St. Michaels Chapel, Rame Head, Cornwall
Many years ago, when we were walking a part of the Cornish Coastal Path, we approached Rams Head. It is a rocky outcrop that protrudes into the English Chanel and because of it high elevation also has a clear view down to Plymouth Sound.
As we approached we could see a Stone building at the highest vantage point. We were to discover that this building was in fact called St. Michaels Chapel.
But the Chapel was not the first construction on this summit. As far back as the Bronze and Iron Ages there has been a Hill Fort on this very spot. Not a bad strategic position, commanding expansive views across both sea and land. The building of the Chapel is ascribed to St. German and dates back to 981.
The weather and age has taken its toll on the Chapel, but I suspect it has always been very utilitarian building. Apart from a place for prayer, I guess it was also a place of sanctuary for travellers and pilgrims providing basic shelter from the weather.
St. Michaels may not be the most imposing of buildings, but what cannot be denied is its spectacular location. It has proven to be an important vantage point. During the 2nd World War it played an important roll, as a Coastal Lookout Point, in the efforts to safeguard Plymouth Sound and its Navel base. But it is also said, that it was from here, in 1588, that the first sightings of the Spanish Armada was made. Warning were sent down to Sir Francis Drake, who legend tells, was playing Bowls on Plymouth Sound and despite the imminent challenge, insisted on finishing his game. True or not,… its great yarn.
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2021