Reflections

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The most beautiful churchyard on earth……

13 Mar 2017

Just a short drive away from St Mawes is St Just-in-Roseland – you’ll also pass through it on your way to and from the King Harry Ferry.  This is famous for its 13th century church, founded in 550 AD in honour of St Just the Martyr.  Such a dedication is unusual as there is only one other English church dedicated to this little known saint.  The churchyard lies in a unique waterside semi-tropical garden setting: Sir John Betjeman described it as being “to many people the most beautiful churchyard on earth.”  If you stand at the lych gate to the entrance of the churchyard, the slope of the land means you find yourself at a level with the top of the church tower, while the rest of the church stretches out far below you.

 

An ancient legend says that the church stands at the spot where Joseph of Arimathea came ashore with Jesus (think of William Blake’s line, '... And was the holy Lamb of God On England's pleasant pastures seen?').  A stone by the creek is said to be the one on which Christ stepped when leaving his boat, and the stone is inscribed with indecipherable carvings. 

 

In common with other plant hunters of the time, a 19th century vicar planted exotic plants brought back from his foreign travels.  Paths lead through rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, bamboos, wild garlic and bluebells.  There are also ponds with giant gunnera and small streams.  The path from the road to the church is lined with granite blocks carved with quotations and Biblical verses.

 

Much of the current church building dates from the 14th and 15th centuries.  Within the chancel there is a 13th century double piscina*, an octagonal 15th century font and a lectern which sports a winged lion carving from a medieval misericord.  The tower contains three bells, the oldest of which was hung in 1684.  Outside, the remains of a medieval holy well stand adjacent to the church in a shaded tree lined area of the creek.

St Just’s holy well

The church perches on the edge of the Fal Estuary, with numerous paths leading from the churchyard onto the coastal path which continues around the headland, through some magnificent National Trust lands to St Mawes.  This is a delightful walk of approximately 2 miles.

*a stone basin near the altar in Catholic and pre-Reformation churches for draining water used in the Mass

Alfresco on The Roseland

13 Mar 2017

The Roseland offers some great impromptu alfresco experiences and we always know “the season” has commenced when these venues are back up and running.  A couple of our favourites are:

 

THE THIRSTEA CO.

Earl, the vintage Citroen Van is pitched at the National Trust’s Porth Farm.  This is on the circular walk around St Anthony’s Head and just a few yards up the path from the unspoilt Towan Beach.  There are toilets and plenty of car parking just across the road.  The food ranges from warm Cornish pasties, freshly filled rolls and a wonderful variety of homemade cakes and bakes.  They also have fresh scones, served with Rodda’s clotted Cream and locally made strawberry jam.  We love picking up some freshly made treats and wandering down to the beach, to make the most of this beautiful stretch of Cornish coast.

For more information visit: http://www.thethirsteacompany.co.uk/

 

MISS V’S TEA HUT

Miss V’s Tea Hut can be found beside the 13th century St Just in Roseland Church, with its glorious views across the Carrick Roads over to Mylor Harbour.  Nestled amongst semi-tropical gardens on the river bank of the Fal Estuary, and based along the coastal path to St Mawes, this pit stop is a very special place.  Once again, there is ample car parking and toilets close by.  We love to come here to visit this unique churchyard with its intriguing paths, before succumbing to a scrumptious piece of cake or Cornish cream tea.

For more information visit: https://twitter.com/missvscreamtea?lang=en

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