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This walk: 2014-9-24. Bedford Bridge, clay pit, brick works, Wheal Franco copper mine, common polypody fern, Screw Bridge, Sustrans "27" cycle route, oak, bird cherry, hawthorn, Brentor, Gem Cottage, benches, bracket fungus, sloes, oak apples, Himalayan honeysuckle, Horrabridge poster, Magpie Viaduct, bind weed, red admiral, ponies.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.


Link to 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: 26 Jan. 2011, 16 Nov. 2011 & 28 March 2012.


Link to the 1884 Ordnance Survey map of the area (Scale: 6-inches to the mile) - click or thumbwheel into the top left area on the map.


Seamless 6-inch map.


NB - Most photos here were taken during a "recce" walk on 11th Sept.




Bedford or Magpie Bridge over the River Walkham, built 1822. There was a tall white building to the right, which was the King's Arms in 1850 but Crossing knew it as The Magpie Inn. Nearby, Magpie Mill produced violin strings.


Within sight of the bridge is this feature ..... purpose not known to us, although it is close to the bank of ther River Walkham - which is very shallow.  Perhaps it was a crane base for the clay / brick / mining works that were once here although it is concrete and what is the function of the manhole? 



Near Bedford Bridge, close to the old clay pit used by the West Devon Brick Works ..... the Wheal Franco copper mine (1823-1875) also operated in this area (see the old map link above) although mostly across the main road. It went down to 160 fathoms (960 feet) and employed 130 men. Between 1846 and 1862, it raised over 10,000 tons of ore, worth 51,500.


The path near the start of the walk, almost on the bank of the River Walkham.


Epiphytic ferns, Common polypoly (Polypodium vulgare) growing on an oak tree.


The majesty of the trees.


Looking north down on part of the "27" Sustrans cycle track from Screw Bridge - a corruption of "skew" because it is neither straight across the old railway nor is it level?


Screw Bridge .....


Another view of Screw Bridge.


The track through the trees.


Looking up towards open common.


A Common, English or Pedunculate Oak, Quercus robur. The flower and acorn are borne on a stalk called a "peduncle" whereas on the sessile oak, Quercus petreathey are borne directly on the twig. In this oak, the leaves have small basal lobes where they join the stalk which are absent in the sessile oak .....


The bases of the leaves, showing small (possibly reduced in this tree, compared to other examples) lobes where the leaf joins the leaf stalk.


Bird cherry (Prunus padus) .....


Bird cherry .....


Bird Cherry tree.


Zoomed view to Brentor, 10.8 km (6.7 miles) distant on a bearing of 343 - it was very hazy in the distance.


Zoomed view to Gem Cottage, near Gem Viaduct .....




Trunk of a very gnarled, and perhaps ancient, hawthorn tree (Cretaegus monogyna).


The tree.


Seat at SX 49940 69911 .....


Memorial plaque on the bench.


Strollers on the bench .....


Another group photograph, showing some of the scenery.


A distant tor that was extremely faint and hazy on the day, it is highly enhanced here. It was viewed from the bench using a Silva Type 54 prismatic compass, recording a bearing of close to 20: either Great Links or High Willhays.


High Willhays on Google Earth, rotated to an approx. 20 viewpoint and tilted to get a low-angle viewpoint - but from ground level is not possible! Distance: 21 km (13 miles), at a bearing of 20 from the bench viewpoint.


Great Links on Google Earth, rotated to an approx. 20 viewpoint and tilted to get a low-angle viewpoint - but from ground level is not possible! Distance: km 17 (11 miles), at a bearing of 15 from the bench viewpoint.



A second bench at SX 50242 69561 .....


Memorial plaques on the bench.


Another group photograph.


Hawthorn berries ,,,,,


Hawthorn berries.


Bracket fungus on an old stump .....




Sloes, blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).


House name marked on the OS 1:25k map.


Oak apples, caused by the oak gall wasp.


Telephone pole with a tree growing around it .....


As previous photograph.


Click on the image to see a large version.


On the road / cycle track along the old Great Western Railway line (Launceston branch).


Notices at the start of the cycle track section.


As previous photograph.


Strolling along Old Station Road - this being the old railway track.


An Indian plant (our old ex-India neighbours had it in their garden as a reminder of their days in the British Raj): Himalayan honeysuckle, Leycesteria formosa .....


As previous photograph, a garden escapee, invasive in several countries - the remaining white flower identifies it as "formosa" rather than the golden yellow-flowered "crocothyrsos".




The path / cycle track towards Magpie Viaduct.


Massive seats (?) at SX 50675 69896.


Hedge bindweed or bellbind, Castegia sepium, with it's large pure white flower.


Footpath off to the right to go down below Magpie Viaduct.


Magpie Viaduct, 216 yards long, 62 feet high, originally built 1856-1859, by Brunel, replaced 1902 with blue Staffordshire brick ........ 1859 was also the year that Brunel's railway bridge across the Tamar was opened .....


That's him ..... on the "recce" walk .....


That's me!


View from the viaduct, looking down on a sea of trees .....


Hidden in the tees, to the right of the viaduct, are the original brick-built piers that supported Brunel's trestles that carried the railway.


A bracket fungus (not identified) .....


As previous photograph .....


Close-up of the under surface.


Red admiral, Vanessa atalanta, on bracken: a nectar feeder while the caterpillar feeds and forms a chrysalis on stinging nettles. In September, these butterflies are flying south on their migration to the continent - few survive hibernation in this country.


Back to the old clay area near the car park.


Ponies near the car park .....


Just ignore that chap over there with a camera.

Walk details

MAP: Red = GPS satellite track of the walk.

© 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 easily accessed from the car park (marked with the yellow cross and the  
P  symbol on the map) which is right beside the A386 Horrabridge to Tavistock road, at the bottom of the hill after Horrabridge just before the bridge over the River Walkham.

Distance - 5.27 km / 3.28 miles.