Quest 27: Devon and Cornwall: So our quest was at last upon us and it couldn’t have got here quick enough. On Wednesday May 1st, we made our way to Gunnislake just inside the Cornish border, but wait! Our quest starts right here!

Day One: Princetown: St Michael & All Saints Church.  Princetown is a village in the Dartmoor national park and is the principle settlement of the civil parish of Dartmoor Forest. Princetown is known for being the site of Dartmoor Prison and is around 1,430 feet above sea level; the highest settlement on the moor and one of the highest in the UK and is surrounded by moorland; thereby attracting many hikers and walkers, especially in the summer months.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princetown

It was a typical wet and misty Dartmoor afternoon when we arrived at St Michael & All Saints Church, Princetown; the Archangel St Michael being the patron saint of sick people, the elderly and of people of ‘order’ whom work in the military. Contrary to the ‘official’ write-ups of the church, it is built on an ancient sacred ‘energy’ site, connected to our quests, even though the current building itself is not that old. The church is of a simple design and built between 1812 – 1814 by prisoners captured in the Napoleonic Wars with France, and the War of 1812 with the United States, all of whom were held in Dartmoor prison. The east window contains stained glass of 1910, in memory of the American prisoners who helped to build the church. It is a designated Grade II* listed building but is now sadly a redundant church in the good care of the Churches Consevation Trust.

St Michaels & All Angels Church sitting amidsts the stuningly serene Dartmoor

Inside the church are many interesting artfacts, and as one would expect some poignant military memorabilia too, lest of all a seat saved in the front pews for soldiers unknown, which one can glimpse in the video. Interesting to note that our lead researcher’s 6th great uncle, John Neville was stationed here, in the wars of 1812. He was born on the 20th April, 1773 in Birch in Essex, but he married a Mary Ann from Princetown and there is a record of their child Eliza Neville being baptised on the 11th June 1815, in this very church! The church had a lovely feel about it and felt much older; the beautiful and intriging wooden carvings around the pulpit, one of which portrays an animal head on a human body, certainly seemed older. The lovely tapestry of St Michael portrays the correct Celtic Cross, with the saint wearing blue, red and gold robes. The beautiful stained-glass window above the altar portrays the life and death of  ‘the Jesus’, from left to right in story-book style. Also on one of the wooden chairs to the left of the altar are some very interesting carvings of a direct Enochian origin, relating and connecting the church firmly to our path…

Inside the church, showing the window, the St Michael tapestry and the Enochian carvings

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_St_Michael,_Princetown

Outside in the graveyard, very noticably separate from the rest of the gravestones is the secluded area where the prisoners have been laid to rest; separated in death as they were in life. Rather ironical really as death makes no distinction; we are all as one in death…

Take a tour around the church & discover our links & bloodline history for yourself

St Michael & All Angels Church Princetown

Day One: Walkhampton: St Mary the Virgin Church. Walkhampton is a village and civil parish on the western side of Dartmoor, in Devon. The village lies on the Black Brook, a tributary of the  River Walkman, about 4.3 miles south-east of Tavistock set amidst beautiful unspoilt countryside.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walkhampton

Walkhampton church, which is a grade one listed building, is situated on an ancient elevated site about half a mile north-west of the village and can be seen for miles. Unlike most churches which face east, it faces north-east, the direction of the rising sun on the longest day. The present building, which is built of granite and has a tower with four prominent pinnacles, dates from the 15th century, with much later alteration, including restoration in 1860–61. For 400 years until 1985 the church had no dedication and was known simply as “Walkhampton Church”, but in that year it was dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. Research has indicated that it may have been originally dedicated to St Dionisius of Walkynton. Sadly the church had already been locked when we arrived so we had to content ourselves with a stroll around the outside. It is a pretty chuch standing amidst some gorgeous countryside, so who knows what we may have found inside…

St Mary the Virgin; a pretty church built on an ancient site in beautiful Devon

And so onto Cornwall, where our digs for the next five nights was to be the converted Ebenezer Chapel, now flats; ours named aptly as ‘Pilgrims Rest’.

Gunnislake is a large pretty village in East Cornwall situated in the Tamar Valley; an extremely beautiful area on the outskirts of Dartmoor in Devon. There is a history of mining in the area, but this is no longer active, but in it’s day was one of the richest mining area of Europe. It has a small railway station which serves the local villages of the area. The geo-magnetics of the area are very powerful and interesting, especially for those using ‘earth-based’ satnav… (something to ponder on)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunnislake

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunnislake_railway_station

  • Bloodline Connections: Princetown: Our lead researcher’s 6th great uncle, John Neville was stationed here, in the wars of 1812. He was born on the 20th April, 1773 in Birch in Essex, and he married a Mary Ann from Princetown; there is a record of their child Eliza Neville being baptised on the 11th June 1815, inSt Michael & All Angels Church, Princetown.
  • John’s father was Earl Henry Neville, 2nd Earl of Abergavenny; a destination of a previous quest.
  • Walkhampton: Jonh Neville (as above) was stationed, as a soldier, in the area circa 1800’s,  6th great uncle.
  • Gunnislake: connections with the Clarke, Fordham & Neville surnames.

And of course finishing off the day with a gorgeous meal in a wonderful atmospheric local pub and resturant as one must always have balance in life “Reverence & Mirth in equal measures”

Day Two: Buckfastleigh & Buckfast Abbey: We drove across beautiful Dartmoor to reach Buckfast Abbey, with a stop for lunch at this delightful and peaceful beauty spot in Dartmoor, which in the summer months is absolutely teaming with visitors.

Buckfastleigh is a small market town and civil parish in Devon situated at the edge of the Dartmoor National Park.  It is part of Teignbridge and is a centre for tourism, and home to Buckfast Abbey.  The town has grown as a mill town known for it’s woollen mills, corn and paper mills and a tannery supported by the rivers Dart, Mardle and the Dean Burn; water being an essential natural resource used in the manufactoring of wool and other products. Buckfastleigh is medieval in origin and the name Buckfast means stronghold, and Leigh would have been the pastures belonging to Buckfast.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckfastleigh

The very beautiful Benedictine monastry at Buckfast, known as Buckfast Abbey, is just near the edge of Dartmoor. After many ups and downs the monks are still there today and live a very peaceful devotional life. The Abbey is self-supporting with a farm, where vegetables are grown and animals are raised and a shop which sells wine, honey and religous items etc. The monastry is most famous for it’s Buckfast Tonic Wine, a delicous fortified wine that the monks have been making since the 1890’s

Buckfast first became home to an abbey in 1018. The first Benedictine abbey was followed by a Savignac (later Cistercian) abbey constructed on the site of the current abbey in 1134. The monastry was surrendered for dissolution in 1539, with the monastic building stripped and left as ruins, before being finally demolished. The former abbey site was used as quarry and later became home to a Gothic Mansion House.

The position of the hands in the above carving is very relevant to the Priory, our path and the truth of our quests; also note the Enochian influenced carvings around the doorway; all of which allude to teachings and truths of our path that are much older than the actual building here.

In 1882 the site was purchased by a group of French Benedictine monks, who refounded a monastery on the site, dedicated to Saint Mart. New monastic buildings and a temporary church were constructed incorporating the existing Gothic house. Work on a new abbey church, which was constructed mostly on the footprint of the former Cistercian abbey, started in 1907. The church was consecrated in 1932 but not completed until 1938. Buckfast was formally reinstated as an Abbey in 1902, and the first abbot of the new institution, Bonniface Natter was blessed in 1903. Despite all this it did feel a very peaceful place with some stunning works of art, windows and artifacts inside.

 

The abbey is full of stunning artworks, many with hidden symbolic messages; there are extra meanings here in several of these photos

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckfast_Abbey

https://www.buckfast.org.uk/

Next and without further ado, we made our way to Exmouth Marina and Harbour to embark upon a scheduled boat trip along the Jurasic Coast. Not a part of the quest as such but something that would be informative and fun.

Exmouth itself is a port town, civil parish and seaside resort, sited on the east bank of the mouth of the River Ex, and is 7 miles east of Exeter. The two ecclesiatical parishes, Littleham and Withycombe Raleigh, that make up the town of Exmouth today can be traced to pre-Saxon times. The name of the town derives from its location at the mouth of the River Ex estuary, which ultimately comes from an ancient Celtic word for fish.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exmouth

We had booked to sail with Stuart Line Cruises, leaving from Exmouth Harbour at 2:15 and it was scheduled to be an over three hour trip, along the ancient coast line. This jurasic coast line is a world heritage site, attracting many visitors. It is England’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site; the circular cruise sails along the oldest section of the site, known as the Triassic Era.  The cruise certainly did show the age, beauty and importantly, the fragility of our coastlines. Here on the video below one can see the magnificance of the ‘sea stacks’ and hear a spot of the commentary on the video too. It was rather blustery out at sea but lots of snuggly blankets were thankfully provided.

The beauty of England’s Jurasic Coast Line

Englands Jurasic Coast Line & the Beauty of Devon and Cornwall

  • Bloodline connections: Buckfastleigh has connections to the Clarke surname abd family link.

“The Keeper of Scrolls” May 2019

email me:  moon.willow@ntlworld.com