8 Facts About Falmouth
January 08th, 2021
Falmouth is a beautiful town on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall. As a port town, Falmouth has a rich maritime history and a strong connection to the sea. Here we take a look at some of the most fascinating facts about this area of Cornwall.
Henry VIII Built Pendennis Castle
Perched upon the hillside, overlooking the bay stands Pendennis Castle- a strong and dramatic castle that adds an element of charm to the scenery around Gylly Beach.
However, its purpose couldn’t be further from adding scenic wonder. It was actually erected in 1540 on the instruction of Henry VIII to defend the Carrick Roads.
Together with the castle situated in St Mawes to the east, the Falmouth estuary was well defended from potential attacks.
Sir John Killigrew Created Falmouth Town
It wasn’t much time after the completion of the castle that the town of Falmouth was created in 1613 by Sir John Killigrew.
In 1665, the town was bestowed with a new church entitled the “King Charles the Martyr” and soon after, a few hundred homes were built around the area for church-goers.
Great Tourism Rates Since 1863
With the development of Falmouth Docks in 1858 and the introduction of railway services to the area in 1863, the town was thriving with business and tourism.
Falmouth currently has three railway stations to service the town – Falmouth Docks Railway Station, Falmouth Town Railway Station and Penmere Railway Station. Falmouth is noted as one of the key resorts in the UK’s number one tourist destination, with Cornwall attracting an average of 4 million visitors a year!
Falmouth is an Award-Winning Town
In 2016, the town was credited with the highly prestigious accolade of GB High St Best Coastal Community.
Falmouth is a Hub of Creativity
Falmouth is home to one of the leading art universities in the UK, but in addition to the creativity the students bring to the town, there are many creative industries located in Falmouth. With a host of shows and exhibitions, Falmouth arguably holds the title for the most creative town in the UK!
Falmouth Has the Third Deepest Natural Harbour in the World
Falmouth’s harbour is the third deepest natural harbour in the world. It measures up to 34 metres in depth. It is only beaten by Sydney Harbour and The Port of Mahon.
Many notable events have taken place on Falmouth’s waters – and has been the starting or finishing point of many sailing achievements, including Robin Knox-Johnston’s in 1969, who was the first person to sail around the world non-stop and single-handedly.
In addition to that is Ellen Macarthur, who also completed this challenge in 2007, and is the fastest person on record to do so.
There are 111 steps up to Jacob’s Ladder
Something that catches the attention of tourists is the steps from The Moor in the heart of the town up to the Jacob’s Ladder pub. There are 111 steps in total and they were built by property owner and builder, Jacob Hablen, to link his business to the tourists and locals who gather in the town.
To discover more about Falmouth, be sure to follow us on Facebook to see our latest blog posts, photos of the stunning local scenery and deals on staying with us at our luxury cottages in Falmouth!
5 Fascinating Facts About the Lizard Peninsula
October 19th, 2020
The Lizard Peninsula is the most southern part of the UK, standing out for its unique geology and rock formations. Its rugged, rocky coastline is believed to contain rock which dates to over 500 million years old!
What is the Lizard Peninsula?
Almost an island of its own, the Lizard Peninsula is an impressive rocky headland surrounded by ocean on three of its sides with the Helford River to the North.
Situated on the South West Coast Path, it is a popular spot for walkers who come to marvel at its beauty as they enjoy a spot of adventure during their Cornwall short breaks.
It’s beautiful landscape not only attracts the attention of visitors, but the unique area is a hot spot for scientists as well! We explore its incredible history and offerings with our top selection of fascinating facts!
The Origins of Its Name is Not What You Assume
Despite its mysterious title, the name ‘Lizard’ unfortunately doesn’t derive from mystical origins.
Neither does the name come from the Serpentine rock which the area is renowned for. The surface of Serpentine transforms into a snake and scaly like surface once polished.
The roots of its name are relatively ambivalent, but one proposal is that it comes from the Cornish term ‘Lys Ardh’ which means ‘high court’.
Another suggestion is that the name has connections to the Cornish word ‘lezou’ which is translated to ‘headland’.
Image Credit: Visit Cornwall
Home to the UK’s Most Southerly Lighthouse
As the most southerly point in the UK, it comes as little surprise that it also boasts the UK’s most southerly lighthouse.
Previous to the lighthouse’s construction in 1752, the coast of the Lizard was a dangerous area for ships and was titled the ‘Graveyard of Ships’. The spot is now home to the Lizard Lifeboat Station.
Mainland Britain’s Largest Outcrop of Serpentine
As mentioned, the Lizard Peninsula has been a point of interest for scientists and geologists.
It isn’t uncommon to see many university students visit the area as the rocks here are not found in nearby locations.
One distinct rock is Serpentine. The Lizard Peninsula is mainland Britain’s most significant outcrop of the rock. It’s striking appearance was reportedly favoured by Queen Victoria which heightened the industry in the 19th-century.
Best Preserved Exposed Ophiolite in the UK
Another area of geological interest at the Lizard Peninsula is the ophiolite.
The Lizard Peninsula is heralded as UK’s top spot to see the best-preserved source of exposed ophiolite.
An ophiolite is a unique form of rock formation which is produced from the Earth’s oceanic crust pushed onto the continental crust. It is often green in colour.
The parts of ophiolite include:
• The serpentinites
• The ‘oceanic complex’
• The metamorphic basement
An ophiolite can be found in the mountain belts of locations such as the Himalayas and the Alps, and amazingly you can also see it in Cornwall!
Image Credit: Visit Cornwall
It’s an Area of Outstanding Beauty
The Lizard Peninsula has received many awards for its stunning landscape and is a heavily protected area. It is largely recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), as well as providing eight Sites of Special Scientific Interest. These awards and sites are specifically bestowed to protect the geology and wildlife of the area.
The Lizard Peninsula is cared for and under the ownership of a variety of organisations including the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Natural England.
Off land, the surrounding ocean at the Manacles has been awarded as a Marine Conservation Zone which is rich in marine biodiversity.
The Lizard Peninsula is a stunning, natural and protected area, providing the ultimate location for wildlife to blossom. What are your favourite facts about the Lizard Peninsula? Which has not been covered in our blog? Why not share your thoughts on our social media channels; we would love to know!
8 Facts About The Famous Cornish Pasty
June 22nd, 2020
There’s not a Cornish person on the planet who isn’t exceptionally proud of their heritage, and that means the renowned Cornish pasty too. The pasty is intrinsically linked with Cornish heritage, as they were originally created and enjoyed by Cornish miners.
Take a look, and the next time you enjoy a pasty while you’re visiting one of our Truro holiday cottages, you can share your new-found facts on the Cornish delicacy.
Pasties in the States
Miners exported the idea of the Cornish pasty over with them to the United States of America, and even today, you can find lots of Cornish pasty shops in the mining towns of Michigan.
A Cornish pasty has the crimp on the side, whereas our Devonshire neighbours crimp theirs on the top.
Pasty in a Play
Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, first performed in 1600, contains the line: “Come! We have a hot pasty to dinner”.
Protection from the Devil
As legend would have it, the Devil wouldn’t dare attempt to venture across the River Tamar into Cornwall, for the fear of being put in a Cornish pasty as the filling.
Discarding the Crust
Originally, tin miners used the crimp you find on Cornish pasties as a makeshift ‘handle’ which they would then throw away. They had to discard the crust due to the fact that their fingers were contaminated with arsenic dust.
Introduction to Mexico
Drilling experts from Cornwall took the Cornish pasty with them to the silver mines of Mexico. You can now find a museum telling the story of this fact. During the same period, these miners introduced Association Football, or traditional football as we know it, to Latin America for the very first time.
Arguably the cutest of all the facts, a miner’s wife would carve her husband’s initials in his Cornish pasty so that he was able to distinguish his from all the others.
Oggy, Oggy, Oggy
In the Cornish language, a Cornish pasty is known as an ‘Oggy’. When the Cornish pasties were finished cooking and ready to be eaten, the wives would head over to the mineshaft and shout down: “Oggy, oggy, oggy!”, and the men would shout back: “Oi, oi, oi!” to let them know they were on the way.
Remember, a pasty can only be considered a ‘Cornish’ pasty if it was created in Cornwall! So, if you fancy one of these tasty treats, then you’ll need to pay a visit!
Cornish Pasty Facts and Faux Pas
February 22nd, 2019
Cornwall is renowned for their famous pasty, and they can be found almost everywhere you go within the county. Each year, pasties contribute around £300 million worth of trade for the Cornish economy, making these baked goods one of the most important parts of life in Cornwall. We take a look at some facts and faux pas associated with these traditional treats.
If you are somehow unaware of what a Cornish pasty is, a traditional pasty is a pastry filled with swede, potato and onion, alongside chunks of beef. Each ingredient goes into the pasty uncooked, allowing all of the flavours to cook together and form its own gravy. To be officially considered a Cornish pasty, there must be 12.5 percent meat and 25 percent vegetables, with the rest being shortcrust or puff pastry. Another unbreakable rule is that all pasties dubbed ‘Cornish’ have to be baked in Cornwall.
Common Pasty Faux Pas
As pasty’s are protected by law in terms of their geographical status and exact percentages of meat vs veg that should be found within their delicious pastry cases, it is perhaps not surprising that there are also a number of non-legal, but equally strictly followed, rules regarding their eating in Cornwall. There is culinary etiquette to follow when enjoying a pasty, so to avoid the faux pas, here are a few common complaints:
Pasties Should Be Eaten From a Paper Bag
When you buy a pasty fresh from a bakery, it should be presented to you in a paper bag. Rather than popping the pasty onto a plate and tucking in with a knife and fork, the pasty should be simply eaten directly from the bag, as it was invented to be a meal to enjoy quickly on the go without the need for utensils. Plus, the bag will help to catch any pastry crumbs that are bound to fall off the pasty when you bite into it!
A Pasty Shouldn’t Be Served With Chips or Salad
The pasty was used by miners as a way to enjoy a full meal in one handy pastry parcel. Therefore, putting a pasty on a plate and adding a side of fries kind of defeats the point! Plus, a pasty is typically already packed full of potato and vegetable, so why would you need more on the side?!
Don’t Feed Seagulls
Many visit Cornwall to enjoy the delights of the seaside, but a common problem associated with this area are the pesky seagulls who would love a nibble of pasty! Beware when enjoying a delicious traditional bake by the seaside as a gull may try to swoop in and nab it, and be sure not to feed the seagulls on purpose as this can cause problems!
Discover more facts about the Cornish pasty in our previous blog post! If you’d like a taste of the real deal, fresh from the oven of a Cornish bakery, then a self-catering holiday in Cornwall could be just the thing for you!