Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vacation in the UK-3

Roger had done quite a bit of research into his family history in Britain ( before we went, so we knew we were looking for Trematon Castle, built by the de Valletorts after they aided William the Conqueror in his quest to take over Britain. Long time ago! The castle ruin is now privately owned by the Duke of Cornwall, Prince Charles, so we couldn't actually get onto the property. But we got close!

We set the NavSat to get us to Trematon, the village, thinking it was the obvious place to find the castle that Roger’s ancestors built in the twelfth century. It is in ruins, but we knew we could see it on a hill somewhere in this area.

We got to the village all right, and we drove straight through, looking for places we could see the castle through the hedgerows. Kathy stopped at a public walkway (a stile leading into a field), but we still didn’t see it. So we decided to turn around and go back through the village, looking for a place that would give us some info. We finally drove into Saltash and followed the info signs.

There, two very helpful men knew the castle and gave us directions to St. Stephens Road and the church.

We parked by the church, walked around it with the cemetery literally above our heads. (Have I mentioned the very tall hedgerows? Only this was all grass and dirt.) Beautiful old church with burial dates in the 1700s on many of the gravestones.

Up through very recent times. Walking out of the churchyard on the other side of the church, we saw a road named Castle View, so we walked to the end where there was a gate into a field, not a public walkway there. Across the field and past a small forest stood the castle with a Cornish flag flying from the ramparts.

We took lots of pictures, then walked back to the church. Roger did a little more exploring, because the man at the info place told us there was a good view from the back of the churchyard. Kathy and I went back to the car to wait for him, but he came back and told us we needed to walk back there, too. Looking over a hedgerow in the back of the churchyard, we saw another side of the castle and keep. (There were lots of bees in the flowers on the hedgerow, so we didn’t stay long. Roger's deathly allergic to bee stings.) Took a few more pictures.

Then we decided to follow St. Stephens Road off the little map we got from the info men. We went through a little village with a tidal creek (tide was going out, mostly just mud), and up a very narrow lane.

We stopped and parked at the Old Butler’s House that was also an entrance to another public pathway. As we climbed out of the car, we realized we were actually right at the castle. It rose up above the hedgerow on the other side of the lane (literally, most of the roads we were on all day were very narrow with very high hedgerows on each side).

We climbed the stile into the field and discovered a railroad bridge over the tidal stream into the estuary. There was a good-sized ship in the water there. We could also see across the river to Plymouth.

We walked up a long hill and took more pictures back toward the castle.

When we got back into the car, we continued along the road, stopping a couple more places. One of the stops was at the gatehouse to the castle, where everything is very clearly marked private.

We took a few more pictures, before following the road farther. We stopped one more place to see if we could still see the castle, but we couldn’t, so we continued, hoping the road would take us back to the main road back to Looe. Shortly we found the spot where we’d stopped and turned around the first time near Trematon. We were on the same road! If we’d followed it futher, we would have found it. But then we wouldn’t have gotten all the pictures from St. Stephens or Castle View, and even probably the little village at the bottom of the hill. So we were very happy with the way things turned out.

After our little adventure with the castle, we headed to Looe and other villages along the coast. Since we'd eaten dinner in Looe the night before, we drove on through to Polperro, where we explored, ate lunch, and explored some more.

Then we took a ferry across to Fowery (pronounced Foy) and did some more exploring.

Kathy had been to Cornwall in July with her friends Sarah and Sam Wilde who are from there. She wanted to show us some of the places they'd taken her, so we drove on to Mevagissy. By the time we explored the harbor area and bought some things in the shops to remember our day by, we drove back to St. Austell for dinner and then back to Penvith Barns.

Sunday we drove back to London by a different route recommended by Alison and her husband, Peter, that took us right by Stonehenge. Something that hadn't been high on our list of things to do and see this time, but since we were there we couldn't pass it up. Very interesting place, indeed.
Don't we look happy here? Actually it was very windy and bright that day.
Burial mounds on the far side of the car park.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Your pics are amazing and very cool! I hope you enjoyed yourself :-)