Friday, February 6, 2015

Mont Saint Michel & St Michael's Mount

Mont Saint-Michel, France (

Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island 600 metres off the coast of Normandy, France. The size is 0.97  km2 and the island has a population of 44. Since the eighth century AD it has been the seat of the Benedictine Monastery from which it draws its name.

Mont Saint-Michel 

In 1067, the monastery gave its support to William of Normandy in his claim to the throne of England. He rewarded the monks with properties and grounds on the English side of the Channel, including a small island off the south-western coast of Cornwall which was modelled after the Mount and became known as St Michael's Mount.

St Michael's Mount, England. It is about the same height and size as Mont Saint-Michel.

St Michael's Mount is a tidal island 366 m off the coast of Cornwall, England. The size is 0.23 km2, population: around 30.

St Michael's Mount (photo by Jason Hawkes)

The Cornish name is Carrek Los yn Cos, meaning 'grey rock in the woods'. This may represent a folk memory of a time before the area was flooded. Remains of trees have indeed been seen at low tides. The chronicler John of Worcester relates that in the year 1099 St. Michael's Mount was located five or six miles from the sea, enclosed in a thick wood, but that on the third day of November the sea overflowed the land, destroying many towns and drowning many people as well as innumerable oxen and sheep. The Cornish legend of Lyonesse, an ancient kingdom said to have extended from Penwith toward the Isles of Scilly, also talks of land being inundated by the sea.

next episode: map room

1 comment:

  1. Such a beautiful place, and one that I hope to visit for myself!


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