Rosamunde Pilcher is something of a Cornish icon these days, bringing the fans of her books and films to the south west every summer to soak up some of that special “Pilcheresque” atmosphere. Throughout the winter in Germany the tranquil days of a Cornish summer have been translated into the setting for the Pilcher films leading to the expression that Sunday night is “Pilcher night” or as one of our German bed and Breakfast guest put it “you can sometimes see the same film three times in one year” I gathered his wife was a big fan!
We were thrilled last year when scenes for “Fast Noch Verheiratet” were filmed here at Ednovean Farm and we had the chance to meet some of the cast and crew at work. Our heroine’s bedroom was the Pink bedroom complete with its hand carved four poster bed although she magically walked out through the Blue Bedroom’s French doors, to stand on the terrace gazing at St Michael’s Mount
About Rosamunde Pilcher – authoress 1924 – 2019
Rosamunde Pilcher was born in 1924 in Lelant in West Cornwall and later attended school in Penzance. She married in 1946 and went to live in Scotland where she started to write setting her books within her deep observation of her two loves of Cornwall and Scotland. Her first big breakthrough came when her book “The Shell Seekers” topped the New York Times bestseller list for forty-eight weeks.
Over the years Rosamunde Pilcher has written 28 romantic novels which in turn sold an incredible 60 million books to the value of an incredible 100 million. Books that in turn have given rise to the famous TV series that can attract as many as 7 million viewers.
Rosamunde Pilcher wrote her final novel The Winter Solstice before announcing her retirement – how fitting that this novel (and one that is my personal favorite) topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
Sadly I’m updating today to tell you that Rosamunde Pilcher died on the 6th of February 2019 after a short illness.
Rosamunde Pilcher stories
“Just heavenly to have seen you”
To read the Rosamunde Pilcher books is to escape to a comfortable world where flowers are always set in guest bedrooms, hostesses always wear elegant cashmere, throw splendid drinks parties and breathe “Just heavenly to have seen you” to departing guests. Dogs are marched along windswept beaches below ever wheeling gulls accompanied by crashing breakers sending foam flying across the sands; where delicious picnics are eaten in the shelter of the dunes on winter’s days or bathing parties assemble on private beaches, just below the house of course, in the summertime .
The Pilcher world is where reckless love stories are resolved by handsome, competent heroes who rescue the pretty heroine from unsuitable caddish lovers and financial woes are always resolved by timely inheritances. The houses are always handsome or prettily decaying and the gardens are exquisite too of course, all set to the backdrop of the sound of the seas that frame the beautifully paced stories.
These are comfortable books to laze in the garden with on a summers day or curl up in front of the fire with in the winter; books that reflect the vintage authoress and her departing era at its very best.
Explore the film locations around the Cornish coast that inspired Rosamunde Pilcher
To explore the Cornish world of Rosamunde Pilcher, try following The Penwith Tour that hugs the sea travelling around edge of West Cornwall and you will never be very far from one of the romantic film locations following the coastline along the way.
Cornwall attracts film crews from home and abroad with the Poldark, Pilcher and Doc Martin teams hard at work along the rugged cliffs and idyllic villages well into the autumn each year, ready to prepare for the winter months screening. The list of locations will be endlessly evolving, some are used more frequently and some locations just conjure up the world of Rosamunde Pilcher
St Michael’s Mount
This romantic tidal island topped by a fairy tale castle and former priory, is the jewel of Mounts bay and featured as a backdrop in the Shell Seekers and Coming Home (starring Joanna Lumley) More information : – https://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/
The stark beauty of Land’s End so often feels the full power of ocean storms as the most south-westerly point in the British Isle: – Featured in the “Day of the Storm” More information : – https://www.landsend-landmark.co.uk/
The only Cape in Britain with wild rugged unspoilt coastal scenery climb to the top and watch the relentless waves roll towards Cornwall : – The Empty House, Another View, Snow in April
A little cove a where the quarried cut granite has been left on the bracken clad hillside. tumbling down towards the harbour and yet arrested by time and seemingly abandoned there: – The Shell Seekers, Voices in Summer
Gwithian Beach, Gwinear and Godrevy Point
The great swathe of sands flanked by sand dunes, with breathtaking views that arc around St Ives bay make this an often visited location. “When Fish Smile” featured scenes from Godrevy Point
St Agnes Head
Windswept cliffs haunted in places by the Engine Houses of the mining era with dramatic walks over the National Trusts coastline
Cornish towns and harbours
The former Stannery town from the Tin Mining era, set around a working harbour – take the slip road beside teh Dry dock to explore the time-worn granite pavements of the Historic Chapel Street area including the Admiral Benbow and Penlee House in Morrab Road
St Ives is a former fishing village and Artist colony with fabulous sandy beaches below the maze of narrow alleys and lanes. Top tip take the scenic railway from Lelant to enjoy at its best
This imposing granite harbour which is so often battered by fierce storms in the winter time is a mecca for fish lovers visiting the restaurants that line the harbour in the summertime. The Ship Inn was used for “When Fish Smile”
Cornwall’s Historic Houses and Gardens
Pencarrow House and Gardens, Wadebridge Georgian Manor “The Red Dress” and 2011 adaptation of “The winery”
Prideaux Place Padstow: – An Elizabethan Manor that has played a part in 16 dramas including “Four seasons Winds across the Sea” and “End of Summer”
Godolphin House – Medieval Gardens and atmospheric old house – one of the oldest in Cornwall. Take your walking boots to visit it the bluebell woods in springtime and climb to the top of Godolphin Hill for stunning views to St Ives, Carn Brea and St Michael’s Mount
Polgoon Vineyard near Penzance. Follow the road between Penzance and Land’s End to see this vineyard and orchard stretching up the hillside or take a guided tour and wine tasting
The atmospheric bars and low beams of many Cornish pubs have graced the film sets.
Try The White Heart set in the square below the church walls in Ludgvan near Penzance. The Admiral Benbow and The Turk’s Head in Chapel street in Penzance or the Sloop Inn – a former Artists and Fishermen’s haunt in St Ives.
Memories that last a lifetime
Rosamunde Pilcher’s Cornwall will be a never-ending story, immortalised in her books and the films inspired by them.
A visit to Cornwall to explore her world will leave memories to last a lifetime. Happy Locations Hunting and to overfilled bookcases!