Celtic Culture & heritage

The Man Engine

Man Engine, Redruth

The Man Engine Chant called out by thousands in Cornish when the man stands up:

HAKA BALWEYTH (Pol Hodge/Will Coleman)
KOBER! ARGHANS!........STEN! STEN! STEN!
YN PUB KARREK?...........YN PUB MEN!
KOBER! ARGHANS!........STEN! STEN! STEN!
AN GWELLA STEN?.........YN KERNOW!

(Kober - Copper, Sten - Tin, Yn pub Karrek - In every rock, Yn pub Men - In every Stone, An gwella Sten - The best Tin?, Yn Kernow - In Cornwall)

Kernow: the horn-shaped granite kingdom of Cornwall thrusts itself out into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a tiny 0.02% of the planet’s surface yet beneath its rocky shores can be found samples of more than 90% of all mineral species ever identified! Millions of years in the making, the geology of Cornwall is unique. This unbelievable geological treasure (Copper, Tin, Arsenic, Lead, Zinc, Silver, etc) has powered the Cornish people’s endeavour through over 4,000 years of mining history: innovation, triumph and heartbreak.

In July 2006 the Cornish mining landscape was recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This placed Cornwall's engine houses, miners’ cottages, grand gardens and miles of labyrinthine underground tunnels on a par with international treasures like the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China amongst others.

Ulster’s Beltany - A 5000-year-old Monument to a Living Celtic Holiday

To the southwest of the Ulster city of Derry in County of Donegal, near the town of Raphoe, is a Neolithic Celtic monument known as the Beltany Stone Circle.  The Beltany Stone Circle is estimated to have been constructed approximately 5000 years ago based on recent archeological research funded by the Irish Heritage Council.  Dating Beltany from about 3000 BC makes this monument older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids (some published sources conversely date the construction of the stone circle at between 1300 and 800 BC).

A local group that is dedicated to the preservation of this little known site is the Raphoe Community in Action group. With funding from the Heritage Council of Ireland they have been engaged in an on-going archaeological research project at the site.

The Stone of Destiny

Replica of Stone of Destiny

The Stone of Scone (Scottish Gaelic: An Lia Fàil)—also known as the Stone of Destiny, can now be found in the Crown Room of Edinburgh Castle, along with the crown jewels of Scotland (the Honours of Scotland). The crown was used for the coronation of Scottish monarchs from 1543 (Mary I) to 1651 (Charles II). The Stone of Scone was used for centuries in the coronation of monarchs in Scotland. It was historically kept at the now-ruined Scone Abbey in Scone (Scottish Gaelic:Sgàin), near Perth (Peairt). Perth is located in an area that is known to have been occupied since Mesolithic times more than 8000 years ago. Much older stones than that of the Stone of Destiny exist nearby, with standing stones and circles dating to the Neolithic period about 4000 BC.

Admiral Sir John Forster ‘Sandy’ Woodward GBE KCB - Admiral who commanded the British Naval Task Force 317.8 in the South Atlantic during the Falklands War.

Admiral Woodward

Woodward was born on 1 May 1932 at Penzance, Cornwall, to a local bank clerk and his Cornish family.

Having graduated from the Royal Naval College Dartmouth, Woodward joined the Royal Navy in 1946.

He became a submariner in 1954, and was promoted to lieutenant that May.

In 1960 he passed the Royal Navy's rigorous Submarine Command Course known as The Perisher, and received his first command, the T Class submarine HMS Tireless.

Promoted to lieutenant-commander in May 1962, he then commanded HMS Grampus before becoming the second in command of the nuclear fleet submarine HMS Valiant.

Fanny Moody – diva, opera singer, businesswoman, ‘the Cornish Nightingale’

Fanny Moody

Fanny Moody was born in Fore Street, Redruth (where the post office now is) in 1866, one of 13 children of a Redruth photographer, James Moody.

While she was still at school Mrs Basset of Tehidy recognised her talent and paid for her to go to London to learn to sing properly.

Her first break came in 1887 when she sang for the Carl Rosa Opera Company's opera ‘The Bohemian Girl’. Whilst singing for them, she met and married Charles Manners who was of Irish parentage and later formed this Moody-Manners Opera Company.

She became known as ‘the Cornish Nightingale’ and was presented with a tiara with the Cornish coat of arms picked out in diamonds.

She sang under Augustus Harris at Covent Garden and Drury Lane (1890-94). Her roles included Eileen in 'The Lily of Killarney', Micaela in 'Carmen", Marguerite in 'Faust', as well as leading roles in 'La Juive', 'I Puritani' and several Wagner operas.

She travelled extensively abroad and sang the songs from home to the Cornish exiles and for the miners in South Africa in 1896.

Ralph Allen - Cornish founder of the modern postal service, creator of Georgian Bath, Mayor of Bath and philanthropist

Ralph Allen

Ralph Allen was baptised in Cornwall in 1693 and at the age of 14 became a clerk at the Post Office at St. Columb Major, Cornwall.

Ralph Allen's grandmother ran the Post Office at St. Colomb Major. When he was 14 her health deteriorated and he ran the Post Office on her behalf. At this time St. Colomb Major was a more important town than Truro.

It is thought that Quash, a Postal Surveyor, would have called at this Post Office and met the efficient young Allen.

It was probably as a result of this meeting that the young Allen was and later given the exalted position of Postmaster of Bath as a young man of 19.

At the age of 27 Allen took control of the Cross and Bye Posts under a seven year contract to the Post Office agreeing to pay £6,000 per annum, about half a million pounds today.

At the end of period he had not made a profit as he only broke even but he had the courage to continue. He reformed the postal service, creating a network of postal roads that did not pass through London. It is estimated that he saved the Post Office £1,500,000. Ralph Allen continued to sign contracts, paying £6,000 per annum every 7 years until his death.

Cassandra Lily Patten - Olympic champion freestyle swimmer and coach

Cassie Patten

Cassandra was born on 1st January 1987 in Cardinham, Cornwall.

Her first swimming lesson took place with coach Phil Goldman at Lakeview Country Club in Bodmin when she was just five years old!

Phil later took her to Bodmin Swimming Club where he was head coach. Over the next 8 years he took her to National age group finalist in the 200m butterfly.

At the British Championships in 2006 she won a bronze in the 400 m and a silver in the 800 m.

John Carter, the 'King of Prussia', freetrader, staunch Methodist

Carter Cove

Born 1770 at Breage near Helston, John Carter matured to become one of the biggest rogues on the coast, the self styled King of Prussia.

John Carter, the eldest of the Carter brothers, named the cove Prussia Cove, because of his deep admiration for Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. John Carter himself became known as the King of Prussia, as he engaged in ever more daring encounters with the revenue.

Carter was a mixture of hard working fisherman, honest merchant and out and out rogue. He operated out of Bessies Cove, a rocky inlet near Perranuthnoe in Mount's Bay. It was an area notorious for lawless gangs of wreckers and smugglers. But it was a time when few local people thought smuggling to be a crime. John and his brother Henry were well known along the French coast, but during the French Wars they were arrested and imprisoned in St Malo for a year on one occasion.

The wars that Britain was fighting were costing the country a lot of money. This had to be raised by taxation, particularly on imported goods. Owners of small, fast boats could to evade the high taxes if they could evade customs officials enforcing their collection. High duties had been imposed on luxury items such as wine, spirits and tobacco.

Shakespeare, The Ghost of Eleanor Duchess of Gloucester and a Magnificent Haunted Manx Castle

William Shakespeare

Recently celebrations have taken place to mark 400 years after the death of Shakespeare on May 3, 1616. In Shakespeare’s play Henry VI.part 2 act 2.scene 3 reference is made to the imprisonment in the Manx fortress of Peel Castle (Manx: Cashtal Purt ny h-Inshey ) of Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester (c.1400 – 7 July 1452):

Stand forth, Dame Eleanor Cobham, Gloucester's wife:
In sight of God and us, your guilt is great:
Receive the sentence of the law for sins
Such as by God's book are adjudged to death.
You four, from hence to prison back again;
From thence unto the place of execution:
The witch in Smithfield shall be burn'd to ashes,
And you three shall be strangled on the gallows.
You, madam, for you are more nobly born,
Despoiled of your honour in your life,
Shall, after three days' open penance done,
Live in your country here in banishment,
With Sir John Stanley, in the Isle of Man.

William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2, Act 2, Scene 3.

“Truly the eight bravest men I’ve ever seen.”

Penlee

Trevelyan Richards (56) – coxswain, James Stephen Madron (35) – 2nd coxswain/mechanic, Nigel Brockman (43) – asst. mechanic & fisherman, John Blewett (43) – emergency mechanic & telephone engineer, Charles Greenhaugh – landlord of the Ship Inn, Mousehole, Barrie Torrie (33) - fisherman, Kevin Smith (23), Gary Wallis (23).

On the night of the 19th December 1981, in horrendous storm conditions, the mini-bulk carrier ‘Union Star’ suffered engine failure east of the Wolf Rock. Refusing tug assistance, the ship found itself being swept towards the coast at Boscawen Point, west of the Tater-du lighthouse. The Penlee lifeboat launched from Mousehole in total darkness, 100 mph winds and waves cresting to 60 feet.

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