St Piran's Day March 5th

Tomorrow is St Piran's Day. Named after one of Cornwall's Patron saints, this is Cornwall's national day which is celebrated on the 5th March. 

It seems St Piran's Day started as a holiday observed by the tin miners of Cornwall as St Piran is also the patron saint of tin miners.  In recognition of this, here are a few Cornish myths and legends.

The stunningly illustrated and beautifully written book tells the story of Mowzer, a cat and her pet, the old fisherman, Tom, who live in the Cornish village of Mousehole. Their life is blissfully happy until one terrible winter when the Great Storm-Cat attacks the village, preventing the boats from going fishing.

With no food left in the village, old Tom sets out to sea, taking Mowser with him. Mowser tames the Great Sea-Cat, allowing Tom to bring the fish home.

This gorgeous book is inspired a Cornish legend about fisherman, Tom Bawcock. Mousehole is as lovely in real life as it looks in the picture book- very worth visiting! 

The Mousehole Cat written by Antonia Barber, illustrated by Nicola Bayley

Walker Books ISBN:  978-0744523539

Zennor is a small village surrounded by beautiful Cornish countryside where walkers can roam to their heart's content! In the delightful parish church of St Senara, there is a battered wooden chair which has a most unusual carving on one side. This is associated with the tale of Matthew Trewhella, who was lured to a watery grave at Pendour Cove by a beautiful mermaid.

This legend is re-told in 'The Merrymaid of Zennor' by Charles Causley, illustrated by Michael Foreman (Orchard Books ISBN:  978-1841215914)

Beautiful both in words and pictures, this is a lovely book. 

And finally, this lovely book from Eric Quayle, illustrated by Michael Foreman, captures the magical atmosphere of this place of mystery. 

Mabecron Books ISBN: 978-0956435095