Ruth’s Pilgrimage to the UK – Part Five

Leaving Tintagel was difficult as I felt so connected to these glorious castle ruins and Merlin’s Cave and yet more surprises and delights of every kind were waiting for me in the South West of Cornwall.

My plan was to go to Land’s End first and the beginning of the ancient “ Michael Line” which is probably the most well-known ley of all. It links many places with St. Michael dedications across England, including St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, St. Michael’s on Glastonbury Tor and St. Michael’s on Burrow Mump.

Lands End itself and St Michael’s Mount are the starting point for the infamous St Michael’s ley, a broad line linking the Mount, St Michael’s Church Brentor, St Michael’s Church Burrowbridge, St Michael’s Church Othery, St Michael’s Church, Glastonbury Tor and Stoke St Michael

Glastonbury has its Ley connection to Stonehenge, where the Christians began erecting chapels on the male serpent line, dedicated to St. Michael. These were studded along the former sites of the Celtic God, Lug. On the more curving female line, often near water or Holy Wells, Mary Chapels went up on former sites of his consort, the Goddess. Interestingly, 16 miles to the North, a perfect North South line from Stonehenge passes through The Sanctuary near Avebury where the Michael and Mary line cross.

The Michael and Mary lines also run through and around St Michaels Mount, but more on that when I tell you of my visit there.

Driving south from Tintagel I firstly made a fleeting visit to Port Isaac, the picturesque village where the TV series “Doc Martin: was filmed. Too many people and too much traffic made me continue onwards to Padstow – where the renowned celebrity chef Rick Stein has his famous seafood restaurant, café and deli.

The smell of fish and chips ( and the seagulls) filled the air of this quaint working fishing port where many cafes and fish and chip shops vied for the tourist pound.

Even the pubs were decked out in their finest hanging baskets to attract attention from each other – gloriously colourful and a delight to come across as I wandered the lanes and small wiggly streets of Padstow.

Continuing south I arrived in Penzance and had a walk around the town – and a drive along the foreshore.

The town of Penzance is  named “Pen Sans” in the ancient Cornish language, meaning “Holy Headland”, referring to the headland to the western side of the harbour on which a chapel was established by early Christians well over 1000 years ago. Today St Mary’s Church (shown above) is located on the same site. Penzance is the major town of the district of Penwith, or the Lands End Peninsula. The town has the only seashore promenade in Cornwall which extends from the harbour towards the fishing port of Newlyn – a mile or so to the west.

As I strolled in the back streets and lanes of Penzance it was easy to imagine the days of yore when there was a brisk trade in contraband and “here be Pirates”.

I went in search of the famous “Egyptian House” which is perhaps one of Cornwall’s most flamboyant examples of architecture with its ornate facade of lotus columns and stylized cornices. Set in amongst the Egyptian styling and sphinx like adornments is the royal coat of arms of George III/William IV maybe just to remind us we are still firmly in the British Empire.

The building dates back to 1835 and it is thought that the architect was a John Foulston from Plymouth who is credited for the design of the similar Classical and Mathematical School in Devonport, Devon. It has been said that the facade was an exact copy of a museum in Piccadilly, London built in 1812 which was inspired by the Temple of Hathor at Dendra in Egypt.

I shall always remember my time walking around Penzance for it was here, while standing outside a shop opposite the Egyptian House, that I received a call from my stepson and daughter- in- law in Australia telling me that the first grandchild in our family was coming to join us! How delighted I was for them and as we spoke I turned around to see a beautiful handmade teddy bear winking at me from inside the shop window. Naturally as soon as we had said farewell I marched straight inside and bought the bear, and posted him home to them!  

I was so excited about this news and felt energised so I jumped in the car and headed off to visit Lanyon Quoit

 I was very blessed as when found the plaque marking the Quoit, I parked my car and climbed the stile to find I was the only soul there. I spent at least an hour all alone meditating, singing and tuning into the spirit and energy of the place while  the sun shone down on me. It felt so deeply old and magical and I could clairvoyantly “see” gatherings of the “ancient ones”. What a gift!

Lanyon Quoit is the best-known Cornish quoit, as it stands right beside the road leading from Madron to Morvah.
    Believed to be the burial chamber of a long mound, Lanyon Quoit is unusual in many ways and may have been more of a mausoleum or cenotaph than a grave. Recent theories suggest that these megalithic monuments were never completely covered by mounds but that their granite capstone and front portal stones were left uncovered to form a dramatic background to the ceremonies performed there.

From Lanyon Quoit , Spirit lead me on to “Mên-an-Tol” . 

The Mên-an-Tol monument consists of four stones: one fallen, two uprights, and between these a circular one, 1.3m (4ft 6in) in diameter, pierced by a hole that occupies about half its size. An old plan of Mên-an-Tol (the name means stone with a hole in Cornish) shows that originally the three main stones stood in a triangle. They could be the remains of a Neolithic tomb, because holed stones have served as entrances to burial chambers. Its age in uncertain but it is usually assigned to the Bronze Age, between 3000-4000 years ago.

Holed stones are found in many parts of British Isles as well as in other countries of the world; together with holy wells they have retained the ideas and customs associated with them more tenaciously than any other type of ancient sites. Beliefs connected with them are remarkably similar from the Orkneys to the far west of Cornwall.

Traditional rituals at Mên-an-Tol (centuries ago known also as Devil’s Eye) involved passing naked children three times through the holed stone and then drawing them along the grass three times in an easterly direction. This was thought to cure scrofula (a form of tuberculosis) and rickets. Adults seeking relief from rheumatism, spine troubles or ague were advised to crawl through the hole nine times against the sun.

I crawled through but once . 

The holed stone also had prophetic qualities and, according to nineteenth-century folklorist Robert Hunt: “If two brass pins are carefully laid across each other on the top edge of the stone, any question put to the rock will be answered by the pins acquiring, through some unknown agency, a peculiar motion.” This indeed sounds as though dowsing was the instrument to gain the answers as these stones no doubt are on strong ley lines.. The energy here was intense and once more I felt almost embraced by Goddess energy. The land itself felt comforting here in Cornwall.

As storm clouds gathered, I sensed that my time in the open was limited and hastily drove to another Quoit close by which I hoped to see. Sadly, as I parked my car to make the long hike to  Chûn Quoit, the heavens opened and the rain came down in torrents.

Chun Quoit in much better weather

Chûn Quoit is the best preserved of all the Quoits in Cornwall and is located up on the open moorland. The uphill walk is apparently well worthwhile because this is considered the most visually satisfying of all the quoits. However, it was not to be for me that day and time did not permit a return. Perhaps on my next rip to Cornwall.

With the firm knowledge that the weather had set in, I reluctantly abandoned my quest as it was now late in the day and I made my way to Marazion where I was to stay for the next two nights.

Marazion is a little village on the coast about 5 miles from Penzance and directly opposite the island of St Michael’s Mount.

Marazion village

The parish of Marazion, (Cornish: Marghasyow), was created in 1813. Its modern name derives from the markets that were held here: “marghas byghan”, means ‘little market‘ and “marghas yow” means “Thursday Market.”
This town claims to be the oldest town in Britain, called Ictis by the Romans.

In fact, my room in the B&B where I stayed looked right across the roof tops and the bay to the Mount and castle itself.

St Michaels Mount by night

After my long day of adventures it was more than time for sleep. Looking across the bay at St Michaels Mount in the fading light I was full of anticipation for the following day when I planned to rise early and be one of the first to set foot on the Island before the many tourists would arrive. 

The next chapter of my journey is full of colour and light as I explore the Mount and further sacred sites  in Cornwall. 

Please join me …

Blessings and Light ,


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