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Favorite thing: Here's what I think you should do to visit Mousehole.
1) Walk there from Penzance if you are able. Leave about a half hour each way for walking and give yourself a couple hours to see Mousehole. Admire the lifeboat house along the way.
2) Once there, stroll around the back-alleys and narrow paths between the buildings and take in the charm and atmosphere of this ancient fishing village. You'll find cute shops, cottages for rent, and a few places for a bite to eat, but you'll also meet friendly people, see plenty of the famous Mousehole cats, and get lost in the charm of the place.
3) Stop in Pam's Pantry for a fantastic cornish cream tea, and/or if Guinness is more up your alley visit the pub and knock back a couple before the walk home.
Fondest memory: The thing I miss about Mousehole is the friendly service and great cream tea at Pam's Pantry. The fondest memory I have is of Tracy sharing her bottle of milk with the local cat population.
Updated Jan 20, 2006
Favorite thing: The main part of Mousehole is a small maze of streets that is best just wandered around on foot. As you wander you should come across a plaque on the wall marking the house of Dolly Pentreath who, it is claimed, was the last person to speak Cornish as her mother tongue.
Apparently she was a familiar sight around the area begging coins by jabbering in Cornish. If you didn't give generously she would unleash a torrent of abusive curses down on your head.
Dolly is buried in Paul ( the next village along) churchyard. An obelisk surmounted by a cross marks here grave, one of the sponsers of which was Prince Louis Lucien Buonaparte, a descendant of Napolean I...a keen student of languages.
However in Zennor churchyard a gravestone records as follows;
"John Davey (1812-1891) of Boswednack in this Parish who was the last to possess any traditional considerable knowledge of the Cornish language."
He was born after Dolly's death so I guess that puts paid to her claim to fame.
Fondest memory: According to a second local legend Dolly was a fishwife with a raucous voice that could be heard as far as Newlyn. When the Pressgang landed in Mousehole to take men for the Navy she beat them off with a stick and a barrage of Cornish curses.
She also had a nook in her chimney useful for hiding all kinds of contraband in.
One day she saved a runaway sailor by hiding him here and building a gorse fire to heat a huge crock of water on. She'd just removed her stockings to wash her feet when in rushed a naval lieutenent and his men. She told them to search away..and would they care to search the crock and see if a man was boiling in there? The smoke caused the fugitive to cough and Dolly had to curse louder than ever to cover it up. The Law retreated!
Later that night the man stole away to Guernsey - apparently a Costa del Crime for debtors and those fleeing the hangmans noose in these days - on a Mousehole lugger.
Dolly died a pauper in 1777 at the age of 102.
Updated Mar 13, 2003