D is for Doom Bar

Due to tricksy tides and land formations, the sand bank in the Camel Estuary opposite Padstow has a bad reputation for claiming ships and their crews.  Eventually at some point in the last century it underwent a name change from Dunbar, supposedly a derivation of dune bar, to Doom Bar, to accord with its gloomy status as treacherous deathtrap.  Folklore has it that a mermaid is at fault for all the lives lost, and its reputation has probably been worsened by false association with Tennyson’s morbid work Crossing the Bar; this references a completely different sand bar acting as a barrier between this life and the next.

Good things also come of the Doom Bar now it’s been dredged into submissio, it’s also the name of a beer from Sharps brewed in Rock ,  available in all good pubs in Cornwall and beyond.

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  • Words and pictures

    AtoZed of The Camel are a fly-tying, conservation-minded fisherman who lives on the Camel
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