Meet Janet Issac – The Last Gypsy Queen of Cornwall
The Cornish Bird Blog
by esdale77
4d ago
A few years ago I was contacted by a Cornish gypsy family who wanted to tell me the story of their great-grandmother, Janet Isaac. I met them for a cup of tea and a chat and to my surprise and joy a whole other world, a wonderfully fascinating and unfamiliar part of our Cornish heritage, opened up to me – one that until that moment I had never really known existed. Our Cornish gypsies. Our Cornish Gypsies For hundreds of years this group of people have been a misunderstood, and at times persecuted, part of our society. In the press they were often at best caricatured and at worst often vilifie ..read more
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The Tragic Tale of the Cross on The Ridge, Bodmin Moor
The Cornish Bird Blog
by esdale77
1M ago
A small granite cross stands entirely alone on an isolated slope of Bodmin Moor. Just three feet high somehow it manages to dominate the landscape, easily spotted by the few that might find themselves walking out there on this peaceful part of the moorland. But sadly this little cross doesn’t mark the site of some forgotten ancient chapel or holy well and it is not a waymarker. It has a tragic story to tell. Moorland Crosses Away from the churches and villages the moor is dotted with a surprising number of beautiful and often lonely crosses. Usually erected to mark some ancient trackway, such ..read more
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The Dog King & the Truth about the Cult of Jericho Valley, St Agnes
The Cornish Bird Blog
by esdale77
1M ago
The 22nd item on the running order of ITV’s News At Ten on the 10th December 1969 was a little odd to say the least. The news anchor, Reginald Bosanquet, who had been presenting the programme since it began two years earlier, introduced the story – it was about the elaborate funeral of a dog by a secretive religious sect in Jericho Valley, “a remote part of Cornwall”. The group responsible for the unusual burial, the Brotherhood of the Essenes, believed the animal “to be a king” who had originally lived 2000 years ago in the time of Christ. Since the events of 1969 this story has taken on a li ..read more
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The Forgotten Ruin of St Rumon’s Church, Ruan Major
The Cornish Bird Blog
by esdale77
3M ago
Hidden amongst trees down a narrow dead-end lane is what remains of St Ruan Major Church. Once a grand building described as “one of the most curious and interesting” of Cornwall’s churches it is now a shadow of its former self. A atmospheric shell, open to the sky. When I first came across the ruin, as known as St Rumon’s Church, I was understandably curious about what story of this place was. However, I found it fairly difficult to find any information, so I thought I would put together what I could find out as a little guide for anyone else who visited. (There are also notes on how to acce ..read more
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The Murder of Richard Roskruge, St Anthony in Meneage, 1797
The Cornish Bird Blog
by esdale77
4M ago
In August 1797 Rev. Richard Polwhele preached a sermon to his congregation in Manaccan concerning two rather “melancholy events” that had recently taken place in the parish. One was a destructive storm of near biblical proportions, the other was a murder. I first came across Richard Roskruge’s story while on the hunt for unusual epitaphs in Cornish churchyards, his headstone stands just beyond the porch of St Anthony in Meneage church. I soon discovered however, that there was much more to it than just a strange choice of inscription. It has taken quite a while to gather up the threads of thi ..read more
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The Miracles on St Michael’s Mount
The Cornish Bird Blog
by esdale77
5M ago
There was a time when people whole-heartedly believed in miracles. A time when they thought that visiting a religious relic, saying prayers in a certain church or drinking from a sacred well would bring them what they so desperately needed, whether that was good health, fertility or salvation. St Michael’s Mount was one of those places of pilgrimage for hundreds of years and for a short time in the 13th century a number of miracles were said to have occurred there. A Hallowed Isle St Michael’s Mount is at the heart of many Cornish myths and legends. From the archangel it is named after and th ..read more
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Review: Cornish Mysteries – Charlotte MacKenzie
The Cornish Bird Blog
by esdale77
6M ago
The historian Charlotte MacKenzie’s latest book brings together a collection of mysterious tales from Cornish history. From folklore and the supernatural to early healthcare and unexplained disappearances – this book is filled with meticulously researched stories from Cornwall’s often peculiar past. ‘Cornish Mysteries’ compliments her previous work, which includes Cornish Legends, Women Writers & Georgian Cornwall and Merchants & Smugglers in 18th Century Cornwall. In the first chapter Charlotte sets out to identify the “Knowing men of Cornwall” – the local conjurers, charmers and cast ..read more
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Henry Cuttance – Smuggler & Shipwreck Hero of Gunwalloe
The Cornish Bird Blog
by esdale77
6M ago
When Charles Dickens visited Cornwall in 1875 he spent some time walking around the Lizard “knapsack on shoulder and stout boots on feet”. He felt that it was the only way to truly experience this isolated corner of Cornwall. Just outside Gunwalloe he made the acquaintance of a man he called “Old Cuttance” who regaled him with tales of shipwrecks and daring deeds. Blue Rocks beach, Gunwalloe That man was Henry Cuttance and by the time that Dickens met him he was already 85 years old and had led a life so full of adventure and incident that he really could have been a character straight out of ..read more
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St Indract’s Chapel & Stories of Halton Quay
The Cornish Bird Blog
by esdale77
7M ago
Just beyond a deep bend in the tidal reaches of the River Tamar and close to the picturesque grounds of Pentillie Castle is a quiet, forgotten quay. Once a hive of activity Halton Quay now seems to idle in peace and tranquillity, especially when the water is high, lapping gently at the granite walls and the only other sound is the puff of passing geese on the wing. Today you will find little to see there besides what has to be one of the smallest chapels in Cornwall but that was not always the case. A couple of hundred years ago this place was one of the main trading quays on the River Tamar ..read more
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The Deadman’s Hut, Portreath
The Cornish Bird Blog
by esdale77
9M ago
The Cornish coast is well known as a graveyard for ships, dramatic tales of shipwreck and rescue were once very much a daily part of local lives. And, of course, these disasters were rarely without victims. But what happened to the unidentified drowned was not something that was or is comfortable to talk about. Until the law was changed in 1808 the bodies of those lost at sea would often be buried on the cliff tops close to where they had been found but even after that practice was outlawed there was often a delay before a victim could be laid to rest. They needed to be identified, their fami ..read more
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