Godolphin to Tregonning circular walk

Godolphin to Tregonning

A circular walk from the mansion with possibly the oldest formal gardens in the country to two hills that altered the course of history, creating the wealthiest estate in Cornwall and giving rise to the Cornish China Clay industry.

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 passes Godolphin house then climbs Godolphin Hill from which there are panoramic views. The route then descends to Great Work Mine which made the Godolphin family so wealthy, where gunpowder was first trialled, and where William Cooksworthy had his inspiration for China Clay. The walk then climbs Tregonning Hill which has spectacular heather in summer. The return to the Godolphin Estate is via the mediaeval settlements of Tregonning and Herland.

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: 102
  • Distance: 4.8 miles/7.8 km
  • Steepness grade: Moderate
  • Recommended footwear: walking boots

OS maps for this walk

OS Explorer 102 OS Explorer 102 (laminated version)

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


  • Historic Godolphin House
  • Possibly the oldest formal gardens in the country
  • 360 degree panoramic views including 3 coasts


  1. From the main car park, make your way to the top and turn right onto the track to reach the Entrance sign. If you are parked in the Additional Parking area, make your way to the bottom and turn left to reach it. Follow the path from the Entrance sign until it emerges on a track next to the ticket hut.

    There has been a settlement at Godolphin which has been continuously occupied since before the Norman Conquest. It's possible that the settlement evolved from a fortified settlement on the hill during the late prehistoric period. The first record of Godolphin was in 1166 as an almost unrecognisable Wotolta. A little later in the mediaeval period it was recorded as Godholkan and it is thought that the name is therefore likely to be from the Cornish words godh and olcan which together mean "tin stream".

  2. Turn left to the ticket hut then immediately right through a gate into a field marked "Goldolphin Hill". Climb the field initially towards the telegraph pole at the top of the field to reach a gateway where a track leaves the field.

    The Goldolphin family built a grand manor house from stone quarried from Tregonning Hill. The house today has features dating from the 15th Century and was subsequently expanded on the profits from tin and copper mining and the materials from shipwrecks. The dining room ceiling is carved from the remains of a Portuguese boat that sank in Mounts Bay in 1526. By 1640, Godolphin was the largest house in Cornwall with two courtyards.

  3. Go through the gateway and follow the track to a junction. Turn right and follow the track to a stile on the left roughly 20 metres before the track ends in a gate.

    By 1785 there were no male heirs in the Godolphin family and the focus of the family shifted to London in the early 1800s. As the price of tin fell, less was spent maintaining the house and the dilapidated southern courtyards were demolished. When the Earl of Godolphin title passed to the Duke of Leeds (hence nearby Leedstown and Leeds Shaft in Great Work Mine) the stagnation of the estate continued until it was eventually sold off in the 1920s.

  4. Cross the stile and turn right. Follow the right edge of the field to a stile in the corner with the far hedge.

    A deer park was created in mediaeval times which stretched out from the manor house to include most of the hill. This was surrounded by a hedge low enough from the outside for deer to jump over, but a ditch along the hedge made it difficult for deer inside to escape again. The last members of the deer herd survived until the mid-19th Century but were exterminated by farmers and hunting.

  5. Cross the stile and follow the path to emerge at a junction of paths. Follow the path uphill past a NT sign for Godolphin Hill to reach a junction of paths at an inscribed stone about the bequest of the Godolphin Estate.

    The Godolphin Estate was purchased in 1929 by the artist Sidney Schofield who devoted the rest of his life to restoring it. In 1970, the family committed to passing the property to the National Trust but it was not until 2000 that the wider part of the Godolphin Estate was finally sold to the National Trust. The Schofield family retained the house and gardens which they continued to restore and open to the public. Then in 2007, the house and gardens were also sold to the National Trust to secure their ongoing conservation.

  6. Continue ahead on the path leading uphill to reach the top of the hill.

    During mediaeval times, rabbits were not common in Britain and were considered a great delicacy. Wealthy families imported rabbits from the Mediterranean and farmed these in warrens, such as the one located on Godolphin Hill, both for their meat and their fur. Flat, rectangular (pillow-shaped) mounds were created with stone tunnels in which rabbits could shelter from wet weather and then dig their burrows into the mounds. The mounds were built on the slope of a hill so that water could drain out of the tunnels to keep the accommodation dry.

  7. When you reach the ring of boulders at the top of the hill, turn left and take the path in the direction of the chimney and large hill on the left. Stick to the main path and follow it downhill until it forks either side of a small hawthorn tree.

    At the summit of Godolphin Hill, there are remains of a fortified enclosure and six hut circles. It's thought that the site may date back to the Bronze Age.

    The low stone walls remaining as hut circles were once the foundations of a round house. The granite foundations were likely to have been set into cob (mud and straw) walls which provided insulation and draft exclusion over bare-stone walls. A conical thatched roof on a timber frame rested on top of the walls. Heating was via a central fire which required some care with the thatched roof - presumably roof fires were not unheard of! These buildings varied in size from a just over a metre in diameter up to 10 metres. Some had walled enclosures attached and a few also had internal partitions.

  8. Keep left at the fork, heading towards the engine house chimney. Follow the path to a junction of paths.

    In Mediaeval times, bringing hawthorn blossom into the house was thought to bring death and it was described as smelling like the Great Plague. The explanation for this is thought to be that the hawthorn blossom contains trimethylamine which is one of the first chemicals formed when animal tissue decays. Young leaves of the plant can be used in salads as the chemical is not present in the leaves so these taste nutty rather than of death.

  9. Continue ahead to the path along the bottom, bear left then immediately right to reach a gate. Cross the stile or go through the gate and follow the path to reach a track.

    Many of the bushes alongside the path are blackthorn.

    The expression "Blackthorn Winter" is a rural expression for a final cold snap in late March or early April when the blackthorn is in flower. It was generally used in the context of not getting too carried away (e.g. planting crops) if there was a warm week in early March as more frosts may still be yet to come.

  10. Follow the track ahead until it ends on a lane.

    German miners (whose traditional outfits now appear on garden gnomes) introduced the use of gunpowder for mine blasting in Cornwall in 1689 (as well as gnomes). This was first carried out in one of the mines of the Godolphin estate, quite possibly Great Work Mine.

    Gunpowder represented a great technological breakthrough, as beforehand, rocks had to be cracked by heating and rapid cooling, or by soaking wooden wedges in water. An amount of granite that would take 6 days of work to break with a pick could be broken in one blast.

  11. Turn left onto the lane and follow it to the mine car park entrance on the left.

    Gunpowder was discovered by accident by Chinese Alchemists attempting to make an elixir of life to render themselves immortal. A text from the 9th Century documented the event which quite literally backfired:

    smoke and flames result, so that their hands and faces have been burnt, and even the whole house where they were working burned down.
  12. Turn left into the car park and follow the path ahead with the Great Work Mine sign to reach the engine houses. Follow the path round the back of the engine house then keep right to follow the path to the right of a walled mineshaft. Continue a few paces further to reach a junction of paths with the path to the left leading out onto the road.

    Great Work Mine started as Godolphin Bal - a tin mine on land leased from the Godolphin estate. By 1584, the mine employed 3,000 people. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the mine expanded to annex those nearby, forming a large complex with at least 15 shafts - hence the name. There were originally 3 engine houses for the mine. The surviving one was used for pumping water from 1000 feet below the surface up to the deep adit at 180 feet below the surface. The other two - for winding (hauling material from the mine) and stamping (crushing ore) - were demolished.

  13. Bear left to go through the gap onto the road and turn left. Follow the road, keeping left at the fork in the road and ignoring a track on the left with a footpath sign to reach a T-junction.

    The massive gain in efficiency by breaking rocks with explosives rather than hand tools resulted in increased profits for the mine owners but it was less good for the miners themselves. When gunpowder burns, it produces copious amounts of acidic sulphurous gasses which attack the respiratory system - far from ideal in the poorly-ventilated confined space of a mine. A quill or reed filled with gunpowder was used as a fuse which worked most of the time but burnt at an unpredictable rate, and burning material from the fuse could drop and prematurely ignite the main body of gunpowder. Consequently there were many horrific accidents and fatalities.

  14. At the T-junction, turn left onto the road and follow this a short distance to a track on the right.

    In 1830, William Bickford devised a way of making blasting safer, based on his observations of the activities of a rope maker. His safety fuse consisted of a core of gunpowder surrounded by twisted yarns, bound in twine and sealed with tar to make it waterproof. Since gunpowder contains everything it needs to burn without the need for oxygen from the air, it would burn reliably inside its waterproof container at a predictable rate of 30 seconds per foot.

  15. Turn right onto the track marked Granny Polly Lane. Follow this until you reach "The Bungalow" (with two owls on the gateposts).

    The name is from Granny Polglase who lived in a cottage on the lane. It's relatively common for Cornish surnames to be place names (quite a few start with Tre) and her surname was probably the name of the place where her family came from. In Cornish pol is "pool" and the word glas can be used to represent either blue or green or even grey! The colours in Cornish are quite different concepts from English colours as they are based on the landscape: blue-green-grey is a single colour and so is grey-brown.

  16. Continue ahead on the grassy path until you reach a fork after some stepping stones.

    Ore from a smaller mine on Tregonning Hill was transported down this track to be crushed at Great Work Mine.

    In order to be processed, ore-bearing rock mined from mineral veins needed to be crushed to a powder. In earlier times, millstones were used to grind down lumps of ore but later it was done using a process known as "stamping" where the ore was crushed by dropping heavy granite or metal weights to pound it against another hard surface (often a piece of granite known as a mortar stone - as in "pestle and mortar"). The crushing was automated first with waterwheels and later with steam engines. The process was far from quiet and could often be heard from a number of miles away.

  17. Turn right at the fork and follow the path uphill to reach a junction with a grass path departing to the left.

    Bracken releases toxins into the soil which inhibit the growth of other plants, and the shade created by its large leaves and its thick leaf litter also makes it hard for other plants to compete. This and avoidance by grazing animals makes it quite difficult to control, particularly in steep areas where mechanised cutting or ploughing is difficult. Treading by livestock can reduce bracken's competitive advantage, particularly during winter when frost can attack the roots.

  18. Keep right to stay on the well-worn path and follow this to another junction of paths at a waymark.

    Somewhat buried beneath the bracken are some bilberry bushes.

    Bilberries (known in Cornwall as 'erts) are closely related to blueberries. The fruits are much smaller but the flavour is more intense.

    Like heather, bilberry is a member of the Ericaceae family and fungi in its roots help it extract nitrogen from acidic soils. Bilberries are therefore typically found on moorland where there is less competition from other plants.

    Although Cornwall is home to the village of Bilberry (near Bugle), the name is not thought to be anything to do with the plant - more likely the "bury" relates to some form of ancient earthwork.

    It is thought that rumours that the RAF used bilberries and carrots to improve night vision of bomber pilots were an elaborate decoy to conceal that Britain had radar which is what in reality made the pilots more effective.

  19. Again keep right on the well-worn path to reach another junction of paths.

    Clay from Tregonning Hill was used to make bricks which were needed for the mine flues and furnaces.

    The granules of ore were heated in a furnace to remove impurities such as sulphur and particularly arsenic. By heating the ore in air, the arsenic impurities could be driven off as a vapour. As the impurities escaped as gasses, the particles of ore melted into grey crystalline lumps of tin oxide known as "black tin".

    The exhaust gasses were cooled and condensed to form a white powder deposited in the flues or purpose-built condensers. The white powder - arsenic - was collected and sold. A few grains of pure arsenic are enough to be fatal but the majority of arsenic workers managed to protect themselves by stuffing cotton wool up their noses and painting their faces and any other exposed areas of skin white with fuller's earth to prevent arsenic being absorbed through the pores of their skin.

  20. At the junction, keep left to follow the path uphill. Continue to reach a cross at the top of the hill.

    Heather plants can live up to 40 years and over time they form woody stems. This provides them with a way of excreting heavy metals that they absorb by locking it up in the layers of dead wood (found by researchers as the areas in the plant with the highest concentrations). Their woody stems have also found many uses over the centuries including fuel, thatch and ropes. One other use has made it into the genus name for heather - kallune is Greek for "to brush".

    The sun looks white in space. Here on Earth it looks yellow because colours from the blue-violet end of the rainbow are scattered more so the rays of light reaching us directly from the sun are missing more of those colours.

  21. At the cross, turn left to reach a junction of paths with the path to the left leading to the trig. point. The walk continues on right-hand path. Follow this until it eventually emerges onto a stony path.

    On the top of Tregonning Hill are the remains of an Iron Age hillfort which was surrounded by a pair of ramparts. Within the enclosure are thought to be the circular remains of roundhouses. The fort is known as Castle Pencaire (pencair is Cornish for "top fort"), perhaps to distinguish it from the other two fortified settlements on the slopes of Tregonning Hill. The hill was formerly known as Pencaire Hill. In 1540 the site was recorded as "Cair Kenin, alias Gonyn and Conin, stood in the hill of Pencair there yet apperith two ditches".

    There is a topograph on the trig. point showing the locations of features in the surrounding landscape.

  22. Turn left and follow the stony path to reach a sign commemorating William Cooksworthy's discovery of China Clay.

    The Preaching Pit is an old quarry used for services, commemorating John Wesley's visits to nearby Kennegy Downs and Breage during the mid-1700s. The pit was used for Sunday School meetings on Whit Sundays and is still used at Pentecost.

  23. Continue on the well-worn path ahead until you reach a waymark as the path approaches the cottage.

    The pure white porcelain used by the Chinese was discovered millennia ago and has always been a valuable material, appearing in many stately homes. Despite many attempts to find it elsewhere, it remained elusive until a few deposits were found in parts of Europe and in America early in the eighteenth century.

    In 1746 William Cooksworthy noticed the miners repairing the furnaces with clay at Great Work Mine and how this was fired by the furnace. He developed a way to process the clay to separate the kaolin from the gritty rock and fire this into fine porcelain.

  24. At the waymark, turn left and follow the path downhill to reach a junction of paths.

    The cottage at the end of the hill was built during the Napoleonic era as a signal station to warn of an approaching French fleet. If a landing army was sighted, a beacon would be lit and the people were instructed to burn their crops and the food reserves they could not carry, and move inland with their cattle so that the landing army would be starved of food.

  25. Continue ahead from the junction and follow the path downhill to reach a wooden gate.

    The overgrown area above the field to the right is the remains of Tregonning Hill China Clay works.

    China clay in Cornwall and Devon resulted from a sequence of events that began over 300 million years ago; molten rock cooled into granite: a mixture of quartz, feldspar and mica. As it cooled, the feldspar reacted with other minerals to form china clay.

    The clay from Cornwall was found to be a much finer quality than elsewhere in Europe and also turned out to be the largest deposit in the world. By the mid-19th Century, 7,000 workers were employed in the St Austell area alone and by 1910, Cornwall was producing 50% of the world's China Clay.

    At the time of writing, the UK is still the third largest producer of China Clay in the world: Cornwall produces approximately 1 million tonnes of kaolin each year. Due to increasing mechanisation and large amounts of production being moved to Brazil, the industry now only employs around 1000 people.

    The word kaolin is thought to be a corruption of the Chinese for "high ridge" where it was presumably found.

  26. Go through the gate and follow the path downhill to merge onto a lane. Keep following the lane downhill until you reach a public footpath sign at the track for Tregonning Farm.

    The circular hut in the field on the right below the hill is the remains of a beehive kiln for firing bricks from a brickworks operated in the 1870s and 1880s. As well as being used locally, firebricks were exported from the port at Hayle to New York.

  27. Turn left onto the track to Tregonning Farm and follow this to the farmyard.

    The first record found of the settlement of Tregonning is from Tudor times but it is thought to be much older. The name is a reference to the hillfort on Tregonning Hill, originally known as Cair Kenin, then Conin which became Gonyn, and subsequently renamed Castle Pencaire. The Tre was added to indicate a farm and Cair to indicate a fort.

  28. Bear left through the farmyard via the gates to reach a wooden barn on the far side.

    The word "farm" has the same origins as (e.g. law) "firm". Both words are related to the mediaeval Latin word firma meaning "fixed payment". Its original use in English was to do with contracts and leasing (which is why "to farm out" means "to subcontract"). In fact the word "farm" had no association with food production until the 19th Century. In the 16th Century it began to be applied to leasing of land and the association with farmland developed from this.

  29. Go through the gate leading onto an enclosed track ahead. Follow the track to a gate into a field ahead.

    Although it's obvious that you should ensure any gates that you open, you also close, what about gates you find that are already open?

    If the gate is fully open then leave it alone as it may well be providing livestock access to a water supply, and by closing it you could end up killing them.

    If the gate is ajar or swinging loose and not wedged or tied open then it's likely that the gate was left open by accident (possibly by another group of walkers). Properly closing the offending gate behind you will not only bring joy to the landowner but you can feel good about saving lives in a car swerving to avoid a cow in the road.

    If you encounter a gate doubly-secured with twine that can be untied or a chain that can be unfastened, it's normally there because naughty animals have managed to undo the gate themselves at some point (e.g. by rubbing against the bolt), so retie/fasten it afterwards.

  30. Go through the gate and cross the field to a wooden pedestrian gate in the hedge ahead.

    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.
  31. Go through the gate and through the gap into the next field and then bear right across the field to the left-hand of two gates in the bottom hedge.

    Both the flowers and leaves of the common daisy are edible and are high in Vitamin C but the flavour is bitter and medicinal so they are unlikely to appear on the menu of many restaurants.

    Cows are very gregarious and even short-term isolation is thought to cause severe psychological stress. This is why walking along the hedges of a field to avoid splitting a herd is so important to avoid a cow bolting in panic to rejoin its friends.

  32. Go through the gate and follow the right hedge to a gate into the field below.

    Every part of the dandelion plant is edible and is high in Vitamin A and higher still in Vitamin K. The leaves can be eaten in salads, though their bitterness is not to everyone's taste. However, the bitterness can be reduced by blanching: drop the leaves into boiling salted water and remove after a minute and quench in ice-cold water to prevent the leaves from cooking.

    Cows are thought to have been domesticated in the Middle East around 8,500 BC. By about 6,400 BC they were being traded into Neolithic Europe. This is just about the point where the land bridge between Britain and Continental Europe (known as Doggerland) flooded with rising sea levels, so the first few cattle may have just managed to walk across.

  33. Go through the gate and cross the field to a stile in the hedge opposite.

    This area is known as Afterwashes as this was where the fine rock residue from the tin separation process (known as tailings) at Great Work Mine was dumped.

    Once rendered into a powder, the tin ore was separated from fragments of less useful rock, usually using water and taking advantage of the heavier tin ore sinking more quickly out of a suspension than the other minerals. The slurry was sometimes run slowly down an inclined wooden board: the heavier tin fragments would settle near the top and could be scraped off whereas the fragments of lighter rock could be discarded from the bottom, and the material in the middle could be recycled into the next batch. Conical structures (known as "buddles") with rotating brushes were also used. It's possible that the Cornish mining word for the waste sludge of rock fragments - gange - is the origin of the English slang word "gunge".

  34. Cross the stile and walk to the wooden gate. Bear left as indicated by the arrow to follow between the wall and fence and emerge in a parking area between buildings. Walk ahead through this and follow the track until it ends on a road.

    Rooks roost in the tall trees surrounding the road and can often be heard.

    Rooks nest in colonies and are one of the most social members of the crow family. Scientists have found that rooks are happy to work cooperatively to solve problems (e.g. each pulling on a separate string to release food).

  35. Turn right onto the road and follow it until you reach a junction with Herland Road.

    The settlement of Herland was recorded in 1283 as Hyrleyn. The name is from the Cornish words hyr (meaning "long") and lyn (meaning "lake"). This could well refer to the long, thin pool in the stream at the bottom of the woods.

  36. Bear left down Herland Road and follow it until it ends in a T-junction.
  37. Turn left at the junction and follow the road downhill until you reach a private lane on the left for Lang-Lea, Brooke House and Stamps House and walk a couple of paces further past the fence to the telegraph pole where a path leads into the trees on the left.
  38. Turn left onto the path and follow this down the steps and then ahead to a junction of paths. Continue ahead to pass a sign for the Goldolphin Estate to reach a kissing gate.

    In folklore, the bluebell is a symbol of constancy, presumably based on the fact that they flower in the same place every year. It was said that anyone who wears a bluebell is compelled to tell the truth. This could be the origin of the "…something blue…" that a bride should wear on her wedding day.

    Most of a large tree's trunk is actually made of dead wood known as "heartwood". Only the outer layers (known as sapwood) are actually active. The sapwood transport water and minerals up the tree from the roots to the leaves. The sapwood next to the heartwood gradually fills up with resin and then dies to create another strong layer heartwood which supports the increasing weight of the tree.

  39. When you reach the kissing gate, go through this and continue straight ahead up the hill to reach a gate in the corner of the field with a kissing gate alongside.

    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.

  40. Go through the gate and follow the left hedge to a gate in the corner of the field with another kissing gate alongside.
  41. Go through the kissing gate to the left of the gate and follow the track until a small path departs to the right as the track bends to the left.

    From December until the spring, celandine leaves are quite noticeable along the edge of paths. They have a shape similar to a "spade" in a pack of cards and are patterned with lighter green or silvery markings.

    There are over 280 species of hoverflies in Britain. As the name of the family implies, they are very good at hovering completely stationary in flight and can switch from very fast flight to a perfect hover in the blink of an eye.

    Many have colour patterns that mimic stinging bees and wasps so predators avoid them even though they don't sting. They are quite convincing con-artists and when caught will push down their abdomen in a simulated stinging action to keep up the illusion.

    A thick outer bark on a tree helps to protect it from frost damage during the winter. The bark, which is often textured to trap air, and forms an insulating "buffer zone" that shields the living part of the tree, keeping this above freezing when there are sub-zero temperatures outside. The mass of dense wood inside the tree also acts as night store heater, absorbing heat during the day which is gradually released at night.

    The growing conditions for trees varies from year to year (e.g. there might be a drought one summer). The "bad years" and "good years" are reflected in the widths of the rings. The pattern of good and bad summers is the same (more-or-less, depending of the location) for every tree so this forms a calendar - the known sequence of wide and narrow rings can be used to assign an exact year to each ring. This can also be done with dead and even fossil trees both to date them and get an idea of what the climate was doing at the time.

  42. Bear right onto the small path which cuts the corner in the track and follow it to reach a gap in the wall on the opposite side of the track where the path emerges.

    It is thought that the gardens at Godolphin might be the oldest surviving formal gardens in the the country, with parts that are around 700 years old. The gardens include mediaeval pathways, 16th and 17th Century ponds, and an Elizabethan side garden with a compartmentalised layout that has remained unchanged since it was created.

  43. Cross the stone stile resembling a cattle grid and follow the right hedge of the field until you reach a corner where the field opens out. Bear right across this to the gap in the middle of the hedge to reach the gate that you passed through near the start of the walk.

    The ditch along the hedge was once a leat that transported water to the manor's fish ponds and powered waterwheels in the farm. The leat was fed by the shallower of two drainage adits within Great Work Mine.

    An adit is a roughly horizontal tunnel going into a mine. In Cornwall these were important for drainage as many of the ore-bearing veins are close to vertical, through which water can easily seep. Drainage adits were sloped slightly upwards to meet the main shaft, so water trickling into the main shaft from above could be diverted out of the adit. Below the adit, engines powered by waterwheels or steam were needed to pump the water up to the level of the adit where it could then drain away.

  44. Go through the gate and follow the path to the left of the hut (with a "Pedestrians This Way" sign) to return to the car park.

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.