After leaving Trewince you soon take a step back in history with the church of St Gerent dating back to the 13th Century although extensively refurbished by the Victorians, the Parish Heritage Centre is also worthy of a quick stop. Shortly after joining the A 3078 there is a turn to Rosevine, out of sight behind the hedge with no public access is an Iron Age hillfort dating back to approximately 6th Century BC.
The history tour continues not far after leaving the A 3078, in the village of Ruan Lanihorne (or Larryhorn in Cornish). King Edward III granted a licence to build a castle in the area, which when finished at a 40-foot-high keep with seven towers. Unfortunately, this was finally destroyed during Victorian times when the stone was used to build other local properties. The small lane running through the middle of the village was once the old coach road from Penzance to London, how things have changed! The church dedicated to St Ruan dates back to 1321 and is in Gothic style with a 14th Century font and tower. In years gone by the river here used to be dredged to allow for better navigation, the silt was landed and neighbouring Trelonk to be made into bricks at a factory that used to stand in that hamlet.
Passing between the Fal and Tressillian estuaries much of the area is owned by the Tregothnan Estate, the ancestral home of the Boscawen family (Viscounts of Falmouth). The estate is closed to the public, but you may have heard of their tea, it was the first tea plantation to be developed within the UK and is an important botanical garden. The gates to this vast estate lay slightly off the route in the village of St Michael Penkivel, which was the main location during the filming of the 2005 film Keeping Mum. There has been a church in this unspoilt village since 13th Century, but the current building only dates to the 1860’s.
Much of the area covered by this cycle ride is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), within this there are Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI), on such site is the valley that is negotiated just after passing through the hamlet of Tregerrick. It is part of the Upper Fal Estuary, as the stream within it is a tributary of the Fal river previously ridden over. The trees as with much of this area are deciduous broadleaves with much of them being oak, with many wet land species amongst them. Regretfully there is no public access through this enchanting woodland.
Just after leaving the wooded valley behind the road takes a sharp left turn, with a small no through road that continues straight on. The route follows the main road, but the smaller lane goes to the mansion house of Trewarnthenick. This was built by the family of a local merchant in 1684 and changed many times by subsequent generations including having the grounds designed by the nationally renowned Humphrey Repton. The estate remained in the family until 1909 when there were no more heirs, it was then broken up into smaller lots and sold. The house has remained in private ownership and is not open to the public.
The village of Tregony, the gateway to the Roseland Peninsula, is an excellent example of how things have changed over the centuries. Although at least 5 km from the sea or navigable waterway this was once a thriving port thought the have been visited by Phoenician and Romans trading in tin. Since those times the river has silted up due to industrial activity further upstream, de-forestation and agriculture and the building of the bridge where the port once stood. The Norman Pomery family who were large, influential landowners had a substantial castle built adjacent to where Tregony Hill now runs. Towards the top of the steeper section of Tregony Hill stands a row of Almshouses, built by Hugh Boscawen in 1696, then renovated in 1895 with the addition of the wood work at the front.
The area was so influential with a thriving woollen industry during the 14th Century that Tregony was referred to as a town, although it has never been official granted that status. The wool mills produced a rough serge material that was appropriately named Tregony Cloth. An unusual feature will be found on your left along Fore Street, the Clock Tower which was started in 1833 and added to over the next 50 years to become the impressive sight it now is. Another possibly more welcoming sight will be the King Arms Public House, initially built in the 17th Century as a coaching house, has been altered and added to many times over the centuries.
The route follows delightfully quiet country lanes along a small valley towards the sea at West Portholland, where the coast road is joined. Portholland has one or two beaches depending on the state of the tide and was transformed into a welsh village as the setting for Tim Burton’s ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’. Reflecting the unspoilt beauty of this location it was recently awarded National Heritage Asset status.
Just along the coast is possibly the most enchanting village on the Roseland Peninsula, a onetime haven for smugglers and fishermen, now Portloe is a quiet pretty village that has escaped the expansion that similar places have seen. The latter is probably due to the steep sided valleys in which it is nestled. At the beginning of the 20th Century there were about 50 boats fishing out of the harbour, mainly for pilchards, this has now reduced to approximately 3 catching crabs and lobsters for local consumption.
The film industry has taken advantage of this spectacular setting since the 1935 production of ‘Forever England’ starring Sir John Mills, where Portloe was transformed into a Mediterranean village. Disney’s 1949 production of ‘Treasure Island’ had scenes filmed within the village. More recently the village was again transported to Ireland to be the setting for ‘Irish Jam’.
At the apex of a sharp left-hand corner just before the road descends towards Carne beach a footpath will be noticed leading to a mound in a field. This mound which stands on one of the highest points on the Roseland is in fact a Bronze Age Barrow, local legend has it that the Cornish King Gerent was buried here. Having lived in his palace between Trewithian and the sea. The tumulus at 113 m long and 6 m high is one of the largest in Britain and is accessible via a gate and steps. To the north-west of the Barrow is Veryan Castle, remains of an Iron Age fort that would have had very impressive views in all directions.
Carne and neighbouring Pendower beaches form a large sandy unspoilt stretch overlooked by the impressive 100 m Nare Head, with views in the opposite direction across Gerrans Bay.
Basic Equipment for Bike Riding
- Cycling helmet
- Cycling gloves
- Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
Technical Equipment for Bike Riding
- Air pump or CO2 pump including cartridges
- Puncture repair kit
- Replacement inner tube
- Tire levers
- Chain tool
- Hex keys
- Phone / device holder as required
- Bike lock as required
- Where applicable, the bike must meet requirements for road use by having a bell, front and rear lamps and spoke reflectors
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.