PATHWAYS TO THE PAST 2016
The 10th annual year of walks and talks was another successful weekend, with good weather and a great turnout of people. It began on Saturday May 28th with a guided walk by Cheryl Straffon & Lana Jarvis entitled Vounder Gogglas: an ancient traders’ track. The walk began at Sancreed Beacon with its two hilltop barrows and continued along the ancient track to Caer Bran hillfort, where the group stopped to admire the view and talk about hilltop sites. Then it continued down a flower strewn lane to the magical sanctuary of Chapel Euny wells, where Lana told the story of Janey Tregear and the changling child. From there the traders’ track led on towards Chapel Carn Brea, but on the flanks of Bartinney Down the group returned via Grumba to the start of the walk. Nearly 50 people came on the walk, and it was a similar number for the afternoon guided walk by David Giddings entitled Round and about the Little Lookout Tor. Starting from the end of Bosiliack lane, David led people to the Nine Maidens barrow and stone circle and then up to Little Galva to view the recently-discovered propped stone and view frame. Then it was a scramble down to Bosporthennis settlement and Beehive Hut before returning to the start of the walk. For those who did both of the walks today, they clocked up a good 11 mile hike, but were able to rest and recover for the evening talk. Due to an indisposition, Paul Bonnington had to cancel his planned talk, but Michelle Brown, Professor of Medieval Studies, ably stepped into the breach to give a lively illustrated talk on Protohistoric to Historic: Iron Age and Early Medieval Monuments in West Penwith. She brought to life the events of this period from the end of the Iron Age to the early Christian period in Cornwall, and threw a spotlight on what is still a lesser-known period of history in Cornwall.
On the morning of Sunday May 29th there was another talk, this time by archaeologist and mining expert Adam Sharpe. His illustrated talk, entitled Mining in Cornwall, was both informative and amusing, and gave an excellent overview of 4000 years of mining here. This was followed in the afternoon by regular presenter Adrian Rodda whose poem-walk this year was entitled In the footsteps of Giants. The walkers met at Morvah churchtown and took a circuitous route up the flanks of Chûn Downs to the Neolithic Quoit and the Iron Age Castle. Along the way Adrian read his new poem about the legendary Tom the Tinker and the giant Denbras – which all ended tragically! Fortunately nothing else tragic happened on the walk, and everyone was safely returned to their vehicles at the end! In the evening, the weekend concluded with the informal get-together at the North Inn at Pendeen, where over a pint, Palden Jenkins showed his map of alignments in West Penwith and spoke of The geomantic network in West Penwith. His talk was far-ranging and really engaged everyone with ideas, suggestions, thoughts and speculations. An excellent finale to what was a most delightful and interesting weekend of walks and talks, all set amongst the ancient sites of West Penwith.