Hawkers Hut – Morwenstow, Near Bude, North Cornwall

Hawkers Hut - Morwenstow, Near Bude, North Cornwall (David Carvey)

Hawkers Hut - Morwenstow, Near Bude, North Cornwall

This little structure is known as Hawkers Hut and and is a one of the gems of Cornwall. It can be found just off the coastal path to the south of Morwenstow. The hut is so known because of its association with Rev Stephen Hawker (1803-1875), vicar of the parish of Morwenstow who is remembered as an eccentric who wrote poetry, wore outrageous clothes, smoked opium and though an Anglican vicar converted to Catholicism on his deathbed. He also wrote “The Song of The Western Men”, known by all Cornish men as “And Shall Trelawney Die”. He instituted Harvest Festivals at his church which has become a regular celebration throughout the Christian World. He built this hut on the cliffs near his church from driftwood and he would sit for hours watching the shores for shipwrecked seamen, many of whom he had buried in his churchyard, contrary to the usual practice. He was a genuine eccentric and although he has now faded out of living memory his reputation has passed on down the years for him to become an iconic figure.

The hut is in the care of The National Trust and is said to be their smallest property. Although well preserved, when I visited the ceiling and walls were littered with graffiti, some of which had been carved into the timbers, still, at least the huts structure has survived. This area of the North coast has a special atmosphere, desolate and lonely in parts but with some beautiful scenery, and well worth a visit.

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