After six years, the time has come to swap my churchwarden’s staff for trekking poles and attempt a long-held ambition to walk the Offa’s Dyke Path. Peter and I will be starting from Chepstow on 17th May, carrying our tent and kit, and rambling slowly along the 177 miles towards Prestatyn. We will take our time, stopping to visit places on the way, and in particular I hope to visit all twenty churches along the path. My indefatigable churchwarden colleague, Judith, has persuaded me not to forget St Sampson’s and to raise funds for the St Samson’s Unlocked Project as we go. Hopefully, she will be able to post updates of our progress whenever my phone has enough battery or signal to send them to her.
Park in the car park opposite the social club/village hall, at 9:50am, walk via Saint Neot to the church to meet the bell tower captain. Let me know if you intend to join us. So we don’t leave anyone behind. There maybe an opportunity to shortened the walk if needed. There are toilets at the start/finish car park and at the church and pub.
If you want to join us… I look forward to hearing from you. Ali. 07305 044049
In the earliest Life of St Neot (written in the mid-eleventh century, perhaps by a Cornishman, but anyway for St Neots in Huntingdonshire), the saint is portrayed as an Anglo-Saxon, who studied first at Glastonbury, then retired to Cornwall to become a hermit. It is this Life which first tells the story of King Alfred and the Cakes, in Somerset (a story which is not in Asser’s Life of King Alfred). Although St Neot is here said to have been a Saxon, nothing is known for sure of his actual origin. All that we know is that he was buried at St Neot, probably between about 865 and 893, and that his remains were later taken to St Neots in Huntingdonshire.
The one thing which is sure is that he actually visited St Neot and remained grateful for the relief from illness which he received through praying at the shrine of St Gueriir here. This happened before he became king of Wessex (while one of his three elder brothers was still on the throne), but while the sub-King Dungarth was still ruling Cornwall, who may be commemorated on the stone in St Cleer parish nearby. One of Dungarth’s courts would have been at Liskeard, of which the name implies a court (Cornish lys), possibly ‘of stags’ (Cornish kerwys, older kerwyd); in the later Middle Ages there were two royal deer-parks in Liskeard parish. King Alfred was on a hunting visit when he visited St Neot. Was he on a royal visit to the sub-king Dungarth, staying at Liskeard and being entertained there?
The cross of Doniert and the large cross outside the door of St Neot church are both in the new style of ornamented cross, introduced into Cornwall in around 900. This means that the one would be of about the right date for ‘Doniert’ to refer to King Dungarth (it is a variant spelling of the same name); and the other would be of the right date to have been presented to the church by King Alfred in gratitude for the help that he received from St Gueriir’s shrine there. If St Neot died during King Alfred’s reign, he might already have been living at St Neot, and might have shared in the king’s gratitude. So it is possible that this cross at the church was given to us by King Alfred. TY Kate.
Starting at Luckett car park at 10am, (there is limited space here) we’ll stride out to Horse Bridge along the muddy footpath. Or meet us at there. ( it’ll take us 1/2 hour to walk ) More muddy footpaths take us through Scrub Tor (where we spotted deer on our recce) and fields with new born lambs to Sydenham Dameral church, (4 miles) arriving at 12 noon ish.
We’ve been invited to climb the tower to see their bells…..
Heading back via Horse Bridge ( to cross the Tamar) and pick up anyone that slipped away to the pub. .. we’ll follow the road back to Luckett BUT .. by the new defibrillator … (adding a couple miles) we’ll head off along the footpath to Broadgate Engine House… then drop down crossing the leat and follow the mine workings track to the road, taking the footbridge over the ford. Staying on the Apple Line under Deer Park, we will encounter their wonderful Highland Cattle, and back onto Luckett Hill and DOWN to our start/finish. 8.8 miles in total.
Great weather to start our walk, came in drizzly as we arrived at St Mary’s church and climbed the tower, wonderful views, and fun “ringing” the bells. Thank you to Mike for a great hour, before heading back via Sydenhal Dameral Mill and as soon as we crossed into Cornwall the weather cleared again.
From the church turn Right at the crossroads, towards Bray Shop. Follow the road to the entrance of Treven and turn Left into a grass field, head to the far corner, there’s a stile under a tree. Step up and down into another grass field with well behaved horses here, that will probably ignore you. Keep left aim towards Caradon Mast, and follow the hedge to the bottom fence with gate in the left corner. To your right spot a stile over the hedge, take care as you drop down into the road. Turn Right towards Linkinhorne with St Mellor’s church coming into view. Turn left through a newly widened gate, clearly marked with a footpath signpost, into a grass field. Walk towards the wind turbine and you’ll see 2 gates before you, take the left hand gate. Keep the hedge on your Right and at the bottom of the field go over the stile, cross a small stream, then walk up the sloping field, keeping the hedge on your right (turn around to see the views and catch your breath). In the top corner, you’ll see a gate (with a For sale sign on it). Go through this gate, into a path which opens into a track and brings you to Mornick.
8 miles circular walk, mainly quiet roads and some footpaths to start crossing fields.
From Golberdon: Lane to Trewoodloe House, follow the footpath across the fields to Berrio. Turn left at the road & follow to the junction at Kerney bridge.
Take the Pensilva road, up the steep hill until you reach Scrawsdon Farm entrance on your right with a footpath sign! Follow this to Mill Lawn.
At the road turn right and go through the wood to the junction and turn left, to Charaton Cross. Go straight over towards Gang. At the next junction keep left, and pass an old granite horse trough.
At the next junction ( GANG ) the road on the left, is the route back, via Bicton Bridge and back to Golberdon. But turn Right and follow this road all the way to the main road and the church on the Right.
The church is now owned by the owners of the Old Rectory, opposite, who are renovating it into a museum to Emily Hobhouse.
The Church tower with bold setback buttresses is unique in Cornwall for its 12 pinnacles instead of the usual four. A sundial above the main porch door is dated 1695. Inside look up, the roof is original woodwork with carved angels and one green man.
The modern glass in the window is a memorial to Archdeacon Hobhouse. rector from 1844-1895 and responsible for the restoration and a remarkable benefactor to the parish. He was also father of Emily known as The Angel of Mercy for her work among the Boor women and children in South Africa during the Boor war. A lot of information about Emily and her charitable work can be found in the church.