Saturday, 16 April 2016
St Michael’s Mount, established by monks from the four-times larger Mont Saint-Michel off the Lower Normandy coast in the 1200s. Evidence still turns up of Neolithic and Iron Age use of this prominent landform. Castle closed. Garden closed. Parking prices steep at £3.50 and £4. Rain setting in, so we drove on. (Honeymoon revisit).
The road destroyed half of this large stone-walled burial chamber (probably Neolithic); no doubt it had been looted centuries before. Still: massive stones. One looked like it had deliberate large pits made in it. (Info on-the-net suggests this is a copy (“cups”), and the original is museum-ed.)
In a nearby field is the Merry Maidens stone circle, which has several names and many stories associated with it. What we see today is in part a fanciful (and likely earnest) reconstruction. Several outlying stones are in other fields. Loved having the rainbow join us.
With rain, you can find…mud on road.
And ducks near ponds. These kindly drifted off the pavement so we could pass, and returned as soon as we were by.
This is Cornish tin mining country. There must have been terrible environmental degradation during that time. These sentinel chimneys (stacks they call them) are scattered about. Most have this shape and the two-toned appearance.
We went to Port Isaac! You may know it as Port Wenn from the British TV series “Doc Martin.” His surgery is to the right. And don’t even try to peek in the windows. Tide was in. Parking costs still high here—and you need coins for the P&D machine, although they tried to offer a smart phone option—but the interface was crap.
Next town over is Port Quin, now mostly ruins and cottages, and not many of either. And the coast path, of course. The building to the left was the pilchard palace, where they aged(?) the pilchards. The row of square holes was for beams that pressed the fish in the barrels, if I understood correctly. Must have smelled just fine all across town. One must have hoped for the near ever-present wind.
View from our room under the eaves (and in our price range). That’s Port Isaac in the bay. And we can hear the wind on the slate roof.