It never ceases to amaze me how the brilliant photographer (and my very good friend!) Tracey finds such beautiful, local places for us to head out and take some images. After a much needed catch up, we arranged to take a little trip outside of St Austell to Roche Rock for a little photoshoot.
I'd had a nightmare of a day due to a clumsy plumber flooding (and I really do mean flooding) my bathroom floor/hallway and was in a right panic, that the fresh December air was just what I needed whilst waiting for the house to dry out a little.
I hadn't heard of Roche Rock and enjoyed getting another mini history lesson from Tracey as we set up for the shoot, after hearing some of the tales of the location, I couldn't wait to find out more!
Roche Rock and hermitage has many myths surrounding it; from being known for it's haunting activity and religious historic roots, the rocks themselves are a natural phenomenon and mystery, thought to have been created some 270 million years ago. The chapel or hermitage itself was actually built from grey quartz and black tourmaline, withstanding the elements since the 1400s. Though dedicated to St Michael in 1409, it is believed (though still not completely known) that the chapel was used for religious or sacred purposes for years before, the rocks used for thousands of years even prior to that.
One of the fascinating stories take us back to the days of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, it is said that Tristan (or Tristram), the nephew of King Mark, was sent to Ireland to fetch the King's bride-to-be, Isolde. The couple 'accidentally' sipped a love potion (obviously) and became besotted with one another. Needless to say, O'l King Mark wasn't best impressed and they took refuge at Roche Rock, possibly at the hermitage or chapel at the time.
Another tale is about Gundred, whose father was a leper. As such, he kept himself away from the local society, and protected her by living in the chapel and becoming a hermit. She however, tended to her father by carrying him to a holy well, just a mile from the rock itself, this became known as St Gundred's well, and is still there today!
Today,a beautiful hidden gem to walk, climb or take photos but it really does have a mysterious feel to it, that I could almost believe the haunted tales, even in daylight!
Love Sophie Xx