Photos of West Cornwall - Photos by Palden Jenkins

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Palden Jenkins
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Palden Jenkins
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Photos of West Cornwall


West Penwith in Cornwall is my home.
I love it here, and these pictures will suggest why!

West Penwith, where I live, is right at the far end of Cornwall - Land's End.
Its main town is Penzance (in Cornish Pen Sans, or 'holy headland').
Penwith means 'the headland beyond' or 'the far beyond'.

Click any picture to see a larger version.

Cornwall is not England - it is Kernow, one of the old Celtic realms of Britain.

Being half-Welsh, Kernow's ancient roots mean a lot to me, jiggling my cells.
Cornwall is quite isolated (5-6 hours from London and Birmingham). Yet it has a global feeling: we have four continents over the horizon across the seas - North and Latin America, Europe and Africa.
Longships lighthouse, off Land's End
Yet, surrounded by ocean, we sit on solid, deep granite which doesn't budge an inch, no matter how much the waves crash and the winds blow.
Cornwall is memorable for its cliffscapes, ancient sites and atmosphere, for surfing, seals and cetaceans, fishermen, pirates and tin miners.

It is one of Britain's main holiday regions and is also home to many interesting people who love living at the end of the road - including yachties, arty types and authors, greenies, returned expats, alternative types and sundry oddbods.
It's rich in wind and wave power
and geothermal energy, as yet under-exploited.
We also have lots of weather - want some?
Let's visit some of West Cornwall's many prehistoric sites, some of them 5,500 years old since before the Pyramids.

With the Orkney islands at the other end of the isles of Britain, this area has more ancient sites per square mile than anywhere in Britain.

I run a website all about these ancient sites: ancientpenwith.org
One reason why Penwith has so many ancient sites is that, 4-5 millennia ago, the Irish Sea was the centre of activity in Britain and Ireland.

Later, about 3,800-1,500 years ago, Penwith was a major tin-mining area, one of Britain's most prosperous regions at the time. Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans bought Cornish tin, and St Michael's Mount was Penwith's main ancient trading place.
Here are some of the headlands
of West Penwith.
Some of them were
ancient strongholds
and sacred sites,
called cliff castles -
though I call them
cliff sanctuaries.
Here's the cliffscape south of Land's End
- Pordenack Point, Carn Boel and Carn les Boel -
a dramatic area populated with many rock-beings
or simulacra - natural rock-shapes that look like fantasy-beings.
To find out what I mean, see Simulacra)
St Michael's Mount and Trencrom Hill
- legendarily the homes of battling giants -
act as the gateposts of West Penwith,
guarding it on its landward side.
It's easy to love Cornwall
and magic West Penwith.

It's slightly more difficult to leave it
and heave back up the A30
back into the madding crowd!

© All photos are copyright by Palden Jenkins, 2009-2013. Use in any way, online or in print, requires permission.

NEXT: Simulacra in West Penwith


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