BREAGE

Pronounce to rhyme with 'Haig' and sometimes to rhyme with 'league' the village of Breage is renowned above all for the mediaeval wall paintings in its sturdy granite church. Soon after its completion in 1466, the church's limewashed walls and window splays were painted with a series of figures, including St Christopher and Christ of the Trades, which today loom vaguely at you out of the gloom in softly dappled colours. They are thought to be the work of monks who travelled the country decorating churches in this way as a form of religious education. Somehow they have survived being painted over countless times since the Reformation, the final coat of emulsion having been applied as late as 1950. Tregonning Hill, nearby, was where William Cookworthy discovered china clay in the mid -1740s. However, the deposits here were very limited, compared to those he subsequently found further east and workings never developed beyond the small-scale.

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