A K Hamilton-Jenkin
Historian of Cornwall and prolific author
29th October 1900 - 20 August 1980
The weather was cold and bright on the day I set off to place a Cornwall ‘Heart’ stone at the resting place of A K Hamilton-Jenkin; one of the wonderful winter days that Cornwall sometimes offers to remind us that the spring will return!
In the large cemetery adjacent to the beautiful St Euny church, the absence of leaves on many of the imposing trees gave an open and inviting aspect to the setting. Previously, I had last come through here in the summer and then, with the trees in full leaf
Before our visit
After our visit
the feeling was more enclosed and isolated: now, it has the feel of an abandoned city. Some of the newer graves have flowers placed at them, and here and there a still-verdant wreath from Christmas has been left a while longer, but it is the huge boles of the sycamore and beech trees here that seem to dominate the scene, and provide a reminder that we are a part of nature.
The area nearest the church – where there is an open space used for parking, and where a now-converted inn used to be – was busy with dog-walkers, so we chose to park a little further away, for the sake of maintaining a distance. We walked in along the sunken lane which separates the old vicarage (now private) from the churchyard, and which is framed on one end by an imposing arc of oak tree, and at the other by an old granite stile. The height difference between the churchyard and the lane is almost 1.5 m (5ft), confirming the long-established use of the burial site here which is documented by historical writings.
Turning in through a metal grate to the churchyard itself, we passed beneath some of the huge old trees, and along a muddy path in the direction of the church. So much rain has fallen in the last months here, that even well-maintained pathways – as here – find it difficult to drain sufficiently quickly. After about 100 m, we turned slightly uphill along a short stretch of tarmac path, and easily located the resting place of A K Hamilton-Jenkin just to the left of the path.
Sadly, the headstone has been subject to subsidence, and the beautiful slate headstone is almost entirely horizontal. I cleared away the ivy that was growing over the writing at the base of the stone, and removed some of the soil that had also built up here from the decomposing leaves. After a quick wipe with a damp cloth, the face of the stone was looking much fresher, and I was able to place the stone I had brought with me at the base of the text.
Thank you so much for sending a stone to commemorate this important documenter of Cornish life in the early 20th Century. It was a pleasure to attend his resting place and make the site look more well cared-for.