A pocket full of sea glass & serpentine: Cadgwith Cove

"Up aloft, amid the rigging
Swiftly blows the fav'ring gale,

Strong as springtime in its blossom,
Filling out each bending sail,
And the waves we leave behind us
Seem to murmur as they rise;
We have tarried here to bear you
To the land you dearly prize.

Rolling home, rolling home,
Rolling home across the sea,
Rolling home to dear old England
Rolling home, dear land to thee.

Now, it takes all hands to man the capstan,
Mister see your cables clear!
Soon you'll be sailing homeward bound sir,
And for the channel you will steer.
See your sheets and crew lines free sir,
All your buntlines overhauled;
Are the sheerpoles and gear all ready?
Soon for New England we will steer.

Rolling home, rolling home,
Rolling home across the sea,
Rolling home to dear old England
Rolling home, dear land to thee.

Full ten thousand miles behind us,
And a thousand miles before,
Ancient ocean waves to waft us
To the well remembered shore.
Newborn breezes swell to send us
To our childhood welcome skies,
To the glow of friendly faces
And the glance of loving eyes.

Rolling home, rolling home,
Rolling home across the sea,
Rolling home to dear old England
Rolling home, dear land to thee."

~Sea Shanty~

Cadgwith has been a tiny fishing hamlet since around 1358, and 200 years ago was quite famous for it's Pilchard fishing. These days the fishing trade is not doing so well for anyone, but Cadgwith is still one of the few working villages & does a good trade in Crab. As my dog will agree with judging by all those lovely legs she found to crunch on while we were exploring. *ewww*.

It also has a notorious smuggling history, as do many places of course, but with it's thatched cottages & sleepy atmosphere you can just imagine the days of the tall ships & piratey nonsense :)

As soon as we reached the village and smelt the seaweed & salty air I felt like it was home. Down a pretty  woodland winding path, & past the most beautiful thatched cottages *above*, & the roar of the sea draws you straight to the little fishing cove. We must have spent an hour there just looking at the pebbles!! (Scroll up to the picture) I'd never seen pebbles like it before...each one had beautiful spirals painted on by the waves. I wanted to take them all home :)
We walked up & around the cliff paths, past rows of magical little cottages that I would give anything live in. Apparently these were once home to the Customs men sent down to put a stop to the Smuggling. I bet they didn't appreciate them! :)

Cadgwith was also the main filming location for 'Ladies In Lavender', starring Judi Dench & Maggie Smith. I always love films set by the sea, even more when it's a Cornish sea :)
 We found our way to 'The devils frying pan' *below*  & we sat on this pretty bench...carved with little stars!

The storm clouds rolled in, raining on & off, so I had no opportunity to sit somewhere peaceful & make good use of my sketchbook, but we drove a few minutes down the road to see the old Serpentine works, now only a ruin but once a thriving Cornish business. It operated between 1855 - 1893 on the site of the former pilchard cellars.
Serpentine is a type of rock unique to this part of Cornwall. Queen Victoria purchased quite a few Serpentine items, as it was at that time known as an English version of marble. You can still buy decorative items made from it, but it is no longer as popular as it once was.

As we made our way down through the Poltesco valley, past wild flowers & waterfalls, it rained quite heavily, casting a grey gloom which only added to the atmosphere of the place. 
Before we even reached the sea we could hear the eerie 'booming' of the waves against the rocky shore. It felt lonely there. Lonely & haunting.

We shall go back again one day soon. And I shall get to sit & draw :)
I took hundreds of photos...far too many to share here, so if you'd like to view them please do visit my Flicker page http://www.flickr.com/photos/juliaguthrie/


  1. Hey Julia
    Really lovely post and most interesting....hope one day to visit too!.Love the photo of Nimh well infact I liked all the photo's o...now off to view some more on flicker xx

  2. Thanks Julie! I think you'd love it there..looks like you will get a chance soon, when you're down visiting your daughter at Falmouth uni!! :) Great place xxx

  3. Aw, that's a beautiful post :D
    Aw, serpentine! I've only just discovered this stone - when I made that one silver wired necklace piece for myself with it. :D Love it!!!
    And I can kind of imagine Captain Jack Sparrow roaming around there... LOL ;D


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