Archives For Faery

By Benjaminevans82 at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

By Benjaminevans82 at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

A stunning bit of coastline between Newquay and Padstow – a great beach if you don’t mind the steps down to it (rebuilt by the National Trust)! But it isn’t those steps the name refers to. The ‘steps’ are large outcrops of rock that litter the beach and the sea at high tide (the beach disappears at high tide – you have been warned). Placed there, so legend has it, by the giant ‘Bedruthan’, presumably so he (or she) could skip along the stones without getting wet feet. Ummm. Or possibly (so a more cynical but possibly more realistic legend has it) the whole giant thing was a Victorian invention so more people would visit! Whatever the explanation, the views are dramatic and brilliant and the beach a total delight, but don’t get cut off at high tide….

So, what of ‘Knockers’? Knockers are a type of faery, not the pretty ones that flit about the woodland, but a grisly looking dwarf with a hook nose. They like to mine, usually far from the humans that used to populate the tin mines and proably in deeper places. Bedruthan was the site of a tin and iron mine and the Knockers were there too. Generally keeping out of the way of humans, but not to be trifled with or annoyed (you just might find yourself lost in a deep part of the mine). Being mischievious they might move your tools around, but generally they were benevolent (although in some tales they most definitely are not!). Some say they are still there, and walking on the beach you can sometimes hear the the tap tap’ of their picks deep in the mine now long gone from our world. Others say that the tapping noise is caused by the ghosts of the tin miners giving a warning when a disaster was about to happen. Knockers or ghosts (or dripping water)? Listen out for yourself and wonder what it is that causes the creepy noises…