Cornwall April 2011: Other Outings

18 April 2011: St Michael's Mount

After Stephen passed St Michael's Mount yesterday on his South West Coast Path walk from Penzance to Porthleven, today it was time to visit the real thing.

Lucy on the beach at Marazion

The Royal Mail van drives across the low-tide causeway to St Michael's Mount

On the island itself, there are houses as well as the castle and church on the summit.

The harbour, presently without water

The climb up to the top is fairly rough underfoot, but reveals great views back across the causeway to the village

Inside the castle, the dining room

A vertiginous look down on the gardens

Lucy looks out at the view

Inside the church

Lucy reaches the bottom of the very uneven steps after an interesting tour of the castle and church.

We made a visit to the little shop, and had a pleasant lunch in the café. On the way back to the causeway, we spotted this incongruous addition to the boats in the harbour.

19 April 2011: Land's End

After a visit to the most southerly point of mainland Britain at the Lizard this afternoon at the conclusion of a South West Coast Path walk from Porthleven, we decided to bag the pair with a drive to Land's End.

The official photographer with the customisable signpost wasn't there as it was almost six o'clock, but unlike on Stephen's visit in 2008, this other signpost was present and so we could get a photo to prove we'd been.

The rocks of Dr Syntax's Head form the most westerly point of mainland England

Longships lighthouse; it was too hazy to see the Isles of Scilly

20 April 2011: East Pool Mine

This is a late example of a steam winding engine with beam, to lift men and ore from the mine shaft which is 1500 feet deep.

The engine was the last rotative beam engine made in Cornwall

Although the beam goes up and down, the engine is driven by electricity rather than steam

Lucy turns the throttle to control the engine

Sadly as related above the engine is now driven by an electric motor, and so that red light from inside the boiler is fake rather than burning coal

Across from Mitchell's shaft is the later Taylor's shaft to access the same mines via the other shaft.

From Morrison's car park, the larger site at Taylor's shaft

Walking through one of the flues, running from the boiler for the winding gear to the chimney.

Other flues ran from these sites of the boilers for the pumping engine

The beam of the pumping engine. The beams is 33ft 3in long and weighs over 52 tons

The 90in cylinder of the pumping engine, built in 1892, one of the largest and last to be built. It served the nearby Carn Brea Mines until 1924 when it was moved to this site. This mine was closed in 1945 but the engine continued until 1954 to keep water out of neighbouring South Crofty mine

Ore fell down shutes into wagons on the tramway which went through the town to the railway; later a long conveyor belt was installed to replace the tramway.

The pumping house

21 April 2011: St Mawes Castle

Our final outing of the holiday was a trip on the ferry from Falmouth to St Mawes and thence to the castle there. We hadn't realised that the winter ferry runs from a pier quite so far from the Martime museum where we'd been earlier in the week, and so it was a very hurried march through the centre of Falmouth, and possibly contributed to our broad grins at having caught the ferry by the skin of our teeth.

The water taxi complements the more regular ferry services - which seem remarkably limited in some ways. In the Easter holidays, why is the last ferry from St Mawes to Falmouth at 4.45pm? (Indeed I would extend the question more widely as to why so many tourist attractions seem determined to exclude Easter holidays from their season, considering the period to be "winter" - but the ferry doesn't run much later in summer. Surely with tourists eating out there could be demand for travel a bit later on warm summer evenings? Why did the crazy golf course we visited have final tickets at 4pm? Does no-one want to do anything between 4pm and 11pm except have dinner?)

There were some lovely boats as we crossed the estuary

St Mawes Castle from the ferry. We landed at the harbour and walked back to the castle.

Lucy by the small door into the castle

Looking across to Falmouth, with the paired castle of Pendennis Castle silhouetted on the hilltop.

The entrance into the castle is elevated with the "moat" cut out of the rock

Four crests are around the outside of the castle, probably originally brightly painted

The grass-topped magazine

The ferry coming back; time for a brisk walk back to the harbour to catch the last ferry back to Falmouth

The view of St Mawes as we wait to board the ferry



Back Up Next

Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson