Bodmin Moor feels like a place with secrets and stories to tell. Perhaps it’s the wildness, the wide open spaces and the distance that makes the visitor feel that this is a place that you will never really know completely or quite understand. I do know that it is under my skin. If I didn’t live so far away I would be out on that moor as often as possible.
It is a characteristic of every moorland that there are hidden features, places that are often lost in the landscape. Places that can only be seen from a particular hilltop or when you walk a particular path.
The ancient enclosure on Westmoor near Leskernick hill is one such place. The tumbling walls are only visible from a particular point as the path traverses the old tin streaming works near the base of the hill. The first time I saw it, it was the tree that caught my eye, it is just about the only tree for as far as the eye can see. I just had to walk over and pay a visit.
That time and every time I have visited there since the wild moorland ponies are already there or have arrived to graze. The grass within the old walls is much finer and greener than the rest of the moor, presumably due to human activity and I assume they come to take advantage of this sweeter meal.
It is also a very sheltered spot, calm and out of the wind. Close by there is a steam flowing and a spring bubbling up from the damp ground. I am almost certain that there was once a building there too. In on corner of the enclosure there are smaller walls and what looks like paving slabs. There are also larger pieces of granite there that may have been doorposts or part of a fireplace in another life.
Whatever the weather it is such a peaceful place, I have never met anyone else there apart from the ponies and sheep. And that twisted old tree festooned in lichen and moss provides a lovely bit of company and shelter from the sun or the rain.
This part of the moor is perhaps the most isolated that I have ever visited, it doesn’t have the sites like Rough Tor or Brown Willy, there is no Cheesewring or Hurlers to draw visitors. But I will come here again and again if only to listen to the constant chorus of the Skylarks as they rise and dip and dive above the windblown grasses.
For more moor tales try: Those Ruined Places: Garrow Tor’s Lost Village or The Singular Mr Daniel Gumb & his house of rocks
For more hidden places try my page dedicated to Forgotten Places
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4 thoughts on “Those Ruined Places: Westmoor”
A wonderful description! Its sounds and looks like a beautiful spot!
It really is a beautiful part of Bodmin Moor and one that you have to put a bit of effort into to get there! The walk on a nice day is pleasant, but when the weather is less kind this can be hard country and beautifully desolate.
Like you, I love it and best of all its only about five miles away from home!