• Stupendous Pile

The most impressive cheesewring in these ‘ere parts – to my mind at least – is not the famous one near Minions, magnificent though that is, but one that perches at the western end of Kilmar Tor, a couple of miles away.  The Cornish topographer Thomas Bond (1765-1837) described this cheesewring as a ‘stupendous pile’ and called it the ‘Western Turret’.  It’s also known as ‘The Kilmarth’.  More recently, rock climbers and boulderers have devised half-a-dozen routes up to its summit, one called ‘Western Turret’ and others with five fantastic names to match: ‘Avoidance’, ‘Special Llama’, ‘Light Trip Fandangle’, ‘Two Slaps No Fly’ and ‘Sleepy Hollow’.  Only the brave would attempt these routes, especially on a fiercely windy day like today.  I’ve never seen anyone on them.  There is a terrific guide for those who are tempted to do so, or even for a passive reader like me: Barnaby Carver & Sean Hawken, Cheesewring and South East Cornwall: A Climbers’ Guide (St Ives Printing & Publishing Company, 1998, rev. 2012).


This ‘stupendous pile’ leans both to the north and to the west and its distinctive profile is visible from afar, from the SE clockwise round to the NE.  These two shots – a bit dark, but so was the light – are taken from the east, where a walk along the full spine takes several hours.  What is remarkable, at least to a layman like myself, is how it stays upright.  When you approach more closely, you can see that to the left of the turret (the south side) a whole slew of supporting cheesewrings has sheered off, leaving the rest perilously balanced.  But you can just about work out that the central gravitational line is sufficiently to the right to support the whole turret.  It still looks as if one push might topple it to the left or to the right, but it’s obviously more sturdy than that.  At least, I hope it is.

Sometime I must go up and take a more revealing set of photographs.


St Michael’s Mount & St Ives

I’m on a little trip west.  It was overcast, to say the least, but St Michael’s Mount looks impressive in any weather and the wind and wet did not seem to deter a surfing class on Portmeor Beach in St Ives.

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• Trewortha Bunny

Trewortha Tor, north of Kilmar, has more than its fir share of interestingly shaped rocks and boulder formations.  One of my favourites is what I call the ‘Trewortha Bunny’.  Others see an elephant head…

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• Pond on the Moor

Between Bearah and Kilmar Tors there is a watering hole that never dries up.  Here it is a few days before Christmas, looking north-west.

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• Admiral Carving Beech

What a glorious day.  A hike up to Sharp Tor, where a Red Admiral was basking.  Then the sun was at a good angle to catch the letters and numbers of boundary rock ’12’, ‘RIL’, ‘1846’ (see post from 27 April 2013).  And the leaves of the beech trees lower down glowed golden.

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• Kayak, St Ives

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• Apple-juicing, Upton Cross

Here’s how you juice apples, with a modern equivalent of the ‘cheesewring’ that gives its name to the rock formations up on the moor.  Photos taken at the Apple Day at Upton Cross village hall.

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