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Charteroak Holiday Lodges in CornwallCharteroak Holiday Lodges in Cornwall

Fascinating Monuments and landmarks

Discover some of Cornwall’s most iconic and fascinating monuments and landmarks, immortalised on page and on screen

Cornwall is steeped in myth and legend, boasting a rich cultural heritage wedded to its landscape, where fact and lore remain forever intertwined. In a world where rugged rock meets roaring seas, the landscape is dotted with ancient monuments that hint of a mysterious, enigmatic yet tangible past; one that continues to seep into our lives.

The wild Cornish landscape has inspired countless artists, poets, writers and filmmakers over the years, leaving its indelible mark on popular culture. But while legends take root, becoming embellished over time and deeply ingrained in lore, the physical monuments and landscape immortalised on both the page and the silver screen are all-too real. As always, the best way to truly appreciate these locations and landmarks is to experience them first hand.

There are countless fragments of Cornwall’s past to be found across the Duchy, with many sites being free to visit. What’s more, many of these locations are just a short drive from both Southern Halt and Stonerush Lakes, making our resorts the perfect base from which to begin your explorations

Daphne Du Maurier

One of Cornwall’s greatest ambassadors is undoubtedly Daphne Du Maurier, who, for the best part of a century, has captivated readers with deeply evocative tales set in an atmospheric Cornwall.

Recent screen adaptions including the BBC’s Jamaica Inn (2014) and the release of a new film adaptation ofMy Cousin Rachel (2017), starring namesake Rachel Weisz, have kept Du Maurier in the spotlight, bringing her stories and their settings to new audiences. Du Maurier spent much of her time on the south coast, living in various properties over her life.

Ferryside, Bodinnick, on the Fowey river, is where she wrote some of her earlier works including The Loving Spirit, and the property is still owned by the family today. Later, she moved to Menabilly on the Gribben peninsula, just a couple of miles west of Fowey. Menabilly, a grand country pile owned by the Rashleigh family is a key inspiration behind Manderley, and also where Du Maurier wrote The King’s General.

Remaining in the Fowey valley, Fowey Hall, a grand country house by the sea stakes a good claim to the inspiration behind Toad Hall, after Kenneth Grahame stayed in the area with friend and fellow author, Arthur Quiller-Couch. Heading further inland, in the heart of Bodmin Moor, you’ll find the historic coaching inn, and reputed smugglers’ haunt that inspired perhaps Du Maurier’s most renowned work: Jamaica Inn. An instant classic, this dark tale of a gang of wreckers sets the action in an ancient, brooding landscape. Make a visit to this beautiful wilderness, and you’ll swiftly understand how it makes the perfect setting for historic drama and clandestine activity. It has been populated by settling – often a place of gathering with religious associations – for thousands of years. Witness the magic yourself at the various pre-historic sites dotted across the Moor.

Forget Stonehenge; Bodmin Moor contains 16 identified ancient stone circles. On the edge of the Moor near the village of Minions, you’ll find a particularly intriguing group known as ‘The Hurlers’. It’s fairly unique in that the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age site is actually made up of three sets of stones, complete with a separate pair of stones away from the three circles, known as ‘The Pipers’. So the legend has it, the Hurlers were formed when local men who turned to stone in punishment for partaking in the traditional Cornish pastime of hurling on the Sabbath. It is said that it is impossible to count the number of stones. The Hurlers are free to visit during daylight and there is parking a short walk from the site. Dogs are welcome on leads but be mindful of sheep and ponies which graze freely in and around the area. The Moor is exposed to the Cornish elements, so wrap up warm and head off prepared for all sorts of weather!

King Arthur and Tintagel Castle

While in the area, head to nearby Trethevy Quoit, a fine example of a Neolithic ‘dolmen’ burial chamber, near St Cleer, dating from around 3500 to 2500 BC. The huge capstone weighs a whopping 20 tonnes – amazing when you consider that this was moved and positioned without the aid of modern machinery! Finally, complete your trip with a visit to King Doniert’s Stone, fragments of a much later ‘Celtic’ cross dating from the 9th Century. Keep heading passed the Moor and you’ll hit the north coast, another great source of literary and artistic inspiration. Arguably nowhere in Cornwall is enshrouded in greater mystery and legend than Tintagel Castle perched ominously on the cliffs. A key stronghold from the fifth to seventh Centuries, Tintagel was first mooted as the birthplace of the mythical King Arthur, many centuries later, by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his epic 12th Century chronicle.

While Arthur’s very existence itself remains contested, there is no doubting the very palpable appeal that the legend still commands to this day, spawning countless books and Hollywood adaptations, the most recent being last year’s Guy Ritchie film. Believer or sceptic, surely no one could fail to be impressed by a visit to this ancient ruin hugging the headland. While much still remains unknown about the genuine inhabitants of Tintagel, a visit will reveal some fascinating insights and artistic reconstructions based on historic and archaeological research. Discover more at www.englishheritage.org.uk

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