The village of Zennor lies between St Ives and St Just, on the Atlantic coast of Cornwall. It lies above the high, rocky cliffs of the coast and the rugged, boulder-strewn, granite hills and moors. There used to be a stone quarry on Zennor Hill, and local granite was used to build much of St Ives and the Falmouth Harbour walls. This is a romantic, wild and brooding landscape which has been inhabited for at least 4000 years.
In 1748 and later, John Wesley preached to the people of Zennor in an attempt to convert them to Methodism. A large stone by the road leading into the village is said to have been used as a pulpit by him.
Farming, fishing, quarrying and mining were the industries of the past in this part of West Cornwall. The quarry and the mines closed long ago and there are only a few farmers and fishermen remaining today. Now the main industry is tourism. The Wayside Museum was founded in the 1930’s and illustrates many aspects of life in West Cornwall long ago. It comprises of a cottage with a traditional Cornish kitchen and an outdoor exhibition of domestic and mining tools, including waterwheels, corn grinding wheels and tools dating from 3000BC. A mill building contains a collection of early agricultural implements and there is evenm a blacksmith’s forge can be seen.
Zennor was one of the last bastions of the Cornish language. Although the last person to have Cornish as her sole language was said to be Dolly Pentreath, buried in the village of Paul near Mousehole, John Davey of Boswednack, Zennor was one of the last people with a traditional knowledge of the language. He died in 1891, aged 79.
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