The Victorian Wing
The house on St Michaelʼs Mount is a magical topsy-turvey place. One minute your standing on the rocks at the top of the island, then you take a few paces and find your on the roof of a three-story building, looking down on gardens that, in turn, plunge to the sea way below. Check the National Trustʼs website for opening times etc.
In turn, a priory, a castle, and a stately home, the island has been in the St Aubyn family since 1659*.
Back in 2003, we were fortunate enough to come across the then Lord St Levan (St Aubyn is the family name) showing some personal guests round the church, and he gave us all a demonstration of the bell ringing machinery.
His Lordship (who died in 2013) was then in his eighties, and the illusion that one was in the presence of some elemental spirit, possibly J R R Tolkienʼs Tom Bombadil, was quite overwhelming.
A magical place indeed.
About half-way up the main path is a sign pointing out a vaguely heart-shaped cobblestone. This, apparently, is the heart of a Cornish Giant. Like all good giants, he liked nothing better than to go down to the sea and hurl rocks around (presumably he thought this would impress the kids). This is one explanation for the otherwise incongruous position of St Michaelʼs Mount.
However, about a metre further down the path there is another cobblestone that had my teenage daughters in fits of giggles. For some reason the National Trust choose not to point this one out.
* In 1954 Lord St Levan gave St Michaelʼs Mount to the National Trust, but it is still the family home.