TRURO Cornwall TR3 6LQ
The St Ives Feast is an ancient tradition that celebrates the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St Eia in 1434 AD, and offers a rare chance to watch the game of Hurling the Silver Ball, a centuries-old form of rugby.
These days, Cornish Hurling has all but disappeared, although it is still played once a year in St Ives and St Columb Major, near Newquay.
Hurling the Silver Ball is one of Cornwall’s oldest customs dating back at least a thousand years. Of unknown origin, the game involves much physical rough and tumble as each side (traditionally the ‘countrymen’ and ‘townsmen’ of a particular parish) tries to keep possession of a cricket ball-sized ball made of apple wood coated in silver.
The feast day falls on February 9th 2016 and starts off with the mayor’s civic procession for the blessing at St Eia Well near Porthmeor Beach, followed by the start of the boisterous hurling of the silver ball, when participants attempt to win the ball off each other around the town.
Whoever returns the ball to the mayor on the steps of St Ives Guildhall on the stroke of midday receives a silver coin. In the afternoon, pennies are proffered from the balcony by town councillors to the waiting children on the Guildhall forecourt.
At The Valley we offer a fantastic range of cottages in Cornwall that puts you a stone’s throw from this ancient Cornish tradition and the festivities, whilst still providing a level of luxury that is associated with The Valley.