UK: Cornwall: The Mining Coast

The ruins of copper and tin mines can be found all along the west coast of Cornwall from its southern tip at Lands End north towards St Ives.  We set off on a damp and extremely cold morning in June (it was supposed to be summer) to find some of those mine sites.

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This coast and the nearby inland moors are often shrouded by a mist that adds to the mystery of this once very busy mining area. The noise of mine heads and crushing hammers that boomed out across the whole area are now silent.  The smoke and steam from the engine houses rise no more.  Only ruins of the past remain to remind us that here men, women and children worked long hours in often very dangerous conditions to mine ore.  And some of those miners were David’s forbears.  We needed to learn more.

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Parking the car near the old Levant Mine, we were stunned by the beauty of the area and by the number of wild flowers that adorned this long disused mine site.

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Thrift was again in abundance.  It’s probably the most common plant of the coast.

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Being common, it’s often overlooked.  But each flower is a delight.

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Walking here is very picturesque with chimneys and the ruins of mine workings rising from the landscape.

Any one who enjoys walking holidays would do well to consider this coast.

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There were carpets of yellow Vetch and Silene everywhere.

There are no trees here and most plants grow low to the ground,

in an attempt to shelter from the wild winds that often lash these shores.

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These tiny flowers are well worth the effort of getting down low to enjoy them.

The plant name is unknown to us.  Any help?

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But we hadn’t come just to enjoy the wildflowers and the scenery.  We’d come to learn something about the mines.  We began by visiting the National Trust owned Levant Mine where some buildings and a steam pump engine have been restored.  A guide is available to explain the workings and the history of these mines.

A large part of Cornwall is made up of slate and greenstone intruded by granite and over 150 other minerals have been found in this ancient geological area.  Of most importance were the ‘veins’ of tin and copper ores found within fractures in the granite.

For about 2,000 years, copper and tin mining has been part of Cornwall’s history.  Much of the very early mining was ‘stream’ mining for ore found on or near the surface or in streams.  Mining families were somewhat self sufficient as they also farmed the fields whose boundaries had been laid out hundreds of years before.   Gradually, the mines became ‘beam’ or ‘coffin’ openwork mines in which ore close to the surface was dug by hand.  By the mid 16th century miners were working the alluvial deposits in the inland valleys and the ore loads that could be seen in the coastal cliffs.

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As miners began to dig down into the cliffs, it became ever more obvious that here was the real wealth.  But to get to this ore would require underground mines – and that would require money that the poor miners did not have.  All this coincided with a growing market for minerals as the industrial revolution changed manufacturing processes.  For the established land owners and gentry, and for outside investors, there was wealth to be made in Cornwall.   And so, in the the late 1700s and early 1800s, many new mines were opened in Cornwall.  St Just, the only market town in this isolated coastal area, now became more important.

It was soon realised that the richest veins were down very deep and some even extended out under the sea. With much more profitable ore loads on offer, the Levant Mining Company was formed in 1820 by twenty investors, or ‘adventurers’ as they were called in Cornwall.  With a capital of ₤400 divided into 80 shares, these investors shared in the profits of what became a very successful mine.  Many of them were not even Cornish men and had never been into a mine.  They had no real idea of the hard work involved to provide them with their ever increasing wealth.  There was a great divide between the investors and the miners.

Underground mining was very dangerous in extremely difficult conditions.  Miners, and their women and children who also worked for the mines, took home very little pay and lived relatively short lives whilst the ‘adventurers’ became ever richer.

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This is one of the cartoons from a little book that I bought at the mine, “A Family Guide to Mining in Cornwall” written by Lucia Crothall.  It tells the stories of a real miner, John Harris, who began working underground at the age of ten.  John became famous in Cornwall for the poems he later wrote about his experiences.

The words of the cartoon reads: “It is smelly, hot, down here.  No toilets, nothing but blackness to see and its hard to breathe in the dusty atmosphere.”

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P1240304  Cartoon by Emma Metcalfe

While John and other boys like him worked with the miners underground, above them, in their fine houses, the owners wined and dined and lead the good life.  This great divide between the rich and the poor was seen as ‘normal’; part of the mores of the time – each one born to their place in life.  But that would change over the years as miners began to take on the idea of unionism, which of course was resented by the owners.  It was, in fact, against the law to speak of unions and many a miner who spoke his mind was imprisoned or transported to Australia as a convict.  It would take years of outspokenness by many brave men before conditions would change in favour of better conditions for the miners.

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As Levant Mine was developed, it was found that the richest lodes of ore were not only deep under the ground but they extended far out under the sea.  As each lode was mined out, the shaft was dug down further to find the next rich vein of ore to be mined.  Some of the working ‘levels’ that ran off from the shaft extended out over a mile under the sea.

In time, the Levant shaft went down to 350 fathoms (2,100 feet or 640 meters) – Cornish mines were always measured in fathoms, one fathom equalling 6 feet.  So not only did the miners have to climb down a long way, but then they had to ‘walk’ a long way through cramped, rough tunnels before they even began their ten to twelve hours shift.   Above their heads they could hear the rumble of the sea as it churned the sea bed, particularly in stormy weather.  Water posed the constant threat of flooding.  But no matter the conditions, they had to work to feed their families.  Despite the conditions, and maybe because of their ability to overcome hardship, over the years they became very proud of their skills as miners.

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For years, the only way down into the mines was by means of a series of wooden ladders.   From the story of John Harris we learn that when he was twelve, he started to work deep underground with his father.  To begin the descent into the mine, a rope was attached between the father and son.  They then had to climb down over 60 ladders in all, in the dark, to a depth of 200 fathoms (1,200 feet or 366 meters).  As they went, John often grazed his legs and arms against the rocks.  Down at the work level, all was blackness.  Their only light was a candle which had to be bought by his father from the mine shop.   John said, “I hated it in the dark, dangerous underground.”

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John’s father used a spike and hammer to make a hole to take some blasting powder, an activity that often caused injury in mines.  When the rocks were blasted away, John’s task was to put the loose pieces of ore into a wooden barrow (like the one above that was found on another mine site.)  He then wheeled the barrow, in the dark, along the rough ground of the level to the shaft.

There, he loaded the rocks into egg shaped buckets, called kibbles, to be hauled to the surface by a horse powered winch.  One day the chain broke and a bucket filled with ore crashed down right beside John.  Another day the roof above where he was working suddenly collapsed with a deafening noise filling the tunnel with dust.  John was filled with the fear of being trapped.

At the end of working hard for ten to twelve hours in those cold, damp, very dark conditions, John and his father had to climb back up all those wooden ladders to get back ‘to grass’.  Many times it was recorded that an exhausted miner either lost his footing or his grip on the rungs and fell to his death down the mine shaft.  Those climbing up beneath him were often taken down as well.

Death walked beside each miner each day.  But the mateship of miners and their loyalty to each other became legendary.  ‘One for all’ was their motto and there were always men ready to help search for fellow miners trapped underground.  But the death or maiming of a miner mattered little in the eyes of most owners.  Miners were expendable.  If they didn’t like the working conditions, they could go without work.  There were plenty of others who needed work to try to feed their families.

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There was not a lot to a miner’s life except work, smoking his clay pipe, drinking ale to slake his thirst and begetting more children to become workers to help feed the family.  While boys went below ground with the men, women and girls (the bal maidens) and small children worked above ground.  There are also accounts of women, often stripped to the waist in the heat and dust, working below ground pulling the carts of ore back to the shafts.

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On the surface, the work of the bal maidens, small children and men too old, sick or maimed to work underground, was to sort and break up the ore with hammers before taking the broken rock to the noisy stamping crushers.  It was hard, rough work for very little pay; a few pence at the most.

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During the mid 1800s, Cornish engineers and innovators harnessed the power of steam to develop steam engines that helped to make the mines more efficient and improve safety standards.  These engines were housed in buildings like the one that has been restored at Levant. There were, at one time, 2,500 of these engine houses in Cornwall.  Most are now in ruins; reclaimed by nature.

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During our guided tour of Levant Mine, the beam engine was powered up for a short time to demonstrate how it had changed the way mines worked and how much deeper a mine could go if engines were used.  These engines made it possible for ore to be lifted to the ground mechanically instead of by horse drawn winches. They also made it possible to pump out water much more efficiently.

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But steam engines required coal to burn and for that the mine owners turned to the Welsh collieries.  Crushed ore was shipped from Cornwall to the big smelters in Swansea in Wales and the ships returned laden from Wales with coal.  Wales and Cornwall now shared much more than just their Celtic origins, their belief in the preaching of Wesley and their love of singing.  (That’s another story!)

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One of the benefits of the steam engines was that the ever inventive Cornish engineers, like Richard Trevithic, improved the ways that mines worked.  One of these inventions was the ‘man lift’.  Using the movement of the pumping shafts, miners were able to move up and down the shafts in small stages of about ten to twelve feet.  This made descent into, and ascent from the workings, easier and safer.  Because of that, they were able to work longer and harder at the ore face thus improving profits.  It was a win-win situation.

However, there were times when these lifts were not maintained properly and miners crashed to their deaths below when the man lift broke.  It happened at Levant in 1919 with the deaths of 34 miners.

Times became very hard for the miners and their families in the 1840s because food was scarce and costly in Cornwall; there was a potato famine and the Corn Laws sent the prices of wheat well out of the reach of poor miners.  Times were becoming harder for the mine owners too.  Copper and tin were found in places like Malaysia and South America and, in 1850, in Burra, South Australia.  As prices fluctuated for the Cornish minerals, many mines became unviable.  At the same time, both Cornish miners and Cornish engineers were highly sort after by these overseas mines; the Cornish knowledge of mining was well known.  Many miners left Cornwall including David’s Great, Great, Great grandfather, William Ellis, who sailed with his wife and young children to start a new life in South Australia.  When gold was discovered in Victoria, they moved there to mine for gold in Castlemaine.

As word of gold finds in Australia and California became common knowledge in England,  thousands more miners and their families sailed from Cornwall across the world in the hope of making better lives for themselves.  And among those who sailed to Australia, were David’s Great, Great Grandfather, Thomas Bray and his brother James.

Unknown to each other whilst living in Cornwall, these two Cornish mining families were joined together in Australia when William’s grandson married Thomas Bray’s daughter in Victoria in 1889.  These families were never to return to Cornwall.

Apart from the cost and the length of a return journey ‘back home’, there was no reason for a miner to return to Cornwall.  By the end of the 1800s and early 1900s most of the mines were closing and Cornwall was left to reinvent itself.  And that reinvention eventually came in the form tourism.  Over time, as road and rail began to penetrate further into the scenic Cornish countryside, the lives of the Cornish miners, fishermen and smugglers became the stuff of legends and that gave the impetus for the growth of museums.  Many hotels and guest houses were built to house these visitors.  Cornish families opened their homes as B&Bs.  And to sustain their way of life, wealthy families were forced to open their gardens and houses to the public.  Many properties were given to the National Trust.  We, like thousands of visitors every year, enjoyed this new Cornwall even while we were learning more about the lives of David’s ancestors, the Bray and Ellis families.

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After our visit to the mine, we had much to think about as we turned inland once again to explore the narrow flower filled roads of the moors.  Staying away from the main tourist destinations, we were beginning to fall in love with Cornwall, its narrow roads, its small villages and its very friendly people …to say nothing of tasty Cornish pasties and afternoon teas of warm scones, home made strawberry jam and thick clotted cream.  But more of that anon.

Jennie and David

Photography  Copyright  ©  JT and DY of jtdytravels

UK: Cornwall: Sennan Cove

The beaches of Cornwall are very popular with English visitors from the northern counties as well as overseas visitors.  Some, like Port Isaac, have been made too famous by TV shows such as Doc Martin.  Others, like St Ives, are now famous as artist colonies.  And still others are fishing villages, such as Padstow, which TV chef Rick Stein has made famous.  In summer, they are all filled with tourists.

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Today, there are many more tourists in Padstow than when I was there in 1986.  Now, the village shops are all cafes and souveneir shops.  Now, pleasure yachts fill the harbour with many fewer of the working fishing boats.  It has lost its allure for me, although, judging by the number of tourists, it’s still a big drawcard for many.  We were looking for something further off the beaten track.

Perhaps the most famous of all Cornish tourist destinations is Land’s End.  It’s always packed with tourists and, even back in 1986, there was not a lot of the natural beauty left to be enjoyed.  It’s become something of a fairground.  I would not go there again.

We sought a quiet place to enjoy the weekend and found Sennan Cove, only a short distance north from Land’s End.  It’s a place left in peace by the tourist buses which would find it very difficult to make their way down the narrow, twisting, steep road to the cove.   And, anyway, there’s not a lot for a busload of tourists to do… it’s just a peaceful beach.  It was perfect for us!

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When we arrived, the sea was calm and there were just a few people on the beach enjoying that peace.

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Patches of seaside daisies held their faces up to the warm afternoon sun.

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Some daisies even grew into an electrical box by the edge of the road!

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Our home away from home for the weekend was the Old Success Inn, built in the 1600s and, in some ways, it still felt like that. It was a bit of a rabbit warren of rooms with bits added to the original building over the centuries.  This was the Inn where David slept on the floor because the bed was so soft he thought that it would cave in and smother him!   At least the floor was better for his back.  We enjoyed our time there;  the staff were friendly, the pub food was better than most pubs and the location was just right.

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Sennan Cove is a tiny village with just a couple of shops and cafe.  A few small, old style fishing boats were pulled up in the shelter of the long slip way for the rescue boat. This is one of the most treacherous areas on Britain’s coastline (and there are quite a few of those).  The life boat station was established here in 1853 and people have been rescued from the unpredictable sea here ever since.

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It was not always thus… for many centuries, rescue was not always uppermost in the minds of locals.  This area was renowned in times past for the many shipwrecks that, in the view of the locals of the time, provided food and clothing for the poor.  It’s said that donkeys were used to carry lanterns across the cliff tops to fool seamen and create many ship wrecks in and around this rocky cove. Looking out across some of the beach rocks it’s possible to see a couple of the dangers that lurk in these waters not too far from shore.  And there are many other rocks unseen beneath the waters. The list of ship wrecks is a long one.

Smuggling was another well known, and dangerous, part of local life in these parts, in times past.  They got away with much at Sennan Cove because the Revenue men were mostly busy patrolling the villages and coves on the other side of Cornwall, the side closer to France and with usually better sea conditions.  Stories of smugglers and their close calls with the law abound in books about Cornish coastal life.  They have become akin to Australia’s bushranger stories and just as much romanticised, when the facts were, in reality, very brutal for those who took part.  But for the desperately poor villagers of Cornwall, smuggling often made survival possible.

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There are a few houses tucked in between the beach front and the steep cliff.  This one has an iron bar attached just below the roof to make sure that the thatch roof isn’t disturbed by delivery trucks, or the local double decker bus, when they turn on the quay side.  This is a no through road and a tight turn is a must.  As with any coastal area, the sea salt has made the iron turn to rust, thus adding a visual warning presence to the side of the house.

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There are no gardens as such here but there’s an occasional mallow plant.

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The path up the hill to the south of the village is adorned with blackberries.

Weed they may be in Australia, but here they provide delicious berries –

and very attractive small flowers.

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David climbed to the top of the cliff.  Looking north along the coast it’s easy to see that Sennen Cove is well placed for walks along the Cornish coastal path.  Apart from the wonderfully rugged coastal scenery to be enjoyed along the way, there are many ancient sites to see as well as relics from the once thriving tin and copper mining industry.  We would search for those old mine workings next day.

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Wild flowers, like this Thrift, add to the beauty of the area.

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A mix of Silene and Thrift makes a pretty, natural rock garden.

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Lichen on the rocks adds a dash of bright colour.

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I wonder how long this rock has been balancing on the cliff edge…

and how long it will stay there!

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Looking south along the cliffs gave an idea of the terrain that was mined for tin and copper.

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Watching the sun dropping lower in the sky across the Atlantic Ocean was a good way to end this day.

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By next morning, however, the blue sky had vanished along with the calm sea.  It was raining and exceedingly cold.  The miners of old had had to endure many a day like this, so we would continue with our plan to seek out some of the old mine workings along the coast.  Perhaps the unpleasant weather would add to our understanding of the way the miners and their families had lived.

More of that anon

Jennie and David

Photography Copyright ©  JT and DY of jtdytravels

UK: Cornwall: Trelissick # 2, Fal River and Woodland Walk

The woodland walk between the Trelissick Gardens and the River Fal is densely planted to help protect the gardens from the wild Cornish winter winds. On a calm day like the one we enjoyed in mid June, it was hard to imagine those harsh winds.

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It’s a very pleasant path with its glimpses of the river through the trees.

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The tiny flowers of Pink Campion, a member of the Silene family, are common along such pathways as well as along roadsides and in hedges all across Cornwall.

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The common name of this lovely flower, Bastard Balm, does not really fit with its beauty!  Its botanical name is Melittis melissophyllum but its common name comes from the fact that it imitates the members of the Balm family, the Germanders.  The flowers can have pink or purple centres. They are native to Southern England from New Forest to Cornwall and in South Wales. They grow in shady habitats like this woodland margin.  I’ve seen them before on my walks in the English and Welsh countryside in years gone by and I really enjoyed finding them again.  I felt sorry for the people who just marched along the path without stopping to enjoy the beauty of these tiny woodland flowers.  Maybe they’ve seen them before; but maybe not!

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Foxgloves are a favourite of mine. They were in hedgerows and along roadsides wherever we went in UK. They are also used as garden plants to good effect and there are now some differently coloured hybrids.  I love to look deep inside the flower; no two are the same.

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These tiny, delicate white flowers with their fine green veins on the petals, are sometimes hard to see amongst the dense greenery.

I should know their name but have forgotten!  Any help welcome.

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Cow parsley was everywhere along the Cornish roadsides and was particularly lovely along this pathway.

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This spectacular tree on the banks of the river stopped us both in our tracks.

It’s magnificent.

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A break in the trees brought us this river view with the bright yellow of rapeseed on the hillside.

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Yachts were moored in the safety of the Trelissick Estate’s bay.

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A small beach borders one of the farm paddocks. Watch out for the cow pats!

Did these cows produce the wonderful clotted cream that’s served in the cafe?

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Looking back, a slope leads up to one edge of the gardens.

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We walked on until we came to a steep, grassy meadow where people’s feet had made a track back up towards the house.  It was rather a steep track, so we rested half way up for me to catch my breath and for us to enjoy the view.  The rest also gave us time to think about the origins of Trelissick House and Gardens, a place that is very well known in Cornwall.  Indeed, it’s considered to be one of the great gardens of the world.   But there are many such great estates in Cornwall.  So,where had the money come from to build these mansions and huge gardens?  The answer is fairly simple; copper, tin and clay mining.  In the case of Trelissick, two of the former owner’s fortunes had come from mines in Cornwall.  One was Ralph Daniell whose father had been known as “guinea-a-minute Daniell”, owner of copper and tin mines.  Another, Ronald Copeland’s family, were porcelain makers of Spode-Copeland fame and that business relied on the fine china clay mined from the pits in Cornwall.

One of the reasons that we were in Cornwall was to research David’s family, some of whom had worked in those mines.  Along with thousands of other miners, men, women and children, they worked for a pittance and for long hours, in difficult and very dangerous conditions whilst the owners grew ever richer on the produce of the miner’s labours.  It’s true, of course, that the owners invested their money in developing the mines and that they gave people work.  But it was the miner’s hard labour that paid for these estates.

So yes, while we do enjoy visiting the big estate gardens, we also know that they came about at the price of hardship in the lives of so many miners and their families, some of them David’s ancestors.  To us, the gardens are a kind of living memorial to those workers.

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The Grecian styled Trelissick House, together with the fairy castle water tower, were built by Ralph Daniell’s son in 1825.  After the Daniell’s became bankrupt, there were several other owners before 1928 when the house and gardens were bought by Leonard Cunliffe, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.  He passed it on to his step daughter, Ida Copeland, who was married to Ronald Copeland (of the famous Spode Copeland Porcelain company).  It’s still the Copeland family home today.

However, the current generation of the Copeland family are now leaving Trelissick;  moving out to a smaller house.  In the process of their downsizing, they have auctioned off (on 23rd and 24th July 2013) most of the furniture, art works and collectables that represent generations of their family’s life.  Pieces for sale included an entire collection of Spode-Copeland ceramics which tell the complete story of the Copelands and their pottery manufacture over the last 200 years.  Reports of what has been called ‘one of the greatest house sales in living memory’ in UK show that many of the prices fetched at auction were well above the estimated value.  We know that the National Trust hoped to buy as many pieces as they could so that those pieces can be kept in the house when it’s opened to the public in the future.  We hope they were successful.

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And after that rest and contemplation, it was time to climb further up the hill and enjoy the view from the house.  It was not the sunny day as shown in the National Trust brochures, but it was impressive none-the-less.  A bite of lunch was next on the list and then time to explore some more of the garden…. and that’s for the next episode of the Trelissick story.

Jennie and David

All photography copyright © JT and DY of jtdytravels

The Shetlands, Lerwick, 5th August 2012

The next stop on my Viking Islands Adventure was the Shetland Islands. For the next three days our small group of intrepid adventurers from Australia, would swell The Shetlands total population of 22,500, by six.

Flying over the fields on our approach, it was obvious how green everything was and how rugged some of the coast line was.

Green, green fields and rocky, rocky cliffs    (P1000203 © DY of jtdytravels)

The Shetlands is a sub-Arctic archipelago consisting of about 100 islands but only 16 of them are inhabited.  The archipelago has an oceanic climate, moderated by the Gulf Stream.  It’s usually windy and cloudy with at least 2mm of rain falling on more than 250 days of the year.  Fog is common during summer due to the cooling effect of the sea on mild southerly airflows.  Overcast days are therefore common. Due to coastal currents, Lerwick doesn’t experience extreme temperatures.  The highest temperature ever recorded was just 23.4º C in July 1991. And the lowest was -8.9º in January 1952 and in 1959.

Dull grey stone buildings in Lerwick   (P1000222 © DY of jtdytravels)

Our home away from home whilst in The Shetlands was to be Lerwick, the capital, a town of 7,220 inhabitants.   Until 1708, Scalloway, on the west coast, was the capital but that small town now has less than 1,000 residents.

I found Lerwick to be much the same as any other Scottish town, a bit grey and dull looking. There’s not a lot of colour used on buildings here to cheer the often overcast days… and there are plenty of those. Lerwick averages only 1,065 hours of sunshine a year – that’s, on average, 2.9 hours of sunshine a day. Now if we compare that with my home town of Canberra, we enjoy a  mean daily average of 7.6 hours and that jumps up to about 9 hours a day during summer. I’m used to sunshine! But I wouldn’t find it here.

However, we were to go out to the countryside exploring and I knew that the flowers and bird life would more than make up for any dullness in the buildings in Lerwick. And I was right.

Oyster Catchers   (P1000218 © DY of jtdytravels)

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A bright pink Campion, Silene   (P1000226 © DY of jtdytravels)

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Cheery little faces of Bellis perennis   (P1000257 © DY of jtdytravels)

There was indeed much beauty to be enjoyed as we explored the islands.  More of that anon  D

Photography © DY of jtdytravels

Shetland Islands, Lerwick, 5th August 2012

The next stop on my Viking Islands Adventure was the Shetland Islands. For the next three days our small group of intrepid adventurers from Australia, would swell The Shetlands total population of 22,500, by six.

Flying over the fields on our approach, it was obvious how green everything was and how rugged some of the coast line was.

Green, green fields and rocky, rocky cliffs    (P1000203 © DY of jtdytravels)

The Shetlands is a sub-Arctic archipelago consisting of about 100 islands but only 16 of them are inhabited.  The archipelago has an oceanic climate, moderated by the Gulf Stream.  It’s usually windy and cloudy with at least 2mm of rain falling on more than 250 days of the year.  Fog is common during summer due to the cooling effect of the sea on mild southerly airflows.  Overcast days are therefore common. Due to coastal currents, Lerwick doesn’t experience extreme temperatures.  The highest temperature ever recorded was just 23.4º C in July 1991. And the lowest was -8.9º in January 1952 and in 1959.

Dull grey stone buildings in Lerwick   (P1000222 © DY of jtdytravels)

Our home away from home whilst in The Shetlands was to be Lerwick, the capital, a town of 7,220 inhabitants.   Until 1708, Scalloway, on the west coast, was the capital but that small town now has less than 1,000 residents.

I found Lerwick to be much the same as any other Scottish town, a bit grey and dull looking. There’s not a lot of colour used on buildings here to cheer the often overcast days… and there are plenty of those. Lerwick averages only 1,065 hours of sunshine a year – that’s, on average, 2.9 hours of sunshine a day. Now if we compare that with my home town of Canberra, we enjoy a  mean daily average of 7.6 hours and that jumps up to about 9 hours a day during summer. I’m used to sunshine! But I wouldn’t find it here.

However, we were to go out to the countryside exploring and I knew that the flowers and bird life would more than make up for any dullness in the buildings in Lerwick. And I was right.

Oyster Catchers   (P1000218 © DY of jtdytravels)

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A bright pink Campion, Silene   (P1000226 © DY of jtdytravels)

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Cheery little faces of Bellis perennis   (P1000257 © DY of jtdytravels)

There was indeed much beauty to be enjoyed as we explored the islands.  More of that anon  D

Photography © DY of jtdytravels