Giant Bolster

Giant Bolster

Giants loom large in the folklore of Cornwall, and legend tells that once upon a time the Penwith area was plagued with them. Of the two most famous, Cormoran, the wicked Giant of St Michael's Mount was eventually dispatched by Jack The Giant Killer, but Giant Bolster is said to have succumbed to the wiles of a saintly woman!

Bolster must have been a truly enormous figure, since he could plant one foot on Carn Brea (the high hill just outside Camborne) and the other on the cliffs outside St Agnes - some six miles away as the crow flies he must have been, by the calculations of George Cruikshank, about 12 miles high.

Bolster was a bad tempered and violent brute I who terrorised the countryside and struck fear into the hearts of ordinary folk, but he met his match in the pious and chaste St Agnes. He fell in love with her and pursued her relentlesly, but St Agnes wanted none of it.

Sick of his constant attentions, St. Agnes told him to prove his love for her by filling up a hole in the cliff at Chapel Porth with his own blood. To Bolster that was an easy task. After all, he'd never miss a few gallons - but St.Agnes ' knew that the hole was bottomless and led into the sea below ! He stretched out his arm, plunged a knife into it and lay down to wait for the hole to fill up. It never did, of course and eventually Bolster lost so much blood he died.

Thus,St. Agnes was rid of his unwanted attentions but he left his mark behind. The cliffs at Chapel Porth to this day still bear a red stain, said to be from where his blood ran down into to sea.