12 May 2016

Castle and a Show

We spent the early part of the day closer to our cottage and visited the town of Lostwithiel, which was the ancient capital of Cornwall. It still has a quaint old downtown filled with antique shops, and it boasts the remains of a castle rebuilt in the late 13th century.

The church in the center of the small town had two ancient stones in it. The first was referred to as a cross.

This cross was repaired and restored in 1882

The second was merely called an ancient stone, which was found in the churchyard.

The "ancient stone"

We went inside the church, but I had to leave rather quickly. It smelled too strongly of mildew, and I was worried that my eyes would quickly register the allergy. I was still able to take in the interior and think, as I often do in moments like this, of Philip Larkin's poem "Church Going." 

The old church

As we exited the walled churchyard, we were confronted with a huge lorry parked right in the middle of the road. A man stood behind the lorry, and his dogs looked longingly inside. What we found as we walked up to him suddenly made the dogs' interest understandable.

Worthy of dogs licking their chops

The man thought it was funny that I was taking pictures of the inside of a meat truck, and when I explained that I had never seen such a thing and that we don't have stand-alone butchers in the States, he and his wife seemed visibly sad. When I added that we also did not have stand-alone fishmongers or cheesemongers, I could see the pity on their faces. I suspect they wondered how civilized we really are.

After our time in town, we drove up a hill to Restormel Castle, which was a really lovely sight. Only one portion of it remains, and it is in near ruins, but I think that adds to the beauty of it.

The view on our approach

Lots of great openings to look through

An elevated walkway encircles the castle, giving great views
of the interior and of the countryside surrounding the castle

A grand view

The reason we stayed close to "home" was that we had tickets to the Minack Theatre in Porthcurno, and we knew that it would be a late night. After the castle visit, we headed back to the cottage for lunch and a little rest before heading back to the coast.

We had dinner at the oldest pub in Penzance, which has been around for over 750 years.

The church and the Cornwall flag can be seen in the background

Then we made our way up a very long and ridiculously narrow road to the Minack Theatre for a performance of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan

Pretty awesome venue, huh?

The stage below us

Some seats above us

The fog came rolling in as the performance went on, and the drive home was the most challenging 1.5 hours I've ever had driving. Like driving through pea soup...on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car, shifting with the wrong hand...it was disorienting. But we made it safely back, and out we'll go again tomorrow, hopefully to catch yet another castle.


  1. Did you encounter any Pirates? Looks like a wonderful day! If you encounter anyone with the surname Philp, that's HK's family; they're from Saint Winnow in Cornwall. Looking forward to making that trip one day!

    1. Alas, no pirates! They must have been out at sea.

  2. Beautiful castle and incredible performance site! Thanks for sharing.