EXPLORING CORNWALL: ST MICHAEL'S MOUNT

by - July 07, 2019

gdpr note; #ad #giftedpartnership - day with saint michael's mount is a gifted collaboration 



I love a little mythology and folklore, a little unusual history, and St Michael’s Mount has it all…

Twinned (though smaller) with Mont Saint-Michel in France, St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall is surrounded by mysterious tales… and lots of beautiful ocean waves. There is so much history to this incredible tidal island, it has worn many faces throughout the years, and I’m excited to share a few of my favourite tales with you. Let’s jump right into it!

It’s said that the Mount is named in honour of Saint Michael, the patron Saint of fishermen. Tales that date as far back as 495 AD mention hypnotic mermaids luring sailors toward treacherous rocks around the Mount, but that these sailors were guided safely away by a vision of Saint Michael himself. Four miracles are also noted to have happened at the Mount in the years 1262 and 1263. These events and visions of course drew religious attention, and people began to make the pilgrimage to Saint Michael’s Mount. If you time your visit right, you can walk along the impressive man-made causeway and follow in the footsteps of the many, many pilgrims that once, and still do, walk the causeway.

Another exciting draw to this tidal island is the energy! The Mount is said to be built above ancient ley lines, which are lines of energy running beneath the land, or in this case - the sea bed. These ley lines cross at the heart of the Mount, and if you sit patiently enough in one perfectly positioned seat within the church (that can be found at the highest point of the Mount), you may feel an energy circling your legs. I of course had to take a seat and feel the energy for myself. I wasn’t told where or what I’d feel before sitting down, but after a few moments you can feel a warm pull around your legs, almost like pins and needles (and no, it wasn’t poor circulation!). There is usually a guide in the church, and his tales of the ley lines, and the religious ties to them, are so captivating! They also say that where ley lines cross, you can often receive messages from the other side. Ooooooh!

Saint Michael, mentioned above, is also known as the archangel Michael. Places of worship devoted to the archangel Michael were built across ley lines all around the world, hence another reason for the Mount's biblical name. The castle on the Mount was once a monastery from the 8th to the early 11th century, and if you take peek on an external door on your right before you enter the castle, you'll see the date 29 September inscribed on it - the date of Michaelmas!

A girl stands on an empty beach, with a view of St Michael's Mount ahead of her.

The Mount’s next little tale for you is a great one, and a fairly well-known local legend. The legend of Jack the Giant Killer! The tale tells that an enormous, eighteen-foot tall, giant named Cormoran once made the Mount his home. He used to terrorise the land, and at night would wade across the waters and steal cattle from the local farms. One moonlit night, a local boy named Jack made his way across the infamous cobbled causeway to lay a trap for Cormoran. He dug a pit big enough to engulf the giant, covered it with sticks and foliage, and waited, hidden from sight, for dawn. As dawn broke, Jack blew his horn and woke the giant, who, as planned, came chasing after him! Jack lured Cormoran to the pit, where he fell! Success! The tale ends in many different ways, the nicest end being that Jack covers the trapped giant in debris, and he becomes a part of the Mount itself!

Shortly after you begin your walk up the cobbled path of the Mount, you may be lucky enough to spot Cormoran’s stone heart beneath your feet – I always miss this sneaky little stone! Clearly I’m not ready to hear his heart beating away just yet.

a girl stands on the cobbled pathway, with a view of St Michael's Mount ahead of her.

There is so much history to be found at Saint Michael’s Mount… once a Monastery, it has also seen its fair share of military thanks to Napoleon and the Spanish Armada, and is still home to the St Aubyn family who live in the magnificent castle on the Mount (you can read all about the St Aubyn family history here). Many parts of the castle are open to the public, including some beautiful rooms and a small armoury, and the views from the very top are mesmerising. On a sunny day, you can see that beautiful blue of the ocean stretching for miles and miles. You can see the causeway beneath the waves too! The island itself is also home to a few residents, so do take care to be considerate when exploring the mini harbour area.

The walk up to the Mount can be a little taxing, especially on a hot day, but there are a few spots to stop and take in the view. It really is worth making it to the top. You’ll even spot an array of small cannons lining the outer defence walls. As you wander the one-way route around the public parts of the castle, you’ll see the history of the people who once lived here, with photographs and furniture and tapestries – the library is pretty impressive too! Beside the church you’ll find the highest point of the Mount, and if you make a little wish for romance whilst touching it, the legend states that your wish for love will be granted!

Back at the bottom of the Mount is the garden. It is a separate fee to enter, but it is a beautiful spot to explore, and you’ll also be gifted with some unique views of the castle. Did you know that to reach and tend to part of the garden, the gardeners have to abseil the walls?! Not for the fainthearted!

a view of a pinky sunset over the ocean, and sea-weed covered rocks.   a girl walks across a cobbled causeway, wrapped in a blanket and carrying a lantern. St Michael's Mount and a castle is ahead of her.

It is utterly enchanting to walk across the causeway at low tide. I once found myself wading ankle-deep across the cobbled path, with fish swimming amongst my feet! What magic! The tide does change from day to day, and it’s such an experience to visit at low tide, even if you have to take a boat in one direction and walk on the return. It's pretty magical at sunset too, with pink hues framing the castle itself. 

Claudia xo

St Michael's Mount: www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk
You can check the tide times on the Saint Michael’s Mount website.




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4 comments

  1. Ley lines? How cool! One day I definitely want to go here!!

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    1. It was such an amazing and unusual sensation!

      Claudia xo

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  2. Now this sounds like it should be part of a novel! Love the idea of the ley lines. Sounds like an amazing experience.

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    Replies
    1. Ahh it would definitely make an amazing feature in a novel! It really is such a magical spot, I'd love to visit the French version!

      Claudia xo

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