The Rocky Valley Labyrinth and TSP
We love the original Path logo, it has such a connection to the area where Alex formulated the ideas behind The Surfer's Path. TSP was never destined to be a straightforward 'normal' magazine and thus it's masthead was far from normal, but what exactly are the origins of the Labyrinth, which still inspire our current logo today?
Well they are found in Rocky Valley, just north of Tintagel close to two ruined water mills. No one really knows exactly when they were carved, but there are three theories -
1. The most commonly quoted version suggests that they date to the Early Bronze Age (1800-1400 BC). Supporters of this view point to the similarities between the Rocky Valley carvings and carvings from Galicia, in Spain. There are some notable difference, however. The Spanish carvings are made on high ground, not in a valley bottom, but perhaps more tellingly, they are carved into relatively soft shale. It is unlikely these carvings would have survived so long.
2. The second theory is that the carved incisions in the rock face are so deep and crisp that they would have required metal tools, suggesting a date in the Celtic (Iron Age) period, roughly between 500 BC and AD 200.
3. The third theory is that the carvings are relatively modern, perhaps made by one of the mill owners. In support of that theory, there are several examples of dates and initials carved into stones on the mill. Could one of the mill's tenants have carved the labyrinths. It is unlikely to be known for sure, but there is nothing else like them in Northern Europe, they are typical found more commonly in the med.
Whatever they inspired Alex, who lived just above Rocky Valley, which flows into a very special beach break in North Cornwall as well. The labyrinth was modified, a perfect A-Frame inserted, and The Path was born.
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