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Knill Monument, St Ives, Cornwall. 1901 or 1906

Knill Monument, St Ives, Cornwall. 1901 or 1906


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Royal Cornwall Museum

Royal Cornwall Museum Photo Prints and Wall Art

Knill Monument, St Ives, Cornwall. 1901 or 1906

Panoramic view of crowds at the " Knill Ceremony" overlooking Carbis Bay, St Ives, probably 1901 or 1906. John Knill was born in Callington on 1st January 1733 and worked as a collector of Customs in St Ives between 1762 and 1782, where he also became mayor in 1767. He was regarded as being slightly eccentric. In that same year, 1767, he decided to build a 50 foot, three sided, pyramid style granite structure on Worvas Hill just to the south of St Ives, to be known as Knills Steeple. It was erected as his intended burial place. The monument bears on one side the painted coat of arms of Knill, with the Latin " Resurgam" (I shall arise) and, in English, " I know that my redeemer liveth". In his will he left detailed instructions for ceremonies to be carried out in his memory every five years on St James Day, July 25th at the Steeple, including dancing for fifteen minutes to the tune of " All people that on earth due dwell" by ten young girls under the age of 10, and who traditionally have to be daughters of either fishermen, tinners or seamen. They are accompanied by two widows, the Mayor, the Customs Officer and a Master of Ceremonies. In his will John left money for the upkeep of the monument and for celebrations to take place. The first ceremony, in which John Knill participated, took place in 1801. He died in his chambers on 29th July 1811 in Grays Inn Square London and is buried in St Andrews Church, Holborn. Photographer: Probably Edward Ashton

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TRURI : IVSkn.4

Media ID 12931095

© From the collection of the RIC

Dresses Hats Suits Women


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Arts > Artists > B > James Bayes

> Arts > Artists > D > Edward Dayes

> Arts > Artists > H > John Hillers

> Arts > Artists > H > John Hills

> Arts > Artists > S > John Steeple

> Arts > Artists > Y > John Young

> Arts > Dance

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > Ashton

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > Callington

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > Carbis Bay


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print captures the Knill Monument, a striking granite structure overlooking Carbis Bay in St Ives, Cornwall. The panoramic view showcases a bustling crowd gathered for the renowned "Knill Ceremony" believed to have taken place in either 1901 or 1906. The monument was built by John Knill, an eccentric figure born in Callington on January 1st, 1733. As a collector of Customs and mayor of St Ives in 1767, he left his mark on the town's history. Knills Steeple stands tall at 50 feet with its three-sided pyramid design and bears his coat of arms painted on one side along with the Latin phrase "Resurgam" (I shall arise) and the English inscription "I know that my redeemer liveth". In his will, John outlined elaborate instructions for ceremonies held every five years on July 25th at the Steeple to honor his memory. These rituals included young girls under ten years old dancing for fifteen minutes to the tune of "All people that on earth due dwell". Only daughters of fishermen, tinners, or seamen were traditionally chosen for this unique performance. John also allocated funds from his estate to maintain the monument and ensure these celebrations continued. The inaugural ceremony took place in 1801 with John himself participating before passing away on July 29th, 1811. Preserved through time by photographer Edward Ashton (not associated with any company), this historic image offers us a glimpse into both an extraordinary man's legacy and a cherished tradition deeply rooted in St Ives' cultural heritage.

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