Above: St. Cleer village & dressing the Holy Well
St. Cleer is an attractive old mining village on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor, nestled on the side of a valley. There are two pubs, The Market Inn and The Stag, a community center called Open Doors (Tuesday and Thursday mornings for drinks and cakes) and a village shop with local produce, everyday supplies, deli, ice-creams and takeaway drinks and snacks.
The medieval parish church is set within a beautiful churchyard carpeted with flowers, starting in early spring with crocuses and celandines, followed by primroses, daffodils and then bluebells – the scent is heavenly. There has been a place of worship on the site since the early Christian French monk St. Clarus built a wooden church around 800AD and healed the sick in the nearby Holy Well, although there are other versions with different Saints of a similar name – St Clare stories…
There are several circular walks in the area, this one is about 3 miles long and follows lanes with high Cornish hedges, wild flowers and lovely views. The lanes are quiet and narrow, you may only see one car pass you, but please keep dogs on leads as this is primarily sheep farming country. In spring there are lots of lambs to enjoy. The walk also takes you through a farm, so be prepared for cow dung in the road!
The walk starts at the junction on Fore Street where the Chimney Sweep and Forge is situated, (follow Fore Street in the direction of Common Moor). Turn left at the Forge, and take the right hand fork (Treworrick Lane).
Follow the lane enjoying the many hedgerow flowers and serene views across the rolling hills. The lane goes through the middle of friendly Treworrick Farm and you may see cows in the cowshed. The old granite barns and farmhouse are particularly attractive, situated in a delightful rural setting.
Continue following the lane downhill and turn left at the junction. The lane carries on downhill towards a wooded valley with a gurgling stream and a cottage on the left.
At this point turn left at the junction (Lampretton House is on the right).
The lane winds uphill for sometime, you will spot a standing stone marking the start of the drovers track on the left (you may have seen the spot where the track joins the road earlier – don’t be tempted to walk up or down it, as at the time of writing it is very rough walking with deep channels gouged out by rainwater and a lot of rubble.)
Carry on up the hill until you finally come out at the place you started your walk.
There are many interesting sites around St. Cleer to explore including the Caradon World Heritage Mining Area, the Hurlers stone circles and the granite tor known as the Cheesewring at Minions, and Trethevy Quoit, a Neolithic dolmen burial chamber near St. Cleer. The most interesting way to reach this is to walk up the ancient track from Higher Tremar known to date at least from Roman times. The path starts next to Roman House across the road from the foot of Well Lane that leads out of St. Cleer. Link for more info – Trethevy Quoit.
Above: The Cheesewring & The Hurlers stone circles at Minions
Above: Trethevy Quoit
Above: Derelict Phoenix United Mine engine house & Minions Mining Heritage Centre