Post 175: 15 April 1998: Day 4 – Pendeen to Zennor – 9 miles
The weather was holding as I left the sleepy village of Pendeen to head inland and visit some of the antiquities that adorn this barren but beautiful part of Penwith. A couple of pleasant enclosed ways led to the heather clad Carnyorth Common. Perched on the top is an outcrop of rocks called Carn Kenidjack, shaped by the winds and rain over centuries. There are few better viewpoints than to sit here on a quiet summer’s day with a walking friend and put the world to rights. The path eventually picked up an enclosed way and after a left and then right I crossed the Pendeen to Penzance road. After ascending the wonderfully named Woon Gumpus Common, Chûn Quoit was reached, a good place for a break. This Stone Age chamber is the only one on the peninsula to retain its capstone in place. It is only missing the covering mound of earth and stones. Having rested I ascended gently to Chûn Castle, the remains of an Iron Age hill fort with stone ramparts in three concentric rings. After admiring the panoramic views across this bleaker and more remote part of the Penwith Peninsula I descended the permissive path through gorse bushes to Trehyllys Farm.
A quiet narrow lane led past Bosullow to the Madron-Morvah road at which point I turned right to the Mén-an-Tol Studios, well worth a visit if open. A clear and touristy track was then followed to the curiously named Mén-a-Tol, a bronze age holed stone large enough for a child to crawl through; it is said that rickets is cured on climbing through the hole nine times towards the setting sun. I then continued to the Four Parish Stone, which marks the boundaries of Zennor, Madron, Gulval and Madron parishes. Here I turned left to head to the sea again passing Carn Galver, a rocky outcrop. I stopped for lunch under the remains of Carn Galva mine before the winding path again led to the Atlantic and Bosrigan Castle, an Iron Age cliff castle. Here I was walking through history in an area little changed for centuries; the gales and winds off the Atlantic making sure that ‘civilisation’ stays away. The coastal path then skirts prehistoric patterns of tiny fields at Bosigran, dated to the Iron Age some 1,500 to 2,000 years ago.
Shortly after passing the prominent Gurnard’s Head and some awesome coastal scenery I arrived at the Backpacker’s Hostel at Zennor
to be welcomed by Gabrielle Jackson, a former producer of Gary Rhodes (you know the chef with the spiky hair do).
It was fortunate that Gabrielle, also a skilled cook, was putting on a meal for fifteen to celebrate the hostel owner’s birthday. What more could one ask for as the wine flowed and the food was delicious.