Last entry, I was driving around to Tintagel and the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall. How was the rest of the day?
I had considered visiting St. Nectan’s Glen, a famous Cornish holy spring, but I couldn’t locate it on my GPS. I had, however, seen a sign for it between Tintagel and Boscastle, so I backtracked to the spot.
St. Nectan’s Glen is not on the road – in fact, it turns out it’s about a mile off, down a country lane, between tall hedges overgrown with wildflowers, and onto a path that winds through the bottom of a wooded valley, alongside a whispering stream. After about a mile, you come to a charming tea room with a deck where you can relax. Then, after paying admission, you make your way down into the glen itself, coming out at a water fountain behind a quiet pool.
Those who have come before have left offerings of clouties, small pieces of cloth tied around trees that represent wishes or desires for healing. Originally, they were only features at the healing well at Madron, but they have been adopted as devotional elements at many other Cornish sites.
It was a lovely experience, even though a little rain and more mud were less than ideal.
Having walked back, I decided to head to my last site of the day. On the way, however, I came across the town of Camelford. Just as Tintagel is believed to be the site of King Arthur’s conception, Camelford is, according to local legend, the site of the king’s final battle against Mordred. I ran into the visitor center at the last minute before it closed, and they allowed me to walk along the trail to see the site.
The site, known as Slaughterbridge, has a stone dating back to the sixth century, which is said to mark the fall of Arthur. Later scholars have read it differently, but it’s there for anyone who wishes to see it:
I drove for quite some distance afterward until I arrived at Minions – not the movie, the town on Bodmin Moor. One notable feature of Cornwall is that sites that US parks would surround with guardrails and carefully-cropped lawns are filled with animals, like this sheep wandering across the parking lot.
I was there to see the Hurlers, three small stone circles set north to south with a prominent causeway between them. I like finding small megalithic sites, away from tourists, that I can explore.
I also managed to find Rillaton Barrow, a nearby Bronze Age tomb, just by happening to wander across the moors.
Here’s a view of the horizon, with the odd stone formation called the Cheesewring peeking out of that ridge.
So, that was the first of two days with a car. How could I get myself in trouble next?