St Michael’s Mount: ‘Fairytale’ island needs new gardener | - South Africa News

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St Michael's MountImage copyright St Michael’s Mount

St Michael’s Mount, a mystical island with its own castle, is looking for a new gardener.

The successful applicant will be “hands-on” with plenty of previous experience and the agility of a “mountain goat”.

The job comes with its own house in the village and the chance to become part of the “friendly island community”.

Duties include abseiling down the castle’s battlements to care for its exotic garden.

Image copyright St Michael’s Mount

“Gardening on a rock in the middle of the sea isn’t for the faint-hearted, nor is abseiling from the battlements of a castle,” the job listing reads.

“But the garden team on St Michael’s Mount take all this in their stride as well as the general terrain which would challenge the most agile mountain goat.”

It adds: “Beyond the physical challenges, the garden team are passionate about the island’s unique garden and continue to develop the plant collection using species that thrive in one of the UK’s most challenging environments.”

Image copyright St Michael’s Mount

Situated 500 yards off the coast of Cornwall, the Mount is reached by ferry boats which run between Marazion and the island’s harbour.

Legend has it the castle was built by a giant called Cormoran who would go ashore to raid livestock from local farms.

A reward was offered in return for killing the giant and a young boy called Jack slayed the beast and became a local hero.

He was subsequently hailed as “Jack the Giant Killer”.

Image copyright St Michael’s Mount

The island takes its name from St Michael who supposedly appeared to a group of fishermen in 495 AD.

The oldest surviving buildings date from the 12th Century, when a Benedictine priory was founded here.

Following the English Civil War, the island was acquired by the St Aubyn family, who still live in the castle.

Image copyright St Michael’s Mount

In 1954 the family went into partnership with the National Trust and the castle and its grounds were opened to the public.

It now attracts over 65,000 visitors from April to September.

The Mount is home to about 30 residents, has its own church, ancient harbour and gardens full of exotic flora.

The closing date for applications is 7 June with interviews later in the month.

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