“Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.”

The Minack Theatre
The Minack Theatre
The Minack Theatre
The Minack Theatre

My original plan for my second day in Cornwall was to visit Land’s End, the western-most point of England. The proprietress of my guest house talked me out of it and encouraged me to go to Minack Theatre in nearby Porthcurno instead. I’m glad I took her advice. You could do both, but the infrequent buses did not cooperate for me in the off-season. It would also be delightful to hike the coastal path between the two, so I will be returning to Cornwall some day.

View from the Minack out across the Atlantic Ocean
View from the Minack out across the Atlantic Ocean

The Minack Theatre is an open-air theatre perched on the side of a cliff. It was built in the 1930s by Rowena Cade, a lady who evidently owned the land and had a vision for a playhouse by the sea. The theatre has hosted plays ever since. It’s a beautifully peaceful spot. When I was there, a high school class of art students sketched to their hearts’ delight, and a large group of German tourists chatted amiably among themselves.

Compass set into one of the stairs at the theatre
Compass set into one of the stairs at the theatre
Rowena Cade, the founder and builder of the theatre - photo in the exhibition hall
Rowena Cade, the founder and builder of the theatre – photo in the exhibition hall
More gardens - I was pleasantly surprised by this bouquet - I'd never seen a cluster quite like these.
More gardens – I was pleasantly surprised by this bouquet – I’d never seen a cluster quite like these.
Minack Theatre gardens
Minack Theatre gardens
View of the cliffs above Porthcurno
View of the cliffs above Porthcurno

Porthcurno is also the site of the first telegraph line placement. There’s a Telegraph museum there, detailing the history of the medium. I didn’t go in, but it looks interesting if you’re into that kind of thing.

Title quote: William Shakespeare, The Tempest, the first play performed at the then-rudimentary Minack Theatre in 1932

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