Tolla Crisp contacted me recently to extend an invitation to visit her new region holding, Mousehole, located to the south of her famous Frogmore, a place I’ve covered numerous times in these pages due to it’s sheer beauty. The two are connected to it via footbridge, with Mousehole expanding on the Cornish theme folded into the current iteration of Frogmore (which you can read about here), making both regions ideal for a joint visit, as well as each one standing on its own.
A Full region using the standard 20K land impact, Mousehole takes its name from the Cornish fishing hamlet of Mousehole (pronounced maʊzəl, or Porthenys in Cornish), located in the far south-west of the English county, on the shore of Mount’s Bay. Like Frogmore, the overall design is the work of Dandy Warhlol (terry Fotherington), whose hand and eye helps to give that flow of continuity between the two regions.
With a population of around 700, Mousehole has a long history as a fishing village that dates back to the 1200s. However, in modern times it is noted more as a visitor / tourist destination and for its many festivals and community events that are held throughout the year.
Whilst taking its name and a lot of its inspiration from the hamlet and Cornwall’s rugged coastline, the design also offers and inland setting that offers a mix of hints of Mousehole village and the wilder aspects of the county. Combined, these give the region a unique look and feel whilst also giving a hint why almost a third of Cornwall’s coast and some of its inland areas are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB) – giving them the same status as a national park.
The main part of the region is open to the public, encircled by a broad beach broken by rocky outcrops to form smaller coves typical of the kind that might be found along the Cornish coast. Along these sands are places to sit, bars to by found, opportunities for swimming or simply floating on the water.
Sitting within this are two upland areas which might be seen along the upper reaches of Cornwall’s rugged coast around Mount’s Bay, but which equally bring to mind the wilds of Bodmin Moor. Separated by a sandy divide that offers a shortcut between the north and south sides of the island, these two uplands are rich in greenery and home to individual scenes.
The larger of the two offers a setting that might have been lifted from the village itself – most notably the famous Mousehole Pub, which shares the hilltop with a stone-built house and a country church. No roads are visible here, however; instead, the buildings stand surrounded by moorland grass grazed upon by donkeys (Cornwall and neighbouring Devon are also noted for their donkeys), with visitors free to wander across the hilltop and perhaps cross the bridge spanning the shallow gorge to touch the second upland.
This smaller hill is home to an abandoned house (I admittedly found the motel sign outside to look and feel out-of-place), its garden overgrown and nature starting to reclaim its interior. Forlorn and decaying, it has the feel of a place that one might come across deep in the Cornish moorlands, once home to a farm or the retreat of a wealthy tin mine owner and his family, now long abandoned and forgotten.
Further touches of Mousehole and its surrounds can be found within the region. Just off the southern coast, for example, is an islet that is mindful of the small island of St. Clements sitting just off the entrance to the village’s harbour. Be mindful that the in-world island is actually a private residence, however, so do be wary of trespass.
Also, just off on of the beaches lies the entrance to a cavern. Find your way inside and you’ll discover a little homage to the tale of a hermit who was said to once lived along the coast at Mousehole.
Rich in detail and touches – off to the west is a smaller island, home to another little bar and also what might be an abandoned military facility of a kind that can be stumbled across around the English coast – Tolla’s Mousehole is another delight to explore and photograph – and a delight to explore.
- Mousehole (rated: Moderate)