Thursday, 15 December 2016

Bodmin, Poldark and a mince pie

Up on Bodmin Moor today for a 6.5 mile circular walk with some bracing rain and lots of mud. A joy to be out and about in it.
Our route (in green) was a figure-of-eight, starting and ending in the main car park at Minions. We walked down to Darite, up the Gonomena Valley to Minions and then out on the moor for a stretch.
Our first stopping point was the Long Stone just outside of Minions. It is thought that the stone was originally Bronze Age but was remodelled when a Celtic cross was carved on the top. More recently, it had a trig point marker carved into its side.
A muddy track down off the moor, probably used by miners and quarry workers.
Just an old culvert to take a stream under the old mineral railway. But a culvert made from impressively carved granite.
Into the mining landscape of the Gonomena Valley, with its chimneys and spoil heaps.
And engine houses, of course.
Swirling in the low clouds, the TV mast on Caradon Hill.
Not another muddy track but a line of granite sleepers on the bed of the old mineral tramway taking minerals and granite off the moor down to the harbour at Looe. This particular stretch is on a steep incline and trucks were manoeuvred up and down via a horse operated ropeway. The date? From the late 1700s.
At one time, as this marker post shows, this railway was called the Liskeard and Caradon Railway.
A detail of one of the granite sleepers with the holes into which the rail baseplates were fixed.
Back onto the moor with the Cheesewring in the distance.
There's always something to see - if you care to look. Here are a few buddles (used in processing tin) dating from, perhaps, the late 1600s. Associated with these is an extensive network of reservoirs and leats proving them with their power source, water.
Look carefully and you can make out a Bronze Age hut circle, with a Neolithic boundary wall leading off it.
A four-way crossroad in the middle of Craddock Moor. It looks familiar?
It should, if you've seen the recent series of Poldark. Use CGI to drop the sea into the background (in reality, it's about 15 miles away), provide a wooden signpost and there you have it. Augmented reality.
As it was Xmas, we ended up at the Cheesewring Hotel for mulled wine and mince pies. A very pleasant way to finish the day. It was nice to be in the warm!

No comments: