2023 Walk Programme – Buttern, Leskernick and Bray, on Bodmin Moor led by Pete Herring


April 16, 2023    
10:30 am - 4:30 pm

Event Type

A zig-zagging loop walk on the northern edge of Fawymore (or Bodmin Moor) that visits prehistoric settlements, fields and ceremonial monuments and includes several instances of apparently deliberate prehistoric landscape design. It also encounters interesting mining, turf-cutting and common pasturing remains. Approximately 9 kilometres or 5.5 miles of uneven, exposed terrain.

This walk will be led by Pete Herring, who has done considerable field work in this part of the Moor.

We start at Bowithick ford (SX 1836 8265; What3Words: blanket.hothouse.ranches) where there should be ample room for parking. Starting at 10:30 am we will begin to walk through extensive alluvial tin and wolfram works and dressing floors and onto Buttern Hill where we climb past eluvial streamworks and through probably Bronze Age fields with round houses to reach glorious summit views. Early Bronze Age cairns include one with a beautiful stone box or cist. Down the western side of the hill we go to find a Bronze Age stone row and then along medieval and post-medieval leats to one of the most impressive industrial sites in Cornwall, an 18m deep eluvial streamwork separating Buttern from Leskernick.

Cist in a platform cairn on Buttern Hill

Up Leskernick Hill to another summit cairn, this one with petalled stones and along to the first propped stone identified in Cornwall, nearly 30 years ago now. Then down into and through extensive well-preserved fields and round houses to a complex of stone circles, stone row and cairns on the lower slopes, where we start our journey back. It may be time for an afternoon mug of tea when we reach a lonely post-medieval cottage, now ruined, at Redhill, before we follow a contemporary bank along the lower contour of Bray Down until we see it attached to an earlier enclosure, West Moor Common’s rectangular drift pound, used for holding animals trespassing on the commons.

Leskernick stone circle picked out by people on an earlier CAS field trip.

The last stretch takes us to our third summit, that of Bray Down, with a line of three Bronze Age cairns, two of them tor cairns and all aligned on a neat natural cheesewring to their west. Down the north-west slopes through medieval strip fields and back to the start.