We are back again - indoor-camping in Cornwall! This was not planned but greatly welcomed. Considering that last week the temperatures throughout the UK were stifling hot, we are now enjoying some ‘wild weather’ on the coast. It’s cooler, but it’s great fun to sit in the ‘cosiness’ of the glass conservatory on a house on a clifftop overlooking the waves bashing the rocks. All very dramatic… I might start writing a novel!
The Museum of Cornish Life at the small market town of Helston houses one of the largest social history collections in the South West, and ranges from archaeological evidence of the earliest settlers to the Lizard Peninsula, to a fully stocked 1950s kitchen. The museum is in the former butter market, built in 1837 – the year the collection began through the Old Cornwall Society and was displayed at points in the Guildhall. It opened as a museum, in the current building, in 1949. The collection is wide and diverse and covers subjects of geology, local industry, social history, archaeology and costume history. Helston is famous for the annual 'Furry' or Floral Dance held on the 8th May. On Flora Day there is the Hal-an-Tow, in which St George and St Michael slay the Dragon and the Devil, cheered on by a crowd in Elizabethan dress.
Helston was granted its charter in 1201 and was originally a thriving port. However, as the river silted up over the years, the port gradually ceased to be. Where the river joined the sea is now Cornwall’s largest freshwater lake, separated from the sea by Loe Bar, a long sand bar – which is close to where we are staying near Portleven.
Helston hosts a mixture of Georgian and Victorian architecture. The Blue Anchor pub was originally a rest house for monks, and became a tavern in the 15th century. It is possibly the oldest private brewery in the country, selling the strong local brew, Spingo (which means strong beer in Old English).
Paul hasn’t tried this beer yet but I’m sure he’ll make a sacrifice in the name of research!