Mount’s Bay, Lyonesse, Langarroc: Legendary Submerged Lands And Buried Towns Of Cornwall – For Ancient Pages


This article was first published on AncientPages.com, April 21, 2022, Mount’s Bay, Lyonesse, Langarroc: Legendary Submerged Lands And Buried Towns Of Cornwall, by zteve t evans


Cornwall, the uttermost southwestern peninsula of England, has a long, fascinating history absolutely brimming with folklore, legends, and traditions. Ancient monuments scatter the landscape, and all around the rugged coastline, traditions of smugglers, pirates and mermaids abound alongside intriguing legends of towns and land submerged by the sea or entombed under massive dunes of sand. Presented here is a brief look at three legendary places that lie buried under the sand or drowned by the sea.

The Drowned Forest And Lake Under Mount’s Bay

Mount’s Bay is home to St Michael’s Mount, a tidal island with a quaint harbour overlooked by a medieval church and a picturesque castle. It is connected to the Cornish mainland by a stone causeway at low tide. At high tide, the sea rises above the causeway cutting the Mount from the Cornish mainland, turning it into an island. According to tradition, St Michael’s Mount is where Jack the Giant Killer began his career by slaying Cormoran the Giant.

In the past, parts of Mount’s Bay were above sea level and home to woods and a body of water named Gwavas Lake. Humans and animals were believed to inhabit this area, and according to legend, on the bank of the lake was a small chapel where a holy man lived. People came to him seeking healing for ailments and agonies of the mind and body, which he cured using prayers and water from Gwavas Lake. Because of his remarkable healing powers, he became venerated as a saint, and his small chapel received a continuous stream of pilgrims seeking his aid.

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Jack the Giant-killer versus Cormoran the Giant!

Cormoran the Giant has many legends associated with him but he is probably best known as the giant who some say, with the aid of his wife, Cormelian, created the tidal island of St Michael’s Mount which lies a few hundred yards off off the coast of Cornwall, near the town of Marazion. He is said to have built the island by carrying blocks of white granite across the sea from the mainland. Cormelian was said to have helped by carrying the granite blocks in her apron.

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From here he would wade across the short stretch of sea to the Cornish mainland to steal the sheep and cattle of the local farmers. In one version of the legend Cormorant grew weary carrying the blocks and took a rest falling asleep. His wife carried on working but decided to fetch green stones instead of white granite because they were nearer. Cormoran woke when she was halfway across. Seeing she was bringing different blocks of stone he grew angry and kicked her. This caused her to let go of her hold on her apron which allowed the stoned to fall into the sea forming Chapel Rock.  Read more Continue reading