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A walk in mid Penwith

~~GOC Cornwall

A walk in mid Penwith.


We assembled on a very grey Sunday 11th January for our first walk of 2015. The starting point was the church and school carpark at Madron - a village just north of Penzance.


Twelve of us set off led by Lee and his Jack Russell (who just happened to be called Jack). We were delighted to welcome two new women members and that brought our female representation at this walk to four - a third of the gathering.


Right from the start it was obvious that this walk was going to be a bit soggy in places as we walked from paths to muddy lanes. Pools of stagnant rainwater were a regular feature. Our first point of interest was to visit the Celtic baptistry of St Maddern – a small roofless oratory in the middle of nowhere – presumed to have been built by the Saint himself and occasionally still used for baptisms and wedding/CP blessings.


Just a few metres on and we were close by The Wishing Well. This is a spring deep in the undergrowth. In the 5th century St Maddern diverted the water to the nearby baptistry. It was widely believed that the waters of the well had healing properties. These day visitors make a wish and tie some fabric to the nearby tree as a token of their visit – and this is precisely what we did adding to the hundred of tokens already dangling there.


The next stage of the walk took us to high ground where spectacular views of Mounts Bay and Penwith moors could be seen. After quite a climb accompanied by much puffing and blowing we reached our highest point – Ding Dong mine where we stopped for a very draughty lunch.


One more special stop was Lanyon Quoit – the burial chamber of a Celtic chieftain. This huge “stone table” provided an interesting photo opportunity.


We returned to our cars glowing with wind blasted faces and exhilarated with January windy gusts. Another lovely occasion came to an end as we each went our separate ways with that special feeling that exercise and excellent company can achieve. Fond farewells and happy New Year wishes echoed as we travelled home to warmth, comfort and the good old tea pot!


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