Friday, 1 October 2021

Walking in Cornwall's China Clay Country

Here I am in Cornwall's china clay country, well away from the normal tourist trails. It's a different world and even has its own pyramids!

First though I have to walk under this bridge as a train thunders above.

My walk from here is uphill along a narrow road. Fortunately very few vehicles come this way.

The house below is one I quite fancy, with large grounds. Would be perfect if situated somewhere else in Cornwall.

Moving on, some distant views across the countryside, which doesn't look too much like china clay country at the moment.

The road narrows and there's a wind turbine ahead.

On the right of the road is an entrance to a farm.

Oh, and another wind turbine.

A Cornish flag is flying high. 

Not everyone though is so welcoming, but on the opposite side of the road ...

...  everything looks quite friendly!

Beginning to look more like china clay territory now. There are sightings of the white china clay - though it does look like snow!

Another wind turbine next to china clay.

Now we have a quarry: Goonavean Aggregates.

There's a lorry waiting to be filled with aggregate. Fortunately any big vehicles, like this, have to go the opposite way to where I have walked.

The general surroundings aren't, perhaps, quite so appealing now.

Yet another wind turbine with the spoils of the china clay in the background.

The white of the china clay but nature is fighting back.

I decided now to retrace my steps, homeward bound, by the Greensplat Quarry.

It's downhill on the return trip, the road is narrow as can be seen by the 6 feet, 6 inches warning sign below. 

A few views across the countryside. 

Going downhill what do I see? The sea in the distance!

High hedges along the road spoil some of the views.

Even the fence is going downhill now.

The end of my walk. After going under the bridge I'm back where I started. On the wall are the details of the bridge.

Now, what way do I go home - oh, yes I remember.

To finish the post, below is a photo I took a while back. The scene is known locally as the White Pyramid.

As for the china clay industry in Cornwall please see my post: The China Clay Industry in Cornwall.

Plus there is much more info at the Wheal Martyn Museum

Thanks for visiting my Cornwall blog. Have a great weekend and week ahead ~ Mike.


  1. It's a very different landscape to the coastal holiday photo's you often show but has a lot to attract me as a photographer. Great photo's Mike. Regarding the wind turbines, we have whole areas of them here, both inland and hundreds more off shore in the North Sea. They are clearly visible from the promenade at Cleethorpes.

  2. Hello David, most visitors stick to the coastline when visiting Cornwall, which is understandable. I'm noticing more and more wind turbines as we drive about. I'm not sure if I like the idea of seeing turbines off shore but, I guess needs must. Have a good week.

  3. I enjoyed that walk, Mike. Many, many years ago, I spent a short holiday at Par Sands where our view was of a china clay works (I think). Such an important part of the Cornish landscape and economy. As for the turbines, I have very mixed feelings about them.

    1. Hello, yes that would have been Par Sands, originally known as Par Brach. The Par clay works is still in position. My feelings about the turbines is also mixed. I'd rather not see them but I guess needs must. Good wishes.

  4. What a magnificent photo of the White Pyramid Mike! It is the best I have seen! The National Geographic will be after that. As always, I greatly enjoyed your walk around the Cornish Alps. The fence post heron is very jolly and 'Greensplat' is such a brilliant place name. Hope you have a great week. Lulu x

    1. Thanks Lulu, enjoy your week too. The china clay was known as white gold, fortunes were made and there was employment for many. How times change.



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