About Boscastle Cornwall.
Boscastle in the north of Cornwall is an ancient and very pretty fishing community which is located in a valley at the head of an S-shaped inlet that is sheltered from the might of the Atlantic ocean. The name Boscastle dates back to Norman times and the village is named after Bottreaux Castle that was once owned by the de Bottreaux family. Today nothing is left as the castle has long since been demolished.
The Rivers Valency and Jordan combine to form an inlet that creates a natural harbour but the inner jetty was built in Elizabethan times, by Sir Richard Grenville, when fishing, grains and slate added to the prosperity of the region. A further outer jetty was built, to act as a breakwater, in the 19th century to cope with the demands of handling coal, slate, timber and china clay. The entrance to the harbour was dangerous and ships were often towed in by a rowing boat.
Thomas Hardy was at one time an architect on the restoration of the nearby St.Juliot church and it is here that he met his wife Emma Glifford as she was the rector's sister-in-law. The couple were reported to have done much of their courting on the cliffs between Boscastle and Crackington Haven. Forty years later when Emma died Hardy returned to the area and erected a memorial to her in the church and in 1928 another similar memorial was erected to Hardy following his death.
In recent years Boscastle has relied heavily on the tourist industry as its source of income as the fishing and other industries have declined. The devastating flood at Boscastle on the 16th August 2004 threatened this industry and decimated the village. Cars were swept out to sea the bridges were washed away and people were forced to cling to rooftops and trees for safety as torrential rain hit the area. The emergency services organized a huge operation to rescue residents and holidaymakers who were stranded along a 20-mile stretch of the north Cornwall coast around Boscastle. It was a miracle that no one was killed or severally wounded this is in part attributed to the fact that the disaster happened during the day and people were awake to the danger and not fast asleep in their beds.
Boscastle is the venue for BBC2's A Seaside Parish. The first series featured the Rev Christine Musser with her American husband and her work within the community and the second series followed the events in the months leading up to the Boscastle floods and how the community coped with the dreadful aftermath. There is to be a third series scheduled to be shown in January 2006 depicting the Reverend Christine Musserís visit to Thailand to meet communities affected by the Boxing Day tsunami. When news of the tsunami broke, the community of Boscastle rallied to raise funds for the relief effort. "We were so fortunate in Boscastle, that no lives were lost in the floods here, but we felt a strong connection with the people of South East Asia." Said Christine in a recent interview.
All but one of the shops in Boscastle has now reopened following the floods and on a recent visit it was obvious that the tourist have started to come back as it was very difficult to find a place in the car park. Boscastle and its people have shown a remarkable spirit of resilience and the area still has a magnificent unspoilt beauty.
Photographic Print / Prints of Boscastle