• Short Summary

    Some superstitions and rituals are seen in Cornwall.

  • Description

    L/S of a rocky bay in Cornwall; possibly Veryan.

    Various nice shots of 'round houses' in the village of Veryan. Commentator tells us they are "built like that to keep the devil away. The idea is that the devil gets dizzy, running round and round trying to find a corner to hide in"; they also have a cross at the top of the roof. L/S of a modern house (a home for seaman's widows) that has incorporated two 'round houses' into the architecture.

    At Newlyn, 10-year-old twins Joanna and Clare Harman (dressed identically except one wears glasses) demonstrate the custom of girls baptising a new doll at a wishing well (really a hole in the foundation stone of a Christian cross that dates back to the Third Century). The girls sprinkle water on their doll's head and then drop a pin into the water for luck to complete the 'ceremony'.

    At Madron we see Mrs Nash (the twin's grandmother) showing her daughter Mrs Harman (the twin's mother) the tradition of standing stones used as a cure for rheumatism. Mrs Harman first rubs her back against an oblong stone, then crawls through a round stone with a hole in the centre, then touches the next stone. Commentator says "In the old days, mothers pushed their children through the stone as a cure for rickets".

    Note: on file are some interesting notes about superstitions of the West Country and the fact that the locals keep quiet about their rituals. Also on file is a short magazine article about round houses in Veryan.

    Cuts exist - see separate record.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Colour pictorials
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:20:24:00 / 01:22:09:00
    CP 338

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