Copyright C Timms 2009
St Neot Bluebells
The St Neot Village Walk:
(Red Line) Distance approximately 3/4 of a mile. Allow 1/2 hour, (Wellington boots required when wet).
Starting from the car-park in the village turn right and proceed down Lampen Lane, and follow the way marked route to the river. The route follows the river for one hundred yards. Those who wish to can continue on this track along the river to Carnglaze Slate Caverns (passing by the newly restored waterwheel at Lampen Mill). Cross the footbridge into the water-meadow. Piles of mine waste can be seen on the valley side opposite, remnants of Wheal Mary mine which operated a century ago, firstly as a silver mine and latterly for tin and copper. The path crosses the meadow and climbs the steps to rejoin the village at the foot of Loveny Road. A gentle climb leads you back into the village and towards the church. A visit to the church forms the highlight of any visit to St. Neot. The church contains the finest example of stained-glass windows in Cornwall, best viewed on a sunny day. Within the churchyard can be seen ancient examples of early Christian crosses.
Adjacent to the west gate is the London Inn, church and public house forming an unholy alliance as in many Cornish villages. The London Inn was an old staging inn on the old main road (pre Victorian era) to London. In the centre of the village, opposite the village shop can be seen a hollow in the wall lined with granite reveals. Occupying the hole is an ancient mortar stone used for crushing tin ore prior to smelting. A small diversion down the lane along the river will lead the walker to the Holy Well. Returning from the well along the river and over the bridge will lead the walker back to the starting point.
The Goonzion Downs Walk:
(Red Line) Distance approximately 2 miles. Allow 1 hour.This is also a circular Bridle Route.
Text written by the pupils of St. Neot Junior School.
The word Goonzion means 'dry downs'. It got it's name because on the downs there are no traces of flowing streams or rivers. The only water you will see along your journey are puddles. Goonzion is covered in gorse. Villagers used to mine copper and tin from these downs. Our walk starts from the cattle Grid at the top of Tripp Hill (Point 1). The fenced off area adjacent to the gridis the remnant of Wem Shaft, now long filled in. When miners did discover ore it would be dug out and put in to a bucket. A horse would then walk around a circle and with the help of pulleys (or a whim) would haul the ore up. There would be long vertical ladders for men and boys to use to get up and down in the shaft.
From point 2 follow the waymarked route taking in the wonderful views of the village.The path continues to the ancient Barrow at point 3. People think this was where an ancient Bronze Age Chief was buried. Over the years it has been dug into by treasure seekers. Just to the west of the barrow is the level area which was to be a football field. It was cleared after the war, but was never used as it was too far from the village and too isolated.
At point 4 as you follow the path note the view of the distant peaks of Brown Gelly and Carburrow, on a clear day you can see Berry Castle and in the west are views of Belowda Beacon and the China Clay District. Parsons Pit is at point 5. Very little is known of the derivation of its name but it may have been used by some itinerant preachers during the introduction of Non Conformist Christianity into Cornwall, as was the case with Gwennap Pit.
There are many smaller pits on Goonzion Downs which are the result of mining operations taking place over centuries close to the surface to extract tin from the ground initially in the form of shode workings and latterly by shallow mining and quarrying. Point 6 is the famous Crowpound of the St. Neot Legend. The legend tells that church attendances were dropping because farmers were defending their corn crops from marauding crows instead of attending Divine Worship. St. Neot impounded the crows in Crowpound during the hours of worship so the congregation would not have to worry about defending their crops. From here the traveller can make their way east along the common or road to Wem Shaft where the walk commenced.
The Crowpound is in fact a rectilinear Romano-British earthwork dug some centuries before St Neot's time!
Two Valleys Walk:
(Red Line) Distance 6 miles. Allow 2 hours
This walk links the river valleys of the Loveny and the Fowey crossing open moorland. It is a walk of contrasts and the rewards are magnificent views from the Iron Age Fort on Berry Down. The route takes quiet back lanes out of the village, skirting the moor before following the Fowey upstream through wooded valley to Trenant and then branching out to follow the Bowden stream up onto the moor.
Starting from the car-park, cross over the bridge and take the road uphill beside the London Inn. One hundred yards further on, as the road levels out, take the unmetalled track (Back Lane) beside the old school. Turn right as the lane emerges onto the metalled road again at Newton Farm. Follow the road up bearing right at the top, do not take the footpath indicated at this point. Continue for a further 200 yards to the T-junction and then turn right, heading downhill to Wenmouth Cross. The ancient cross, now much disfigured, stands at this crossroads, it was moved from Lampen Lane to Wenmouth Cross in 1932.
Take the road signposted to Liskeard and then 50 yards down the road take the turning left for Draynes. This road drops gently downhill with views into the Fowey valley Take the next turning right to bring you into the hamlet of Treverbyn. In the hedge just before the hamlet is the base stone, carved out of granite, of a cider press. Please keep to the waymarked route on the left through the gate to the field. Continue to the bottom of the field crossing a stile where you enter into the lane.
We can depart briefly from our route, turn left onto the highway (Extra care should be taken at this point due to traffic) the road crosses the leat for Treverbyn Mill then onto Treverbyn Bridge. Built around 1412 it lay on the main road to London. Retracing our steps, head back and take the track into the woods past the slate quarry. Keep on this track before descending to the river down the steps. Pause a while to enjoy the wonderful scenery. You might be lucky and spot a kingfisher.
The track follows the river before departing to head up to Trenant. The disturbed ground at this point are the remnants of medieval tin streaming when the ore was extracted from deposits laid down in the bed of the river. Cross the road at Trenant and take the track into Periock and Bowden woods. The route climbs gently up onto the high country and emerges at Lower Bowden. Turn right on the road and after a mile turn left onto the open moorland of Berry Down.
Permission has been granted by Trustees of the Glencross Estate, S. Tregilges, and K. Rice for walkers to climb to the top of Berry Down where there are magnificent views to the south. Just below the top of the hill looking south are the banks of a hillfort known as Berry Down Castle. The hillfort is traditionally dated to the Iron Age (300 B.C.) but may date back to the Bronze Age (1500 B.C.). Clearly visible within the banks are the remains of nine hut circles with a tenth circle near the top of the hill outside the bank. Here the walls have been breached by much later mining activity which has also disturbed the interior, providing sheltered hollows for stunted oaks. Now we can rejoin our path and begin our descent to St. Neot, down the rough track known locally as Stony Lane.
Cross over the crossroads and follow the road downhill passing Tremaddock Farm. Pause a moment and look at the view to the south. Goonzion Downs can be seen above the village with the 'Cornish Alps' at St. Austell beyond. After the cottage bear right towards Hilltown Farm. Note the ancient Cornish cross on the hedge. Following this road and turning right at the next junction will bring the walker back into the village of St.Neot.
Some further walks in the Parish by reference to the Explorer Map of Bodmin Moor
(O.S. No. 109), as suggested by local countryside enthusiast Colin Robbins
Draynes Bridge / Golitha Falls
There are two circular walks from Draynes Bridge, down through the woods to Golitha Falls. Beginning and ending at the car park (228690), both walks are waymarked and the longer route takes no more than about an hour.
Draynes / Higher Bowden / Wortha / Draynes
(1.5 - 2 hours)
Starting from Draynes at SX214691 (parking limited), take the signed path from just south of West Draynes Farm, crossing a stile into a field. The path follows a westerly direction across several fields to Carpuan. There is an interesting old series of steps over a fairly high wall at one point. Beyond that, as the path descends to Carpuan, is a tree which seems to grow out of a large boulder. En route there are good views to the south. From Carpuan, follow the lane to Higher Bowden, turning right at the T -junction. Follow the lane northwards and turn right at the next junction to Northwood. The lane becomes a track and leads down to a small stream, then ascends to Wortha (a couple of isolated cottages). From there, follow the footpath eastwards across fields to a track which runs back down to the lane east of Draynes. At the T junction turn right along the lane to return to Draynes.
Colliford Lake Walks
In the north of the Parish there are walks beside Colliford Lake, particularly on the west side, beginning and ending at any of the four car parks shown on 0.S.109.
The public paths used on this website and all other public rights of way in Caradon are the responsibility of Cornwall County Council. Any problems encountered, relating to these paths should be reported in writing to the Countryside Access Section, Highways Department, Cornwall County Council, Central Group, Castle Canyke Road, Bodmin PL31 1DZ giving full details of the problem and its precise location.
St Neot Ramblers
Photos below have been taken during "out of parish" Rambles by the St Neot Ramblers
Copyright C Timms 2007
Copyright B Timms 2007
Copyright B Timms 2008
As can be seen by the different clothes people are waring in the photos, walks are undertaken during all seasons of the year and in various parts of Cornwall and occasionally Devon
Copyright B Williams 2011
Copyright C Timms 2006
Copyright B Timms 2006
The St Neot Ramblers meet regularly and walk in various areas of Cornwall. They operate a car sharing system to the start point of walks away from the parish. You would be most welcome to join in, contact Brian Williams 01579 321394 for further details and the annual programme. Reports of monthly walks appear in St Neot News most months.