National Geographic : 1964 Jun
St. Michael in stained glass spears a devil in the castle's chapel. Legend says the archangel, who spoke to Moses on Sinai, appeared to fisher men on St. Michael's Mount A.D. 495. Edward the Confessor in 1044 presented the island to the Benedictine Order for the "salvation of my soul." 884 Thomas Luny's 18th-century painting exaggerates lovely forest, now drowned, where our big bark raced that day. I meant to heed my mate's advice to visit St. Michael's Mount myself. But that same strong wind that blew us swiftly into Fal mouth blew us out again, with orders to take our wheat to Wales. It was many years before I passed that way again. Meanwhile my interest had been quick ened by sight of the other St. Michael's Mount, off France. Called Mont St. Michel there, the towering mass of granite, though larger, bears a strange resemblance to its counter part across the Channel (map, opposite). From the 11th century onward for some 400 years, the two Mounts were united through the Ben edictine Order and in their devotion to the archangel St. Michael. Pilgrims flocked to both, as tourists do today. Both support villages on their less steep slopes, the French village much larger than the Cornish. In the Middle Ages both were frequent scenes of battle and siege. At last I came back to Cornwall, cruising in the ketch Tectona from Cowes.* Again the Mount and its castle presented a sight in delibly impressive, the castle's granite walls *See "Cowes to Cornwall," by Alan Villiers, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, August, 1961.