Magazine article Geographical

Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place

Magazine article Geographical

Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place

Article excerpt

RISING GROUND: A Search for the Spirit of Place

by Philip Marsden

Granta, hb, 20 [pounds sterling]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Everyone responds to the landscapes around them, but the spirit of a place can be difficult to define. It might be linked to topography or just childhood memories. In an increasingly standardised world, local distinctiveness becomes more important as a means of connecting with our surroundings.

Philip Marsden explores these ideas as he travels west through Cornwall until the land sinks into the waves around West Penwith. The wind-blasted peninsula invited a long, linear journey and he wanted to look for the county's spirit in legendary locations such as Tintagel, Bodmin and Zennor. A battered coastline, an extraordinary geology and tales of piracy, smuggling and mythical floods beyond Land's End formed the backdrop to his travels in a part of the country where stone circles rise from fields that are still used 3,000 years after they were first enclosed. …

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