Lerryn to Fowey Cornwall
A small remembrance plaque on the green opposite Lerryn River Stores. Obviously made after World War 1 when the lettering would have been centred. It's sad to think that they had no idea they would have to add a second World War to it at a later date. RIP.
I have already spoken about Lerryn's fine bridge, but Lerryn has another notable crossing, its famous stepping stones. These stepping stones are thought to be on the site of the original ford crossing before the bridge was built. The pattern of the roads approaching this crossing point suggests that the ford provided the earlier crossing on a direct line to the Parish Church of St Veep, now St Cyricius and St Julietta's. Still used by the locals today, tourists are expected to cross them, which can only be done at low water. Luckily for us, we have the opportunity, but a word of warning, they are a little slippery when wet, but it's great fun nether the less.
Up stream the two arched Lerryn Bridge, if you look close from here you can see the two stages of its build, with the large granite blocks above the small arch being the Medieval brickwork and the rest in smaller stone being from the Elizabethan period.
Eddie takes the lead on this lovely trail, still muttering about Dan's snoring, he crosses the Ethy stream and we thought it best if we let him go out in front to calm down. :) Ethy stream has the remains of a boathouse and quay which was used to transport goods to and from Ethy House just like Toad Hall, so maybe there's something in the Kenneth Grahame connection here or in the rumour that the house was involved in the smuggling trade.
The spectacular views down the Lerryn make you want to loiter to enjoy it all, but sadly time is of the essence and we must push on.
Passing through Middle Wood, Great Wood and West Wood we soon arrive at St Winnow point, where the Lerryn joins the Fowey.
Near Newham Farm we have to cross a few fields and leave the riverside to walk up the Newham Bridleway, which eventually becomes Newham Lane, where we start the long walk into Lostwithiel.
This part of the bridleway looks ancient, over the centuries it was probably made by cattle being led to gracing in the fields and by cattle being droved to market in Lostwithiel. It's a straight route from St Winnow via this route and stone being quarried close by may have also been hauled along this old route.
Lostwithiel ahead in the distance from Newham Lane.
Entering the town of Lostwithiel.
The origin of the name Lostwithiel is the subject of much debate. Founded by Norman Lords who built Restormel castle in the late 13th Century, it was developed into a port for seagoing ships and for exporting tin to Europe. In Old Cornish Lost Gwydhyel means "tail-end of the woodland" and in the 17th century popular opinion was that the name came from a translation of Lost (a tail) and Withiel (a lion), the lion in question being the lord who lived in the castle. One thing we do know was in the 14th Century it was known as the "Port of Fawi" and was the capital of Cornwall, administrating affairs of both Cornwall and its Stannary Parliament from the Great Hall (Stannary Palace) until the parliament was discontinued in 1752.
After a brief stop for a well earned cream tea and a look around this charming town, it was time to carry on. However following beside the River Fowey and not actually on the main foot path, we eventually get stuck near Pill Farm on a dead end nature trail beside the railway line. With no way of crossing the raised railway line to get to our path, this means another embarrassing u-turn back toward Lostwithiel. However lucky for us, we didn't have to go that far back, after we spot a cess pool tanker truck driver opening a private level crossing gate and with his permission, we crossed the railway and were soon back on the correct path, heading in the direction of Golant.
A small bridge on the Great Western Railway (GWR) Cornish Main Line.
The impressive Milltown Viaduct on the Cornish Main Line was built in 1894 when the railway line was doubled, it replaced an earlier timber viaduct built by Victorian Engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
The Saints Way runs from Padstow, North Cornwall to Fowey in the south. It is said to follow the probable walking route of early Christians travelling from Ireland to the Continent. It was opened in 1986, after the discovery of a section of an abandoned pathway, surfaced with cobbles and featuring a series of granite stiles, near the village of Luxulyan. It is thought that travellers would have picked this route to Fowey for the boat crossing, rather than risk the difficult passage around the treacherous Lizard Point, Land's End.
St Sampson's Church Golant is dedicated to St Sampson of Doi. St Samson was a well travelled man and helped spread the monastic movement in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. Born in Wales he was the son of the daughter of Meurig ap Tewdrig, King of Wales. He travelled to Golant to found a monastic community before travelling to the Scilly Isles, where the island of Samson is named after him, to Guernsey where he is the Patron Saint and then to Brittany where he founded the Monastery of Doi.
Another view of St Samson's Church, interestingly Cornwall has more saints than any other county in the UK.
Walking down the hill into Golant village.
Our first view of the Lostwithiel and Fowey Railway in Golant. Carne Point china clay works with its loader, deep water jetties and marshalling yard is just around the corner, to the right.
The Reading Room Golant (now the Village Hall). Originally reading rooms were imposed on the working classes, by the upper classes, mainly by the church or rich landowners, to encourage adults and local children to learn literacy. Many reading rooms provided newspapers, which were expensive, rare, and usually well out of date by the time they reached remoter places. So the local reading room would provide one for everybody to share, or to have read aloud to them. They could also be like a reference library or as a place to study.
The single line Lostwithiel and Fowey Railway which opened in 1869, linking the port of Fowey to the mainline at Lostwithiel. After financial difficulties it closed in 1880, but was purchased by the Cornwall Minerals Railway in 1895. It's main traffic was china clay, but a passenger service did operate from 1876 until 1965 when the service was withdrawn. During World War 2, the line was used for the loading of ammunition at Fowey for the US 29th Infantry Division, which landed at Omaha Beach on D Day. Today it remains open only for china clay traffic at Carne Point, but in 2014 a plan was proposed to reinstate a passenger service.
The River Fowey from Golant.
At Golant Down we have to journey back in land slightly toward Penventinue.
Eddie letting me know he's feeling exhausted :) as he removes this rusty exhaust pipe from the road. He's also standing on a bridge which would have crossed the old St Blazey (Par) to Fowey railway branch line which closed in 1968. This line connected with the Lostwithiel to Fowey line and was once part of the same Cornwall Mineral Railway, which had an extensive network crossing the county, transporting the products of Cornish mining. It has now been converted to a private haulage road for Imerys china clay lorries from St Blazey to Fowey Docks. If followed, the line goes through Pinnock Tunnel which was cut in the 1870's and at 1,073 metre is Cornwall's longest tunnel.
Walking the B3269 into the ancient town of Fowey.
The Bodinnick Ferry, from the Fowey side, has been operating here since at least the 14th century and is an important one being the main route through southern Cornwall.
The "Rook With A Book", a sculpture at Berril's Yard, Fowey, was designed by sculptors Thrussells of Liskeard and is here to celebrate the life of famous writer Daphne du Maurier. The Rook named Isla is inspired by one of Daphne's most popular books, a short story called the Birds, this book was famously adapted for film by Alfred Hitchcock.
Polruan on the opposite bank of the River Fowey.