A circular walk along the Trevillett Valley from Bossiney via St Nectans Glen

St Nectans Glen and Trevillett Valley

A circular walk from Bossiney through broadleaf woodland to the spectacular waterfall at St Nectan's Glen, returning through a wildlife area created from the old slate tips of Trevillett Quarry.

Get the app to guide you around the walk

Phone showing walk for purchase
Download the (free) app then use it to purchase this walk.
Phone showing Google navigation to start of walk
The app will direct you to the start of the walk via satnav.
Hand holding a phone showing the iWalk Cornwall app
The app guides you around the walk using GPS, removing any worries about getting lost.
Phone showing walk directions page in the iWalk Cornwall app
The walk route is described with detailed, regularly-updated, hand-written directions.
Person looking a directions on phone
Each time there is a new direction to follow, the app will beep to remind you, and will warn you if you go off-route.
Phone showing walk map page in the iWalk Cornwall app
A map shows the route, where you are at all times and even which way you are facing.
Phone showing facts section in iWalk Cornwall app
Each walk is packed with information about the history and nature along the route, from over a decade of research than spans more than 3,000 topics.
Person looking at phone with cliff scenery in background
Once a walk is downloaded, the app doesn't need wifi or a phone signal during the walk.
Phone showing walk stats in the iWalk Cornwall app
The app counts down distance to the next direction and estimates time remaining based on your personal walking speed.
Person repairing footpath sign
We keep the directions continually updated for changes to the paths/landmarks - the price for a walk includes ongoing free updates.
The walk crosses fields from Bossiney to reach St Nectan's Glen. The route follows the glen alongside the river to reach St Nectan's Kieve (waterfall) and then continues upstream to the top of the valley. The route then follows the other side of the valley through the wildlife area created from the slate tips of Trevillett Quarry and paths used by Victorian quarrymen. The walk re-enters Tintagel from Trenale with views all the way to the coast.


  • The route includes 300m stretch of a C-road where some traffic should be anticipated. The last 100m of this has a verge.

Buy walk

Sign in to buy this walk.

This walk is in your basket. Proceed to your basket to complete your purchase.

My Basket Remove from basket

You own this walk.

An error occurred while checking the availability of this walk:

Please retry reloading the page. If this problem persists, please contact us for assistance.

Reload page

Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 111
  • Distance: 4.8 miles/7.7 km
  • Steepness grade: Moderate
  • Recommended footwear: waterproof boots

OS maps for this walk

OS Explorer 111 OS Explorer 111 (laminated version)

Click or tap on map for more info (blue=laminated)


  • Woodland walk through St Nectan's Glen
  • Pretty waterfall at St Nectan's Kieve
  • Panoramic views over Tintagel and St Nectan's Glen from Trewinnick


  1. From the car park, cross the main road, turn right and follow the road towards Tintagel until you reach the Ocean Cove holiday park on the right.

    Bossiney is a village on the north coast of Cornwall, now adjoined to the larger village of Tintagel which lies the the south-west. Only a large mound, next to the chapel, remains as evidence of the twelfth century castle at Bossiney. Almost certainly, the castle was built by Reginald, the illegitimate son of Henry I of England who made him Earl of Cornwall. According to legend, The Round Table of Camelot is supposed to be buried under the ruins of the Castle and on the eve of the summer solstice, the Round Table will appear when King Arthur and his knights are due to return.

    Bossiney was one of a number of small parliamentary boroughs established in Cornwall during the Tudor period. Sir Francis Drake was elected MP for Bossiney in 1584 after giving his election speech from Bossiney Mound. War broke out with the Spanish in 1585 and his attention turned to their Armada.

  2. At the junction opposite the Ocean Cove holiday park, turn left in the direction indicated by the public footpath sign. Cross the tarmac to a path between fences and follow this to a road in the holiday park.

    Unlike places such as Padstow which remained largely undiscovered by tourists until the 20th century, Tintagel was extremely popular in Victorian times. When Tennyson published his Idylls of the King across the mid-late 1800s, Arthurian legend had a renaissance and this put Tintagel in the spotlight. This also coincided with the railway being extended into Cornwall.

    By the 1890s the railway had been extended to Camelford and a hotel was even built which advertised itself as being "on the spot where Tennyson received his inspiration for Idylls of the King". Consequently the village of Tintagel has been heavily shaped by the tastes of the Victorian tourists and the kitsch element of Tintagel's tourist trade could well be a surviving remnant of this.

  3. Bear right onto the road and keep right at the junctions to follow it downhill until you reach a signpost at the top of some steps.

    Cornwall has at least 8 different words for "valley".

    • nans - valley
    • golans - small valley
    • haunans - deep valley with steep sides
    • keynans - ravine
    • glyn - large deep valley
    • deveren - river valley
    • tenow - valley floor
    • coom - valley of a tributary or small stream (from Old English)
  4. At the signpost, bear right down the steps to a footbridge and cross the bridge and the stile into the field. Bear left slightly up the field, heading between the telegraph pole by the barn and the one to the right of it, to a waymarked stile.

    The stream is a tributary of the Trevillet River which you'll encounter again as it crosses under the drive at Trevillet Mill, just before the confluence. The stream velocity is such that something floating past now might just about meet you again as you cross the river later in the walk. Before releasing any rubber ducks, note that the stream goes through a few pipes which may have grilles.

  5. Climb the stile and cross the next field in the direction of the telegraph pole to the waymarked stile opposite.

    The Ramblers Association and National Farmers Union suggest some "dos and don'ts" for walkers which we've collated with some info from the local Countryside Access Team.


    • Stop, look and listen on entering a field. Look out for any animals and watch how they are behaving, particularly bulls or cows with calves
    • Be prepared for farm animals to react to your presence, especially if you have a dog with you.
    • Try to avoid getting between cows and their calves.
    • Move quickly and quietly, and if possible walk around the herd.
    • Keep your dog close and under effective control on a lead around cows and sheep.
    • Remember to close gates behind you when walking through fields containing livestock.
    • If you and your dog feel threatened, work your way to the field boundary and quietly make your way to safety.
    • Report any dangerous incidents to the Cornwall Council Countryside Access Team - phone 0300 1234 202 for emergencies or for non-emergencies use the iWalk Cornwall app to report a footpath issue (via the menu next to the direction on the directions screen).


    • If you are threatened by cattle, don't hang onto your dog: let it go to allow the dog to run to safety.
    • Don't put yourself at risk. Find another way around the cattle and rejoin the footpath as soon as possible.
    • Don't panic or run. Most cattle will stop before they reach you. If they follow, just walk on quietly.
  6. Cross the stile and follow the right hedge to a gate on the far side of the field.

    Lady's thumb, also known as "redshank", grows on moist, disturbed ground often along field edges and tracks. It is related to water pepper and has similar long leaves but the lady's thumb leaves have a dark blotch (hence the thumbprint basis of the name). Its flowers are also in bigger clusters of pink rather than the puny white strand that water pepper produces. It is edible but without the chilli-like heat of water pepper (which provides a more memorable way to tell them apart).

    The plant has a plethora of local names in different parts of the UK but East Anglia deserves a mention for its baffling "saucy alice" and - an alternative suggestion for how the leaves got their markings - "devil's arse-wipe".

    Halgabron is likely to date from the early mediaeval period but the first record is from 1302. The name is thought to be from the Cornish words for "marsh" and "crow" so the gist is something along the lines of "crow's marsh". Although the farm is up on a hill, the fields slope down to the stream so the marsh could have been here.

  7. Go through the pedestrian gate on the left of the field gate and turn left onto the lane. Follow it just past Halgabron Farm to a bend with a public footpath sign on the right.
  8. Take the public footpath to the right over a slate stile. Head down the middle of a field to a metal gate approximately 50 metres to the right of the buildings.
  9. Go through the gate and follow the path into the wooded valley until you reach a footbridge.

    St Nectan's Glen is an area of verdant woodland near Tintagel, upstream of Rocky Valley along the Trevillet river. At the top of St Nectan's Glen is a 60ft waterfall known as St Nectan's Kieve (there is an admission fee to the waterfall). According to local legend, St Nectan is supposed to be buried under the waterfall, along with the treasure he collected. Pilgrims visiting St. Nectan's Shrine have used the Glen path since AD 500. There used to be a church dedicated to him, where there is now a Hermitage (with tea gardens during the summer). Once, it was said, a couple of witches lived in the chapel, and locals blamed every disaster on their evil ways.

    History of St Nectan's Glen

  10. Cross the footbridge and turn right onto the path along St Nectan's Glen. Follow this path upstream until you reach a noticeboard by a footbridge.

    You can often see small trout in the pools along this stretch of the river.

    Trout are members of the Salmon family who all have an extra tiny (adipose) fin on their back towards their tail, that most other fish don't have. No-one is quite sure what the purpose is of this fin but a neural network in the fin indicates that it has some kind of sensory function.

    The trout that supermarkets and trout farms stock is the Rainbow Trout (which has a red flush along its side) and is native to North America not to the UK. Our native trout is the Brown Trout which has well-defined dark red spots along its sides. You can often make out the spots when you see them lying in pools. Rainbow Trout are often stocked in fishing lakes so do sometimes escape into the wild.

    Small trout typically feed on invertebrates whereas larger trout generally feed on other fish but have been known to eat anything of a suitable size unlucky enough to fall into a river. In fact in New Zealand, mouse-shaped lures are sold for trout fishing!

  11. Cross the footbridge next to the notice board. Follow the path over another footbridge and onwards to a wooden walkway leading to a flight of steps.

    The flooded quarry pits, farm ponds and pools in small streams in Cornwall provide ideal habitats for Freshwater Eels. Freshwater Eels have such an eccentric life cycle that it was a mystery for many years. The adult eels migrate from the lakes in which they grew up, across land, down rivers and 4,000 miles across the ocean to the Caribbean where they spawn and die. The larvae then drift for 300 days in the ocean currents from the Sargasso Sea to Europe. The tiny "glass eels" then migrate up rivers and across fields to find suitable homes.

    Eels have been a popular food for centuries as their rich, oily flesh is very tasty. Due to overfishing, pollution and also changes in ocean currents, the Freshwater Eel is now a critically endangered species. Since the 1970s, the numbers of eels reaching Europe is thought to have declined by around 90% (possibly even as much as 98%). A research project has been started to breed eels in captivity. This is not straightforward as the eel is generally only able to reproduce after having swum 4,000 miles. The researchers have therefore developed an Eel Gym to help the eels find their mojo.

  12. Follow the path along the walkways, up the steps and past some derelict buildings until you reach the Welcome sign for the waterfall (which you may want to stop and visit - there is an admission charge).

    A kieve was a mining term for a wooden tub used for concentrating tin ore. After having the living daylights bashed out of it by teenage girls with lump hammers, the powdered ore would be swirled around, rather like a whirlpool, so the lighter fragments of unwanted rock could be skimmed off whilst the heavy crumbs of metallic ore sank to the bottom of the kieve.

  13. At the Welcome sign, turn left through the gap to emerge on a gravel path at a waymark. Immediately bear right to pass the metal gate on your right and then follow the path alongside the wall to reach a waymarked stile.

    St Nectan was the eldest son of the 5th century Celtic king Brychan. Having received a vocation to become a monk earlier in his life, he and many of his relatives sailed to North Devon. Nectan settled by a spring at Stoke, in the then dense forest of Hartland, north of Bude, where he lived as a hermit. It is claimed he also spent some time in the Glen near Tintagel, which at about 30 miles south of Stoke, is not inconceivable.

  14. Cross the stile and follow the path along the river to a stone stile.

    Although primroses flower most intensely in March and April, some primroses can begin flowering in late December. The name "primrose" from the Latin for "first" (as in "primary"), alluding to their early flowering.

    Although herons primarily eat fish, they will eat frogs, rodents, moles, ducklings and even baby rabbits! They are quite brave birds and will venture into gardens and parks to eat the ornamental fish. They have also been known to visit zoos to steal fish during penguin and seal feeding.

  15. Cross the stone stile and pass a wooden stile; then follow the path to some wooden steps over the wall into a field.
  16. Cross the wall via the steps and walk parallel to the right hedge to a gap in the hedge opposite.

    Bluebells grow all over the bank on the opposite side of the river.

    In Old Cornish, both bluebells and marigolds were known as lesengoc which translates to "flower of the cuckoo". In Modern Cornish, the marigold has remained more-or-less the same but the bluebell has been changed to bleujenn an gog ("plant of the cuckoo"). The association between bluebells and cuckoos exists in Welsh ("bells of the cuckoo") and Gaelic ("cuckoo's shoe"), and in some English folk names such as Cuckoo's Boots and Cuckoo Stockings. It is thought that the association is due to the time that bluebells flower coinciding with the time that the call of the cuckoo is first heard.

    Stoats and weasels are related to badgers and to otters, which they more closely resemble. The stoat is roughly twice the size of a weasel but can be distinguished without the need to measure it by its black-tipped tail. The weasel preys mostly on voles, but the stoat will take on prey much larger than itself including birds and even full-grown rabbits. During the winter, the coat of the stoat (and also some populations of weasel) changes colour from brown to white to camouflage it in the snow.

    The soft, silky winter fur of the stoat is known as ermine and garments made from this were a luxury associated with royalty and high status. Given that stoats mark their territory using pungent anal scent glands, it’s likely a fair amount of washing of the furs occurred before being draped over royalty.

  17. Enter the next field and cross this, straight ahead, to the gap you can see in the hedge opposite.

    Himalayan Balsam is a tall plant with very pretty pink flowers that can often be seen lining footpaths in the summer and early autumn. It was introduced as an ornamental species in 1839 and unfortunately the plant is now a major ecological problem. It can grow from a seed to 9ft high in a few months, forming dense thickets and wiping out other plant species. It is also extremely invasive as the seed pods open explosively, launching around 800 seeds per plant up to 7 metres and the seeds are also adapted to travel by water. It is a nuisance on riverbanks as its roots are shallow and allow the sediment to become easily eroded into the river. It can be identified its bright pink flowers and it has a characteristic sweet smell.

    The word crow is from the Old English crawe. Since this sounds a lot like the noise the bird makes, there is a misconception that the Old English is directly derived from this. In fact the word is far older. It's related the the Old Saxon kraia and can be traced back further to a Proto-Indo-European word from the late Neolithic period which is thought to mean "to call hoarsely".

  18. Go through the gap and cross the field to the wooden gate opposite.

    Rabbits also make the most of the grazing land here.

    The first record of slang word "bunny" being applied to rabbits is from the late 17th Century. Prior to this it was in use as a term of endearment, recorded in a 1606 love letter as "my honey, my bunny...". The origin of this pet name is thought to be a dialect word "bun" which was a general term for small furry creatures which did include rabbits but also applied to squirrels. The use of the word "rabbit" for chattering is from the Cockney rhyming slang for "talk" (rabbit and pork).

  19. Cross the two stiles and then cross the field to the ivy-covered ruins of a mill.

    The effect of ivy on buildings is controversial as it depends a lot on the properties of surface it adheres to. The rootlets wedge into any cracks in the surface and so on surfaces that are fragile, ivy will cause damage. A study for English Heritage found that on hard, firm surfaces, ivy did little damage. The blanket of leaves was also found to have beneficial insulating effects and protect the masonry from water, salt and pollution.

  20. Follow the footpath between the walls of the mill to reach a gate. Go through the gate and follow the path along a small meadow and stick to the main path through a wooded area to reach a stile.

    Watermills were first documented in the first century BC and the technology spread quickly across the Roman Empire with commercial mills being used in Roman Britain. By the time of the Domesday survey in the 11th Century, there were more than 6,000 watermills in England. During Norman times, the feudal system lead to a greater proliferation of mills with each manor being self-sufficient with its own mill.

  21. Cross the stile and follow the path along the fence, to reach a footbridge.

    Biologically, there is no such thing as "toads": there are just many species of frog, some of which were given the name "toad" if they were a bit drier- or wartier- looking. However, the 2 species of frog known as the "Common Frog" and "Common Toad" are those you are most likely to encounter in Cornwall, so for discerning fairytale princesses, here's how to tell them apart:

    • Common Frog: always found in or near water; smooth moist skin (green or brown and able to change colour slightly to match surroundings); lays eggs in a cluster.
    • Common Toad: quite often found in dry places; dry, warty skin which is always grey or brown; lays eggs in long strings.
  22. Cross the footbridge and a stile into a field. Turn right and follow the right hedge to a waymarked stile near the right-hand corner of the field.

    In summer, damselflies and dragonflies can often be seen in the riverside meadows.

    Their two sets of wings beat out of phase, and the frequency, amplitude and the angles of each set of wings can be controlled. This allows dragonflies to hover in a completely stationary position for over a minute, perform extravagant aerobatic manoeuvres and even fly backwards.

    Wagtails are easily recognised from the tail pumping behaviour that their name suggests. Despite being very conspicuous, the function of this curious behaviour is not well understood. It is possibly a signal to predators that the wagtail has seen them, so there's no point trying anything.

    Two of the wagtail species are easy to confuse as they are both grey and yellow.

    Grey wagtails nest close to fast-running streams as they feed on aquatic invertebrates. They have pink (skin-coloured) legs.

    Yellow wagtails are more often found in open fields and have black legs.

    The third kind of wagtail more often seen in urban environments - the pied wagtail - is easy to distinguish due to the lack of yellow: it's entirely black-and-white.

  23. Cross the stile, footbridge and 3 more stiles to reach a wooded area at the bottom of a field. Turn left and follow the path uphill into a field.
  24. Follow the right hedge of the field to a gate at the top right corner.

    The reason moles create tunnels is that these act as worm traps. When a worm drops in, the mole dashes to it and gives it a nip. Mole saliva contains a toxin that paralyses earthworms and the immobilised live worms are stored in an underground larder for later consumption. Researchers have discovered some very well-stocked larders with over a thousand earthworms in them! To prepare their meal, moles pull the worms between their paws to force the earth out of the worm's gut.

  25. Go through the gate and keep right along the track to reach a waymarked gate.
  26. Go through the gate and bear left across the field to a stile in the middle of the far hedge.
  27. Cross the stile and bear left across the next field (towards the left of the barn next to the white house in the distance) to a pair of gates in the corner of the field.
  28. Go through the gate on the left. Follow the right hedge a short distance to a stile. Cross the stile and bear left slightly towards a wooden structure (swings) and polytunnel on the opposite side of the field to reach a wooden gate.

    The settlement of Trewinnick was first recorded in 1327 as Trewynnec. The name is thought to be based on a personal name from the early mediaeval period, i.e. "Wynnec's farm".

  29. Go through the gate and follow the track downhill into the yard. Turn left and follow the track away from the buildings to reach a path on the right marked with a wooden post and yellow waymark.
  30. Turn right onto the small path between the post and boulder and follow this downhill to a fork in the path with a wooden walkway to the left. Bear left to reach the walkway over the stream.

    Buzzards were once thought to be a threat to game birds and were actively shot. During the 1950s-60s, the combination of myxomatosis nearly wiping out one of their main food sources and use of pesticides such as DDT caused further decline in the buzzard population. Since then the population has gradually recovered and buzzards are now the commonest and most widespread bird of prey in the UK.

  31. Cross the walkway and pass over the wall to the left of the fence. Cross another walkway and follow the path to where it emerges on a track.

    Some mosses are able to absorb 20-30 times their own weight in liquid. Moss was used in several ancient cultures as nappies: babies were carried in a moss-lined bag to prevent leaks. Moss has also traditionally been used to line hanging baskets which are very prone to drying-out. Areas of moss help to protect soil from erosion by runoff and rivers from sediment and flooding by capturing rainfall and giving it chance to soak slowly into the soil.

  32. Continue ahead over the track to follow the small path leading uphill and cross the stile. Continue a few paces more into a field and follow along the left hedge of the field. As you approach the far side, bear right slightly to the stone stile in a gap in the hedge with green markers.

    Conifers evolved around 300 million years ago, a long time before the first dinosaurs. For nearly 200 million years, conifers were the dominant form of trees and it wasn't until around 65 million years ago that broadleaf trees were out-competing conifers in many habitats.

  33. Cross the stile and follow the path downhill alongside the embankment on the left created by the quarry slate tips. Keep following the waymarked path down, then left along the bottom of the embankment, and then left again to go uphill on the other side to eventually reach a waymarked stile next to a gate.

    A small quarry existed here during Victorian times and this was expanded massively in the 20th Century, becoming the largest slate quarry in Tintagel, employing 200 men in its heyday.

  34. Pass through the gap to the left of the stile and follow along the left side of the field uphill to reach a gate and stile.

    Since members of the crow family will eat the eggs and chicks of other birds, there has been concern that magpies might have an effect on the songbird population. However, an extensive study by the British Trust for Ornithology using 35 years of data found that the presence of magpies appeared to have no measurable effect on songbird numbers. It is thought that availability of food and suitable nesting sites are probably the main factors limiting songbird populations. Hedgerows are a particularly important habitat.

  35. Cross the stile and walk a few paces to reach a tarmacked track. Turn right onto this and follow the track to where a path departs to the left just before the gate of Long Island.

    The settlement of Trevillett was recorded in 1338 as Trevellet. It is thought to be from the Old Cornish for "vermilion farm".

  36. Bear left onto the grassy path and follow it to a gate.

    Foxgloves are reliant on bumblebees for pollination and bumblebees are much more active when the weather is good. Partly, as an insurance policy against bad weather, foxgloves have evolved to stagger their flowering over several weeks, starting with the flowers at the base of the stalk and working up to the top, where the higher flowers protrude over other vegetation that has grown up in that time.

    Long and Short Island are two rock stacks off Firebeacon hill at Trevalga. The names of Long and Short Island are known to date back at least as far as the 1750s, and are presumed to refer to the respective heights of the two rocky islets, with Long Island reported as being 300ft high. There are large seabird colonies on both islets and a few pairs of puffins are sometimes seen nesting here; before the mid-20th century, there were many more.

  37. Use the step on the right to climb the wall then once on the other side of the gate, follow along the wall on the left to pass to the left of the barn and reach a gateway on the far side of the field.

    If there are sheep in the field and you have a dog, make sure it's securely on its lead (sheep are prone to panic and injuring themselves even if a dog is just being inquisitive). If the sheep start bleating, this means they are scared and they are liable to panic.

    If there are pregnant sheep in the field, be particularly sensitive as a scare can cause a miscarriage. If there are sheep in the field with lambs, avoid approaching them closely, making loud noises or walking between a lamb and its mother, as you may provoke the mother to defend her young.

    Sheep may look cute but if provoked they can cause serious injury (hence the verb "to ram"). Generally, the best plan is to walk quietly along the hedges and they will move away or ignore you.

  38. Climb the steps (or go through the gate if open) and immediately bear right to a stile next to a gate. Cross the stile and then follow along the left hedge of the field to reach a gate on the left at the far side.

    Along the coast, the rock stack sticking up to the right is Long Island. The large rocky island in the centre is Lye Rock. The headland immediately to the left of this is Willapark. To the left, the large square brick building is Camelot Castle Hotel.

    Lye Rock, facing into the bay at Bossiney is barely attached to the headland of Willapark and will soon (in geological terms anyway!) become another rock stack like The Sisters. It has a seabird colony that once housed the biggest Puffin colony in Cornwall. In 1948 there were estimated to be 2000 puffins here. By 1982 there were none. There is still a sizeable guillemot and razorbill colony and some cormorants too.

    Camelot Castle Hotel in Tintagel was formerly named King Arthur's Castle Hotel and is referred to by locals as simply Castle Hotel. The building was designed by Silvanus Trevail, Cornwall's most famous architect, and opened in 1899. Originally it was planned to be built on Barras Nose but after a local campaign with the National Trust to save Barras, it was built on the site formerly known as Firebeacon. The dramatic Victorian building was used for Dr Seward's Asylum in the 1979 film Dracula, starring Laurence Olivier (and the baby thrown out of the window in the film was in fact Dave - our software developer). It also featured in the ITV Comedy Drama, Doc Martin, as the location for Doc Martin's meeting with the Health Board.

  39. Climb the steps on the left of the gate and descend to reach a road. Turn right and carefully follow the road downhill to reach a crossroads with a wayside cross.

    There are over four hundred complete stone crosses in Cornwall and at least another two hundred fragments.

    In the mediaeval period, stone crosses were sometimes placed by the road or path to mark the route to the parish church. Farms and hamlets were usually linked to the church by the most direct and level route. Crosses were also placed along routes of pilgrimage. Both of these have evolved to become some of today's Public Rights of Way.

  40. Carefully cross to the lane on the left, signposted to Trenale and Trewarmett, and follow this to reach a crossroads.

    The mediaeval cross beside the junction was moved from its original position (on the opposite side of the road) when the road was widened. It's recorded as "Pentaly Cross" but this is thought to be a corruption of Fenterleigh.

  41. Turn right at the junction onto the lane leading downhill. Keep following the lane downhill until it eventually emerges in Tintagel at the Catholic Church.

    Christianity in Roman Britain began in the 4th or 5th century AD. However there were no known cities west of Exeter, so the spread into Cornwall is likely to have been very limited. The majority of Cornwall is likely to have remained Pagan until "The Age of Saints" - the late 5th or early 6th century - when the Irish missionaries including St Piran and St Petroc settled in Cornwall.

  42. Turn right beside the Catholic Church and follow the road back to the parking area in Bossiney, taking care on the stretch where the pavement ends after Westground Way.

    Before you reach Westground Way, the road you pass is called The Butts.

    The Butts was the area used for archery training during the Middle Ages by longbow Archers. In 1252, all Englishmen between the age of 15 to 60 years old were ordered, by law, to equip themselves with a bow and arrows.

    Mediaeval longbows were formidable weapons that pierce armour at more than 250 yards away, with the arrow leaving the bow at around 200 mph. There is a story of a fallen knight found on horseback where an arrow had gone through one leg, right through his horse and embedded itself in his other leg.

    Typical longbows had draw weights up to 120 pounds and since most people today would struggle to draw even a 60lb longbow, this took a substantial amount of practice. A trained archer was expected to shoot 12 to 15 arrows per minute and hit a target a minimum of 200 yards away.

    In 1363, it was made obligatory for Englishmen to practise their skills with the longbow every Sunday and holiday. It "forbade, on pain of death, all sport that took up time better spent on war training, especially archery practise".

    According to the New Monthly Magazine of 1827:

    The ancient Cornishmen were most excellent archers; they would shoot an arrow twenty-four score yards; their arrow was a cloth yard long. wherewith they would pierce any ordinary armour. A person named ARUNDEL would shoot twelve score with his right hand, with his left hand, and behind his head; and one Robert BONE shot at a little bird upon a cow's back, and killed the bird without touching the cow.

either as a GPS-guided walk with our app (£2.99) or a PDF (£1.99)

Please recycle your ink cartridges to help prevent plastic fragments being ingested by seabirds. Google "stinkyink" and click on "free recycling" for a freepost label.