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Gydlavar dhe Lergh: Molvra ha Bodrighgi 

Trail Guide: Mulfra and Bodrifty

A circular walk including: Mulfra Quoit & Barrows, Mulfra Vean Courtyard House Settlement, Lower and Higher Ninnes, then back out onto the moors via Bodrifty, following part of the Tinners' Way. 


3 miles / 4.8km


Allow three hours

Starting grid reference:

SW 452 361

Public Transport:

Go Cornwall Bus route 16A, bus stop at start of walk, on the Zennor/Gurnards Head junction. 

Car Parking:

Small parking area beside the junction, at the mouth of an old quarry, and wide verge a short way below. 

Nearest Facilities

Gurnard's Head Hotel, Treen (1.5miles) 

Accessibility & Terrain info:

Half of the walk is over rough moorland paths with a moderate hill-climb, and the trackway through Mulfra Vean is very rough underfoot. There are a few granite stiles and steps on the footpath near Lower Ninnes, and cattle may be grazed in the fields. 

Safety info & disclaimer:

See here

Downloadable PDF:



Route Instructions:


Walk down the road from the junction, in the direction of Newmill, until you reach the "Public Bridleway" sign on the right, and the start of the path up the hill.



This is the very top of the Trye Valley - downstream from here is Newmill, Trevalyor, and Gulval, meeting the sea at Chyandour. 



Follow the path as it climbs steadily up the side of the hill. Don't forget to look behind you - as you climb, you'll be able to see developing views of the Zennor hills across to the north-west.



This path had been grown in for a number of years. It was recorded as a bridleway a few years ago by Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO), reopened by PLP and subsequently maintained by Madron Parish Council. 


As the path levels out onto the broad summit plateau, it passes just beside a barrow, one of at least three over the top of the hill here. Continue along the path, joining onto a second path that comes up the hill from the north-west, and to the Quoit. 



This Bronze Age Barrow is 11m in diameter and quite low to the ground. It was excavated by Borlase in 1871, who found charcoal and a pebble.  

In a north-westerly direction from this one (in the direction of Carn Galva), there is a second Bronze Age Barrow, then a Bronze Age Cairn. These two features are just beside the other path that climbs the hill from the north-west. 



Stop to appreciate the Quoit, and the panoramic views from it, for a while.

When you're ready, take the path that bears south downhill, in the direction of Mounts Bay, and follow it all the way down.



Mulfra Quoit is a Neolithic chambered tomb set within a round mound, likely constructed between 3500-2600 BC. Quoits are one of the oldest visible field monuments to survive in the present landscape. 

Only three of the original four upright stones remain and the capstone has slipped to the side.

Take caution as you descend, the path passes close to an open mine shaft. 



The path leads down into the ancient lane that runs between the field systems surrounding Mulfra Vean settlement. 




From this point you can access the courtyard houses on either side of the track.



Mulfra Vean is a prehistoric settlement, originally Bronze Age roundhouses, converted in the Iron Age to courtyard houses. There are the remains of at least four courtyard houses and earlier roundhouses, straddling a hedged lane.

To access the courtyard houses in the eastern side (which you reach first when walking downhill), large granite slabs form steps off the bridleway up to the boundary hedge, and then a granite stile had been built into the hedge. Slightly further down, on a spur off to the right of the bridleway, a section of Cornish hedge has been sensitively rebuilt to accommodate a pedestrian “Penwith” kissing gate adjacent to an existing field gate, giving access to the western courtyard houses. 

This site is a protected Scheduled Monument and access off the bridleway is permissive and limited to the settlement only. Read more about PLP's work at Mulfra Vean in this blog.



Continue down the lane, through the present-day settlement of Mulfra, and down the narrow zig-zagging road past horse fields. 


  The settlement at Mulfra is Medieval in origin, first recorded in 1260 when it is spelt 'Moelvre.'


On the second sharp left-hand bend, a public footpath drops steeply off the road (currently unsigned) down towards the stream. Cross the wonderful granite footbridge, and up to the gate into the field beyond.




Cross the two fields along the line of the footpath, to Trythall School.




Descend the granite steps down to the road, opposite Trythall School - turn right and head up the road.



The settlement of Ninnes is first recorded in 1314 when it is spelt "Insula" The name is Cornish and contains the element enys meaning 'island' Ninnis is now represented by the subdivision of Lower Ninnes, and is still occupied.

Note you can often park on the road opposite the school, outside of school start/finish times - this could serve as an alternate start/finish point to the walk. 



Turn right at the junction and follow the road up the valley. 



Take care walking along the road. There are good views east from the road across to Mulfra Vean settlement and the hillside.


Take the lane branching off to the right (signed to Bodrifty), follow it up until it becomes a track - note the Public Bridleway sign - and out onto the edge of the moor.


  The present-day settlement at Bodrifty Farm was first recorded in 1350. 'Bod' means 'dwelling'. 


From here, you can visit the Bodrifty Iron Age Settlement via the gate on your right.

Continue north along the built track (this is the access track for Higher Bosporthennis). It passes around the side of a large area of bog, on the flat watershed between higher ground either side. You reach a Public Bridleway sign, pointing off to the right of the track.



Bodrifty Iron Age Settlement. A well-preserved, enclosed hut circle settlement and associated field system - this one particularly significant in terms of how long it was used for; artefacts discovered during a 1950s excavation included 370 pot sherds of the late Bronze Age, and the early and late Iron Age, as well as eight sherds of late Roman provincial wares. 

The settlement is on private land and is open courtesy of the owners (see here)

A permissive path heads north-east out from the settlement, and rejoins the main route before Point 15, passing two Bronze Age barrows at the top of the enclosed land. 



Head up the bridleway as it hugs the boundary hedge marking the outer extent of Bodrifty land. At the top, it joins up with the path that crosses Bodrifty, and carries on over the broad northern shoulder of Mulfra Hill.



There are a significant number of old track lines all heading west-east in this part of the landscape. All of them, collectively, can be considered part of the Tinners' Way - perhaps all have served a similar purpose at different times, and moved around as the lines go through cycles of erosion and regeneration, coming in and out of use. 



The track here follows close to the parish boundary between Madron and Zennor, and between Mulfra and Bosporthennis Commons.

Follow it down back towards the start, around the old quarry and out to the road.



There are a number of early medieval Parish Boundary Stones a little way to the north of the line of the track. Only one of them appears to be recorded on the Historic Environment Record, but there are many marked on the Ordnance Survey. 

Great views from here back to the Galvas, and the ridge of Nine Maidens Common, and the other way across to the Zennor hills and Lady Downs.