Cape Cornwall

Posted in Cape Cornwall on March 8th, 2013 by David Murphy

Looking over towards Cape Conwall.

On the 8th of December 2012 on my tour around Cornwall I first camped in Exmoor National Park carried on to Bodmin Moor where I wildcamped and then around the north coast to Lands End I was then going to carry on along the south coast take in St. Michaels Mount and onto Dartmoor.

But my Wildcamping on Cape Cornwall was to be my last on this trip the problems with my Exped Downmat caused me to lose a day looking for a replacement and the plan to cross over to St Michaels Mount at the time of arrival I would have been met by darkness and didnt fancy crossing and looking for a spot to camp in darkness.

I had a chart for the firing times on Dartmoor and the two day window I planned to camp was gonna be to tight now, dark nights were becoming a problem moral wasnt at its best, packing up going into town for breakfast travelling around to my next unplanned location, using my mobiles Internet to plan my next spot (this is great in the summer months when daylight is plentiful)  and hoping to arrive there in daylight to survey the wildcamp spot.

After visiting Lands End I had then to look into wildcamping spots I was looking at the map and looking at extreme Western headlands and Cape Cornwall was the one I settle for I first surveyed the spot during daylight and walking around the side to discover an occupied lookout tower and thought this could be a little tricky camping here unseen.

 National Coastwatch look out


On seeing my pitch I then needed to pass some time and find somewhere I would park overnight, the golf club 5 Min’s walk away would prove to be the answer.
Heinz Monument (the 1864 chimney of the former Cape Cornwall Mine in Background.

After downing a few pints here the prospect of meeting that Coastwatch guard didn’t seem as much of a problem lol.
I took mt backpack from my car and walked up the path I had gone previous, it was pitch black. I proceeded to errect my tent only using the red light on my head torch in-case of been seen.
I didn’t cook on this camp due to noise of the stove and a slap up meal I had earlier in the golf club, but I did have four cans of lager with me to enjoy on the top on Heinz Monument.
Heinz Monument Below

The View from Heinz Monument

More of the Akto

Looking up to the Monument

Checkout my video at the bottom of page.

Coordinates: 50°07′37″N 5°42′22″W / 50.127°N 5.706°W / 50.127; -5.706

Cape Cornwall (Cornish: Kilgoodh Ust, meaning "goose back of St Just") is a small headland in Cornwall, UK. It is four miles north of Land's End near the town of St Just.[1] A cape is the point of land where two bodies of water meet and until the first Ordnance Survey, 200 years ago, it was thought that Cape Cornwall was the most westerly point in Cornwall.[2]

Most of the headland is owned by the National Trust. There is also a National Coastwatch look out on the seaward side. The only tourist infrastructure at present is a car park (owned by the National Trust) and a public toilet and refreshments van during the summer.

The Brisons, two offshore rocks, are located approximately one mile southwest of Cape Cornwall and are the finish line of the annual swimming race from Priest Cove.[1][2]

Heinz Monument (the 1864 chimney of the former Cape Cornwall Mine) visible in the centre. It commemorates the purchase of Cape Cornwall for the nation by H. J. Heinz Company. The ruins of St. Helens Oratory also can be seen in the left. The two offshore rocks called Brisons are located approximately one mile southwest of the cape.

Just one mile from the Cape is the westernmost school on the British mainland, Cape Cornwall School. This is Cornwall's smallest secondary school with (as of January 2008) about 450 young people aged 11 to 16. Commonly known as "Cape" it is Cornwall's only school that specialises in art, photography and music. Most of its pupils come from the town of St Just in Penwith and the nearby villages of Pendeen, Sennen, St Buryan and St Levan but over 10% travel to the school from Penzance and further east.


The name Cape Cornwall appeared first on a maritime chart around the year 1600 and the original Cornish name Kilgodh Ust has fallen out of use. In English it translates to "goose-back at St Just", a reference to the shape of the cape.[3] An alternative name, Pen Kernow, is a recent translation of the English.

Early history

Pottery found in cists on the Cape have been dated to the Late Bronze Age and the presence of another cliff castle nearby (Kenidjack) may indicate that the area was important in the Iron Age. On the landward side of the Cape is the remains of the medieval St Helen’s Oratory, which replaced a 6th-century church. A font in the porch of St Just church may be from this building.[2]

Cape Cornwall Mine, a tin mine on Cape Cornwall, operated intermittently between 1838 and 1883. The mine's 1864 chimney near the peak of the cape was retained as an aid to navigation, and in the early 20th century the former ore dressing floors were for a time converted into greenhouses and wineries. In 1987 the site was donated to the nation by the H. J. Heinz Company. The remains of Cape Cornwall Mine now form part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


  1. ^ a b Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
  2. ^ a b c Joseph P. 2006. Cape Cornwall Mine. British Mining No 79. Northern Mine Research Society. Sheffield. pp.111. ISBN – 13: 978-0-901450-60-9.
  3. ^ Weatherhill C. (2007) Cornish Place Names and Language. Ammanford: Sigma Press.

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Steak Beast Of Bodmin Moor

Posted in Bodmin Moor on February 24th, 2013 by David Murphy

Watch my video below.

Coordinates: 50°33′45″N 4°36′48″W / 50.5625°N 4.6132°W / 50.5625; -4.6132

Geological sketch showing Bodmin Moor in relation to Cornwall's granite intrusions
Rough Tor

Bodmin Moor (Cornish: Goon Brenn)[1] is a granite moorland in northeastern Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is 208 square kilometres (80 sq mi) in size, and dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history.

Bodmin Moor is one of five granite plutons in Cornwall that make up part of the Cornubian batholith[2] (see also Geology of Cornwall).

The name 'Bodmin Moor' is relatively recent, being an Ordnance Survey invention of 1813. It was formerly known as Fowey Moor after the River Fowey which rises within it.[3]


Dramatic granite tors rise from the rolling moorland: the best known are Brown Willy, the highest point in Cornwall at 417 m (1,368 ft),[4] and Rough Tor at 400 m (1,300 ft). To the south-east Kilmar Tor and Caradon Hill are the most prominent hills. Considerable areas of the moor are poorly drained and form marshes (in hot summers these can dry out). The rest of the moor is mostly rough pasture or overgrown with heather and other low vegetation.

The Moor contains about 500 holdings with around 10,000 beef cows, 55,000 breeding ewes and 1,000 horses and ponies.[5] Most of the moor is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Bodmin Moor, North,[6] and has been officially designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), as part of Cornwall AONB.[7] Almost a third of Cornwall has AONB designation, with the same status and protection as a National Park.

Rivers and inland waters

Siblyback Lake
The De Lank River at Garrow Tor

Bodmin Moor is the source of several of Cornwall's rivers: they are mentioned here anti-clockwise from the south.

The River Fowey rises at a height of 290 m (950 ft) and flows through Lostwithiel and into the Fowey estuary.[8]

The River Tiddy rises near Pensilva and flows southeast to its confluence with the River Lynher (the Lynher flows generally south-east until it joins the Hamoaze near Plymouth). The River Inny rises near Davidstow and flows southeast to its confluence with the River Tamar.

The River Camel rises on Hendraburnick Down and flows for approximately 40 km (25 mi) before joining the sea at Padstow.[9] The River Camel and its tributary the De Lank River are an important habitat for the otter and both have been proposed as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)[10] The De Lank River rises near Roughtor and flows along an irregular course before joining the Camel south of Wenford.

The River Warleggan rises near Temple and flows south to join the Fowey.

On the southern slopes of the moor lies Dozmary Pool. It is Cornwall's only natural inland lake and is glacial in origin. In the 20th century three reservoirs have been constructed on the moor; these are Colliford Lake, Siblyback Lake and Crowdy reservoirs which supply water for a large part of the county's population. Various species of waterfowl are resident around these waters.[11]

History and antiquities

Prehistoric times

Kilmar Tor

10,000 years ago, in the Mesolithic period, hunter-gatherers wandered the moor when it was wooded and had a temperate climate. There are several documented cases of flint scatters being discovered by archaeologists, indicating that these hunter gatherers practised flint knapping in the region.[12]

During the Neolithic era, from about 4,500 to 2,300 BC, people began clearing trees and farming the land. It was also in this era that the production of various megalithic monuments began, predominantly long cairns (three of which have currently been identified, at Louden, Catshole and Bearah) and stone circles (sixteen of which have been identified). It was also likely that the naturally forming tors were also viewed in a similar manner to the manmade ceremonial sites.[13]

In the following Bronze Age, the creation of monuments increased dramatically, with the production of over 300 further cairns, and more stone circles and stone rows.[13] More than 200 Bronze Age settlements with enclosures and field patterns have been recorded.[14] and many prehistoric stone barrows and circles lie scattered across the moor. In a programme shown in 2007 Channel 4's Time Team investigated a 500 metre cairn and the site of a Bronze Age village on the slopes of Rough Tor.[15]

King Arthur's Hall thought to be a late Neolithic or early Bronze Age ceremonial site can be found to the east of St Breward on the moor.[16]

Medieval and modern times

Hawk's Tor, north of Temple

Where practicable areas of the moor were used for pasture by herdsmen from the parishes surrounding the moor. Granite boulders were also taken from the moor and used for stone posts and to a certain extent for building (such material is known as moorstone).[17] Granite quarrying only became reasonably productive when gunpowder became available.

The moor gave its name (Foweymore) to one of the medieval districts called stannaries which administered tin mining: the boundaries of these were never defined precisely. Until the establishment of a turnpike road through the moor (the present A30) in the 1770s the size of the moorland area made travel within Cornwall very difficult.

Its Cornish name, Goen Bren, is first recorded in the 12th century.[18]

Monuments and ruins

Roughtor was the site of a medieval chapel of St Michael and is now designated as a memorial to the 43rd Wessex Division of the British Army. In 1844 on Bodmin Moor the body of 18 year old Charlotte Dymond was discovered. Local labourer Matthew Weeks was accused of the murder and at noon on 12 August 1844 he was led from Bodmin Gaol and hanged. The murder site now has a monument erected from public money and the grave is at Davidstow churchyard.[19]

Legends and traditions

Dozmary Pool is identified by some people with the lake in which, according to Arthurian legend, Sir Bedivere threw Excalibur to The Lady of the Lake.[20] Another legend relating to the pool concerns Jan Tregeagle.

The Beast of Bodmin has been reported many times but never identified with certainty.


The Cheesewring, a granite tor on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor
A wild horse on Bodmin Moor
  1. ^ Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel. Cornish Language Partnership.
  2. ^ [1] Charoy, B. (1986) Genesis of the Cornubian Batholith (South West England): the example of the Carnmenellis Pluton in: Journal of Petrology; 1986 Oxford: OUP
  3. ^ Pounds, Norman John Greville (2000). A History of the English Parish: the culture of religion from Augustine to Victoria. Cambridge University Press. pp. 593. ISBN 978-0-521-63351-2.; p. 72
  4. ^ GENUKI: Cornwall
  5. ^ The Bodmin Moor Pages ~ The History
  6. ^ "Bodmin Moor, North". Natural England. 1991. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Cornwall Rivers Project|Geography | Fowey and Lerryn
  9. ^ Cornwall Rivers Project | Geography | Camel and Allen
  10. ^ The Rivers of Bodmin Moor - The Bodmin Moor Pages
  11. ^ Bere, Rennie (1982) The Nature of Cornwall. Buckingham: Barracuda Books, pp. 63-67
  12. ^ Tilley, C. (1996) "The Power of Rocks: landscape and topography on Bodmin Moor", in: World Archaeology; 28, p. 165
  13. ^ a b Tilley, C. (1996) "The Power of Rocks: landscape and topography on Bodmin Moor", in: World Archaeology; 28, pp. 151-176
  14. ^ - Time Team - Bodmin Moor, Cornwall - text only
  15. ^ "Bodmin Moor, Cornwall". Channel 4: Time Team. 8 April 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  16. ^ Secret Cornwall; Bodmin Moor and its environs
  17. ^ Clifton-Taylor, A. "Building materials" in: Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall. 2nd ed. Penguin Books, p. 29-34
  18. ^ Weatherhill, Craig (2009) A Concise Dictionary of Cornish Place-names. Westport, co. Mayo: Evertype; p. 6
  19. ^ The Murder of Charlotte Dymond
  20. ^ Cornish Archaeology; No 34, 1995
  • Weatherhill, Craig (1995) Cornish Place Names & Language. Wilmslow: Sigma Leisure ISBN 1-85058-462-1

External links

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