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St Michaels’s Mount

One of the most iconic sights of Cornwall is that which greets you, as you drive down the A30 approaching Penzance, of the pale grey castle like structure perched upon a rocky hill in the middle of Mounts Bay. Indeed, it is difficult to see, at a distance, whether it is a castle or a monastery.

Legend, however, has it that the island was, in fact, enclosed in a large forest and part of the mainland. Originally the mount was called “Caraclowse in Cowse” in Cornish which translates as “The Grey Rock in the Woods”. The legend continues that it was later given the name of Lyonesse, the site of the great battle between King Arthur and his enemies. According to the Saxon Chronicle, it wasn’t until 1099 that the sea level rose, making the “Rock in the woods” the island that we see today.

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