We were Cornwall bound again during the last week in August and what a fabulous week it was weather wise. It was my birthday whilst down there so we decided to take Polly the camper van on a little drive to see where the sunny roads would take us. We ended up parking in a car park in Marazion overlooking a beautiful beach and sea view with St Michael’s Mount in full view. We’d passed through Marazion many times before, whilst visiting Cornwall, but never actually stopped to visit this attraction, so today was the day.
The following description of Marazion is taken from the online Cornwall Guide:
“The attractive old town of Marazion is a popular destination for beach holidays and water sports, including windsurfing, kite-surfing and sailing. The name Marazion has erroneously been referred to as Market Jew but is believed to be derived from the old Cornish Marghaisewe, meaning Thursday market. The quaint town claims to be one of the oldest in Britain. It was known as Ictis by the Romans”…
Claims to be ‘one of the oldest towns in Britain!’ WOW! This really surprises me, when you think of London, York, Bath. There are so many towns in Britain, which I’d have thought would’ve claimed to be the oldest. As a lover of history, I think there’s a little more research to be done on this subject and maybe a future post?
Before heading over to the island though, I had a big smile on my face as Jon had suggested that he treat me to a birthday lunch, so after being recommended The Godolphin Arms as a nice place to eat, that’s where we headed after a short walk along the beach.
We found the pub and found a seat & off Jon went to the bar. It wasn’t long before he appeared with a glass of wine & a pint of the local brew, huffing & puffing that 2 drinks hadn’t given him back much change from a tenner. I just smiled as I let him have his little rant and let his true Yorkshire thrift shine through as ever. It was at that moment though when I thought my romantic birthday meal at this lovely pub was over and it was going to be a pot of cockles sat on the nearby wall but no, he surprised me by presenting me with a menu and saying, “quick, I’ll get the dogs, you go get that good seat on the balcony, those people are just leaving!” 😃
We ended up having a lovely and I must say, quite a romantic, (once we were settled) three course meal sat outside in the sunshine, on the balcony overlooking St Michael’s Mount island and the beach.
Next on the agenda was to visit the beautiful island which we’d been admiring for the last couple of hours. The island is around 500m from the mainland and accessibility is dependant on time and tide.
Low tide exposes a well built pathway which reaches between mainland to the island and as the sea comes in towards High tide the path slowly starts to disappear and so taxi boats are then regularly available at a small cost of £2 per person to take you across.
The short boat trip took us to the islands’ quaint little harbour.
From there your eyes were drawn up towards the castle – Stunning!
Unfortunately, the dogs weren’t allowed up to the castle, so Jon stayed with them on the lower part of the island while I followed the cobbled path up to this amazing historic building and to see the views.
The islands history dates back to 495AD where there are legends of Mermaids and sightings of an apparition of St Michael, patron saint of fishermen, appearing on the island to ward fishermen from the danger of the rocks. This legend has continued from history to now to bring people of all faiths to the island.
There’s also a Cornish legend of Jack the Giant Killer who apparently laid a trap to rid the Mount of a giant called Cormoran who terrorised the land. As I was walking up the cobbled path I saw a storyteller performing to a group of children on a grassy area, keeping them glued to his animated story of Jack the Giant Killer, what a treat for me to catch this story, it wasn’t just the children who were enjoying it.
There’s such a colourful history of the Castle which, in the beginning was a church and priory built in the 12th Century by the monks who had lived there from around the Norman conquest in 1066. The priory still stands within the castle today, such a beautiful building steeped in history. The Mount has been through a seizure by Henry La Pomeray in 1193, through conflict during the Wars of the Roses in 1473 and the Civil War saw Royalists hold back the forces of Oliver Cromwell.
There are rows of cannons which were used to drive a Napoleonic ship to be captured on Marizion beach and also the church tower lit the first beacon of a series which warned London of the approaching Spanish Armada. Wow – it’s amazing this Mount is still standing so proud.
For the history and much more information, it’s worth a look at the History page on The St Michael Mount website
St Michaels Mount is now managed jointly by The National Trust and St Aubyn Estates. The Aubyn family have had connections with the Mount since the 1600’s and some of the family still live in the castle to this day, sharing the island with people who live and work on it. You can read more about the Aubyn family and how The National Trust became involved at the website here.
I absolutely loved looking around this beautiful castle and learning about its history. What a great day out!
I made a quick video = My birthday on St Michael’s Mount Video
Thanks for stopping by 🙂