I've passed this little hole in this fence loads of times on my walks with the dog and wondered if it had an actual name, evidently it has.
Its a smoot - a gap designed, usually in drystone walls, to allow small creatures such as stoats, rabbits and hares to pass between fields.
Now that the Easter holidays are over and the family has returned to their respective homes I am back on the family history trail.
The ancestral line I am working on at the moment is the family of Tosny. Their surname has been written a number of ways including Toeni and Tony. They are Norman, however, there is evidence that suggests that they may be descended from an uncle of Rollo the Viking who conquered Normandy in the 10th century.
This family take their name from lands around the French town of Tosny along the Seine, they established themselves at Conches and were the French equivalent of the Bigod's, Earls of Norfolk - they were troublemakers to be precise.
My branch ends in the early years of the 11th century with the death of Godehold de Tosny and begins (in England at least) with Ralph de Tosny who is stated to have been a standard bearer at the Battle of Hastings.
Here he is depicted here going about his business on the Bayeux Tapestry.
Instead of commodities, Joseph Treffry's new railway brought the Victorian holiday maker to Newquay in Cornwall, Edith, my 2x great grandmother would find herself in a town which was about to be engulfed by the a new commodity - the tourist.
Newquay, in Cornwall soon spread eastward over the hill that divided the two parishes to encompass Trenance and it would no longer be seen as a separate parish, but as pleasure garden. At this point in time, apart from the Tolcarne Viaduct with its pillars like giants legs straddling the valley, Trenance was still a tree covered semi wilderness, it’s boating lake was constructed in 1906 and the tennis courts in 1917. Including Newquay's beaches, Trenance Gardens was one of Newquay's first tourist attractions.
Into the new seaside resort of Newquay flocked hundreds of Victorian and Edwardian holidaymakers, to accommodate these ‘visitors’ new hotels were built along Narrowcliff, and so strong was the attraction that many of the wealthy purchased houses of their own to which they would bring their families and servants at the height of the season.
The visitors could be seen strolling along the Narrowcliffe and Towan Promenades, taking tea at the Atlantic or the Headland Hotels and emerging from the many bathing huts that were appearing on Newquay’s fine golden sands.
There is more to read about Newquay in Cornwall here
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