Newlyn threw down the gauntlet
to Plymouth on
Friday 11th September 2020
A small group of people gathered on the old quay of Newlyn to commemorate that this was the last port of call for the Mayflower in 1620. This is hotly disputed by Plymouth. But the facts are: It was discovered that the Speedwell was unsuitable for the crossing and they had to find a harbour where they could transfer goods and passengers. Because of expensive harbour dues they did not do this in Plymouth but in Newlyn. They also took on water, not because of cholera in Plymouth. Just restocking as much as they could affort for the crossing to America and some of the passengers returned to The Netherlands.
Newlyn’s event was covered by Spotlight our local evening news and a reporter from our local radio station CoastFM attended and wrote a review for Words Are All We Have (FB)
It was promptly shouted down by Plymouth even so their story is build on many inaccuracies and they can’t disprove the Mayflower landing in Newlyn. Bill Best Harris , a historian of Plymouth, discovered this and made it public. All his research was destroyed in a housefire and Plymouth uses the lack of evidence to rubbish this man.
Lots of people attended the event and observed from a safe distance.
Speeches were held and the Deputy Mayor attended in all her regalia. Dressing up was optional. A lovely American chap attended who could trace his ancestory to the Mayflower.
A replica build in 1955
In September 1620 Mayflower and Speedwell set sail from Plymouth to America . The Pilgrims were leaving and risking everything because of their religion. They were known as ‘Saints’ , ‘Protestant Separatists’. There were up to a 100 people on board and it was originally a cargo ship. I visited it in 1995 at Cape Cod, USA. It was tiny. How they managed to survive and sail for 60+ days to their new home hoping to set up a new church is unbelievable.
The replica was built in the UK in 1955 – 1957 and set sail to Plymouth USA , where she arrived in June 1957. She was restored in 2020 in time for the 400th Anniversary .
What is a little known fact , unearthed and researched by Bill Best Harris, who was considered the leading authority on the history of Plymouth, he was in charge of all the Plymouth historical library records and wrote the best selling history books on Plymouth, that due to the fact that it was soon discovered that Speedwell was unsuitable for the crossing they stopped at a Cornish harbour and the evidence points to it being Newlyn. The Cornish port was the last port of call before leaving for Virginia.
It is said they stopped for water, because there was cholera in Plymouth, but they also had to arrange for more people and their possession on board. It got pretty tight.
A plaque can be seen at a private house above the old quay, due to the fact that the information on it is totally wrong a small group would like to replace it with a new one with the correct historical details.
We are meeting on the old quay at the appropriate date and time , some of us dressed in period costume, to celebrate Mayflower leaving Newlyn, Cornwall around the 9th – 11th September 1620
June 2012 I started my own business.: Guided Walking Tours of Penzance Town.
A dream I had for a few years. Using my language skills to take visitors around Penzance and tell them all about the fascinating history of our amazing town. I could not find a local tour guide that just focussed on Penzance and maybe surrounding area. A few people said: What is there to talk about Penzance. Well now I find it hard to stick within the 1.5 hours a tour is suppose to last. I always warn people that it might last longer. Every tour is different and visitor led. There is so much to tell.
Before I started I spend the winter month in Morrab Library and attended a college course on the history of Cornwall to give me a good back ground. But in reality my knowledge grows and grows. Local people have so much to tell and Old Cornwall Society is just a well of information. I can tell you those little bits of local knowledge you can’t find on apps or maps
This is the meeting place. The big planter outside our railway station. I am easily recognised with my pink bag and rainbow hat.
It didn’t take long and I was asked to work for a cruiseship agency. Meeting the big cruiseships that anchor in Falmouth and take passengers around Penwith. Always hoping to entice them to come back for a proper holiday and spend some time in the area. West Cornwall has so much to offer, but try to avoid the peak season. We get awfully busy down here.
I have adapted my tour for different abilities. Wheelchair users, visitors with vision impairment (that was the hardest) and tours for children. During the summer I run drop on tours, just turn up – no booking required, and in the winter on request. Winter is a quiet time, but still busy with visitors holidaying out of season.
The above group is a private walking group who were also interested in the history of towns. Here I am talking and pointing out historic buildings or the remains and telling them what has happened here in the last 400 years.
Now I run FREE tours of Penzance twice a week. Just giving something back to the town that has given me so much over the last 30+ years.
And when I am not guiding I will just do some wild swimming.
FREE Guided Walking Tours of Penzance
Sundays 10 am & Wednesday 4 pm
booking is essential – no just turning up
up to 5 people max except if you are a family group
ring or msg me before the start of the tour please
Come and join me on a tour, local or visitor to historic Penzance. You will hear all about pirates, the spanish and so much more.
See you soon.
During the last 3 weeks this view has greeted me nearly everyday. I am lucky that I can do a circular walk which takes about an hour. Steep in places – because if you go down into the cove you have to come up again
(Postcard of water colour by AR Quinton of Lamorna Cove, near Penzance)
As you can see the view has changed a bit. The quay – built in 1854 – has been washed away. Due to neglect by an owner the sea took more and more.
The quay was built to transport the granite from the quarry on the left to far away places. It was used in Thames Embankment, St.Paul Cathedral and closer to home for Wolf Rock Lighthouse and the steps of St.John’s Hall in Penzance.
Today Lamorna is a tourist destination and very busy during the season. Expensive parking and a lovely cafe. Easy to get to by public transport which will stop just at the turn off
and you wander down a lovely lane to the cove.
Lamorna is a cove steep in history. It had quarries on the right above car park place and the biggest and last one was on the left above the houses. It ceased working in 1911. Then the cottages were built on the left of the road for fishermen and still today a little bit of fishing occurs in the small bay. Mostly for crabs and lobsters.
Remains of the old quarry.
The stream that wanders all the way from Penwith Moors down to the sea in Lamorna
Lamorna village is further back up the lane. It had a full working mill in the valley. The local school is now the village hall which is very often used for art exhibitions. Lamorna still has a thriving art colony dating back to the beginning of 1900. We all heard about ‘Summer in February’
Lamorna is a good point to join the SWCP and hike back to Penzance via Mousehole or onwards all the way to Land’s End via famous coves used in the Poldark Series. Penberth. Porthgwarra and Porthcurnow and our famous open air theatre The Minack.
Or hike a little bit inland , up Rocky Lane to visit the Merry Maidens, Pipers and the Tregiffian Burial Chamber.
The Merry Maidens is also a good spot to catch the bus towards Land’s End or back to Penzance
Enjoy your time spend at Lamorna
That is all I can say. #AfterCovid19💗
Chiara hitting Penzance early yesterday morning. She is a bit slow and not leaving until tomorrow . We will have 1 maybe 2 fine days with slight winds and then the next strom will hit Cornwall UK. Just enough time to do some tidying up, retrieve what has blown away and tie down what has worked itself loose. This is Penzance Promenade half way between low and high tide. You could not leave it much later to take photos. It would have been too dangerous. An angry sea at low tide and the waves are breaking over the promenade. The only one in Cornwall build in 1840s. During that time it has been washed away a few times, but yesterday we were lucky. No damage. The wind was westerly and not hitting the promenade straight on.The waves just leave a mess behind and not just seaweed. Lots of pebbles and plastic. It is also a good time to park the car somewhere else. Because the pebbles can do some damage to cars and property. This is Lamorna Cove. A few years ago the sea took most of the old quay away and looking at those waves washing over the remains I think the last bit won’t last long either.
Always respect the sea and stay safe
Photos curtesy of Kymm Sandum and Martha Shephard
We had some lovely days. Three altogether. A welcome break from the rain and storm we have been having for months. It feels like that. So what better to do than throwing ourselves into the sea for a bit of wildswimming. Sea temperature is about 9 degrees at the moment and day temperature about the same, but no wind. Bliss
And the afternoon was spent hiking along Gwithian Beach. Miles and miles of golden sand and looking across the bay to St.Ives There is so much to see and do in Penwith in the winter month.
People walk past them all the time. Invisible. But this bollard reminds us of Penzance’s historic past. It combines the mining and harbour history and tells us that Cornwall recycled and reused long before it became fashionable. It used to be part of the machinery that was used in the tin mines. When it became redundant it was turned into a bollard. You see them all over Penzance, St. Ives and Hayle – but not in Mousehole. They have the old granite ones.
The storm has blown over and we have a calm window . For a few hours we can enjoy the sea, sunshine and walking along our promenade. Make the most of it, because tonight it is going to be wet and windy again
We had a couple of very nice days here in deepest Cornwall. It has been cold, but the sun was shining and hardly any wind. Perfect days to visit Cornwall for hikes along the beach or moors or if you really hardy for a swim in the sea.
Wir haben ein paar richtig schöne Tage zur Zeit in Cornwall . Es ist kalt. Frost jeden Morgen, aber die Sonne scheint. Perfekt um Cornwall zu besuchen. Vielleicht am Strand spazieren gehen oder über unsere Heide Landschaft zu wandern. Penwith Moors.