Walking Trail: St Just to Tregeseal & Carn Kenidjack

This is an “out and back” walk starting from the centre of St Just with a circular section around Truthwall and Carnyorth Commons,  featuring a wealth of historic sites, particularly the Tregeseal Stone Circle, barrows and holed stones.

An alternative starting or finishing point is Botallack, via Devil’s Lane (see dotted line on map).

The route is dog friendly, but note that cattle are grazed on the Common as part of a Higher Level Stewardship scheme – please keep dogs under control if around cattle. This route includes some sections on the public roads.

Distance: 

Approx. 4 miles / 

Ascent: 

Approx. 150 meters

Time:

Allow at least three hours

Starting grid reference:

SW 371 314

Public Transport:

St Just and Botallack are both served by the West Penwith Community Bus Service (PZS007) and First Kernow Buses (routes A17 and A3).

Car Parking:

Free Public Car Park in St Just

Nearest Public Toilets:

St Just, by the public car park

Ordnance Survey Map:

Explorer Map sheet 102

Safety info & disclaimer:

See here

Downloadable PDF:

See here

 

 

Route Instructions:

Read more

 

1.

Starting from Market Square, in St Just town centre, walk eastwards towards The St Just Church, along Church Street. Follow through keeping the church to your left, into “Venton East Square”.

 

 

St Just’s 15th century parish church is famous for its wall paintings depicting St George and the dragon and Christ of the Trades. It also has a 10th century cross shaft built into the north wall, and a 6th century inscribed stone. In the churchyard are two medieval wayside crosses."Venton" is a Cornish word meaning a spring or fountain.

 

2.

From here, take the tarmacked public footpath downhill north-east into the valley below.

 

   

3.

When you reach the road, turn left and walk 100m along the road, until you reach a public footpath heading off to the right over a granite stile.

 

   

4.

Go over the stile and follow the public footpath along the back of the houses. It crosses a bridge over the stream and out onto the road

 

   

5.

Once out onto the road, turn right and follow the road as it heads up the valley, ignoring any side roads.

 

   

6.

Access point for Tregeseal Entrance Grave (note no public access at present).

2019-01-03 Tregeseal entrance grave and Holed stones clearance 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tregeseal Entrance Grave is of a form of "chamber tomb" found normally in the Isles of Scilly; there are only a handful of sites of this type on the mainland. Thought to be Neolithic. PLP volunteers were given permission to clear, maintain and survey the site. There is currently NO PUBLIC ACCESS arrangement in place for this site. 

 

 

 

7.

Here, you come to a fork, and the road becomes a gravel track. Take the right hand fork.

 

 

If you look back across the valley from here, it's possible to see the Tregeseal Entrance Grave from the lane here.

8.

Turn to the left and continue up the track towards Hailglower Farm.

 

   

9.

Continue past Hailglower farm and into the narrow lane beyond.

 

   

10.

Here the lane opens out onto the Common.  Go through the gate to the right and follow up the track.

 

 

You're greeted by a view of the rocky outcrop of Carn Kenidjack. A very interesting pond is down the path to the left.

 

11.

A short distance up the track, Tregeseal Stone Circle will appear on your right, accessed by a small spur off the main track, marked by a CASPN tablet. Go and have a look! When done, return to the track you were on, and continue uphill. 

2018-07-25 PLP Site Scoping trip 13 Tregeseal Circle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stone Circle is thought to be early Bronze Age or Late Neolithic, and one of two circles originally part of the site.

12.

At this point, a secondary path forks off to the right of the main track - take this path to the right.

 

 

A network of firebreaks is maintained throughout the common. Many of the main paths across the common are managed in this fashion, as well as additional firebreaks.

13.

The path passes between a pair of round "barrows" - one to the right, followed by another to the left. There are a number of others nearby but these are the best preserved.

 

 

"The two best preserved barrows are 12.2m and 14m in diameter, both about 1.5m high. One of them has part of its kerb remaining and may have held a cist (burial urn). The other still has the remains of a stone chamber, which may have been an entrance grave. All of these barrows were part of a funerary complex, and probably held the remains of the ancestors who built the stone circles" (CASPN)

 

 14.

Here you'll come to the Tregeseal Holed Stones, on your left. From this point, you have a view back across to St Just, and in the opposite direction you can see Boswens Menhir, a tall standing stone, silhouetted on the skyline of the hill.

 2019-01-09 Carnyorth Common access task 04

 

 

“Thought to be contemporary with the other monuments in the area, but their function and purpose is not clear. Some have been re-erected within living memory, and may not be in their original positions. Speculation that they were originally aligned to a significant feature (barrow or tor) on the horizon or perhaps to view the moon at a significant phase. Within recorded times, one of the stones in particular has been used for “handfasting” ceremonies”.  (CASPN)

 

 15.

The path heads downhill slightly towards the easterly corner of the common. A second path branches off to the left and climbs directly up the hill. Follow this path directly uphill towards Carn Kenidjack.

 

 

Post Medieval Farmstead & field systems

 16.

Re-join the main path, now heading north west up to the summit of the hill.

 

 

 

 17.

At the top, small paths branch off left to give access to Carn Kenidjack itself – well worth stopping off for panoramic views in both directions. 

 2018-06-28 Trail Survey W08 Tregeseal 067

 

Also known as "The Hooting Cairn" in local legend, referring to the sound of the wind blowing through the unusually shaped outcrops.

You can see from here, looking north and east, (moving left to right along the horizon): Watch Croft, Carn Galver, Little Galver, Woon Gumpus, Chun Quoit and Castle, Nine Maidens Common, Greenburrow Engine House (Ding Dong mine), Castle an Dinas (hill fort, folly and quarry) - then closer, further round - Boswens Menhir and the Air Traffic Control Station

 

 18.

Rejoin the main track.  (Note a number of different routes intersect here).  You are now walking on the line of the Tinners’ Way for a short while.

 

 

Look out for a boundary stone with letters carved into it, at the junction of paths on the hilltop here. One one side is the letter C (for Carnyorth) and T on the other (for Trewellard) - once marking the boundary between the two manors .

 

 19.

The path passes round the base of Carn Bean, the hill with the radio transmitter on top.

 

 

The name "Carn Bean" means "Little Tor," presumably by comparison with Carn Kenidjack. Hidden amongst the bracken below the mast are two Bronze Age barrows.

 20.

Here there is a route off the common towards Carnyorth. Ignore this, instead taking the path down to the left that follows along the edge of the common, to the top of another lane.

 

   

 21.

This is the top of Devil's Lane, an ancient green hollow-way, and considered to be part of The Tinners' Way. You can use this route to continue on to Botallack (shown as a dotted red line on the map).  Instead, turn left and across the field to an opening on the opposite side.

 

 

“Devil’s Lane” – an English name (rather than Cornish), probably associated with local legends of the devil hunting lost souls across the moor.

 

 22.

Follow through the gate and onto the track that goes round the pond back towards where you came onto the common. Retrace your steps back to St Just.

 

   2018-06-28 Trail Survey W08 Tregeseal 028
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