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barddas 
Posted: 02-Jun-2004, 10:41 AM
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ZodiacWillow

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Here is something I found on Padstow, Cornwall. I will be posting more on the Festivities that happen in May, now as the Obby 'Oss celebration.

Accommodation in Padstow
Padstow is a fine example of a Cornish-fishing port. The town is largely unspoilt, with a beautiful harbour. There are good shopping facilities, a cinema, cafes and restaurants, including the famous "Seafood Restaurant" run by Rick Stein and many old and friendly public houses, most of them serving pub food and 'real ale'.

Around the harbour you will find craft and gift shops, artists' studios, book- shops, grocers, newsagents, leather workshops, a home-made fudge shop and much more.

Padstow itself lies on the Camel Estuary, about seven miles from Wadebridge. The area is one of considerable natural beauty with beautiful bays, golden beaches and many interesting walks, particularly along the Coastal Footpath.

The site of Padstow was well chosen by its forefathers. Settled into a narrow gulley on the West side of the River Camel estuary we are well sheltered from the prevailing South - West winds and the air is balmy. Padstow is a heavenly jumble of houses. quays, boat slips, cafes and restaurants, gift and craft shops, a wine merchant, bookshops, holiday flats, grocers, gown shops, newsagents, accountants, estate agents, a chemist, homemade fudge shop and even a book maker. Not much of this was planned: it has happened through the years. No architect could have schemed the Padstow of today. It is the result of years of adaptation and change. of getting the best out of local natural materials and then ingeniously adapting these buildings to fit the current needs of a friendly little harbour town. Despite the modern applications everything looks right because everything is right. and woe betide the city slicker who tries to redevelop our Padstow. We love it as it is.

It is true that time and tide wait for no man but it is also true that here in Padstow they do seem to wait that little bit longer. Everything moves slower. The traffic, because it cannot do any other, and the people, because their lives are governed so much more by the tides, the seasons of the year and the farming calendar. It will become obvious to our visitors that we Padstonians have discovered that rushing about simply does not do anyone any good. Some of us here would like the whole world to slow down to our pace but we know that this cannot be. Instead of this, we invite our visitors to share with us the slowing down - if only for a couple of weeks, and you will find that you are drawn towards it as if by an invisible magnet. Folk always have time to stand and stare into the harbour scene and Padstow is no exception. There are seats all around and it is a favourite place for locals and visitors alike. The long seat beside the shelter on the corner of North Quay is called the Long Lugger and this is the traditional meeting place for Padstonians. Here the old boys of the town hold court. swap yarns and generally watch the world go by.

Try to set aside some of your holiday to share our heritage. Visit our dear little museum which is not a huge tomb of a place. but a small room set aside to house some our modest historic treasures. Come to church. sit quietly awhile and reflect upon the history of Padstow. Somehow the church in a small seafaring town reflects life's chequered pattern so much more. Spare a moment of thought for the wives and mothers of yesteryear who prayed for the sate return of their absent menfolk. Of the joy that would be released at the end of a long voyage safely concluded. Of the deep numb grief of women folk who waited day after day! week after week, for a long overdue ship. You will be warmly welcomed at services here. The Methodist Chapel in the middle of the town and the modern Catholic Church hold out equally welcoming arms.

History - Padstow has a long and ancient history dating back to well before the birth of Christ, for around 2500 BC people travelling from Brittany to Ireland used the Fowey/Camel valleys on their journeys. During recent years this ancient path, known as The Saints Way, has been re-opened, making it possible for walkers to trace the footsteps of those early travelers. It is believed that this track continued to be used during Roman times, as some evidence of Roman settlement has been found in the area.

Shortly after 2000BC the Beaker folk settled around the coast of Cornwall, and remains of their ancient burial chambers can still be seen at Harlyn Bay. Much later, during the 1st century BC, Venitii settlers arrived from Brittany, building forts on the coastal headlands. and it is likely that Padstow was a centre of population at that time. However it was with the arrival of St. Petroc in the 6th century AD that Padstow really began to develop. He spent 30 years in Padstow, during which time he founded a monastery here. and remains of old Celtic crosses all still to be found in the area. The monastery and church were destroyed by the Danes in 981 AD and the monastery was transferred to Bodmin, when Padstow came under the control of the Priory of Bodmin. A second church was built to replace the one destroyed by the Danes, of which only the base of the tower now remains, and the present church was built between 1420 and 1450. In medaeval times, Padstow was granted the right of Sanctuary by King Athelstan, which enabled criminals to remain safe from arrest, and this continued until the time of the Reformation. At that time trading continued with Brittany and Ireland and a Guild of St. Petroc was set up by traders in Padstow. Their headquarters was thought possibly to have been in Abbey House, which can be seen over-looking the harbour on North Quay and which is now a private residence.

During the Reformation the church's control of Padstow ceased when the ownership of the land was transferred to the Prideaux family Prideaux Place, built on the site of the former Barton of the Monks of Bodmin, was completed in the 16th century and has one of the oldest deer parks in the country. This house is still occupied by descendants of the Prideaux family, and is open to the public on some afternoons. Sir Walter Raleigh lived in Padstow when he was Warden of Cornwall, and his Court House on Riverside was the central office for the collection of dues and taxes. Although his Courthouse and cottage still remain, they are now private residences and are not open to the public.

Padstow's importance as a port developed from earliest times and in 1565 Sir John Hawkins took shelter here while returning from the West Indies, as did Sir Martin Frobisher while returning from his search for the North West Passage to China in 1577. At that time Padstow was well used as a fishing port, and during the 17th century, when mining in Cornwall was expanding, shipments of copper ore were made to Bristol and slates were exported, many of them from the Camel quarry. By the 19th century a number of ship-building yards had been established, and the Padstow Museum houses a collection of tools from that time. At that time the fishing industry was at its height, when pilchards were landed and cured here, and cured fish of many types, as well as wheat, barley, oats, cheese and minerals were being exported. A considerable variety of goods was also imported from Ireland, France, Wales, Scandinavia and Russia. The first lifeboat was stationed at Padstow prior to 1827 when improvements began to be made to the port in an effort to make it safer. By 1899 the railway arrived, which helped the port and also marked the beginning of the tourist industry. Sadly this century has seen a decline in the fishing industry, which was further affected when the railway closed, but over recent years this seems to be recovering and there are also signs of a small return to commercial shipping. Padstow has retained some of its ancient traditions, the most notable being its May Day Festival to mark the coming of summer, which originated in an ancient fertility rite. At Christmas the traditional Padstow carols are sung in the streets of the town. These are unique to Padstow and date back at least to the 18th century.

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Here is a link to the site I got this from. It has a few photos of the area.


Padstow


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BARDDAS BLOG/WEB SITE

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Music is holy, art is sacred, and creativity is power

Everyday is EARTH DAY to a farmer

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Some men are drawn to oceans, they cannot breathe unless the air is scented with a salty mist. Others are drawn to land that is flat, and the air is sullen and is leaden as August. My people were drawn to mountains- Earl Hamner Jr.

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barddas 
Posted: 02-Jun-2004, 10:43 AM
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ZodiacWillow

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Here is a Short History of May Day in Padstow....

May Day, the world famous 'Obby 'Oss celebration, is on the 1st. May. The origin of the Padstow 'Obby 'Oss lies in the mists of antiquity. It is probably one of the oldest survivals in the country, if not in Europe. That is why the Padstow 'Obby 'Oss had such an honoured place in the International Folk Dance Festival at the Royal Albert Hall, London, between the two World Wars. There is reason to believe that the ancient British people had a settlement near the harbour mouth at Padstow and that the 'Obby 'Oss is a link with them and their times - four thousand years ago.

This Custom will never be allowed to die out in Padstow. There are two main parties, Old Oss and Blue Ribbon, with more than one junior Oss. The celebration of the first day of Summer commences at Midnight with unaccompanied singing around the Town. During the day accordians and drums accompany the respective parties around the Town. After the Oss's are stabled until the following year, the musicians and dancers attend some of the inns, finalising the day at midnight around the Maypole.

Through the long centuries, of course, the May Day celebrations at Padstow have changed, and round the central figure, the 'Obby 'Oss itself, have gathered customs which, in other days, were widely shared. The greenery and the flowers and the Maypole are well-known survivals elsewhere, and even the Padstow May Song, which is sung to one of the loveliest of folk tunes, has something in common with the Hal an Tow at Helston on May 8th. Here then at Padstow on May Day, as at Helston a week later, we are celebrating, as did our forbears down the centuries, the advent of Summer: "Summer is acome unto day."


MayDay in Padstow
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barddas 
  Posted: 02-Jun-2004, 10:48 AM
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The Traditional 'Padstow MayDay song'
( We do this one in the early spring, up until the actual festivities take place)






Unite and unite, and let us all unite
For summer is a-comin' today
And whither we are going we all will unite
In the merry morning of May


The young men of Padstow they might if they would / For summer...
They might have built a ship and gilded her with gold / In the merry...

The young maids of Padstow they might if they would / ...
They might have built a garland with the white roses and the red / ...

Rise up, Mrs Johnson, all in your gown of green / ...
You are as fine a lady as waits upon the Queen / ...

Oh where is St. George, oh where is he-o
He's out in the longboat, all on the salt sea-o
Up flies the kite, down falls the lark-o
Aunt Ursula Birdwood she has an old ewe
And she died in her own park-o


With the merry ring and with the joyful spring / ...
How happy are the little birds and the merrier we shall sing / ...

O where are the young man that now do advance / ...
Some they are in England and some they are in France / ...

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Catriona 
Posted: 02-Jun-2004, 12:10 PM
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One of the very best British chefs is based in Padstow. His name is Rick Stein, he has a restaurant, a bistro and a delicatessen.... This has made uncharitably minded people refer to the town as Padstein.... However, we always try to book a table for a meal during one of our summer visits to Cornwall... and it is worth the 1.5 hour drive from the Roseland Peninsula area where we stay... cool.gif Rick specialises in fish and has had a number of series on the BBC. Here's a little info on Rick Stein http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/celebritychefs/stein.shtml


I've been in Padstow on May Day - it's not a thing to take lightly..... drinking and eating too much from early until late is very hard work!

There are lots of wonderful craft shops in the village - silversmiths and artists aplenty...

The harbour area is nice, too.... in fact it hasn't changed much in 300 years or so.
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sonic-skunk 
Posted: 31-Aug-2007, 11:48 AM
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Rick steins chip shop is horrible. The chips are nasty and cooked in lard, and the introduction of celebrity chefs has pushed locallers out by upping house prices.

It really sucks!
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