Cornwall is a county rich in myths and legends and a great place to be if you are superstitious!
If you are a believer then Cornwall was once a place where giants lived along side the little people like pixies and knockers.
Sit back believers and those less convinced and let me introduce you to some of the most notorious Cornish giants, knockers and mermaids!!
The Cornish piskies are said to be childlike and very mischievous. These little beings are meant to inhabit many a stone circle in the county. The Cornish piskie appear in many Cornish tale and are not to be confused with the Spriggans who have a more dangerous evil edge to them.
The Cornish Knockers are another tiny folk who inhabit the old Cornish mines. In folk law the knockers are often thought of as helpful little creatures who would knock on the walls of the tin mines to warn miners of impending mine collapse. They were said to be tiny practical jokers who would play tricks on the miners who thought fondly of them so much so that many miners would leave bits of pasty for them, maybe as a way to keep them happy and avoid being at the receiving end of a practical joke!
Other people are not so convinced and claim that instead of being little mythical folk the knocking on the mine walls was down to the spirits of the miners lost in accidents. Which theory would you rather believe?
A legend closer to home here at Music Water Touring Park is the Mermaid of Padstow.
It is said that a mermaid enjoyed sitting on the rocks at Hawkers Cove and liked watching the boats coming and going into Padstow harbour. This one particular mermaid was said to have fallen in love with a local fisherman and tried to lure him to the sea, but unfortunately for her he shot at her to escape. The story goes that in her fury at being rejected the mermaid summoned a storm which wrecked local boats and resulted in the sand bank being created. It is this sand bank that is nowadays known as the Doom Bar. Moral of the story don’t mess with a Mermaid!!
From the smallest myth and legends to the largest,let me introduce you to the Cornish Giants.
Let’s start with Ralf the Wrath, this chap was a Giant who enjoyed lobbing boulders around the countryside and stealing loot from the passing sailors and hiding it in his cave at Porthreath which is locally known as Ralph’s cupboard. Needless to say he wasn’t popular! Another giant perhaps more well known was named Corineus, more well known as he was mentioned in ‘king Lear’ as the founder of Cornwall. It was said he once lived at St Michael mount after defeating another giant named Gogmagog.
Now most giants have a bad reputation as being cruel and generally big brutes, but this next legend is about a giant who it was said to be kind and a protector. This legend was of the Kind giant of Carn Galver. He was a nice giant who it was said protected the villages from attack from the not so nice giants in the area. He is said to have built the Logan, or rocking stone at Zennor to help send himself to sleep after a busy day being a hero.
some say all myths and legends were built from truth so whether you are a believer or not best keep your eyes open for any thing out of the ordinary the next time you are in Cornwall….you never know when you may see a piskie!