Rocky Valley, Bossiney
OS Grid ref:- SX 073893
Gorge-like Rocky Valley, a place of stunning rugged scenery, which lies near Bossiney around one mile east of historic Tintagel Castle. It is known in Cornish as Glynn Duwy, meaning the deep valley of the river Duwy.
The valley has been carved out of the rock by the Trevillet River (In Cornish Duwy, meaning dark river) . At their highest point, the slate walls of the valley tower spectacularly over seventy feet above the river below. The stream starts it life high up on Venn Down, 820feet (250m) above sea level. From there it meanders through fields before tumbling dramatically, first at the waterfalls at St Nectan's Glen, then through rocky bluffs and deep clefts all the way to the open ocean in the bay near Bossiney.
Rocky Valley is reached by way of Trevillett Mill, now a trout hatchery. Rocky Valley has been referred in travellers guide books as a place of exceptional beauty from as early as 1897. The valley is now owned by the National Trust and is home to 161 different species of moss.
The South West Coast Path descends into and out of the valley a little way inland due to the sheer cliffs on the coast; the rocks at the seaward end of the valley are dangerous and people have been swept off by freak waves. In 2007 some of the bridges over the Trevillet River were washed away during flash floods caused by heavy rains. These have since been replaced.
Labyrinth Rock carvings discovered by Trewethett Mill in 1948 are believed to date from the early Bronze Age (1800-1400 BC). The two carvings take the form of circular labyrinths. However modern scholars believe that, as the labyrinths were carved on a quarried wall with a metal tool, they are likely to be less than three hundred years old.
In 2005 it was claimed that another carving can be seen, said to be much fainter than the first two, leading to speculation that the two well-defined carvings are copies of ones that date from much earlier: this yet remains to be proven.
The area around these carvings has since become somewhat of a focus for Neopaganism and new agers, the area often has evidence of this in piles of flat stones, strips of cloth hanging from trees, coins hammered into the rock and other votive offerings.
Nearby Saint Nectan's Glen is an area of woodland stretching for around one mile along both banks of the Trevillet River; its most prominent feature is St Nectan's Kieve.
A walk at Rocky Valley
Distance- 1 mile
(1) Commencing at the lay-by near Rocky Valley (OS grid reference- SX 073 891), cross over the road and continue along the path for Trevillet Mill.
(2) Cross the footbridge, enter the woods and continue until arriving at the ruined mill buildings. The carvings of the maze patterns are to be found on a rockface here.
(3) Cross a further footbridge and continue along the path which follows the stream down to the cliff top. Retrace your steps to return to the lay-by.