St Michael’s Mount is not unlike Mont St Michel with a church built on an island rock, which is accessible at low tide by a causeway, and a small village gathered around it. In fact the church was built after the Norman invasion, when the Mount was granted to the Benedictine Abbey of Mont St Michel in France.
The castle, with architecture dating back to the 12th century was gifted to the National Trust, along with an endowment for its upkeep, by the St Aubyn family, who still live there and manage the island.
St Michael’s Mount is very much smaller than Mont St Michel and the tiny village that sits on the shore line is mostly shops and cafés today.
The castle has some wonderful rooms like the library and the Chevy Chase or dining room.
The gardens were not open to walk through, but what we could see from the castle wall, they are beautifully kept.
There are legends abound, including the giant that used to wade ashore and steal cattle, until one night he was lured into a pit and slain, and the vision of the archangel Michael to fisherman in the year 495AD.
There is also evidence, with recent archaeological finds, that the island was used in the Bronze Age.
It was a cold and windy day when we visited, so the flags were in full flight. The tide was high so we journeyed there in the small boats that rumble across the choppy water.