Marrak the Man

Born outside Cornwall into a naval family, and brought up in St Just, West Penwith, Craig grew up with an early fascination for the legends and stories of his childhood. He explored the stone mounds and menhirs of West Cornwall as a boy, which led to his interest in archaeology. He joined the RAF in 1972 but broke his back, putting an early end to his military career and as a potential professional goal-keeper. However, he completed his cartography training, after which he became a draughtsman at Carrick Council in Falmouth.

Although been inspired by the works of Russell, Henderson, and others, he worried about the inaccuracy of their sketches, so decided to re-do their work using his cartographic and draughting skills, in the end surveying over 200 sites. Eventually he met Peter Pool, with whom he shared an interest in archaeology and history. He was subsequently introduced to Vivien Russell, Charles Thomas and others, becoming a member of the Cornwall Archaeological Society, and co-working with Pool and Thomas on “Principal Antiquities of the Land’s End Peninsula” in 1979. This launched his publishing career, after which came his own publications Belerion, Cornovia, and various place name publications.

In 1981 he was awarded bardship of the Cornish Gorseth, and in 1991 his first novel was published, “Lyonesse Stone”, the first of his Lyonesse Stone Trilogy. He also wrote “Nautilus”, a sequel to Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and “Mysterious Island”. This last non-place name book was “Peninsula People”, in 2018, whilst his Place Names of Cornwall and Scilly, is one of the most important works on Cornish place names written.

He was Chair of Agan Tavas for several years, and provided thoughtful, diplomatic, and stable leadership through the period of implementation of the Standard Written Form, and was a member of many committees on archaeology, heritage and language.

In later life he became very unwell with COPD, travelling less and less, and being less involved, but still he continued to write and publish. His legacy remains.