Logo Image
return to the previous page





report offensive content
click to view site banner advert 2

click to view site banner advert 3


text version




bookmark this website print this page    



A picture for Arundells of  Wardour and Cornwall

I was researching a point of my own North Cornish descent, and happened on a downloaded book concerning Cornwall. As I mentioned the Arundells in a previous Blog, thought this piece might be of interest. Its probably old news to the cognoscente, but I repost it for the less well informed.

"Nooks & corners of Cornwall" (AN OCR exert.) PORT ISAAC TO THE VALE OF LANHERNE 63 Beyond the church and nunnery, in their peaceful setting of small-leaved Cornish elms, among the branches of which the rooks build above the little rippling stream, are the lovely woods of Carnanton. It used to be said that amid all the religious communities represented in Cornwall long ago, there was never a nunnery, but this is no longer the case. In the reign of Henry VII. an Arundell of Lanherne purchased Wardour Castle, in Wiltshire, and when his younger son Thomas, married a sister of Queen Catherine Howard, the old man settled on him the Wardour house and estate. In course of time the elder branch came to be represented by a daughter only, and she marrying her cousin of Wardour, the estates were re-united. In 1794 Henry, eighth Lord Arundell of Wardour, gave the old home of his race it had been in the family since 1231 to some English Theresian nuns, who had fled from Paris in fear of what was to come. The present house is not very old, though a part of it dates from 1580, which part contains a secret chamber, wherein a priest once lay concealed for some sixteen months. It is said that the silver sanctuary lamp in the convent chapel has burnt continuously and that the Roman Catholic services have been held without intermission since pre-Reformation days. A picture supposed to be by Rubens, "The Scourging of our Blessed Lord at the Pillar," is shown, also other reputed old masters. Adjoining the house is a little garden, used as a cemetery, in which three priests and several nuns have been buried, and which contains a tenth-century four-holed cross of Pentewan stone, the shaft of which is covered with interlaced work. Mawgan Church, which is close to the nunnery, is re- markably rich in brasses, many of which are now attached to the old screen through the shameful ignorance of a late rector. There were here formerly some interesting palimpsest brasses of foreign workmanship, but large portions of these have been removed by the Arundells whom they concerned to Wardonr Castle. On the south side of the churchyard is one of those pathetic memorials only too common along this coast. The white painted stern of a boat lies close to the convent wall, and on it is inscribed : " Here lie the bodies of ..... , who were drifted on shore in a boat, frozen to death, at Beacon Cove, in this parish, on Sunday, the 13th day of December, MDCCCXLVI." A beautiful Gothic cross of fifteenth- century work stands at the west end of the church. It is the most elaborate example of a lanthorn cross in Corn- wall and contrasts well with the restored granite cross, dating from the earliest period of such monuments, which is to be seen in the additional churchyard. CHAPTER IV KOOKS AND CORNERS FROM THE VALE OE LANHERNE TO HAYLE TOWANS Hurling and St. Columh Major : Colan : The GratUude of the Stuarts : Trevalgue : A Good Centre for Gran- tock, St. Cubert, and Trerice : St. Agnes and the Giant : Portreath : the Bassets : Godrevy : Gwithian : The Pilchards. hurlino and St. Columb Major A T the head of the lovely Vale of Lanherne is a adistrict which has long been the centre for the the old game of " hurling," and although football has largely taken its place, it is still sometimes played on Shrove Tuesday. The ball is smaller than that used for cricket, is light to handle, and has a coating of silver. The one now in use is inscribed with this couplet : " St. Culumh Major and Minor do your best. In one of your parishes I must rest." During the short reign of Edward VI. the ferment against the restoraation doctrines came to a head in Cornwall. The people rose under Humfrey Arundel and marched to Exeter, only however to meet with a crushing defeat. Four thousand were slain, and their leaders taken and hanged at Tyburn. Martial law was then proclaimed, and Sir Anthony Kingston, Provost- Marshal, was sent down into Cornwall. Among other stories told of him is that of his expeditious visit to St. Columb. Arrived at the little market town he promptly seized " Master Mayow " and directed that he should be hanged as a rebel. '* Mistress Mayow, intending to plead for her husband's life, spent so long a time in preparing herself that by the time she reached the presence of the judge, her husband was dead." In the neighbourhood of St. Columb are nine menhirs in a line, called the Nine Maidens, or in Cornish " Naw Voz " ; also Castle-an-Dinas, a large triple entrenchment on a high tableland enclosing six acres of ground and two tumuli. Hither came the Royahst leaders in 1646 to discuss the question of surrender, and here King Arthur is supposed to have stayed when on pleasure bent. The waste land around is known as Goss Moors, and there he hunted not only the red deer but the wolf. "The Green Book of St. Columb " is one of the historical treasures of the county. It is so called from the colour of its leather binding, and is a book of parish accounts dating from the reign of Elizabeth.* Curious to relate, the rectory-house is surrounded by a moat. The church, which is very large for Cornwall, contains some good brasses and bench-ends, the brass of Sir Jolui Arundell and his two wives (1545) being probably the finest example in the county. This church has had hard usage. In 1676 a barrel of gunpowder which lay in the rood-loft was fired by some mischievous boys. Three of them were killed, and a great deal of other damage was done. Some few years later the tower was struck by lightning, and the people, made wiser by misfortune, were careful to erect a less lofty one, which, however, was itself struck a few years since.

contact : John B. Pope
Email : pionono@tiscali.co.uk