Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bedruthan Steps, England:

Bedruthan Steps, England

Carnewas & Bedruthan Steps is a stretch of coastline located on the north Cornish coast between Padstow and Newquay, in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom.It is within the parish of St Eval and is part owned by the National Trust. The Trust maintains a shop and cafe and the cliff–top view of rocks stretching into the distance along Bedruthan beach makes the area a popular attraction for tourists and painters. The property affords walks along the coast path and the steep steps at Bedruthan allow access to a series of rocky beaches at low tide. Signs at the top of the steps down to the beaches warn visitors not to risk swimming in these waters due to heavy rips, fast tides and submerged rocks.There have been people in the area since at least the Bronze Age with six barrows nearby to the north, and overlooking Bedruthan Steps is Redcliff Castle, which dates back to at least the Iron Age. Redcliff Castle has three ramparts divided by two ditches, part of which have been quarried to improve the defences. Much of the internal parts of the castle have been eroded by the sea. There is a second castle within a mile to the north at Park Head and two miles to the south at Griffin's Point, a third. Cliff Castles or Promontory forts are defensive structures which are thought by archaeologists to be permanently occupied.In 2009 a menhir or longstone was discovered in a boundary hedge close to the coastal footpath. The stone lies on its side and is 9 feet long.There is evidence of mining with shafts on the cliffs nearby at Trenance Point, and adits above the beach at Carnewas. The National Trust shop was originally the count house of Carnewas Mine and the cafe was one of the mine buildings. Between 1871 and 1874, 940 tons of brown haematite were produced and it is thought that the ladders and steps to the beach were needed to reach the mine workings. The name Bedruthan Steps is said to be taken from a mythological giant called 'Bedruthan' who used the rocks on the beach as stepping stones, and seems to be a late nineteenth century invention for Victorian tourists. The first written record of the name is from the West Briton newspaper in February 1847 and is likely to refer to one of two cliff staircases used by miners to get to the mine workings and now refers to the whole beach.Each of the stacks has a name and from north to south they are Queen Bess, Samaritan Island, Redcove Island, Pendarves Island and Carnewas Island. Samaritan Island is named after a ship the Good Samaritan which was wrecked there in October 1846 with the loss of nine lives.




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