It has been said that only avid historians find appreciation in historical locations. Whether a historian, however, or a tourist with very little knowledge about the Cornish country side, one would be hard pressed not to be taken by what Cornwall has come to represent. Cornwall is laden with history, and the entertainment surrounding it amplifies the experience ad infinitum.
Zennor- The Mermaid of Zennor
A romantic Cornish legend that highlights Cornwall’s ever present connection to ocean, and arguably the most notable of the time, the legend of the Mermaid of Zennor originated from a village by the same name. It is said that approximately 600 years ago, the village of Zennor lost one of its own to beautiful mermaid who lured him into a life underwater. Left with nothing to do but mourn, the village carved a chair depicting the mermaid. The wood is still in perfect condition, and can be seen in Saint Senara’s Church. It is said that on summer nights in Zennor, one can hear the mermaid and the villager in song.
Portreath- The Wrath of Ralph
The Wrath of Ralph is another common myth. As legend would have it, Ralph was a giant. In Portreath, you can observe the weapons that Ralph was known for…boulders. Hungry for sailors and standing ready for war, he would hurl the boulders at passing ships, steal their treasure and hide it in his cave. This cave became known, and is still known to this day, as Ralph’s cupboard.
St Michael’s Mount – Jack and Giant Cormoran
Saint Michael’s Mount is accessible not only by foot, but by boat. Whichever way you choose to get there, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to visit Michael’s Mount without the full experience, as the locals hold the Mount to be one of their most historically significant locations. It was a land once inhabited by giants as legend would have it. For the locals, the one giant that really made a splash was Cormoran, who would come ashore when the village was sleeping and eat all the livestock. As the legend goes, a local boy named Jack tricked the giant by digging an enormous pit into which Cormoran ultimately fell to his death. Today, you can, step by step, trace the path that Jack took, and if you’re lucky, you might find Cormoran’s heart, which is said to be buried somewhere along the stone path.