WALK: UP THE CREEK AND THE RIVER
PUBLISHED: 16:52 21 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:16 30 August 2017
Lose yourself in the romance of bygone Cornwall with views of a medieval castle, and ancient landmarks near Saltash
Lose yourself in the romance of bygone Cornwall with views of a medieval castle, and ancient landmarks near Saltash...
1 Find roadside parking near St Stephen’s church (SX417584), following road signs from Saltash centre to the south west edge of town.
Built of local stone, St Stephen’s is largely 15th century and has a tall tower. Walk westward down St Stephen’s Hill, from where there is a fine view of Trematon Castle’s 12th century shell keep standing proudly on a natural hillock. Also extant are the castle’s gatehouse, which was rebuilt in the 13th century and parts of the curtain and bailey walls. Earl Robert de Mortain first built Trematon Castle and it was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. It passed to the Duchy of Cornwall in 1337 and was in ruins by the 16th century.
The house dates from 1807 and the property is privately owned.
2 Bear left at the bottom of the hill and cross Forder Bridge. Keep left along the lane (not the private track beside the creek) and follow it under the handsome railway viaduct.
Continue along the lane and turn left at the junction, gaining a better view of the viaduct from the across the tidal pond by the tidal mill (1613). Possibly dating from the 1880s, this Grade II listed structure has granite piers supporting eight arches of engineering brick. It is among the fifty-one viaducts constructed on the Plymouth to Penzance line. Originally built in timber, all these GWR viaducts had been rebuilt in stone by 1934.
3 Reaching the little harbour at Anthony Passage, walk past the cottages and down to the beach.
Climb steps and follow the path parallel to the beach. Follow the path up a second flight of steps and along the top of the low cliff. Continue on the path, ducking under the railway embankment arch and on uphill between fences to a lane.
4 Turn left along the lane. When the lane turns sharp right over the railway leave it, crossing the gate stile into a public footpath. Continue along the footpath, which leads into woodland and crosses a packhorse bridge at the creek head. Continue up steps and on to a tarmac drive. Turn right along a pleasant avenue to a road junction.
5 Turn right and after 230m bear right on the lane signed “Trematon for vehicles over 7’0”. Keep right at a junction and continue up to a crossroads.
6 Turn right, signed “Trehan Trematon Castle”. Continue ahead at the next two junctions, but keep a watch for the small stone cross on your right at Trehan. According to the British Listed Buildings website, this is thought to be 15th century. However, it may have been the cross part of a mullion and transom, possibly from nearby Burrell House. If this is the case, it would be early 17th century.
7 When you gain your first view of Trematon Castle (opposite the entrance to Higher Castle Farm), bear left onto the signed public footpath. Follow the path down and left to a stile.
Continue down the enclosed path. Turn right at the foot of the path and left onto the lane. Enjoy another view of Forder
Lake, or divert right and take a stroll along the permitted bankside path if time allows. Finally, retrace your steps up St Stephen’s Hill.
Points of interest
• Creekside and river views
• Railway viaduct at Forder
• Trematon castle
• 15th century cross at Trehan
GOOD TO KNOW
• Terrain Paths: (muddy after rain), tracks and quiet lanes. Several moderate ascents and descents
• Child/dog friendly Suitable for older children and dogs on leads
• Start: Roadside parking near St Stephen’s church, Saltash SX417584
• Maps: Ordnance Survey Explorer 108 or Landranger 201
• Refreshments: Choice of pubs, cafes and restaurants in Saltash