President: Mrs Hilary Thompson 01872 580573
Chairman: Mr Ralph German 01326 270558
Membership Secretary: Mrs Jean Rigley
Treasurer: Mrs Margaret George
Recorder: Neville Meek 01872 581817.
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St Anthony Visit
On Wednesday 8th May the Old Cornwall Society paid an evening visit to St Anthony in Roseland. The Society had prepared a short guide to the history of the area which was very informative.
St Anthony is geographically almost an island, bordered by the sea and the Percuil River. It is connected to the “mainland” by a relatively narrow isthmus at Porth. Although now joined with St Gerrans, St Anthony was historically its own parish with the parish church situated at Place. In 1821 the population was 179, whilst in 2016 the Electoral Roll records just 35 adult residents. The name Anthony comes from the name of a 6th or 7th Century holy man Entenin, who settled in the area.
The visit commenced with a tour of the Battery on the headland which was first built in the late 18th Century. Much of the present fortifications and buildings were built in the late 19th and early 20th Century. The site was manned in both WW1 and WW2. It was an important coastal battery guarding the entrance of the Carrick Roads, but also as a site for anti-aircraft guns defending Falmouth. The headland is now owned by the National Trust.
The group visited Drake’s Well on Zone Point, an ancient dipping well. According to local legend, Sir Francis Drake returned from a voyage to the West Indies in sore need of fresh water. He searched the headland for water, but finding none he plunged his sword into the ground whereupon fresh water gushed forth from the hillside and has flowed ever since.
At Bohortha the group visited the site of the 19th Century Coastguard Cottages, recalling how the rocket apparatus was stored in a barn at Manor Farm. The site of the former Pig and Whistle Pub was of interest; this was the scene of music and dancing on the Feast of St Anthony. It also contained the “town oven” which produced the famous St Anthony’s buns at Easter. Other sites of interest included the Old School and the former Methodist Chapel.
This fascinating visit was enjoyed by all, many of whom returned to Gerrans for much needed refreshment. A possible future visit to St Anthony will probably include Place, Froe and Porth.