With Stu’s parents down visiting, we decided to seek out a new walk and stumbled across the treasure of Luxulyan Valley.
Just a short drive away lays the picturesque Luxulyan Valley. A 2 mile circular walk through tranquil woodlands hand railing the river Par. With good paths it was easy for everyone to enjoy, albeit a couple of steep gradients. The elevated pathways offered some lovely views over the valley out to St Blazey and all the way on to Par.
Luxulyan is full of Cornish mining heritage. It is the home to the magnificent Treffry Viaduct and Carmears Wheel Pit. A real treat for anyone who loves the Cornish mining history or interested in industrial engineering.
Luxulyan was an important source of wood and was used to make charcoal, which was the fuel to smelt the locally mined tin and copper. As you walk alongside the upper leat you will be treading the route of the old railway which was built to serve as a vital link between Newquay and Par harbours. Remnants of the tracks are still visible. Water was channeled along leat systems to power a huge 34 foot water wheel, which, in turn powered an inclined plane to transport goods through the valley.
A lot of the wooden parts of the water wheel haven’t lasted but the main structure is still present. In later years the wheel was adapted to power a china clay grinding mill. The mill stones and its driven gear are situated next to the wheel and are impressive bits of industrial engineering history.
We climbed up to the top of the wheel pit and took in the views.
Walking on we came across the Treffry Viaduct which is over 100ft tall and 650ft long. The land owner, a Joseph Treffry, had Engineer James Meadows Rendel design and construct this high level crossing. It not only functioned as a viaduct but also has a covered water channel running under the surface stonework to feed the upper leat and provide more water to the Fowey Consols Mines. The work took 7 years to complete and the railway entered use in 1844. A new line left the rail line on the viaduct redundant but continued to supply water.
Luxulyan Valley is also a perfect spot for wildlife enthusiasts and is a regular home to bullfinches, otters, greater and lesser horseshoe bat, pipistrelle bat, song thrush and the spotted flycatcher.
The dogs thoroughly enjoyed this walk with so many scents and lots of water to play in, they were shattered by the time we got home.
For those who enjoy a walk with a bit of a difference this one is definitely for you.