All pictures taken: Veryan, Cornwall.
Date: February 25, 2008.
Camera: Panasonic DMC-TZ3.
One of the best things about going on holiday is exploring places off the beaten track and so it was when we went to Cornwall last month. We came equipped with The Rough Guide to Devon and Cornwall and a detailed road map, and each day we set out in the hire car to see what we could find. Generally we had a vague idea about where we were going to go -- for instance, "let's go to Land's End" or "let's eat fish'n'chips at Rick Stein's posh fish'n'chip place in Padstow" -- but if something caught our eye along the way we'd welcome the diversion and see what we discovered.
Visiting the little village of Veryan was never part of the bigger picture, although I had spied one sentence in the Rough Guide that suggested it might be worth a look -- something about round houses and thatched roofs and little crosses on the top warding off the devil.
On the day -- or should I say very late afternoon/almost evening -- we visited, we'd already wasted an extraordinary amount of time exploring another diversion: a tour of the St. Austell Brewery in which our party comprised two other "civilians" and about a dozen teenagers with special needs from the local college. From there, we'd visited Mevagissey, and then with the light fading from the sky we decided to make a quick run to Veryan.
Trying to find the village was a task in itself. God knows how many ridiculously narrow Cornish lanes we had to traverse. These roadways look gorgeous with their 12-foot hedgerows on either side, but they're hairy to drive down, simply because there's nowhere to escape if you meet a vehicle coming the other way. Fortunately, we did not come across any head-on traffic.
By the time we got to Veryan, the sun was sinking fast and I was conscious of the fact that if we didn't hurry up we'd never get to take any decent photographs. And for a place so picture-postcard friendly that would be a real shame!
As soon as you enter the village you are greeted by two round houses with thatched roofs on either side of the road. There are two more round houses, slightly closer together, at the other end of the village. (There's a fifth round house somewhere in the middle.)
All the houses were built in the 19th century by the Reverend Jeremiah Trist. A cross sits atop each one. According to local legend they were built round so that
there was no corner for the devil to hide in, while the crosses
were intended to drive the devil away. Rev Trist obviously had some deep-rooted issues about Satan...
Aside from the gorgeous round houses, the village was dotted with other thatched-roof cottages, and there was a beautiful village green with a large pond that we wandered around and admired.
Sometimes steering clear of the tourist trail proves more rewarding than anything the travel brochures might want you to see. It's just ashame we didn't get to spend more time in Veryan, because I would have dearly loved to explore every nook and cranny with camera at the ready!