AN UNUSUAL MAZE AT PAUL, CORNWALL & A VIEW TO DIE FOR


St Michael's Mount from Paul Churchyard, Cornwall (Keith Salvesen)

Paul is a small village west of Penzance, Cornwall. It sits high on the hill above its more famous neighbour, Mousehole. Paul’s historic parish church, St Pol de Léon, has origins reputedly dating from late fifth century. The medieval building was (to my ignorant surprise) badly damaged in a raid by the Spanish in 1595, several years after the Armada. Mousehole also suffered great damage in the same raid. Until visiting Paul this summer, I had no idea that the Spanish had ever managed to breach England’s defences. So I checked online and was quickly led to the BATTLE OF CORNWALL, of which I had never heard. So now I know… I hope Hispano-Kernowek relations have improved.

Paul, Cornwall: the extended churchyard (Keith Salvesen)

The Church merits its own post in due course. For the moment, the maze-collector in me found a different interest in a nearby extension to the churchyard. An engraved stone set into a wall, and a small diagram nearby, led me to a path and a large area of hillside with extensive views out to sea, and east towards St Michael’s Mount.  

Near the more recent gravestones was a sundial; and closer inspection revealed that it was at the centre of a small, overgrown maze outlined on the grass in granite. How I longed, interferingly, to have a strimmer handy. But apart from tracing some of the pattern with my foot, I restrained my quite unreasonable urge to disclose the maze…

Paul Churchyard Cornwall: sundial & maze (Keith Salvesen)Paul Churchyard Cornwall: sundial & maze (Keith Salvesen)Paul Churchyard Cornwall: sundial & maze (Keith Salvesen)

 

COMPTON: THE WATTS GALLERY, WATTS CHAPEL – THE ARTS & CRAFTS MOVEMENT


The newly restored Watts Gallery showcases the work of artist G. F. WATTS. There is also work by his wife MARY WATTS, though that is best seen at the Watts Chapel a short walk from the Gallery. I found material for 3 of my Themes – sundials, mazes** and (stretching the definition somewhat) ‘stone’ marks. Here are examples in the first two categories; I’ll leave the remarkable terracotta gravestones (and their lettering) for another time.

SUNDIALS AT COMPTON

The Garden Sundial

An ususual sundial, now kept inside the Gallery

‘MAZES’ [**in fact LABYRINTHS] AT COMPTON

These apparent mazes are, as Ellen has rightly pointed out in her comment, strictly-speaking labyrinths. The distinction is this:

MAZES provide multiple paths with only one “correct” one

LABYRINTHS which provide a single path to the centre. Here, you should follow the raised rather than the recessed paths to understand how the labyrinth works

A maze labyrinth on the altar front in the Watts Chapel

Terracotta Angel holding a maze labyrinth outside the Chapel, among other elaborate ornamentation

This similar Angel and maze labyrinth was on the other side of the Chapel