The Jamaicaway, Jamaica Plain; (617) 522-6258
From spring through fall, you can enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors without actually leaving the city. The Jamaica Pond Boathouse rents out rowboats for $6 per hour, and just $3 per hour for senior citizens. Small sailboats are available too, and quite reasonably priced at $10 an hour. If you go out with a few friends and split the cost, this is a true bargain. The boathouse is open daily during the season, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jamaica Pond Boathouse US Map & Phone & Address Photo Gallery
An ancient legend about St Aidan has it that in 651, the village of Bamburgh was set on fire by Penga, the pagan king of Mercia, and that when Aidan saw the flames from the Farne Island, ‘he went down and prayed in earnest’. In reply to the holy man’s prayers, the wind is said to have changed direction and the flames swept back onto the besiegers and their wicked king, making them flee for their lives. St Cuthbert arrived on Farne Island in the year 676, also to live as a hermit, and it was he who made the island famous. He built himself a cell, dug a well for fresh water, made a cross and then later built a guesthouse for any visiting monks. The cell was reputed to have had no windows and instead had a large square hole in the roof so that Cuthbert could see heaven. Unfortunately nothing of them exists today, except possibly the well, as there is one inside the Prior Castell’s Tower and no other well has ever been found. If this is correct, then it is very likely that Cuthbert’s cell would also have been positioned inside the Pele tower. It is also possible that the old stone remains of what is thought to be the ‘fishe-house’, located near the trip boat landing, are those of the monk’s guesthouse or hospitium. Legends dating back to this period claim that spirits and demons frequented the islands but that when Cuthbert arrived, he put them to flight from Farne Island. They only retreated to the outer islands, however, where their haunting screams could still be heard.
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