conger, to be the origin; and yet others think
"sulleh," the sun-rocks, to be the true derivation. There are now five
inhabited islands. The largest of these, St. Mary's, contains 1,620
acres and a population of 1,200; Tresco has 700 acres; St. Martin's,
550 acres, St. Agnes, 350 acres, and Bryher, 300 acres. Samson, last
inhabited in 1855, has 80 acres. The smaller and uninhabited islets
are Annet, 40 acres, St. Helens, 40 acres: Teän and Great Ganniley,
each 35 acres, Arthur, 30 acres, Great and Little Ganniornic, 10 acres,
Northwithiel and Gweal, each 8 acres, and Little Ganniley, 5 acres.
Besides these, there are some hundreds of rocky islets and rocks.

The Isles of Scilly have never been too remote for conquerors to
descend upon and subdue them. Thus Athelstan not only subjugated
Cornwall in the tenth century, but subdued Scilly as well; and they
were fortified in the time of Queen Elizabeth, when the still-existing
Star Castle, overlooking St. Mary's, was built, as the initials, E.
R. and the date 1593, remain to prove. Scilly was not a safe place
of refuge for Prince Charles in 1645. He landed at St. Mary's from
Falmouth on March 4th, but the fleets of the Parliament rendered it
advisable for him to depart for Guernsey on April 17th. But the isles
became, only four years later, the headquarters of a determined band
of Royalists under Sir John Grenville, whose privateering exploits so
dealt with the shipping trade that it was found necessary to fit out an
expedition against him. He was reduced and forced to capitulate in June

From early times the greater part of the Islands belonged to Tavistock
Abbey. In 1539, when the Abbey was suppressed, they reverted to the
Crown. From the time of Queen Elizabeth, the Godolphin family and
Dukes of Leeds held them on lease, and so continued, except during the
Commonwealth period, until 1831. A lease from the Duchy of Cornwall
was then taken up by Augustus Smith, a landowner from Hertfordshire,
who thus became the first of the Smith and Smith-Dorrien "Lords
Proprietors," whose rule, from their residence on Tresco, has been

Augustus Smith was an autocrat, but a benevolent one. He found the
islanders a half-starved race of smugglers and kelp-burners, and by the
time of his death, in 1872, left them a prosperous community.

St. Mary's Island is of irregular shape, and is nine miles in
circumference. The one town of Scilly, "Hugh Town," stands on the low
sandy isthmus of a rocky, almost islanded, peninsula, nearly awash
at very high tides, and with two sea-fronts. Over it towers the hill
called "The Garrison," crested by Star Castle, so called from its
ground-plan of a seven-pointed star; or, some say from "Stella Maris,"
Star of the Sea; a somewhat unlikely Roman Catholic dedication,
considering the Protestant times in which it was built. There has been
no garrison here since 1863. A tall wind-gauge stands near by, on the


From hence one best sees the island of Samson, two miles and a half
distant, lying directly in front of the setting sun. Samson is an
island of singular appearance, consisting of two hills joined by a low
belt of land. Its name probably derives from that sainted sixth-century
Bishop of Dôl, who has given his name to St. Sampson's (or Samson),
Golant. There are some ruined houses on Samson, sole relics of the
fifty people who once lived on it, and were deported to other islands
by the autocratic Augustus Smith. And on Samson's northern hill are no
fewer than eleven large sepulchral barrows. But if one wants to learn
much about Samson and about the Isles of Scilly, glorified by romance,
it is to the pleasant pages of Sir Walter Besant's novel, "Armorel of
Lyonesse," one must go. There is no better book to read at Scilly. But
Armorel's wonderful old home at Holy Hill is not in being, although
photographs show the ruined walls of a house more or less identified
with it. Besant no doubt took as his model the flower-farm at Holy
Vale, in the centre of St. Mary's Island.


  _Gibson & Sons, Penzance._]


Standing on the Garrison at night, the lights of many lighthouses and
lightships are visible. There, on the almost exactly hemispherical
outline of Round Island, is the lighthouse that shows a red flash; the
Seven Stones lightship is out far beyond; St. Agnes light flashes on
its island, south-east; and behind it, four and a half miles away, is
the lonely Bishop lighthouse, completed in 1858, and said by some to
be exposed to worse weather and more terrific seas than any lighthouse
in the world. The lighthouse on St. Agnes is one of the oldest, if not
actually the oldest, in the service. It was built in 1680.

The wrecks upon Scilly have been innumerable, and the crowded
churchyard overlooking Old Town Bay bears witness to the great loss of
life incurred, even in modern times. Here rest one hundred and twenty
of the three hundred lost in the wreck of the German mail steamship
_Schiller_, which was on her way from New York to Plymouth. She struck
on the Retarrier reef, close by the Bishop lighthouse, in a fog on the
night of May 8th, 1875, and almost immediately sank. Only forty-five
of the three hundred and fifty-four persons on board were saved.

[Illustration: ST. AGNES.]

The Scilly Islands are not less remarkable for rock-scenery than the
mainland, and weirdly imitative piles of granite abound. There is a
rock, or rather a heap of rocks, on Peninis Head, called the "Pulpit
Rock," which at evening looks less like a pulpit than a naval gun;
and elsewhere are the "Punch Bowl," on St. Mary's, the "Nag's Head,"
on St. Agnes, and many others. Not least among these is the Logan
Rock, on Peninis Head, which weighs over three hundred tons, and
"logs" in a most satisfactory manner, when once started. But it is a
brace-breaking business, this starting of it, and you had better have a
guide, for this particular rock is not easily to be distinguished from
its fellows; and it is exhausting to attempt the moving of other, and
immovable, rocks of three or four hundred tons, before you happen to
hit upon the right one.

Round past Old Town is the rocky head of Giant's Castle, and then

[Illustration: PULPIT ROCK.]

Porthellick, the "Bay of Willows," is a flat, shallow strand, where the
scant herbage at the foot of Sallakey Down dies gradually away upon the
beach. At one extremity of the Bay is the curious pile of granite rocks
resembling a loaded camel, kneeling, and at the other a rude fragment
of granite has been set upon another, on the sand, to form a rough
and ready monument, marking the spot where the body of Admiral Sir
Cloudesley Shovel was buried.

The story of the naval disaster in which the Admiral and nearly
eighteen hundred men were lost is one of the most tragic associated
with Scilly. A squadron consisting of the flagship _Association_, the
_Eagle_, _Phoenix_, _Lenox_, _Royal Anne_, _St. George_, _Romney_, and
_Firebrand_, returning from an expedition against Toulon, in October
1707, lost its course in foggy weather. On the 22nd the _Association_
struck on the Bishop and Clerks rocks and immediately went down,
with all on board; the _Eagle_ and _Romney_ were also lost, together
with the _Firebrand_, but a few on board the last were saved. The
other vessels miraculously escaped. A great deal of mystery was made
respecting the disaster and the fate of the Admiral, and a legend, long
implicitly believed, gained currency that the shipwrecks were entirely
due to the savage obstinacy of the Admiral, who, it was stated, not
only refused to listen to a sailor, a native of Scilly, on board, who
warned him that he was steering too far northward, but actually had
the man hanged from the yardarm for presuming to know better than his
superiors. That such a story should ever have gained belief in itself
shows us how undesirable service in the Royal Navy must then have been.
The sailor, the story goes on to say, asked one favour before he was
turned off--that he should be allowed to read a portion out of the
Bible. It was granted, and he read the 109th Psalm, one of the cursing
Psalms, with this salient passage: "Let his days be few; and let
another take his office. Let his children be fatherless and his wife a
widow.... Let his posterity be destroyed, and in the next generation
let his name be clean put out. Because his mind was not to do good,
but persecuted the poor, helpless man, that he might slay him that was
vexed at the heart."

The whole story is a fabrication, simply elaborated out of the
narrative told by George Lawrence, quartermaster of the _Romney_, to
Edmund Herbert, Deputy Paymaster-General of Marines, and detailed in
his report of 1709. Lawrence was the one man saved from the _Romney_,
and he said that about one or two o'clock on the afternoon of October
22nd, the Admiral called a council of officers, to discover in what
latitude they were. All agreed they were off Ushant, except the master
of the _Lenox_, who said they were off Scilly. Then a lad also declared
a light they presently made was Scilly light, whereupon all the ship's
crew swore at him.

Among the many contradictory stories told of the finding of Sir
Cloudesley Shovel's body on the sands of Porthellick, the most tragic
version is probably the most truthful. It was at first given out that
he was dead when found, and he certainly was buried here, where the
rude stone monument now stands--a spot where, superstition says, grass
will never grow. Four days later, the body was dug up, identified, and
eventually given a State funeral in Westminster Abbey.

No one could tell what had become of a very valuable emerald ring the
Admiral wore, and his widow offered rewards for it, in vain. But many
years later, about 1734, a woman of St. Mary's, then lying at the point
of death, made the terrible confession that the Admiral had been washed
ashore, exhausted, but still living, and that she had choked him, to
secure his clothes and jewellery. She produced the ring, which was
sent to Lord Dursley, afterwards Earl of Berkeley. It has been set
with diamonds in a locket, and in that form is still possessed by the
Berkeley family.

[Illustration: HOLY VALE.]

Holy Vale, inland, is one of the few places on St. Mary's where trees
grow. Whence arose the name is quite unknown, and there is nothing in
the nature of any religious house here; but there is, if you like to
look at it in that way, a holy calm in this sheltered spot, where the
winds abate and groups of dracæna palms grow freely.

But Tresco is the show-place in Scilly for gardens. It is something
under two miles to the island of Tresco, where the residence of
the Lord Proprietor is situated. There is little left of the Abbey
buildings, and the residence so called is quite modern. Beneath it is a
rush-bordered freshwater lake, and all around are subtropical gardens,
in which visitors are free to wander. Here is a large shed partly
built from the timbers of wrecked vessels, whose figureheads form a
melancholy row in front. The old iron cresset in which the coal-fires
of St. Agnes lighthouse were burnt until 1790, stands close by.

Tresco is two miles long. Visitors rarely go beyond the Abbey gardens,
but the walk along to the northern extremity of the island is
interesting, commanding views on one side across the narrow channel
of New Grimsby to the island of Bryher, and on the other across Old
Grimsby to St. Helen's, Menavawr, Round Island, Teän, and St. Martin's.
Here, in New Grimsby Harbour, are the ruins of "Cromwell's Castle,"
and out in the channel is Hangman's Island, where vague legends say
he hanged his prisoners. Not far off are the ruins of Charles Castle.
The shores are thickly grown to the water's edge with vivid-coloured
mesembryanthemum, an alien plant, which looks better than its name. And
in the cliffs on the headland is the dark cavern of "Piper's Hole,"
running a long way in, with a stygian lake in its midst and a boat to
take you across to further exploration, which is weirdly done by the
aid of torches.

The names of the Scilly rocks and islets are themselves a pure delight,
compact of romantic suggestion. There, off Bryher, exposed to the
full fury of the Atlantic, are the two grim rocks called Scilly, that
confer a name upon the entire group; there is Maiden Bower, there are
Mincarlo, Illiswilgie, Great and Little Minalto, Carntop, Nundeeps, the
ominous Grim Rocks, Tearing Ledge, Crebawethan and his little brother,
Rosevean, Rosevear, Daisy, Gorregan, Meledgan, Hellweathers, and I know
not how many others. And weather permitting--a much more insistent
condition here than elsewhere--you may, with the aid of experienced
boatmen, come near them all, and experience wonderful fishing and see
strange assemblages of solemn sea-birds grouped, fishing also, but with
unerring beak, from lonely ledges.

Great families of cormorants, shags, and puffins inhabit these rocky
places, subsisting upon fish. The fishing methods of these birds
differ entirely from those of the gull, for they are clumsy in flight
and are expert rather in diving from cliffs than soaring. It is not
easy to frighten a cormorant, and it is quite impossible to satisfy
his ravenous hunger, which has rendered the very name of "cormorant"
a synonym for greed and rapacity. I have seen excursionists engage in
the hopeless task of trying to "shoo" a solemn conclave of cormorants
away by shouting, gesticulating, and throwing stones, but those wise
birds, better able to judge distances in their native air than any
holiday-making townsfolk, do not so much as deign to take notice of the
disturbers, and witness stones falling a quarter of a mile or so short
with all the contempt such marksmen deserve.

The shag is no doubt equally wise, but his is an even more
contemplative and much less active wisdom than that of the cormorant.
To see a row of still and solemn shags, all black and white, gazing
into immensity from a shelf of rock is extraordinarily parsonic
in effect: just as though one had come upon the Upper and Lower
Houses of Convocation in full session. But there is humour among
the clergy; no one has ever yet observed it in a shag. The shags,
indeed, are extra-parsonic; more like fakirs in surplices. They take
life seriously, and look with a calm but severe disapproval upon the
laughter of strangers.

And strangers tend to increase in Scilly and its surrounding seas,
in spite of the voyage from Penzance. The isles, truly the Fortunate
Isles, where there is no income-tax and there are no motor-cars, and
the post comes but once a day--and sometimes not even then--and the
only police-force necessary is one officer, who combines all ranks,
and even then has little to do, are further blest with a delightfully
equable climate, and good hotel and other accommodation. They look with
some pity upon the turmoils of the adjacent island of Great Britain.


  Alverton, 219, 248

  Antony (or Antony-in-the-East), 27, 33

  Antony Passage, 23, 28

  "Apron-string," The, 164

  Arwenack, 89, 100

  Asparagus Island, 161

  Balk, The, 148

  Beast (or Bass) Point, 157

  Belidden Cove, 157

  Bessie's Cove, 193

  Biscovey Stone, The, 65

  Black Head (near Charlestown), 72

  ---- (near Coverack), 143

  Black Rock, 88

  Blackie, Professor, 170

  Bleu Bridge, 215

  Bodinnick, 54

  Boleit, 229

  Bonython, 153

  Borlase, Dr. Wm., 213, 235

  Boscawen Point, 230

  Botus Fleming, 17

  Brandies Rocks, 156

  Breage, 187-9

  Brunel, I. K., 21

  Burraton Combe, 21

  Cadgwith Cove, 145, 150

  Caerleon Cove, 144

  Caerthillian Cove, 160

  Callington, 10, 17

  Calstock, 4-7, 18

  Cambarrow, 147

  Caraclowse Point, 143

  Carclaze, 67, 68, 69

  Cargreen, 15

  Carn Brâs, 254

  ---- Guethensbras, 245

  ---- les-Boel, 246

  ---- Voel, 246

  Carrick Roads, 83

  Carter, Henry, smuggler, 195

  ---- John, smuggler, 194-7

  Castell-an-Dinas, 213

  Castle Dwr, 64

  Cawsand, 30

  Chair Ladder, 242-5

  Chapel Point, 74

  Charles Church, Falmouth, 94

  Charlestown, 65-7, 72

  China Clay, 66-9, 109

  Church Cove, 148, 158

  Chyandour, 206, 215

  Cober, River, 185

  Constantine, 99, 126

  ---- stone, The, 200

  Cookworthy, William, 68-70

  Cormorants, 273

  Cornish language, The, 124, 226

  Coryton Family, The, 10, 12

  Cothele (or Cotehele), 7-9

  Coverack Cove, 142

  Crafthole, 33

  Crane Cove, 160

  Cremyll, 31

  Crenval, 157

  Crumplehorn, 48

  Cuddan Point, 198

  Cury, 129, 153, 181

  Danescombe, 9

  Davy, Sir Humphry, 213, 217

  Daws' Hugo, 157

  Dennis Point, 130

  "Devil's Frying Pan," 146, 242

  ---- Post Office, 162

  Devoran, 107

  Dodman Head, 30, 74

  Dollar Wreck, The, 182-4

  Dolor Hugo, 146

  Downderry, 33

  "Drawing-Room" Cave, 162

  Durgan, 123, 126, 129

  Durra Creek, 130, 133

  Edgcumbe, Sir Richard, 7

  Eliot Family, The, 24-7

  Exmouth, Viscount, Early home of, 248

  Falmouth, 88-100, 263

  ---- Harbour, 82-4, 86, 88, 92, 105

  Fal River, 83, 108-111

  Flushing, 99

  Forder, 22

  Fowey, 49-54, 63

  ---- River, 49, 54-6

  Furry Dance, The, 186

  Germoe, 190

  Gerrans, 80

  ---- Bay, 80

  Golant, 55

  Goldsmith, Lieut., 235

  Goonhilly Downs, 152

  Gorran, 74

  ---- Haven, 74

  Grade, 152

  Gue Graze, 165

  Gull Rock, 162

  Gulval, 214

  Gunnislake, 2

  Gunwalloe, 40, 181-4, 186

  Gwavas Lake, 224

  Gweek, 127

  Halzaphron Cliffs, 184

  Hamoaze, The, 5, 6, 18, 28, 31, 83

  Harewood House, 4

  Hawker, Rev. R. S., 39, 121

  Helford, 129

  ---- River, 123, 125-7, 129, 130, 151

  Helston, 89, 152, 185-7

  Hingston Down, 3

  Hoe Point, 191

  Holmbush, 66

  "Horse," The, 165

  "Horsepond," The, 165

  Hot Point, 158

  Housel Bay, 157

  Ince Castle, 24

  Kennack Sands, 144

  "Kettles Bottom," 255

  Kilcobbin Cove, 158

  Killigrew Family, The, 24, 89, 100-102, 153

  King Harry Passage, 109

  Kingsand, 30

  King's Tamerton, 21

  Kit Hill, 3

  "Kitchen Cave," 162

  Kynance Cove, 153, 159-64

  Lamorna Cove, 228

  Lamorran, 40, 83

  Landewednack, 148-50

  Land's End, 246, 251-4

  Landulph, 15-17

  Lansallos, 48

  Lanteglos-juxta-Fowey, 48

  Lerrin, 55

  Levelis family, The, 228

  Lion Rock, 163

  "Lion's Den" (near the Lizard), 157, 242

  ---- (Land's End), 246

  Little Falmouth, 99

  Lizard, The, 150-53

  ---- Lighthouse, 153-5

  ---- Town, 148-51, 153, 157, 159

  Loe Bar, 181, 184-6

  ---- Pool, 185, 187

  Logan Rock, 231-6

  Longships Lighthouse, 254

  Longstone, The, 64

  Looe, 34-40, 55

  ---- River, 35

  Lostwithiel, 54, 59-62

  Ludgvan, 213

  Lynher (or St. Germans) River, 23, 27

  Lyonesse, 199, 206, 254

  Maker, 31

  Malpas, 83, 108, 110

  Manaccan, 129

  Manacles Rocks, 136-9

  Man-o'-War Rocks, 159

  Marazion, 199-202

  Mawgan-in-Meneage, 127-9

  Mawnan, 123-6

  ---- Smith, 123

  Menabilly, 63

  Meneage district, The, 142, 151

  Mengu Stone, The, 71

  Mên-y-Grib, 166

  Merry Maidens, The, Rosemoddress, 230

  ---- ---- The, Boscawen-Ûn, 230

  Merthen, 127

  Merther, 112

  Mevagissey, 72-4

  Mill Bay, 246

  Millbrook, 32, 33

  Morwell Rocks, 3

  Morwellham Quay, 1, 3

  Mount Ararat, 10, 15

  Mount Edgcumbe, 30-33

  ---- ---- Earls of, 7-9, 30

  Mount's Bay, 198, 202, 206, 220, 224

  Mousehole, 226-8

  Mullion, 170-75

  ---- Cove, 165, 166, 170, 176

  ---- Island, 165

  Mundy, Mary, 171-5

  Mylor, 40, 83, 102-106

  Mylor Bridge, 102

  ---- Creek, 102, 106

  Nanjizel, 246

  Nare Point, 135

  Netstakes, 1, 3

  New Bridge, 1

  Newlyn, 220-25

  ---- School, 220-24

  Noti-Noti Stone, The, 200

  Old Kea Church, 110

  ---- Lizard Head, 160

  Palæologus, Theodore, 16

  Par, 53, 64

  Pardenick Point, 246

  "Parlour" Cave, 162

  Paul, 225, 227

  Pedn Boar, 143

  Penberth Cove, 231

  Pencarrow Head, 48

  Pendennis Castle, 82, 84, 86, 89, 91, 99, 109, 114

  Pendower Cove, 246

  Pengersick Castle, 190

  Penlee Point, 30

  Pennare, 72

  Pennycomequick, 89

  Penolver Head, 157

  Penpoll, 107

  Penquite, 55

  Penrose, 187

  Penryn, 89, 99-101

  Pentewan, 72

  Pentillie, 10-15

  Pentraeth Beach, 160

  Pentreath, Dolly, 226

  Penwith district, 247-54

  Penzance, 217-220, 248

  Perran Wharf, 108

  Perranarworthal, 108

  Perranuthnoe, 198

  Phœnicians in Cornwall, 201, 207

  Picklecombe Fort, 30

  Pigeons' Hugo, 165

  Pilchard Fishery, The, 45-7

  Pistol Meadow, 160

  Plymouth Sound, 18, 30

  Point Neptune, 63

  Pol Cornick, 165

  Poldhu, 167, 176, 181

  Polkerris, 63

  Polmear (or Charlestown), 66-7

  Polpear Cove, 155, 159

  Polperro, 42-8, 73

  Polruan, 49, 54

  Poltesco, 144

  Polurrian, 167, 176

  Polvarth, 82

  Polwheverill Creek, 126

  Ponsanooth, 108

  Port Eliot, 24-7

  Port Holland, 78

  Port Loe, 44, 79

  Port Navas, 126

  Porthallow, 135

  Porthcueil, 82, 84

  Porthcurno, 236-38

  Porth Gwarra, 241

  Porthleven, 186, 187

  Porthloe, 241, 245

  Porthmellin (or Mullion Cove), 165, 167, 170, 176

  Porthoustock, 135, 138

  Porthpean, 72

  Portmellin, 74

  Portscatho, 80

  Portuan (or East Looe), 36

  Portwrinkle, 33

  Praa Sands, 189

  Pradanack, 165

  Prussia Cove, 191, 193-98

  Rame, 29

  Rame Head, 29

  Rashleigh Family, The, 53, 64

  Ravens' Hugo, 148

  Restronguet Creek, 84, 107, 108

  Rill Head, 161, 164

  Rinsey Head, 189

  Roseland, 84

  Rosemullion Head, 123

  Roundwood Creek, 84

  "Royal Albert Bridge," 20

  Ruan Creek, 84, 109

  ---- Lanihorne, 83, 109

  ---- Major, 152

  ---- Minor, 145

  Rundlestone, The, 240, 257

  St. Anthony in Meneage, 131-5

  St. Anthony-in-Roseland, 82

  St. Anthony Lighthouse, 82, 84

  St. Austell, 66, 68, 69-72

  St. Breaca, 188

  St. Buriana (or Bruinech), 249

  St. Buryan, 228, 249

  St. Clements, 111

  St. Clement's Island, 228

  St. Cohan, 112

  St. Dominic, 9

  St. Feock, 40, 83, 107-9

  St. Germans, 24-7

  St. Germans, Earls of, 24-7

  St. Germans (or Lynher) River, 23-8

  St. Germoch, 191

  St. Gluvias, 92, 100

  St. Godwald, 214

  St. Hilary, 199-201

  St. John's, 33

  St. Just-in-Roseland, 83, 106

  St. Kea, 110

  St. Keverne, 12, 138, 139-41, 143

  St. Levan, 238-41

  St. Lidgean, 213

  St. Loy's Cove, 230

  St. Mawes, 83, 85-7

  St. Mawes Creek, 82

  St. Mawgan, 127

  St. Mellion, 10, 12

  St. Melor, 102

  St. Michael Caerhayes, 75-8

  St. Michael Penkevil, 110

  St. Michael's Mount, 202-12

  St. Newlyna, 220

  St. Piran, 139

  St. Pol de Leon, 214, 225

  St. Ruan, 152

  St. Samson, or Sampson, 55, 265

  St. Senan, 249

  St. Stephen's-in-Brannel, 67, 69, 74

  St. Stephen's-by-Saltash, 20, 21

  St. Veep, 54

  St. Winnow, 54, 55-7

  St. Winwaloe, 149, 181

  St. Wulvella, 214

  Saltash, 10, 17, 18-21

  Saltash Bridge, 20

  Scilly Islands, 256-74
    "Armorel of Lyonesse," 259, 266
    Bishop Lighthouse, 266
    Bryher, 263, 272
    Carntop, 273
    Charles Castle, 272
    Crebawethan, 273
    Cromwell's Castle, 272
    Crow Sound, 258
    Daisy, 273
    Flower farming, 258-62
    Giant's Castle, 268
    Gorregan, 273
    Great Arthur, 258
    Great Ganilly, 258
    Great Ganinick, 258
    Great Minalto, 258
    Grim Rocks, 273
    Hangman's Island, 272
    Hanjague, 258
    Hellweathers, The, 273
    Hugh Town, 258, 264
    Illiswilgie, 273
    Little Arthur, 258
    Little Ganilly, 258
    Little Ganiornick, 258
    Little Minalto, 273
    Logan Rock, 267
    Maiden Bower, 273
    Meledgan, 273
    Menavawr, 272
    Menewethan, 258
    Mincarlo, 273
    "Nag's Head" Rock, 267
    New Grimsby Channel, 272
    Nornor, 258
    Nundeeps, 273
    Old Grimsby Channel, 272
    Peninis Head, 267
    Piper's Hole, 272
    Porthellick, 268, 270
    "Pulpit" Rock, 267
    "Punch Bowl" Rock, 267
    Ragged Island, 258
    Retarrier Reef, 266
    Rosevean, 273
    Rosevear, 273
    Round Island, 266, 272
    St. Agnes, 263, 266, 267
    St. Helen's, 272
    St. Martin's, 258, 263, 272
    St. Mary's, 254, 256, 258, 260, 263, 264
    St. Mary's Sound, 258
    Samson, 263, 265
    Scilly, 272
    Smith, Augustus, 259, 264, 265
    Star Castle, 263, 264
    Teän, 272
    Tearing Ledge, 273
    Tresco, 259, 263, 264, 271

  Scraesdon Fort, 28

  Seagulls, 46-8

  Seaton, 34

  Sennen, 249-51

  "Seven Stones" Lightship, 254, 266

  Shags, 273

  Sheviock, 27

  Shovel, Admiral Sir Cloudesley, 268-70

  Smithick (or Smithike), 89

  Smuggling, 30, 41, 168, 193-7

  "Song of the Sea," The, 246

  "Song of the Western Men," 39

  Southdown, 32

  "Stags," The, 157

  _Statio Tamard_, 21

  Steeple Rock, 161

  Talland, 40-2

  Tamar River, 1-11, 15, 18, 21, 83

  "Tar Box," 160

  Thanckes, 28

  Tillie, Sir James, 12-15, 140

  Tin, ancient trading in Cornwall, 201, 204-7, 215

  Tol Pedn Penwith, 241

  Torpoint, 28

  Treffry Family, The, 52, 53, 64

  Trefusis Point, 102, 105

  Tregantle Fort, 28, 33

  Tregothnan, 109, 110, 113

  Trelawne, 39

  Trelawny Ballad, The, 39

  Trelissick, 109

  Trematon Castle, 21-3

  Trereen, 231

  ---- Dinas, 231-7

  Tresilian Bridge, 83, 84, 111-14

  ---- Creek, 111-14

  Trevanion Family, The, 76, 78

  Trewavas Head, 189

  Trewoofe, 228

  Truro, 83, 89, 114, 115-22

  Vellan Head, 165

  Veryan, 78-80

  ---- Bay, 74

  Weir Head, 1, 3

  West Newton Ferrers, 10, 12

  Whitesand Bay, 29

  Wireless Telegraphy, 176

  Wolf Lighthouse, 255

    _Anson_, 184
    _Association_, 268
    _Bluejacket_, 255
    _Brankelow_, 184
    _Dispatch_, 136, 143
    _Eagle_, 269
    _Firebrand_, 269
    _Glenbervie_, 139
    _John_, 136
    _Jonkheer_, 167
    _Khyber_, 241, 245
    _Mohegan_, 136-8, 140
    _Noisiel_, 189
    _Queen_, 92, 105
    _Romney_, 269
    _Schiller_, 266
    _Suevic_, 156
    _Susan and Rebecca_, 184

  Yellow Head, 160

  Ynys Head, 145

  Ynys Vean, 160

_Printed and bound by Hazell, Watson & Viney, Ld., London and

                   *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Footnotes have been moved to the end of each chapter and relabeled
consecutively through the document.

Illustrations have been moved to paragraph breaks near where they are

Punctuation has been made consistent.

The Contents entry and chapter header for Chapter IX list "St.
Anthony-in-Roseland," but the presentation in the chapter is for "St.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation were retained as they appear in
the original publication, except as noted below.

Changes have been made as follows:

Page 3: Inserted "a" (beautiful as a Thames-side)

Page 10: "circuituous" changed to "circuitous" (most circuitous loops)

Page 106: "Alafs" changed to "Alass" (Alass Frend Joseph)

Page 176: "obession" changed to "obsession" (an obsession, not)

Page 220: "as" changed to "a" (Penzance as a great)

Page 272: "thee ntire" changed to "the entire" (upon the entire group)

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