Man-Made Monuments Around Chun

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Man has been leaving his mark on the hilltops of Cornwall for thousands of years. This short but highly enjoyable walk takes in three man-made sites which take us from the Neolithic Age, to the Iron Age and finally to the Aeroplane age; take the walk and wonder at man's evolution.

Woon Gumpus Common, which this walk crosses, is known as the Gump. The name comes from the Cornish for level ground, which is an apt description of most of this walk. The common is held in folklore to be the home of 'the little people' and fairies, so watch where you are walking.

Chun Quoit, at Waymark 7, is one of the better chambered tombs in the area. This is difficult to date, but is thought to be between 2500BC and 1000BC. It was probably covered originally in a mound of earth. Chun Castle, a little further up the hill, is very interesting, if you have some background information. Chun derives from the Cornish Chy wun, which means 'house on the downs'. This was not a house however, but a significant defensive structure, dating back to the Iron Age. The outer wall once stood over ten feet in height, but sadly this has been drastically reduced by the use of the stone for building houses in days gone by. There was also an inner wall and you enter the site through the remains of a staggered entrance between the walls.

Inside the castle are the remains of a well. The use of the site has been 'on and off' and is open to speculation. One theory is that it was to protect stocks of tin, prior to their being traded. The fact that it straddles the important 'tinners way' gives it a strategic setting. The return downhill takes you along a likely route of the 'tinners way', which once linked the lucrative mining area of St Just with the ports at St Ives and Hayle.

There then follows a walk up to a monument that is visible for miles around, via the Boswens Croft Menhir, but is of much more recent origin. Looking like something from 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', it is in fact part of National Air Traffic Services (NATS) network of air traffic control radars. The beacon just beyond Waymark 13 is worth a closer look.

In low cloud this walk will be quite challenging from a navigational perspective. Do not be fooled by its short length, an ability to navigate in poor visibility will be needed if venturing out on a poor weather day.

England - South West England - Cornwall - Heaths


Castle, Great Views
7/23/2017 - Jim Arymar

July 2017. This is an interesting walk and thank you to Richard Hardy for providing fascinating information about the ancient sites. The lower parts of the walk had a lot of standing water - wellies would have been best. I imagine that this walk is pretty wet underfoot most of the time given Cornwall's rainfall. With the largely featureless terrain, perhaps some distances would be helpful-particularly as Richard says, in case of poor visibility. The footpath from way mark 15 was hard to find and would have needed a machete to clear. We simply walked back along the road. Jim and Gina Arymar.

9/3/2013 - Richard Hardy

Pretty much off lead the whole way round No livestock when I updated the walk but obviously care needed if any are around when you walk