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|
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|
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|
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.
Wikipedia has an informative article on Bude Canal.
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.
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories