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The Lewis Chessmen

P1090676In 1831 a remarkable hoard of carved walrus ivory was discovered on the Isle of Lewis in the Western Isles, Scotland. It included 78 chessmen reflecting medieval Europe.

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Kings with swords on their laps, queens resting their chins in their hands, bishops dressed for Mass, knights on horseback and infantrymen (rooks) on foot. The rooks biting their shields depict fictional heroes of great ferocity known from Norse saga as Berserkers.  (Probably made in Scandinavia, thought to be Norway, about AD 1150-1200 | Found on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland)

Information from the British Museum

Wouldn’t you love to hold one of these pieces in your hand?
Looking Down

Capturing Cornwall

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

~ John Masefield

We started at the NT car park at Carnewas (along the north Cornish coast half-way between Padstow and Newquay) where there is a lovely tea-room which is open throughout the summer months.

From here you cannot see anything of the coastline. DSCF5515 Well established paths lead you through the gorse on a detour to the cliffs from where you have amazing views of the cliffs in both directions, along to Trevose Head and the spectacular sea stacks at Bedruthan beach and south towards Mawgan Porth.

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Coastal Path looking south
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Looking north to the Bedruthan Steps
Looking Down
Looking Down

After admiring the views return to the main path and continue down the wide steps to the bottom where you have good views over the beach when there is a low tide, or the waves crashing over the rocks when there isn’t.

When the tide is out you can take the steep stone beach steps to access the beach. (These steps are closed from November and there is no swimming from this beach because of the currents).

The rest of the route includes slopes, steps and unfenced cliff top, none of which are attractive to the OH, so we returned to the café for a cool glass of ginger beer.

Trevose Head in the distance
Trevose Head in the distance

There is no record of the name “Bedruthan Steps” before 1847, but it is thought to have originally referred to one of the two cliff staircases to access Carnewas mine (presumably the one nearer to the village of Bedruthan). The name later also became used for the name of the beach itself.

The legend of Bedruthan Steps was invented for Victorian tourism, said to be taken from a mythological giant (Bedruthan) who used the rocks as stepping stones. These were formed after the last Ice Age, when rising sea levels eroded the surrounding soft shales to leave the harder rocks as islands. Each of the 5 rock stacks has a name (Queen Bess, Samaritan Island, Redcove Island, Pendarves Island and Carnewas Island). DSCF5543 This is a very short walk, but can be extended if you continue along the south-west coastal path to Porth Mear or in the other direction to Mawgan Porth returning through the countryside.

If you enjoy a walk, short or long, then you may enjoy visiting Jo’s Monday Walk where you are in for a treat.

road-works 2

One Day One World Project: 01:00 – 02:00

Disturbance

I wondered what I could post for this hour, when something occurred which fitted perfectly. Going to bed very late (or early) after watching one of those late night movies you get sucked into even though you tell yourself at the beginning that you won’t, the metallic sound of doors being slammed and the bangs and clangs of large heavy objects being thrown about, sent me outdoors to see what on earth was going on. Then the pneumatic drill started up, hammering at the surface of the road only 50 yards away from our house.  The time? 01:30 am.

Sleep well folks…

road-works

I didn’t get a photo of the men at work – I thought they might not appreciate it – but here is the road and if you peer hard you may just see a road closed sign :)

Oh, and they packed away around 5:30 am.

Lisa of the blog NorthWest Frame of Mind has decided to run a different project over the next 24 weeks. To try to show what is happening in different parts of the world (if you all join in) at a particular time of day. If you would like to participate you have until next Saturday midnight to post a photo or write about what is happening in your part of the world.   This week is between 01:00 – 02:00.  I hope you’ll join in! See links for more details.

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