Bolster was one of Cornwall’s largest giants. He could stand with one foot on Carn Brae and the other on the beacon near St Agnes, a distance of 6 miles! He must have been 12 miles high. He lived near the cliffs at St Agnes and was known for eating children and people at random as well as stealing sheep and cattle.
A Knight, Sir Constantine, and other local dignitaries challenged Bolster to a fight to the death. The fight took place at Chapel Porth and Bolster won over all his challengers. Eventually, St Agnes, a champion of early Christianity and a pillar of strength for local people, was the one to successfully rid the land of Bolster. She knew that he was in love with her (but obviously didn’t feel the same way in return) and asked him to prove this love and devotion by filling a hole in the cliff at Chapel Porth.
St Agnes chose a specific hole which she knew had a crack in the bottom that led to the sea, so soon Bolster bled dry and the cliffs at Chapel Porth were stained red with his blood… and they still remain that colour today. St Agnes’ victory is celebrated every year at the beginning of May.
You can find out more about what’s happening at the St Agnes Bolster Festival a over on the Visit Cornwall website.