Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Friday 21 August 2015

"Mar not my face......"

Near the entrance to a cave on Crantock Beach near Newquay, a woman's head and a horse are carved into the sloping rock face, along with four lines of verse. Sometime in the 1920's a young woman on horseback became trapped in this cave by the swift incoming tide, and tragically both she and her horse were drowned. So distraught was the young woman's lover that he carved this permanent memorial to her, though no trace of her name seems to remain.

"Mar not my face but let me be
  Secure in this lone cavern by the sea.
  Let the wild waves around me roar
  Kissing my lips for evermore."

I have been going to Crantock Beach all my life, but I did not know of this carving's existence until this summer.

A little splash of colour to brighten up these dismal days.......is the weather as bad where you are?


  1. This is so heartfelt. What a beautiful though tragic way to leave this earth. The poem and carvings a beautiful memorial.

    The weather for us has been oppressive heatwaves for four months now. Our earth as dry as a bone in this drought, so in need of water. I pray for mercy rain.

  2. What a sad, but lovely story. The poem is beautiful.

  3. Oh gosh. From where I sit, in the middle of the United States, rain and cool winds and frost at night sounds really, totally, absolutely devine. It's SO HOT and SO BRIGHT for SO LONG here, and we've really had a mild summer by our standards. In a fierce summer, I think I would truly despair. I simply can not wait for fall. We just moved back here after being somewhere else for a year, and I just don't know if I can stand to go through summer here year after year. I may have to flee north for a few months.
    Anyway, I've just been catching up on your lovely blog, and wanted to tell you how very much I'm enjoying it, I adored your stay in the railway carriage and have bookmarked their site, in case we manage to ever get over your way. If we do, look for me in your wonderful shop as well, it's simply amazingly lovely. Best wishes to you!
    Sarah (who bought the darling little basket broach last year)

  4. What a tragic and romantic story, so touching ... thanks for sharing, darling Christine !
    Have a wonderful end of the Summer,

  5. I have only by chance myself found this story none of it belongs to me ! I've been crantock many times and as yet never seen this or heard of it till now sadly 😒! Found it intriguing and wondered if anyone else seen this carving and could give direction where to find it ? I would love to see it myself 😋. ? There as been odd remark to where the cave is but not really solid directions it's a large coast .
    Glad others found the story interesting to 😊.
    Any directions to the right cave would be greatfully received .
    Thank you in advance

  6. Such a bittersweet carving, thanks so much for sharing - We'll have to keep our eyes open for it.

  7. That is sad and beautiful. I would have thought the horse would have swam even with the tide coming in. An animal wont usually give up that way. I wonder what the whole story was.

  8. I've just found this myself and am determined to find out her name. Wish me luck!

  9. This was supposedly carved by one of my ancestors - Joseph Prater. We went to the beach last year but couldn't find the carving. We were worried that the sand may have covered it but I am determined to have another look soon!

  10. Sorry to disappoint! but no woman drowned or fell of a horse! the carving was done by a Joseph Prater, who's family lived stayed/lived in the village of Crantock, the horse appeared when the carving was re-etched by Jim Dyer the local blacksmith, rather than sign his name he etched the horse as a sign of his occupation, the face and poem was re-etched after time and graffiti marred her face. Paul from Crantock

    1. Hi Paul,
      Thanks for the information about the carving. I wonder how the story about the woman drowning came about? I'm glad that such a tragedy never happened; is there anyone out there who can shed light on who the woman was and why Joseph Prater carved her likeness into the rock?