Touch Me Pipes

Thanks to Adrian Chiles and an item on The One Show about strange British place names (yes, Ramsbottom is one of them), I've discovered that Touch Me Pipes is a small 'tenement' near Trevithian, in Cornwall. The name is an 18th century Cornish expression for 'to rest awhile'. It's on the Lizard peninsula, near St Keverne. Not seen it on a map yet!


Tom Cunliffe said...

Hightly recommend David Crystal's By Hook or By Crook if you're interested in English place names.

Nice blog - follwed links from your flickr - I'm Green Explorer. Regards, Tom

Sam Kirby said...

Hi Fred

I live at Touch Me Pipes - yes its a real place near St Keverne in Cornwall. Postcode is TR12 6RD and it pops up fine on Google Maps.

There are three cottages there and ours used to be an old drinking den. It's at the crossroads of lots of pathways and was used as a route home by quarry workers. The name has apparently got two possible roots. One is that to "touch me pipe" is an old Cornish expression meaning to take a break (have a smoke). The other is that in an illegal drinking den, the signal to the landlord that you thought the customs men might be in was to rub your finger on your pipe.

Allegedly the place is haunted - by jovial drinkers and the smell of pipesmoke. I've yet to experience that.

The name is not up on a sign anywhere but the central cottage does a have a small shield on it with two touching pipes - one variation of the name was "Touching Pipes"

so now you know....

fredblog said...

I'll be in Falmouth in a couple of weeks - is it accessible by public transport? mind you, if there's no sign then it may not be worth the trek! ;)

Barb said...

Hi Sam
I found your write up on 'Touch Me Pipe' very interesting, we have family coming over from Canada and they are very interested in visiting St Keverne to trace their family name (Pentecost. If you can give us some information on the area, it reeally would be appreciated.
Regards Barb

Unknown said...

One of the cottages at 'Touch me Pipes' (noted on the 1851 Census) was the home of James Bastian 1820-1893 with his wife Jane Mitchell. They are very distant relatives of mine and part of a long established Coverack family.