Chacewater Trails

Chacewater is a rural Parish that offer visitors a unique insight into Cornwall’s world-shaping industrial heritage. Lying between Truro and Redruth, at the heart of the Cornwall Mining World Heritage Site (WHS), its rolling countryside is bisected north to south by the Carnon River valley, housing the main settlement and Chacewater Conservation Area.

The area is a mix of farmland on steep-sided valleys and rolling uplands, with fields surrounded by heath and woodland and has approximately 17.5 miles of Public Rights of Way (PRoW) from which this website presents just 3 walking trails.

Chacewater has been a focus of mining and tin-streaming since early times. Mining was supplemented by smallholdings with old field patterns, that are still visible today and divided by typical Cornish hedges.

The Wheal Busy area produced tin and copper from the 16th century and (through the work of engineers such as Newcommen, Smeaton, Hornblower, Trevithick and James Watt) became a centre of innovative early mining technology in the 18th and 19th centuries. The nearby Killifreth mine was active in copper production from 1826 and its listed Engine House boasts the tallest extant chimney stack in Cornwall. Good quality elvan stone, which is distinctive in local buildings, was also quarried at Creegbrawse during the 19th century. This expansion of mining industry saw the village of Chacewater grow into a small but flourishing centre for local trade. A brewery existed on Riverside that pre-dates 1830 and spawned over a dozen ale houses.

Chief among Chacewater’s many historic landmarks, the 4-stage embattled tower of St Paul’s Church (second highest in Cornwall) overlooks the village from the southwest; the impressive 7-arched railway viaduct straddles Station Road and dozens of mine engine stacks rise above the landscape around Wheal Busy, its old smithy and distinctive brick chimney.

Falling prices from 1866 caused metal mining to decline, emigration and a subsequent dwindling in the population of the Parish; this saw Chacewater become increasingly residential and trade oriented, while the surrounding area reverted largely to agriculture.

Nowadays, Chacewater offers the visitor a pub, a couple of village shops, its own bakery and fish & chip shop, as well as a fruit, vegetable and flower market, all of which are located within yards of your start point at The Square Car Park where a Public Toilet and Telephone can also be found.  The outer reaches of the Parish embrace part of Blackwater to the north and Twelveheads to the south, where there is a well appointed café for those using the old Portreath to Devoran Tramway, which itself is now a recognised cycle trail.

Address:The Square Car Park, Chacewater, TR4 8PY

Lat: N 50° 25′ 64.52″
Long: W -5° 15′ 64.35″

OS Grid Ref: SW 750 444

CHAcEWATER TRAIL 1
CHAcEWATER TRAIL 1

Moderate trails are those that are over tougher terrain but not too difficult. They are also not usually up steep hills or too long in distance. As a marker we have estimated that they would be fine for mum, dad and two children.

CHAcEWATER TRAIL 2
CHAcEWATER TRAIL 2

The tough trails are generally over a much harder terrain - obviously we are not talking cross country but certainly the ground is rocky, goes up very steep inclines and these trails are a lot longer.

CHACEWATER TRAIL 3
CHACEWATER TRAIL 3

Moderate trails are those that are over tougher terrain but not too difficult. They are also not usually up steep hills or too long in distance. As a marker we have estimated that they would be fine for mum, dad and two children.