Thursday, 26 July 2012

Author Spotlight Join Angela Britnell in St. Minton today.

Cornwall is full of small villages, we only have one official city, so when I wanted a setting for IT'S COMPLICATED it wasn't hard to create St. Minton. Bodmin Moor is one the last unspoiled areas in the south west of England and is dominated by dramatic granite tors which tower over the open moorland. In St. Minton most of the houses are plain moorland cottages, mostly built of locally mined granite.

We'll walk through the main street, really the only one, and see what we find. There's the small village shop on the right which bewilders Ash with its strange mixture of goods on sale -- from curry powder to Marmite. My characters all live close together meaning there are very few secrets, the same as most old-fashioned English villages and perfect for story setting. Emily's house, the one she grew up in is across the road from Dr. Wilson's. Ash's uncle has been the village doctor over forty years and holds his surgery (the expression we use for where he practices medicine) in a small office about a five minute walk from his house. A couple of doors away from Emily is her friend Peter's house. Claire, Emily's twin sister, lives in the Old Rectory a little further along the road, although she spends her working week in Plymouth where she owns a modern apartment. Now we're outside the door of the 'Smugglers Inn'. This has been the village pub for about the last 150 years and hasn't changed much in all that time. If you want somewhere with noisy music and video games this isn't your place but if you're after good local ale and well-cooked food then go on in and stay a while. You can even try Emily's favorite meal, the chicken curry, she's been ordering the same thing since she's been old enough to go inside. Next to the pub is the fifteenth century church, as it is in most villages.

Built of local stone it's watched over and been a part of village life for centuries. Unfortunately these days it's locked most of the time to deter vandals, and used most by people who want a picturesque setting for their weddings and christenings. We're at the end of the street now with only the local garage to pass before we're once more heading out of St. Minton and off to see more of nearby Bodmin Moor. Maybe we'll go and climb up Rough Tor, follow in Emily and Ash's footsteps by going to Altarnun or hope to catch a sight of the shaggy moorland ponies.

I hope you've enjoyed having a look around St. Minton today and will come back again.


  1. What a beautiful setting! It sounds like the perfect place to spend a few weeks...

  2. This brings back many happy memories of Devon and Cornwall. Mostly childhood but also more recent ones from earlier this year. Thanks Angela - wonderful setting.

  3. It is a lovely area with its own unique beauty. Glad to help bring back happy memories, Sue.