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definition - Lerryn

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Coordinates: 50°23′00″N 4°37′02″W / 50.3834°N 4.6173°W / 50.3834; -4.6173
Cornish: Lynngonna


 Lerryn shown within Cornwall
OS grid referenceSX140570
ParishSt Veep
Unitary authorityCornwall
Ceremonial countyCornwall
RegionSouth West
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtPL22
Dialling code01208
PoliceDevon and Cornwall
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK ParliamentSouth East Cornwall
List of places: UK • England • Cornwall
Lerryn village, showing river, stepping stones and village shop

Lerryn (Cornish: Leryon, archaically Lerrin) is a village in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It lies on either side of the Lerryn River, a tributary of the River Fowey. The northern side of the river is in St Winnow parish and the southern side is in St Veep parish. The river is tidal up to the village and a set of stepping-stones across the river is only crossable at low tide. The river has been bridged at this location for over 700 years and the current tiny arched stone bridge has survived since 1573, Queen Elizabeth I ordered the bridge built in order to have silver transported from a smelt on the south bank of the river.[1]

Smuggling was a part of village life in Lerryn, indeed one of the village lanes is called 'Brandy Lane' and it is said that a small cave which can still be found by an observant walker in Ethy woods, hides the entrance to a tunnel from the wood to Ethy House cellar; where contraband was hidden from the Excise Men. In reality the cave is in fact a Charcoal Burners' cave and no tunnel has been discovered however, it makes for a romantic smuggling story. An alternative explanation is that is was an exploratory mine adit.[1]

Kenneth Grahame may have based the book The Wind in the Willows or Tales of the Riverbank on Lerryn, or at least the Woods around Lerryn Toad Hall could be Ethy Manor on the hillside above the village, and the Wild Woods might be Ethy Woods and The Great Wood now managed by the National Trust. [1]. The woods do have a magical quality and near a small wooden bridge by Ethy Rock there are some willows by the banks of the river, where Grahame may have sat and penned his story. It is possible that Fowey the large port on the River Fowey of which the River Lerryn is a tributary, could be 'Troy Town'.

The village has a village school of about 30 pupils, a post office shop and a pub, The Ship Inn, which dates from at least 1762.[1] Much of the surrounding countryside is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The village hosts an annual 'Seagull' race, during which competitors can race any type of watercraft as long as it is propelled by a 'Seagull' outboard motor. This event attracts competitors from all over the world who are looking for an extraordinary challenge.

A large earthwork known as the Giants Hedge runs from Lerryn to Looe, which is captured in the rhyme One day when the devil had nothing better to do, he built a hedge from Lerryn to Looe. [2] The hedge is believed to be a defensive dyke built during the Dark Ages. [3]

Fountain in Tivoli gardens

There were four lime kilns in the village which were serviced by large sailing barges that carried their cargo up river from the deep port of Fowey, the river has become silted over the years and unfortunately only small craft can now navigate the shallow waters. The limekilns are still visible, even though one has been converted into a dwelling.

Paul King from Mungo Jerry, a 70s pop band, lived in Lerryn.[citation needed]

Lerryn at high tide showing some slight flooding and a converted lime kiln


  1. ^ a b c Acton, Bob (2001) [1990], [Expression error: Missing operand for > Around the River Fowey], Landfall Walks, 7, Landfall Publications, ISBN 1873443420 

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