Saturday, 15 January 2011

MARAZION

Marazion, which claims to be the oldest town in Britain, having been settled as early as 308BC, is famous above all not for something in the town itself, but for something just offshore. St Michaels Mount is probably one of the most used images in Cornish tourist promotions. It would be unique were it not for its upstart gallic cousin on the other side of the English channel. The Mount is linked to the mainland via a narrow causeway which disappears underwater at high tide, adding a frisson to any visit as people race to get back across without getting their feet, or other body parts, wet. But for those who don’t make it on time all is not lost because there are boats standing by to ferry people back and forth.

There are legends and mysteries galore associated with this spot. In 495AD an apparition of St Michael allegedly appeared before a fisherman, an event which led to the Mount becoming a magnet for pilgrims, who came from all over the country and continued to do so for 1,500 years. Meanwhile, a small rock just offshore, where I used to play on family visits to the beach as a child, was allegedly the product of a marital bustup between the giant Cormoran, who according to legend built St Michael’s Mount, and his wife, who dropped the smaller rock on being given a kicking by her husband.

Map of the area.

File:Coastline at Marazion - geograph.org.uk - 218911.jpg
Photo by Pam Brophy, via Wikimedia Commons

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