Monday, 24 August 2015

The Roseland Peninsular

A somewhat historical account of a long weekend in Cornwall at the beginning of July

Day Two (Friday) 

This area gets its name from the Cornish word ‘Ros’ meaning ‘promontory’ – it is separated from the rest of Cornwall by the River Fal.

The day started by crossing the river on the King Harry Ferry (the chain ferry – also known as the floating bridge). The ferry was established in 1888 and links the Roseland peninsular to Truro and Falmouth, avoiding a 27 mile detour. It is one of only five chain ferries in England.

 First stop was St Just in Roseland Church - probably Cornwall's most photographed church, and arguably one of its most beautiful. The 13th century Church is built right beside the water on a tidal creek. The churchyard slopes steeply upwards behind the church and contains many tropical plants.

We then headed south to St Anthony’s Head which is at the southernmost tip of the peninsular. We walked a short stretch of the South West Coast Path from St Anthony’s Lighthouse (built in 1835 by the Chief Engineer of Trinity House) to guide shipping away from the Manacles Rocks south of Falmouth Harbour.

 There are great views across to Pendennis  Castle.  Together with St Mawes Castle its companion fort on the opposite east bank, it was built by King Henry VIII between 1539 and 1545 to guard the entrance to River and to defend Carrick Roads from the perceived French and Spanish threat of naval attack.

 We walked round to St Anthony-in-Roseland. The church is unusual in that it still has its original medieval cruciform plan, despite being extensively restored in the 19th century. 

Lunch was a pasty at the Hidden Hut, a small cafe on the coastal path above Porthcurnick Beach near Portscatho.

And now for something completely different…..a former garage in St Mawes (the following notes are taken from

The garage-cum-petrol station is near to the harbour. Although no longer in use as a garage, the premises have been preserved and are now home to a boat repair business, and the old petrol pumps still stand alongside what was the garage forecourt. The pump globes advertise Shell motor spirit, both Regular and Premium. The two outermost pumps look like they date to the 1920s or 1930s, while the two pumps with the yellow globes probably hail from the 1950s. There is also an early AA sign attached to the garage's wall, most of these were removed during WW2 in a bid to confuse any unwelcome visitors that might land on our shores.

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