Raleigh Trevellyan wrote: "In the early 1950s Derek Tangye and his wife Jeannie were walking along the cliffs near Lamorna, above Mount's Bay in Cornwall, when they saw a buzzard drifting overhead."
'Suddenly we saw below it in the distance a small grey cottage on the edge of a wood. It was as grey as the boulders heaped haphazardly around it, as grey as the ancient stone hedges which guarded long forgotten meadows. This was Minack. We knew at the instant of seeing it that it was to become our home.'
The quotation is from A Cornish Summer (1970), the seventh in a series of autobiographical books, all bestsellers and describing their life in that cottage, their early struggles on a flower farm, and their love for the wild landscape and their various animals, that has become known as the "The Minack Chronicles".'
The 19th, (his last) was The Confusion Room, which was published in 1996.
This extract was taken from the obituary which appeared in the 'Independent', dated 6th November 1996, that Raleigh Trevelyan, wrote for Derek Tangye who died 26th October 1996.
It was one of many obituaries to be written for Derek, who was a very popular author with a fan base willing to travel thousands of miles to visit him and his wife Jeannie (she passed away in 1986), at Dorminack, the home they had lived in since their move to Cornwall from London in 1950.
Today, the fan base is as strong and readers still make the journey to visit Oliver land, which is another legacy from Derek and Jeannie. A nature reserve at one time managed by Derek's named Trustees but that passed in 2018 to the care of Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Principally a reserve for wildlife it is also 'A Place for Solitude' for those who want to immerse themselves in the surroundings of a Cornish cliff where small meadows are filled with wildlife, within the sound of the sea.
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The former home of Derek and Jeannie Tangye is situated near Lamorna Cove in West Cornwall.
At the end of a long winding lane, which is private, lies both Dorminack & Oliver land. Access to Oliver land is through a 'kissing gate' via the South West Coastal Path.
Presently, you can use both OS map marked footpaths and a permissive path from Lamorna Cove to Oliver land, details are given later.
Dorminack is listed with English Heritage
A Nature Reserve once managed by Trustees; Derek and Jeannie Tangye bought the 18 acres to preserve it in perpetuity for the natural flora, fauna and wildlife that abide there. The public may use it as a ‘Place for Solitude’, for quiet contemplation, to feel at one with nature, to admire its beauty and timelessness.
Oliver land was listed with Natural England until 2020.