Friday, 21 February 2014

A walk from Lerryn

A walk yesterday with 7 members of our regular group. Because of the adverse weather conditions up on the moors, we decided that we would go somewhere rather more sheltered and so we started at Lerryn, just south of Lostwithiel. Our route took us down the side of Lerryn Creek and just after it joined the River Fowey at Cliff Pill, we headed inland to St Veep and completed the 7.5 mile circuit by taking in Tencreek and Kingole. Thence back to Lerryn for an al fresco coffee and a biscuit. A great walk under pretty good conditions: not too much rain, plenty of mud and stiles, wonderful countryside, hordes of snowdrops and excellent walking companions. I should also mention that it seemed to have more ups than downs or level bits.

A piece of trivia: it is claimed by some who profess to know these things, that Kenneth Grahame made a boat trip with some friends on the very stretch of river we walked along. This became an inspiration for the first chapter of The Wind in the Willows where the Rat and the Mole make a boat trip along the river for a picnic. Maybe it's true as the ambiance of Lerryn Creek certainly matches the mood of the book.  It's a hidden gem and repays repeat visits.

Some of the photographs are best clicked and viewed at a larger size to bring out some of the detail.
This is my favourite shed in all the world. A shed of character. A shed to envy. A shed that features in the book 'The UK's Best Sheds'.
Looking back into Lerryn, with the 'shed of sheds' on the right.

I like this shot because of all the small ferns lined up in a row on the branch.
Looking down the river towards Golant on the far shore. A sky that promises rain in a short while.
This church was originally dedicated to Saint Veep, but when it was rebuilt in 1336 it was rededicated to Saint Quiricus (Cyricus) and Saint Julietta. Nothing is known about St Veep, not even whether the saint was male or female. But the story of the other two is hardly a barrel of laughs.  
According to legend, Julietta and her three-year (sometimes described as three-month) old Cyricus had fled to Tarsus and were identified as Christians. Julietta was tortured, and her three-year-old son, being held by the governor of Tarsus, scratched the governor's face and was killed by being thrown down some stairs. Julietta did not weep but celebrated the fact that her son had earned the crown of martyrdom. In anger, the governor then decreed that Julietta’s sides should be ripped apart with hooks, and then she was beheaded. Her body, along with that of Cyricus, was flung outside the city, on the heap of bodies belonging to criminals, but two maids rescued the corpses of the mother and child and buried them in a nearby field. An alternative version of the story is that Julietta told the governor that his religion could not be accepted by a three-year-old child, whereupon Quiricus testified to his faith, and mother and child were tortured before being decapitated.
A pretty ordinary Cornish stile until our resident ancient buildings expert, Richard R, pointed something out to us.
I think the squarish holes on the bottom two steps, which are also chamfered,  can just about be made out. Richard identified these as Tudor granite window frames - the square holes originally held the wooden glazing bars. Who knows how long they had been in place here but they are a good example of recycling.
Not a lot to look at now but this bank to the right is called the Giant's Hedge and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It is post-Roman, probably Anglo-Saxon, and is a linear boundary. No one is sure what it's original function was. It stretched some 12 miles from Lerryn to Looe, running mainly along the top of a sinuous ridge. In some parts it would have been 12 foot high so it was a substantial structure and, given the effort that went into building it, it must have been important.
Just in case you were wondering, the iron frame to the left is probably not Anglo-Saxon.
Oooh, look: solar powered light sabres. May the Force be with us.
An interesting road sign. The inset shows the spelling on the reverse side - Foy for Fowey - spelt as it's pronounced.  And the stone mason (the black ink is infill for the carvings) couldn't quite fit the whole word on the front. The arrow below is an Ordnance Survey benchmark.
On the Universal Mud Scale, today's walk approached the maximum of 10. Even the trousers of my IWC ended up splattered - and that rarely happens.
And a couple of minutes after I took this shot, we had a short, sharp shower.
A solitary daffodil..............
But swathes of snowdrops. There were a constant feature of our walk.
A double rainbow over the river at Lerryn. Now that the tide was out, the stepping stones were visible.
Looking back down the river as the late-afternoon sun was dropping over the trees.
The sign on the right warns drivers that the car park is liable to flooding. I presume the boat is there to rescue people when this happens?

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