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All Roads Lead To Carnsew | Hayle Pump

From Hayle Pump December 2012/January 2013
Carnsew….Dark Cliff…..a fifty foot high cliff of black basalt rock, which stood, and still stands, though transformed into the Plantation, on the southern shore of the Hayle estuary commanding an uninterrupted view of the harbour entrance.

More than two thousand years ago this was a Celtic hill fort, playing an important part in Cornwall’s trading with the classical world of Greece and Italy, and later in AD 722 repelling Anglo-Saxon invaders, ‘a victory at Hehil in the Devonian peninsula.

Here, at the foot of the fort Cornish Celts built their small, round dwellings, protected by the two earthwork ramparts, behind which they could retreat in times of possible attack.

Roman coins, minted around AD330 in Alexandria and Constantinople, found while constructing the Causeway, and the Cunaide Stone, a 5th century Roman memorial stone, discovered by workmen excavating in Plantation Lane in 1843, now repositioned on the Plantation, suggest that the Hill fort continued to be an important centre long after the Iron Age.

Ancient track ways, which also still exist today, though now covered with tarmac and traversed by cars, converged upon Carnsew. The higher ground track ran east, through High Lanes to Guildford and Angarrack, leading eventually to Carn Brea, and branching en route to hill forts at Castle Kayle and Carnkie.

Another track way, passing Copperhouse, continued to Gwithian. One led to Phillack, where traces of Iron Age burials and kitchen middens have been found, and from here forded the estuary to Lelant towards Madron and Mousehole.

A track led to Camborne, another to Nanpusker, then south-west towards Fraddam, which became the Pilgrim’s Way to Marazion and St Michael’s Mount. There are also track ways leading to St Erth, the ancient settlement of Pulsack, and, by way of fording the estuary, to Ludgvan and Penzance.

Today we cannot see the Hill fort, but it still exists in the form of the Plantation, landscaped, supported by walls, with archways and paths. Henry Harvey, (the owner of Harvey’s Foundry), having built his ‘Triumphal Arch’ in Foundry Lane, decided in 1845 that landscaping the Hill fort would be the prelude to building his new mansion at the crest. In 1852 the West Cornwall Railway foiled Henry’s plans by cutting a swathe through the Plantation, but his ambitions ensured the preservation of the Hill fort, still keeping its mysteries, asleep under Henry’s project.

Kath Mullinger
Hayle Community Archive

Book page

TitleCreated
PA19/08727 | Outline planning permission with some matters reserved (access): Construction of up to three dwellings | Land Adj T 23 hours 17 min agoBook page
191018 | Saved in past year- Mill complex ropeworks, Hayle | Cornwall's historic sites which are at risk of being lost forever 23 hours 30 min agoBook page
PA19/08062 | Non material amendment in relation to Construction of 270sqm of floorspace for A1 or A3 use and 3 residential apart 2 days 10 hours agoBook page
PA19/08764 | Submission of details to discharge condition 5 in relation to decision notice PA16/03519 - Hayle Retail SurfaceWate 2 days 10 hours agoBook page
PA19/08759 | Submission of details to discharge condition 4 in relation to decision notice PA16/03519 - Hayle Retail Park CEMP 2 days 10 hours agoBook page
191015 | PA19/08063 | Approved unconditional | Non material amendment to amend conditions 23 and 29 attached to decision notice 2 days 10 hours agoBook page
191001 | Remembering Cunaide, part 2 | Hayle Pump 2 days 17 hours agoBook page
191015 | Cornwall speed camera that catches out the most drivers 2 days 18 hours agoBook page
191015 | Hayle Town Council | Cornwall Community Governance Reviews 2 days 20 hours agoBook page
191015 | Wanted: gentlemen footballers of a generous girth 2 days 21 hours agoBook page
191014 | Badger Cull making TB worse! 4 days 20 hours agoBook page
1985 | A30 Hayle by-pass | Land acquisition and compensation | Total estimated cost including works 5 days 10 hours agoBook page