Tregonning is no lofty pile. Not like the Lake District’s Great Gable, crouched above the once beautiful Ennerdale valley. And certainly no mountain, say the Grand Dru, towering over the Chamonix valley, patiently waiting to kill its next victim. For sure, it was once much bigger, ground down bit by bit until all that’s left is a small lump of old volcano sitting back, gently, about a mile from the West Cornwall coast.
From its top, look west to Land’s End and out towards the Americas. then South to Brest. Nothing but blue.
Cookworthy was a chemist. He was doing whatever chemists do, wandering on the hillside, picking up bits of rock. Some hard granite crystals. Others more crumbly – chalky almost. He put these softer bits of rock into his pack, went home, ground the stuff up , making a stiff paste and blasting heat at the pot he’d formed. That was 1746.
Back on the hill. Cookworthy (friend of Captain James Cook) starts digging and quarrying some more, pleased with his “China” plate. Then the digging and the dynamite and noise went eastwards, the barren hillside leftover for the butterflies and the birds while JohnWesley preaches to the lion and the lambs lying down under shady trees.
Napolean hoves into view, and the Signal Station warns of his arrival.
Follow the path downhill, skirt Cookworth’s straggling quarries to where the lane hooks back left. Now the ocean zooms back into sight. Now look up at this same spot from the bottom of Moor Lane, by the lazy field where the barn owls hunt.
And still the Quarrymen climb the lane
Here Comes Ivor