I have a thing for visiting churches when exploring. I would like to think this is not due to any religiosity still dwelling somewhere, staining my windows, as it were.
More that they are the epicentre of a community; architecturally, socially, historically and spiritually and for those reasons combined I am drawn to them like a moth. With a new camera.
Cornwall has a real abundance. There’s a saying; “there are more saints in Cornwall than in heaven.” (Fuck knows who and when) Nearly every hamlet, village and town has a granite hewn church that contains layers of epochs; you can see strata of social history in the building style, often going back to the Normans. Sometimes before.
Also, they are nearly always empty, tranquil and loved. They also usually have little informative leaflets that are gold mines for those with an interest in local and architectural histories. That’s why I like to think I go to them, so I’m either fooling myself and on an inexorable march towards metamorphosing into a born-again zealot at 30 or I’m telling the truth. Time will tell I suppose.
Blisland Church has links to John Betjeman who fawned over it, declaring its transcendent beauty and so forth – he was a little prone to histrionics and hyperbole. I dig churches but I wouldn’t claim this one to be particularly special, although the interior is unusually ornate. It is dedicated to Hyacinth and Protus though, early martyrs in the Roman Empire. That is also unusual for Cornwall.
By a quirk we ended up later that day at the village Betjeman was buried in but didn’t get to the church; St. Enodocs.
I really fancy parking up in Blisland in the Winter months and drinking in the Blisland Inn, it’s a time warp when you enter, all brass, beer plaques, log fires and the like. I am pretty sure things get messy up here. Try it, let me know.
Head out of Blisland and you are quickly in the heartland of Bodmin moor. Hardy Herdwick Sheep and highland cattle roam nonchalantly on the roads that are seemingly just tarmacked onto grass.
The goal today was Delphi Bridge and the sluggish stretch of the De Lank river that it fords. This ancient clapper bridge is a testament to the ingenuity of the past and also an excellent place to camp and/picnic.
Trout swim in the bottle-brown moorland-fresh water and are easily caught. So you can add a free meal to your picnic if you were so inclined. Wild swimming is also advisable if not mandatory.
We then went to the North Coast, Polzeath indeed, I dislike Polzeath so declined to take any photographs. I must have been in a grump.
Back home on the softer south coast though, the moon was most impressive.