4 Ways to Experience Cornwall’s Heritage
If you need a change from the stunning sea views from your Niche Retreat in Porthleven, then maybe you could consider exploring some of the historical and heritage offerings of Cornwall. Heritage sites in Cornwall include everything from sites of ancient antiquity to beautifully preserved castles and ancient houses and fascinating museums. Cornwall’s sites of historical interest are a window into the social and cultural history of the county, and while based in Porthleven, there are many great examples in easy striking distance.
Heading northeast from Porthleven will take you to the county seat and historic city of Truro. Once there you can find a bona-fide treasure trove of Cornish history and culture, a great amount of which is housed within the Royal Cornwall Museum. This impressive collection began to be formed in the early 19th Century, and includes many wonderful pieces of Cornwall’s archaeological, geological, scientific and artistic history. It also has many excellent exhibits from overseas cultures, such as its famous unwrapped Egyptian mummy. The museum owes many of its finer examples of historical heritage to generous benefactors who have kept the museum going for many generations. Entrance is charged at just £4.50, which gives the buyer a 12-month pass to enter the museum.
If you’re heading to Truro, and have a bit more time to spare after the museum, then how about paying a visit to Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm (no, that’s not a typo!). In Cornwall, “Cyder” is both a celebrated and traditional product of the region, and Healey’s is an excellent and very accessible example of a working cider production facility. This family-run business has been occupying its 150-year-old farm for the past 25 years and has produced award-winning cider for many to enjoy. There is free entry, free parking and free tasting of their authentic Cornish cyder. See how their golden product is made using a press from the 16th Century. There are also tractor rides around the orchards, and a petting zoo.
Another option near Truro for those who didn’t get enough history at the museum is St. Mawes Castle, located in the nearby town of Mawes. This castle overlooks the Fal estuary, and visitors can get spectacular sea views from the top of the keep. St. Mawes is one of Henry VIII’s better-preserved artillery fortresses, built between 1539 and 1545 to defend against invasion from Spain and/or France. The castle offers great-value entry at just £4.60 for adults and £2.80 for children. Please note that during the winter months until February it is only open at weekends. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.
Heading a short distance west of Truro will take you to Madron, and one of the county’s oldest historical sites — known locally as Men-An-Tol, which translates into English as The Hole Stone. This site is thought to date as far back to either the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age periods. It comprises three standing granite stones, one of which has a large hole in the center. Myriad local myths and legends give the stone miraculous healing powers, especially for disorders like rickets and back pain, giving rise to the common nickname “The Crick Stone.” It is also purported to have a fairy guardian that can also cure children of their ails.
Cornwall – county of history; county of heritage. Book your Niche Retreat and join us to explore the history and heritage of this wondrous place.