the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

Brisons Veor, a writing residency

on December 14, 2017


I am enjoying the last couple of days of a two-week writing residency at the wonderful Brisons Veor, in St Just in Cornwall. This is made possible by the trust which accepts applications from anyone working in the arts to enjoy a period of respite from the distractions of daily life to focus on creative projects. The house is part of the brick building beyond the white houses. Constructed as a boiler house for the Cape Cornwall Tin Mine, it was converted by an architect in 1978 and purchased by Tracy O’Kates, the benefactor of Brisons Veor. It is believed to be the westernmost dwelling on the English mainland. You can also see the 138 year-old chimney stack of the mine which forms the highest point of the Cape.

Brisons Veor is situated at a point where Atlantic currents divide, moving south to the English Channel and north to the Irish Sea. In 1987 the Cape was purchased for the nation by Heinz, and given into the care of the National Trust. This unique location provides a rich environment for ideas and creativity to flourish.


It has been a wonderful fortnight of solitude, isolation and the elements. The wind is fabulous: it turns the sea into a rucked white apron that spreads over the blue. When the sun is out, warmth floods through an open doorway into the first floor workshop. The sound of the Ocean sucking, clawing and whooshing is a constant accompaniment. Inside at night when the wind blasts the walls, Brisons Veor embraces the occupant, safe and warm.

What a privilege to spend time at Brisons Veor, such a remarkable location. During the fortnight I have written poetry and started my next novel, this time using a six-year-old boy as the narrator of ‘That’s What I Know’.

8 responses to “Brisons Veor, a writing residency

  1. Suzanne Goldring says:

    How wonderful to have two whole weeks! Bet you forgot Christmas was nearly upon you!

  2. gailaldwin says:

    Too right! Part of the attraction of early December in Cape Cornwall.

  3. Wow. I’ve always thought about doing this.

    This might be a silly question, but did you stay in the whole time?

    I’d love to know more about how the whole process works.

    • gailaldwin says:

      The idea is to make the most of the entire experience. So, walking the coastal path, visits to St Ives and Penzance, going to cafes and pubs in St Just. I have to say I also spent a lot of time simply looking out of the window, mesmerised by the sea and sky. It is a wonderful opportunity – take a look at the website for further details.

  4. Maria McCann says:

    That sounds wonderful, Gail. I’ve just finished a residency myself, at the Hosking Houses Trust, and it makes such a difference to be away from daily distractions.

    • gailaldwin says:

      The location of Brisons Veor is superb. I’d love to go again. Glad you enjoyed Hosking Houses Trust – once my collection of flash fiction is published in 2018 I might make an application there.

  5. Wow… What a wonderful opportunity. I am very jealous!
    See you soon…

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