Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tenuous threads

Having delved into Bladud's past history and come to the conclusion, that Stewart had taken a small acorn and from it derived an oak tree, I will leave my reading on that subject alone for the time being.  
One of the things  that happens  when musing and writing blogs, is that occasionally, you get emails on the subject you have written about.  This happened with Rievaulx Abbey, someone interested in the old 19th century illustrations.  This weekend someone wrote to ask about my first in-laws, they had stumbled on a blog of three years ago about Past Ghosts.  It appeared that my Dutch mother-in-law's family, (father and grandfather), owned  a boat building company or two in the 19th century.  It was almost like the book I had read recently called The Miniaturist, about guilds and the Hague in the 17th century. My daughter has even got a painting of the Hague with old Dutch houses that she inherited, the painting that is not the houses!  Sometimes I worry about what I write, but take care not to use the subject of the story in the title, it seems with all the search engines getting better, nothing can go unnoticed.

So I shall devote myself to a Breton Celtic saint, mostly for his name and the fact that he has, as all good Celtic saints do,  given his name to a number of churches in France, Cornwall and Wales.  I came across him because our friend in Cornwall, has joined up with 'Cornish Safari's' organisation which takes mostly American tourists round the prehistoric sites of Cornwall.  And they have both been plotting out tours and walks of Cornwall over the last two months, the industrial tin mine walk from Minions to Crows Nest looks really interesting. But first Saint Wynwallow's church.

Saint Wynwallow's church

'First comes David, then comes Chad
Then comes Winnol roaring like mad'

Old Norfolk rythm

So I shall start with Abbot Gwenole 457-532, and the several names he goes under in Wales;
Gwinwaloe, Winwaloe, Onolaus, or Wynwallow as it is written in Cornwall....

Now Breverton in  The Book of Welsh Saints says he was the Breton founder of the great monastery of Landevennec in Cornouaille in Brittany, Landewednack on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall and the nearby 'Church of the Storms at Gunwalloe, and quite a few other churches have been named after him.  There is quite a long history on him in the book, from which I will pick that which most interests me.  It is said that actually he may have come from Britain in the 5th or 6th century, after St.Patrick appeared to him in a dream and he built the monastery at Landevennec.

There are the usual legendary stories about him, at Locunole, the saint apparently built a hermitage by the turbulent River Elle, which is dominated by a mass of huge stones, The Devil's Rocks.  Satan tried to get rid of the saint from this place but was tricked by the saint to let him stay there.  So to the photos, which I have permission to post. All over Britain, there are these stylish rural churches, their history written in stone, this church is rather a lovely amalgam of styles, mostly 15th century but having a Norman arch.


  1. I love the absolutely beautiful colours in that stonework Thelma.

    1. We could have moved to Cornwall Pat, there is a wealth of stuff to see there, but in the end Yorkshire won because of its landscape and towns. I shall miss Roy of course down in Cornwall.

  2. I really enjoy your posts-I can experience places that I may never see in person! Thanks so much!

    1. Glad you enjoy them Jan even though I write of other people's experience..