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This walk: 2015-3-18. Grenofen Bridge, River Walkham, blue elvan quarry, sett makers' bankers, West Down mine chimney and ruins, kiln, Buckator, country rock (slate), West Down.

NB - The photos below were taken mostly on a 'recce' that was done for 29th Oct.

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 bridge / 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 quartz-porphyry type of igneous rock akin to 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.

 

Sett makers' banker, one of three here but this is the most photogenic.

 

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.

 

Carrying on.

 

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!  Photo taken on the cut-short walk on 29th October 2014.

 

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 ......

 

Ditto.

 

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.

 

The group on this day - much more of us and it was sunnier.

 

An line of ancient beech trees. 

ON THE DAY - WE RETURNED TO THE CAR PARK FROM THIS POINT.  PHOTOS TAKEN ON THE "RECCE" FOLLOW ...........

 

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.

 

Looking back at the minor tor. 

 

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) .....

 

Looking down towards Double Waters - although there is little to see, the two rivers can be heard clearly

 

"This is the last uphill section!"

 

West Down, showing bracken fields and paths - remember the Fertility butterfly story?

 

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: 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 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.

 

Statistics
Distance - 4.97 km / 3.09 miles.
 

All photographs on this web site are copyright © 2007-2016 Keith Ryan.
All rights reserved - please email for permissions

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