The first time I visited St. Michael’s Mount in Marazion was sometime in 2008. When we got there, the tide was just out so it was possible for us to walk to the island.
By the time we reached the top of the castle, the tide rolled in, but you could still see the stone path that connects the island into the mainland.
Fast forward to the first week of September 2013 when we came with our American friend J, the tide was already in, so instead of walking, we had to ride a boat to get to the island, which in itself is also a nice experience. Little T loved it.
For those who aren’t familiar with St. Michael’s Mount, it is a small tidal island in Cornwall. A lovely romantic castle dating back centuries ago, stands on the top overlooking the island. It’s really like a scene straight out of a movie or a Barbara Cartland novel.
Legend has it that St. Michael the archangel, appeared to local fishermen on the mount sometime in the fifth century, hence the name. It is also believed to be the site of a monastery in the 8th to early 11th century. The monastic buildings were built during the 12th century, although an earthquake destroyed some buildings in 1275, which was rebuilt sometime in the 14th century. Parts of that ancient bit, is still standing today.
Here’s my T posing in front of the romantic castle.
In 1659, the mount was sold to Colonel John St. Aubyn. At the present day, while the National Trust owns it now, the same St. Aubyn family remains tenants of the famous mount. In fact, some rooms are closed off to visitors and there are many portraits of the family hanging on the castle walls and also some personal photographs.
If you read a lot, the name St. Aubyn may sound familiar to you, that’s because English novelist Edward St. Aubyn author and Man Booker Prize winner comes from the same family. (I love the way he writes.)
For the record, there were no Edward St. Aubyn novels were found in the library.
Can you imagine dining in a room like this where there is so much history around you?
Intricate plaster frieze detail depicting hunting scenes from long ago.
Lovely Stained glass window with Dutch, French and Flemish origins.
And this is where the gentlemen retired after dinner – the Smoking Room.
Top of the castle.
Lovely 14th century chapel, this may be the oldest bit of the castle.
And you can see the boats below, ready to take the tourists back to the main-island.
The gardens were off-limits to the visitors when we visited the second time around, which was a pity because it is also a must-see when visiting the island. You’ll be surprised to see subtropical plants flourishing in the garden, must be the lovely Cornish air.
And of course, when writing about St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, one must not forget to mention the one in France which is bigger, older and some say grander than the Cornish one. I have yet to visit the Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy. For now though, I’m just really pleased that I’ve visited this one – twice! And would gladly visit again.
For more information on St. Michael’s Mount click here.