Morwenstow- what an experience……

Very grey day today, but dry and not so cold. We head for the tiny little hamlet of Morwenstow- why? Because we have read up about the rather eccentric Reverend Hawker who ran the parish of Morwenstow from 1834-75.

His most prominent claims to fame are:

To bury in the churchyard the casualties of many a ship wrecked off this treacherous coastline (where the locals were allegedly more interested in the ‘booty’!). He even salvaged the figurehead from one of these wrecks and used it as a headstone for the captain.

He designed the vicarage chimneys to resemble the church towers of his previous parishes.

He built a small hut (Hawkers Hut) on the cliff edge about a mile from the church and is said to have spent hours in this hut (often in an opiate haze) gazing out to sea, composing poetry and most famously the Cornish Anthem ‘The song of the Western Man’.

The hut has been preserved by the NT who have thoughtfully placed a visitors book inside (probably to discourage further carvings of names on the inside of the hut!) – it is well worth a read and to leave your own thoughts of course – which we did.

We then carried along the cliff, down into the valley of Tidna Shute and up onto Higher Sharpnose Point (not right to the end mind as it looked a bit narrow for us well me!).

Up here there is a ruin of another hut – this time I’m guessing of either a military or coastguard heritage – either way still a pretty impressive spot.

The sun was shining on someone – looking at the map maybe Tintagel?

On our return to Morwenstow we popped down to have a little looksee at St Johns well nestled in amongst the snowdrops.

Two thoughts of the day:

Sitting in that little hut was most inspiring – I too feel like I could write an Anthem!

I’m glad that I acquired a number of books to help me find all these little places before I set off.


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