Wednesday, 6 January 2016

West Country Tour … Altar-Nun and onto Bude … part 10 …




The New Year of 2016 is here ... ready, steady, go ... and we're off again with Part 10 of our West Country Tour ... you can see Liskeard to Bude on the map - my famous map!



We are now at Bude on the north coast -
my wonderful unchanged map!



Well we left Bodmin Moor very happy, sad to go, but needing to continue on … via another of Emily’s haunts … Altarnun – the only way I could remember this village’s name was by calling it Altar Nun!  Emily's mother's family had historical roots to this area.

 




This is a place mat - a view of Bodmin in about 1800




But little beknownst to me – the name means “Altar of Nonn”: the dedication is to Saint Nonna, mother of the Welsh patron saint: St David, who had moved to Cornwall in AD527.









A Celtic Cross in front of the Church at Altarnun


Unfortunately we were not able to get into the Church – daylight saving had caught up with us.  The church is mentioned in Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn – when the evil vicar depicts himself in a painting as a wolf while the members of his congregation have the heads of sheep.








The old packhorse bridge at Altarnun - only
seven feet wide ... and held together with
iron staples (how or why I am not sure):
answer at end of post


Architecturally it has some notable features … and a place to return to … when I take another West Country Tour.



We passed through Five Lanes where highways and hedges are inextricably wedded, physically and historically, noted the stagecoach convergent crossroads ... our thoughts turned to Neolithic man – when the great movement of huge stones over distances was made using all-weather routes … the drier, rockier ones were established instead of using the shorter routes along the damp river valleys.



Bude harbour and coastline from
Compass Point


We ‘sped’ on through the lanes north-eastwards towards the coastal town of Bude – passing the ancient market town of Stratton on a coach road, when “Bude was just a furzy down”.






King Alfred’s will of c 880 and the Domesday survey of AD1086 mentioned Stratton as a thriving administrative shire … the wealthy manor was valued at £35-18-4d (I have no idea of the value in today’s money), but had:

  • land for 30 ploughs. 
  • 30 villeins, 20 smallholders and 20 slaves.
  • 10 salt houses, 20 acres of woodland, 200 acres of pasture, 30 cattle and 300 sheep.

The coastal resort of Bude, within a Site of Specific Scientific Interest, is of importance now for its geological and biological interest.


In the Middle Ages though Bude was important as a harbour, then as a source of lime-bearing sand for agricultural fertiliser to improve the moorland soil. 

The canal running alongside the mouth  of
the River Neet

The Georgians built a canal in the late 1700s to help with the transport of this unusually mineral-rich sand and Welsh coal, for the mines, into the hilly hinterland … ultimately going on to Launceston a major town in north Cornwall.



The arrival of the train in 1878 served to turn Bude into a watering place – a new resort for pioneering Victorians.



Open style Blackberry Pasties
Emily had written to Leonard, her brother, from the Netherlands in 1916, when he was on holiday in Bude and wondered whether … “he and his family would have a picnic with blackberry pasties and clotted cream… 


They had stayed at the edge of a nature reserve … I’d wondered why we were looking for a lake within a nature reserve!  




Maer Lake c/o CBWP Society


Maer Lake of glacial origin is Cornwall’s only natural inland lake – the reserve consists of 22 acres of wetland grazing meadows … an important resting and feeding site for migrating birds.




For any engineers:  the Bude Canal system, opened in 1823, was one of the most unusual in Britain … it was remarkable for its inclined planes to haul tub boats on wheels to the upper levels. 

Bude Canal Sea Lock

There were only two conventional locks near the sea at Bude itself.  The system rose to an altitude of 433 feet (132 m) over a distance of 35 miles (56 km).


A fascinating project which for a short time flourished, but the arrival of the railways soon spelt its ultimate doom.


Our hotel was canal-side – so even in the gloom of early dusk we were able to see the sea lock and walk along to the beach to watch some working boats go about their business.


Bude Haven looking out to the
Atlantic Ocean
Bude has a magnificent shore-line and we could see why it is still as popular a resort as it was in Emily’s day. 


After a good night’s sleep - we turned north and crossed into Devon … to where the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Bristol Channel meet … geologically extraordinarily interesting.




Details about Maer Lake can be found at the Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society.


Mike Goad of Exit 78, answered my (our) question on the Staples in the Bridge topping:     It's the weather caps (coping) on top of the stonework that are connected by the staples. There's a picture of a different bridge:  Wikipedia - Coping - Architecture ... the bridge is one on the Lancashire canal.

It's wonderful when you can ask fellow bloggers for help re an architectural query!  Thanks Mike.


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

65 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

The iron-stapled bridge reminded me of repairs to early crockery, also done with staples, which fascinates me.
As does all of your West Country trip. Glorious scenery and fascinating snippets of history. Thank you so much.

dolorah said...

What a lovely trip. Looks like it was warm weather at least.

Denise Covey said...

Another fascinating post Hilary. I'm enjoying this vicarious trip of yours. Wouldn't it have been great to go inside that church? A few literary references there. :-)

Denise

Rhodesia said...

Happy New Year. Have been trying to catch up but I returned from the UK with a horrible bug which will not let go and am struggling to do much at the moment. Keep well Diane

Out on the prairie said...

What a lovely area, I liked the shot of the ocean best. I need to get close to those waves again.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

What wonderful trip. I need to get on the road again. :)

Mark Means said...

I can live vicariously through you, Hilary...thanks! :)

Great pictures, too.

Anabel Marsh said...

Another beautiful journey.
Anabel's Travel Blog

Julie Flanders said...

Oooh I want those pasties and clotted cream. Sounds so fabulous. Thanks for another beautiful tour. I love the photo of the bridge with the beautiful yellow leaves in the background. And of course the harbor and coastline. Gorgeous.

Beate said...

I wish I could go on this tour with you! It's so amazing you get to see all these wonderful and fascinating places, especially all the ones close to the ocean ;)
Thank you of all the wonderful information!
Have a beautiful day!
Lots of hugs to you,
Beate

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC - I must find out about the iron-stapling .. and yes it does look like stapled china ... how they can staple china, when it breaks so easily I just don't know!!

@ Donna - good to see you ... well the weather wasn't awful or cold - thankfully!

@ Denise - I'm slowly working my way round ... yes I'd love to go back to Altarnun again and as you say a few literary references tied in to the Church, as well as see inside - the architectural details are wonderful it seems.

@ Diane - oh gosh .. bad English bug - to jump the Channel! Still keep warm and just let the wretched thing work its way out ... you'll feel better soon. Take care ...

@ Steve - I think the Ocean was enhanced! but the shot was good - not one of mine. I'm happy being near the coast here ... seeing and being in the sea at times rejuvinates the soul ...

@ Teresa - well I'm here you're welcome to toddle round with me ..

@ Mark - that's great I'm happy you're along the lanes and coach roads of Cornwall with me - sharing our journey ...

@ Anabel - good to see you - thanks ...

@ Julie - good to see you - clotted cream and blackberry pasties do sound good - I must make them one day. Altarnun photographed beautifully .. wonderful time of year late Autumn. The coast is always good if the weather's good!

@ Beate - thanks so much - it's being fun having you all around sharing the journey with me ... one day you and Keith will get across to little old England!!

Cheers to you and for all your good wishes .. lovely to see and read your comments - Hilary

Nilanjana Bose said...

So thrilled to see a pic of the church! Remember the vicar of Altarnun very well...Five Lanes is mentioned too in the book. I am really enjoying your posts on Cornwall, enjoyed the A-Z ones and now these. Thanks, Hilary.

A very Happy and Happening 2016 to you! :)

Best,
Nila.

Blogoratti said...

Must have been a wonderful trip, filled with many wonders. Warm greetings!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I can imagine that it must get dark there early! Glad you had such a good trip and that the weather cooperated, too!

Botanist said...

This brings back some memories. Lovely part of the world to tour.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I'm loving your pictures and this tour through history!

Chrys Fey said...

I would love to see those crossroads, bridges, and canals. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The pastries look good.
Makes sense to build stable roads even if they weren't the most direct route.
Sorry you didn't get to see the church.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It looks like a lovely place to spend a holiday. The harbor looks so peaceful and the water so blue.

Crystal Collier said...

Love the adventure. The pictures set my imagination on fire and the tid-bit you share are delectable. Here, let me cue up my teleportation device so I can see everything in person. ;)

Christine Rains said...

What gorgeous photos! And you're the second person to tease me with pastries this week. I think the universe is telling me I need something. ;) A very happy new year to you.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Continuation of your lovely trip.
Love to watch lochs in action.

Liza said...

Oh lovely. I feel like I am traveling beside you!

Jo said...

It occurred to me, if we could time travel, we could go back, buy that manor (an others of course) for 35 quid and then sell it today. Of course one would have gold to make the purchase. I have a feeling they wouldn't know what to do with the modern £1 coin or the various paper notes.

I didn't spend a lot of time in Devon and Cornwall, but what time I did spend, I really enjoyed, a delightful part of Britain and absolutely jam packed with history.

Patsy said...

I've been to Bude and walked along that sea lock and we had a meal close by - wonder if it was in the hotel you stayed at?

Paula Kaye said...

I love 'traveling' with you. And those black berry pastries looked scrumptious!!

Betsy Brock said...

Those little pasties are cute...we would call those hand pies!

Gorgeous photos...what a fun part of your trip! Beautiful weather...love that blue water and sky. Too bad you couldn't get into that charming old church!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Hillary,

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Oh, how I've missed your wonderful travel posts. The British Isles is so lovely and steeped with SO MUCH history, it is always an incredible journey visiting your site. Thanks so much for taking the time and love to share your travels with us...

Someday soon I hope to visit and would LOVE to spend an day or two with you exploring the wonders of Britain...

Deborah Weber said...

Your journeys are so delightful - I love coming along via the blog land express.

DMS said...

Such an amazing trip! I am not even sure what to comment on because I was in such awe reading through your post and looking at your pictures. Beautiful and so much history. The old bridge might be my favorite. :) Thanks for sharing!
~Jess

Mark Koopmans said...

Google maps has *nothing on Hilary Maps :)

I'm so enjoying this series and I swear I need to slow down when I travel somewhere old... the guy in me is always looking for what's next, and not enjoying my Bude's like I should:)

Thankfully, I'm also not a comedian:)

Happy New Travels:)

Vallypee said...

Fascinating, Hilary! Everything in this post has a 'did you know?' quality. And as for the canal, I'm totally intrigued and will now flip to Wikipedia to look it up...as I'll bet you knew I would :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nila – that’s great you remember the vicar and Five Lanes from du Maurier’s book … I’d better re-read it I think. Delighted you’re enjoy the tour around and they tie in somewhat with my Cornish A-Z last year.

@ Blogoratti – it was fun and is fun re-visiting the journey ..

@ Elizabeth – yes it was dark by 5.00 pm – really shuts down quite quickly in winter. The weather I’m pleased to say may have been dull, but was at least warmish and dry most of the way round.

@ Ian – I’m happy to see the memories brought back for you … the area was a great one for me to see … as I’ve never been before.

@ Dianne – thanks .. I’m glad I’m writing the trip up – it’s almost like doing homework – re-learning, re-visiting everything.

@ Chrys – I must get back down and see Five Lanes and Altarnun again … a fascinating and very pretty part of the world.

@ Alex – yes I must make some blackberry pasties. Neolithic man certainly made use of the countryside as best he could to get around. I’d like to go back and see the Church … for the literary and architectural connections.

@ Susan – I think Bude would be wonderful to stay in … especially in the quieter times (not the summer rush!).

@ Crystal – it’s been an interesting re-visit to the trip – and having you here would be great, we could teleport around happily together.

@ Christine – sorry about the pastries – I hope the Universe complies with some sugary treat?!; the photos were slightly enhanced as it was really almost dusk.

@ Jeffrey – yes I need to finish the trip; it would have been interesting to see the Canal Lock working …

@ Liza – well that’s wonderful, welcome along …

@ Jo – yes Jo – we would be very rich … but it’d probably be silver … gold wasn’t found much in England – but we’d be very rich .. well as it was you buying the manor – you would be … I might have an agent’s fee!

There is certainly lots of history in all the counties … but Cornwall and Devon have a special draw for me and it seems to many of you fellow bloggers.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patsy – you could well have done … the hotel was where the road crosses the canal.

@ Paula – don’t the blackberry pasties look delicious … I must make them sometime. Am very happy you’re coming along with me.

@ Betsy – I suspect they’re called something else here … but I wanted a pasty – and that was the closest, though no crimping or half-moon shape in these little things. Hand pies – I shall remember that name.

Oh the Bude shot – is by someone else … sad, but true!! Our weather wasn’t that bright … but I imagine the colours can be of that hue at times. Next time I’ll make a point of going in the Church.

@ Michael – well they’re all here for the reading thereof! If you ever get time. We do have SO MUCH history as you mention .. it’s ‘frightening’ what keeps coming up … I’m happy to share some of my interests in Britain – in whatever format catches my eye .. historical, geological, social, food … etc etc ..

I’d be my pleasure to spend a few days with you when you get over here .. good luck with all your renovations and new life first …

@ Deborah – that’s great the blog-land express loves having its visitors along …

@ Jess – so pleased you’re enjoying finding out more – I must find out why the bridge is stapled and post about it … it was (is!) a very pretty village.

@ Mark – I know - my mapping skills impress!?! This trip was a learning curve for me … but what’s been almost more rewarding is the remembering and writing up the posts – and then learning more about the places – the ancient history etc
Blogging has lots of advantages – being able to write and include the history into the posts, while interacting with friends via the blogosphere. I think I’ll learn too – to take my time to check things out as I visit places … rather than glance and then wander on. I am definitely not a comedian.

@ Val – perhaps that’s a good phrase to use for my posts … “did you know” … I shall remember that.

When I post I do think about who I’m posting for .. eg you and your interest in canals – so I’m delighted you’re going to check out the Bude Canal System …

Thanks so much everyone – gosh it’s wonderful to see so many here once again as I set out on the last half of our West Country trip … cheers and have a very good 2016 - Hilary

Diana Wilder said...

The lovely thing about reading your posts is the knowledge that while I am observant and tend to notice things, I have the feeling that I am being guided by a humorous, tolerant and appreciative guide. Loveliness and fascination abounds, but one has to pause to notice it.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I can't believe you fitted so much in!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I take it the canal isn't used anymore?

That coastline is beautiful. I prefer a coast to a beach.

beste barki said...

The old packhorse bridge at Altarnun takes one to another time.

helen tilston said...

Hello Hilary

This looks like a spectacular trip. The names alone conjure up some beautiful images.
Sorry to have been absent from the blogging world. I am not returned and hope to catch up on your past postings. Meanwhile wishing you good health, joy and happiness in 2016
Helen xx

Joanne said...

so glad to rejoin the tour. Lovely pics and some bracing sea air at the "watering hole". I would have re-enacted the picnic, too. I enjoy this immensely and learn a great deal.

Gattina said...

What an interesting tour, nearly the same I did 2 years ago ! Sounds strange to me that there is a Saint Nonna, because Nonna in Italian means grandmother ! and my little grandson calls me so !

Murees Dupé said...

Happy New Year, Hilary. May 2016 be an amazing year for you. Hopefully filled with more travel, good food and new friends. I always love reading more about your adventures.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diana – that’s incredibly complementary … I do worry about I write sometimes and think … will they enjoy it – but thankfully yes you and they do – I’m mighty grateful. I just enjoy slowly going along and it’s been such fun having everyone with me …

@ Annalisa – it was Jenny’s itinerary! I went with the flow and we didn’t spend too long anywhere … except with Sally at St Ive – that was brilliant.

@ Diane – no the canal’s not used … or if it is it’s only the lowest portion … and that might function – for what I’m not sure. Yes I agree a coast to a beach is best – but I’ve loved some of our dune beaches in their bays …

@ Beste – yes the packhorse bridge was just amazing to see … we were there such a short time … but I’ll go back at some stage.

@ Helen – how lovely to see you back ... and I’m honoured if you’re going back through my older posts, even if you’re not fully returned. Actually it was great fun thinking about the names and how they were derived etc …

@ Joanne – it’s wonderful so many are happy to rejoin the tour – and now it would definitely be bracing by the Bude sea-side. Sadly it was autumn .. so sitting by the lake wouldn’t have been possible – but it was good to know where Emily’s brother had his picnic. I’m delighted you’re enjoying the trip, and ‘learning as we go’ …

@ Gattina – your trip was interesting … but I’m glad we’ve been on the lanes and seen the little villages. I can believe Nonna is Italian … ours came from Wales – but there could well be Celtic – Roman cross over centuries ago.

@ Murees – I suspect I’ll be here for a while … but I can always travel in other ways. Delighted you enjoy your reads .. and there will be food … and new friends.

Thanks so much everyone – lovely to see you and catch you in the blogging world once again .. and yes – a very good 2016 to one and all … cheers Hilary

Lynn said...

What wonderful travels - and love that you could at least see the church mentioned in Daphne du Maurier's book! (Love her books.)

And I love seeing the dessert. :)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

In a word: stunning. Your photos take me back there ... where I yearn to be. Thank you, Hilary, for this wonderful journey. Can't wait to see where you are next time.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

Totally cool stuff, but I'm left wanting...a blackberry pastry. :)

Suzanne Furness said...

I took my first trip to Bude last autumn. It is still a very popular resort, especially as the beach is fantastic for families and surfers etc. I was interested to see the pool, although it looked very chilly when we visited!
It sounds as if you saw some wonderful sights on your trip.

Romance Reader said...

A fascinating and interesting post.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, wonderful! The Hart strand of my family is actually Welsh, so I love seeing all this. The only place in Wales I've actually been is Cardiff. Bude Harbour in particular is amazing, though I love all the stone architecture, too.

scarlett clay said...

I love reading about your travels! Each place sounds so interesting with so much to see. England is so beautiful. I love the old church at Altarnun, with the Celtic cross..it looks very ancient. And the sea....ahhh. Safe travels! Where do you plan to go in 2016?

peppylady (Dora) said...

Stop in from Gattina. And find all over GB and other place of the world has some interesting building.

Coffee is on

Stephen Tremp said...

Cornwell has a history going back to AD527? Hard to fathom on this side of The Pond. I have a character in my latest book, Joseph Mecieagama (whose name is Chippewa for Michigan), who is of American Indian descent and his ancestry goes back farther than anyone in the setting of the book. I make a point of that.

Anyway, it's not AD 527 and it's speculation and guess work as to how far back the family lineage goes, but it's the best I can do.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Thanks for this, Hilary. I have been along a similar route in the West Country. What I really appreciate is all the added facts and musings you add. I love that part of the UK and you have made me want to visit that breathtaking area, once again. In Looe of me being rather exhausted at this ridiculous time of five in the morning, I shall be thee farewell for now.

Mind the rainy weather and keep warm, Hilary.

Gary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn – they were fun travels and I hope to go back to Altarnun at some stage and see the Church. I must get Jamaica Inn out to read again.

@ Joylene – even though it wasn’t too bright … the sun did shine at times. England is always special though ... I love the small lanes. Turning up north and east, the coast comes next.

@ Holly – sorry about the lack of blackberry pasty availability via the blog – one of the things that lacking with regards to blogging.

@ Suzanne – that’s amazing you visited Bude this autumn as well and yes it was popular … I wouldn’t like to be there in summer with lots and lots of people. It was too dark for us to walk further, so we didn’t get to see the pool. It was a lovely nostalgic tour.

@ Nas – glad you enjoyed it.

@ Hart – I have been to the edge of Wales in recent years, but not on a tour as such – having this opportunity with Jenny was special. Cardiff has a lot of interesting history … the castle and coastline.

@ Scarlett – lovely to see you here ...and know you’re following along. England and Wales. Altarnun is very old … but probably with older roots - as is much of Britain. Thankfully a lot of records are written down. The sea always draws doesn’t it. So far I have no plans – we’ll see where life takes me!

@ Dora – thanks for letting me know you’ve come over from Gattina – good to see you. We are lucky with our history and for having it recorded – so we can understand it and see it still in the landscape.

@ Stephen – Cornwall has history going back way beyond AD527 … as has other areas of Britain. Recorded history goes back into the Neolithic era – which started approximately 5,200 BC. My part 4 of the tour touched on that history.

Your character, Joseph, sounds interesting but I think you’ll find the Vikings came over to Canada earlier, and possibly other settlers were around even before that. I’m not good with American history.

@ Gary – I’m glad I’m bringing some memories back for you … it’s a lovely area to visit and travel along. I enjoy adding the snippets of history in – it brings the area more to life ... we so often forget earlier inhabitants have travelled these routes on many occasions.

Cheers to you all and thanks for your interest - Hilary

Mike Goad said...

It's the weather caps (coping) on top of the stonework that are connected by the stables. There's a picture of a different bridge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coping_%28architecture%29

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Oh brilliant Mike - thanks for coming over and letting me know ... and letting us have the link - I'll add it into the post itself.

Much appreciated the instant reply to my request for 'what are the staples used for' ...

Cheers Hilary

Cranberry Morning said...

What an interesting post. I'm a map lover, so I really appreciate your map. I've always wanted to go to Cornwall, and I'd love to take that tour you have outlined on your map sometime. Of course some of the places I've heard of because of the Doc Martin TV show. :-)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Thanks for sharing yet another adventure and trip through history with us. The waters in that cove look unbelievably blue. Just beautiful! I can see why that area is still very popular.

Have a fantabulous weekend! May your adventures abound.

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful shoreline views full of history!

Karen Lange said...

I feel like I can almost say I am a "world traveler" simply from reading your posts. :) Appreciate you taking the time to share your journey with us, as well as all the interesting and fun facts. Have a lovely weekend!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Judy - welcome to the blog ... my map making skills are terrible .. but I love maps too. Another show I don't watch ... no Downton, nor Doc Martin ...??!! but both shows have shown other countries the scenery and settings to good effect. Port Isaac was further south than we went on this trip - but I see Henry VIII had connections with the port - the tentacles of King ship.

@ Susan - I'm afraid the colours are mostly enhanced, though at times the colours can be extraordinary. I was so pleased I've had the chance to go along that coastline. Fantabulous weekend - good one.

@ Teresa - yes lots of history.

@ Karen - it's good to highlight certain areas of history or show places that others, who probably will never travel over, get a chance to think about ...

Thanks so much - cheers to you for visiting - Hilary

David P. King said...

And a Happy New Year to you! I swear, each time I stop by I'm whisked away to some place I would REALLY like to go. Thank you for the escape. :)

Susan Scott said...

Wondrous travels - in a sort of way it momentarily satisfies my yearning to visit. Such history ... thank you Hilary. And those blackberry pasties and clotted cream - o my stars.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ David - that's great to read .. I'm delighted you'll be whisking along with me - we all need an escape at times ... PS don't tell anyone - but I'd love to go back!

@ Susan - not a good time to visit right now - rather horribly wet! But it draws me back for another visit at some stage ... blackberry pasties and Cornish Cream would be good today - I probably need a walk out into the squally showers coming down with hailstones thrown in.

Thanks David and Susan - always good to see you .. cheers Hilary

Bharath Kumar said...

wow seems like an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing.