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his walk: 2014-10-29. Grenofen, River Walkham, blue elvan quarry, West Down mine chimney and ruins, kiln, Buckator, country rock (slate), West Down.

NB - The walk was shortened today due to the anticipated wetness to be encountered going through high bracken lining a narrow footpath on the high down. This point is indicated below - the remaining photographs from the "recce" are included and the intended route is shown on the map below.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.


Google Satellite view of the area - including the GPS track of the walk (compare with the Ordnance Survey map plus track below)

Previous walks in this area: 10th June 2009 & 11th September 2013.  


1937-1961  1:25,000 OS map  - click or thumbwheel into the map.


Seamless 6-inch map.


An area where there were at least six mines in the past .....

From Grenofen / River Walkham car park, back over the river and turn left .....


River Walkham .....


The property over the bridge .....


Nearby sign .....


Another sign.


Looking back, having entered the Bymore Wood.


A side path leading to a blue elvan quarry, this is a type of granite used for road stone and ornamental carving ..... there are three sett makers' bankers in the quarry or approach track but they were overlooked today! .....


A natural bridge across the river.


The face of the blue elvan quarry .....


Closer view of the rock face .....


Another view.


Believed Rigidoporus ulmarius - a parasitic bracket fungus found on a range of dead broadleaved tree wood although it can be confused with Perenniporia fraxinia  .....


As previous photograph.


Unidentified fern, looking down on the bridle path - quite a drop.


A stone revetment, or retaining wall, supporting the track into the old quarry.


As previous photograph.


River Walkham.


A natural weir across the river .....


Another view.


West Down Mine chimney .....


View with the remains of a building behind .....


As previous photograph .....


Another view .....


Close-up .....


Looking inside .....


Looking upside - note the red colouration on the right.


A reduced group today due to half-term reasons!


There is a leat clearly visible in places running beside the river - this is seen crossing under the road up from the car park before we turned left onto the walk .....


The leat take-off from the River Walkham, at SX 4867 7032.


Kiln used for smelting arsenic, this was a byproduct of tin or copper smelting although around 1900, it became an important activity. This was important in West Cornwall and the Botallack arsenic reclamation system (see numbered photos 62-66) is very impressive .....


Entrance to the flue where arsenic was processed and afterwards scraped off the walls of the flue - a hazardous job. It leads to a square chimney further up the hillside. This was positioned to take the toxic fumes out of the valley.


The back wall of the kiln .....


A nearby wall ......




We know someone who went for a dip in here!


Uneven ground, from old mining activity?


Fallen tree.


A waterfall, of sorts, in the River Walkham, at SX 48311 70075 .....


Zoomed view.


An line of ancient beech trees. 



Approaching Buckator, originally the mine captain's house for the Sortridge and Bedford Mine.


Is this Buckator - a possible minor tor? Across the valley from here, near Double Waters (this being the confluence of the Tavy and Walkham rivers) is Buck Tor. Also in this area was the Virtuous Lady Mine (believed ancient and named after Queen Elizabeth I), it employed 200 men, women and children, source of tin, copper, arsenic and titanium - a long and chequered history, finally closing in 1855.


Road up from Buckator - with a steep drop on one side.


Seen along the way.


An isolated piece of country rock ..... using the British Geological Survey viewer: bedrock geology description: Tavy Formation - Slate. Sedimentary Bedrock formed approximately 359 to 385 million years ago in the Devonian Period. Local environment previously dominated by open seas with pelagite deposits .....


Sedimentary (slate) layers showing clearly .....


View of the rear of the rock - this is just above Double Waters (where the Walkham flows into the River Tavy).


West Down, showing bracken fields and paths.


The path ahead from the hairpin bend in the GPS track below, at SX 4801 7061.


"Sun on trees and dying bracken".


View of trees on entering Bymore Wood, with the steep slope down to the river.


Close to Highertown .....


The sharp right-hand bend in the bridle path back down to the river.


Walk details

MAP: Blue = planned route, Red = GPS satellite track of the walk.

The blue lines are the compass or GPS bearings. The red line is the route actually walked: it deviates sometimes from the blue lines to avoid obstacles such as thick bracken, gorse, bogs or clitter, and often to use paths or animal tracks that are not on the map. It may also be shorter than the planned (blue) route if the walk is curtailed for some reason.


Crown copyright and database rights 2014.  Ordnance Survey
Licence number 100047373
Use of this data is subject to terms and conditions.
Also, Copyright 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission.


This walk was reached via the road from Yelverton to Tavistock, turning left opposite The Halfway House Inn and taking the first road left (not the private drive) and parking at the end, over the bridge, indicated by the  P  symbol on the map.


Distance - 3.69 km / 2.29 miles.

All photographs on this web site are copyright 2007-2014 Keith Ryan.
All rights reserved - please email for permissions

Sister web sites
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The Cornish Pasty - The Compleat Pastypaedia