Tag Archives: Cornwall


Tintagel, Cornwall–setting for Emily’s Shadow

Books by Christina St Clair–click on title

Ten Yen True–contemporary fiction

Emily’s Shadow–mystical/historical fantasy

Blue Caravan–mystical/historical fantasy–sequel to Emily’s Shadow

Unexpected Journey–historical fiction

Between Two Worlds–biography of Pearl Buck–Chinese/English reader

Promotional Books:

Champion the Dream Horse–yearning for horses and family

Eleven Plus–struggles with classism in England

Ziggy, a Little Book of Healing–miracle and memoir, Reiki healing


What in the world is a cloutie? It makes me think of children getting clouted in the ear for misbehaving–and what does this clouting have to do with the image of this cross?

The cross is an ancient stone one near a place called Madron’s Well, in Cornwall. This sacred site was renowned for its healing properties. A tradition at this site persists to this day: people attach pieces of rags to the nearby bushes as symbols of appeasement to the spirits.  

The rags are called clouties.


Buy my Books:

Unexpected Journey (www.roguephoenixpress.com): historical coming of age novel about a shaman, a rich girl and a street girl who end up in colonial Philadelphia.

Kindle edition: $5.99

Emily’s Shadow (www.bloodmoonpublishing.com): supernatural fantasy set in Cornwall, where Merlin made magic.

  Kindle edition:   $4.79

FREE: Misty, the London Pony,  is based on a true story. An illustrated children’s story is available as a free PDF download.


Champion, the Dream Horse, about Mara Sue, who lives in Kentucky, is poor, but determined to own the horse of her dreams.

Kindle edition: $2.99  


The Wishing Tradition

At one time there was a chapel opposite St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall built for pilgrims on their way to to the Mount. I don’t think it exists any more. Old-time pilgrimages ended in the mid-sixteenth century, but here is an image of another St. Catherine’s Chapel in Dorset (about 400 miles north).  This chapel has an interesting tradition of wishing associated with it:

“This involves using the niches (one for the knee and two for the hands) in the east jamb of the south doorway to ‘post’ prayers to the saint asking for her help.

The chapel is frequently visited by women searching for a husband, St Catherine being the patron saint of spinsters. A traditional prayer used here by these women says:

A husband, St Catherine,
A handsome one, St Catherine,
A rich one, St Catherine,
A nice one, St Catherine,
And soon, St Catherine.


Buy Emily’s Shadow, a fantasy novel set in Tintagel, Cornwall. by Christina St. Clair at www.christinastclair.com


Marazion is another beautiful place in Cornwall, opposite St Michael’s Mount.

Its strange name has one odd explanation. Supposedly it commemorates Jewish traders whe came to hold fairs, and to purchase tin. Marazion is supposed to mean Bitter Zion to help the Jewish traders remember the Sweet Zion–the Jerusalem-they’d left behind. (The Spiritual Traveler. Mahway, New Jersey: Hidden Spring. 2000. p. 207).

There is disagreement about the name’s origin: John Maidment http://blogjam.name/?p=1171 says “Marazion [ˌmærəˈzaɪən] is a market town at the eastern end of Mount’s Bay and its name has caused an awful lot of confusion and has even led some poor souls to hypothesise that the ancient Cornish were a lost tribe of Israel!
There is no confusion about the first element maraz, which derives from the Cornish marghas meaning “market”. There are a few other names containing this element, including the wonderful Marazanvose [ˌmarəzənˈvəʊz] (“the market by the wall”) between Truro and Perranporth.”

Buy Emily’s Shadow, a fantasy novel set in Tintagel, Cornwall. by Christina St. Clair at www.christinastclair.com


The Mên-an-Tol (also Men an Toll) is a small formation of standing stones near the Madron-Morvah road in Cornwall, United Kingdom (grid reference SW426349). It is about 3 miles north west of Madron. It is also known locally as the “Crick Stone”.

The name Mên-an-Tol is Cornish Language, literally meaning “the hole stone”.

It consists of three upright granite stones: a round stone with its middle holed out with two small standing stones to each side, in front of and behind the hole. When seen at an angle from one side, the stones form a three-dimensional “101” (see picture).

These stones might have been the entrance to some now vanished tomb. It is possible that they were part of some ancient calendar.

Mên-an-Tol is supposed to have a fairy or piskie guardian who can make miraculous cures. In one case a Changeling baby was put through the stone in order for the mother to get the real child back. Evil piskies had changed her child and the ancient stones were able to reverse their evil spell.

Local legend claims that if at full moon a woman passes through the holed stone seven times backwards, she will soon become pregnant.

Another legend is that passage through the stone will cure a child of rickets. For centuries, children with rickets were passed naked through the hole in the middle stone nine times. Its curative powers actually are reflected in its name.

The circular stone aligns exactly with the centre stone at Boscawen-Un and the church at nearby St Buryan. While this may conceivably be coincidental, the precision of the alignment suggests an intentional positioning of the structures in relation to each other.


Human beings have always been fascinated by stones. They symbolize something lasting, a permanent foundation. In the Bible, Jesus tells Peter he is the rock upon which the church will be built (Matthew16:18).

The church in the photo is St. Buryan’s. It is dedicated to Saint Buriana, an Irish saint, who is said to have cured the paralysed son of King Geraint of Dumnonia. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:StBuryanChurchBehind.jpg

Buy Emily’s Shadow, a fantasy novel set in Tintagel, Cornwall

Visit Christina St. Clair’s website: www.christinastclair.com

St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall



St. Michael’s Mount is a sacred site in Cornwall about ninety miles from King Arthur’s Castle in Tintagel.  It is a small island accessible on foot when the tide is out and has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. In 495 it is said hermit monks or local fishermen saw a vision of St. Michael standing on a ledge of rock on the island.

Step foot in a land where giants once walked. Legend says that a mythical giant named Cormoran once lived on the Mount, and he used to wade ashore and steal cows and sheep from the villagers to feed his gargantuan appetite. One night, a local boy called Jack rowed out to the island and dug a deep pit while the giant was asleep. As the sun rose, Jack blew a horn to wake the angry giant who staggered down from the summit and – blinded by the sunlight – fell into the pit and died.  http://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/Myths—Legends.aspx

Buy Emily’s Shadow, a fantasy novel set in Tintagel, Cornwall

Home Sweet Home

This is a stone cottage up for sale in Cornwall. Needs a little work, wouldn’t you say?

A few years back, my brother bought a cottage in Cornwall. His was not in such a state of disrepair, but had been modernized to some extent. He ripped out a wall and found a large walk-in fireplace. Alas his house had no central heating, as many houses did not. He had returned to England from Australia with plans to remain in his natal country, but he discovered his Cornish house was in the rainiest place in England. To make matters worse, the winter he spent in Cornwall was the coldest on record. He took his wife and new baby back to Australia.

Still, the idea of the village with a pub where locals hang out, a church where people congregate and sing hymns together, and a gardening club has appeal to me. I recently checked out housing prices in Cornwall. Looks like I’ll be staying home in Kentucky where the weather is warm, the houses are affordable, and people are friendly. No local pub though.



Bodmin Moor: King Arthur’s Hall

Emily and her brother Byron, in Emily’s Shadow, mistakenly call the moor Bodwin rather than Bodmin, because many signs had been removed during war time to thwart the Nazis should they ever invade Britain. The map their father had was an old one and difficult to decipher; perhaps that’s why he got lost on his so-called short cut, much to his bride Carole’s irritation.

In the British sitcom, Doc Martin, to go Bod means to go insane.  Imagine walking around lost on a foggy day in this barren place where Druids once gathered, perhaps offering sacrifices to pagan gods beneath the monument now called King Arthur’s Hall.

King Arthur’s Hall (1) is …thought to be a late Neolithic or early Bronze Age ceremonial site.[1]

The monument consists of fifty-six stones arranged in a rectangle with a bank of earth around them and measures approximately 20m by 47m. The interior fills with water and a contemporary ground level has not been established.[2] It has suffered damage by cattle in the past and is now protected by a gated fence. It can be reached by footpaths east of St Breward.

Reference: (1)ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur%27s_Hall


The Old Post Office in Tintagel, Cornwall

The old post office in Tintagel is a 14th-century yeoman’s farmhouse. It was called the post office because during the Victorian period, for fifty years it held a license to be the letter-receiving station for the district.

The old decaying building was bought in 1903 by the National Trust from Catherine Johns, a local artist, who tried to save the building. She kept it up through sales of prints by local artists. She sold it to the National Trust for £200.

It is a place now open to visitors. Inside, you will find Victorian postal memorabilia and 19th-century samplers (embroidery much like cross-stitching). There is also a fire in the hearth for cold winter days when the wind howls in from the sea.

In Emily’s Shadow, the post office had crooked roofs, thatched rather than slate, and it was also a working post office.

A pretty cottage garden full of flowers is in the back rather than the bench where Emily and her brothers went to eat their fish and chips, but I caution you if you visit, you may well sense the mystery of Merlin’s magic floating through the ether, giving you goose bumps.