With series 3 of the popular BBC series Poldark about to hit our screen in June it reminded me or The Old Vicarage connection to the Poldark novels.
Many of the places so beautifully described in Winston Graham’s Poldark novels can be traced to actual Cornish locations and the Old Vicarage at St Clement is no exception.
In his seventh novel Angry tide written in 1977 we are introduced to Reverend Osborne Whitworth, a particularly nasty man with a foot fetish who is also fond of flouting the seventh Commandment: ( prohibiting adultery).
In the original 1970s series Reverend Whitworth was played by none other than Christopher Biggins. Series 3 Rev Whitworth will be played by actor Christian Brassington – who was Boris Johnson in the More4 drama-documentary When Boris Met Dave.
Winston Graham wrote that Reverend Whitworth resided in a riverside vicarage in the fictional parish of St Margaret’s the location of which is described thus:
“The lane from the town of Truro out to St Margaret’s followed for part of the way – up the steep hill and down the other side – the main coaching road from St Austell to Truro, the road Ross Poldark has continued on after he had alighted last May. But for the last half mile or so it was a sharp right turn down a gentle declivity lined with trees before you get to the Church and the vicarage”
St Clement Hill, which you travel up on your way to The Old Vicarage, is the old main coach road from St Austell and Truro whilst the sharp right hand turn is the only tree lined road leading to the beautiful Church and our ancient riverside Vicarage.
Reverend Whitworth sadly meets his untimely demise on the journey described above; he is murdered at the crossroads halfway down the road to The Old Vicarage outside of the entrance to what is now Menadews Farm, an organic dairy farm which surrounds our peaceful hamlet.
Winston Graham wrote the Poldark series of 12 books from 1945 until 2002. He died in 2003.