Sancreed - Carn Euny - Boscawen-Un

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Travelling through a rich West Penwith landscape of small fields and remnant Cornish heaths dotted with some spectacular historic remains, the route is full of interest. The terrain is one of gentle climbs and descents and the going is easy, although a few of the 33 Cornish granite stiles along the way take some clambering over.   

Starting at Sancreed Church, the first point of interest on the route is a short detour to the holy well at Sancreed, a spectacular well approximately two metres deep with steps to the bottom and with rare phosphorescent moss that glows like neon in the dark of the well interior. The well is still a place of pilgrimage for some, going by the profusion of rag 'offerings' or 'clouties' left in the trees around about.

After returning from the detour, the walk heads south-west for approximately three-quarters of a mile across fields bounded by Cornish hedges and with a gentle climb past the farm ruins at Boswarthen. The gentle climb continues to the highest point of the walk (630ft, 190m) at the hill-fort at Caer Bran. The Iron Age fort is surrounded by circular banks and ditches approximately 100 metres across. The high point provides excellent views in all directions, including St Michael's Mount in the east, St Buryan Church almost due south and the Ding Dong Mine engine house to the north-north-east (bearing 26°).

A little under a mile further on is the set of sites at Carn Euny, including the twin holy wells and the ancient settlement that was occupied from the Iron Age until late Roman times. It includes the foundations of stone houses and an intriguing 'fogou' underground passage.

From Carn Euny it is just under one and a half miles to the Bronze Age stone circle at Boscawen-Ûn. One of the finest stone circles in England, Boscawen-Ûn comprises nineteen evenly spaced stones mostly of local granite, but one in the WSW made of quartz. Unusually, there is a single menhir located near the centre of the ring. Centre stones and quartz stones are rare in British circles and the inclusion of both in the same monument is unique outside of Ireland, suggesting a cultural link between southern Ireland and the SW of England.

The return to Sancreed is just under two miles over gentle Cornish countryside, requiring some careful navigation to keep on the public paths across the patchwork of small fields.

England - South West England - Cornwall - Countryside


Ancient Monument, Church, Great Views
8/21/2018 - Janine Tregelles

We have just finished this walk today and loved it. The walk is dog friendly, but at the final farm, there are chickens and our dog showed an unhealthy interest which was not great. The highlights of the walk are the historic sites, but also the sheer beauty of the views and sitting at the top of the hill, there was absolutely no sound at all except wildlife. We found the directions fine and did not get lost.

3/19/2014 - Mike Bunt

Did this walk today and enjoyed it. Great sites visited and good clear instructions. Only problem I encountered was instruction 5 states 'head ESE across six fields' but the correct direction is actually WSW. Bit confusing but still a great walk. Thanks Mike

10/1/2011 - Carolyn Hartley

Just been this afternoon on this interesting walk near where we live. The instructions were not very clear between the fort and the historical site of the iron age settlement. Also we had to negotiate a field of maze as the path was very overgrown. A great walk all the same.