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The Devil, The Spire & the Cuckoo

Cornish Legends and Myths





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16 June 2011

Cornish Legends


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On the sparse, windblown Penwith Peninsular, not far from St. Ives lies one of Cornwall's strangest Churches. Towednack Church possesses a curious, squat tower which it acquired, so legend goes by the intervention of the Devil himself. Each day medieval stonemasons laid the granite blocks of the tower and each night the Devil came and knocked them down again. It happened so regularly that at last they gave up and finally erected the battlements on the tower at the height it stands today.

Each year , on the nearest Sunday to the April 28th Towednack holds it's annual "cuckoo feast". One spring many centuries ago a local parishioner placed a large log in his hearth. No sooner did the flames lick up around it than a cuckoo flew out from a hole in the log. The man caught and kept the bird, and resolved that each year he would hold a "cuckoo feast", a tradition that survives to this day. For centuries now a fiddler has led the procession from the church door, playing a lively tune to celebrate the feast day.



Towednack church






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