We could see the Cheesewring from over by the Hurlers, but the last time was the same too, I could see it, I start to walk towards it, looked up and its gone, there one moment gone the next. I turned back and scurried off back to the car.
But not this time, we could see it, so we started to walk towards it, looked up and it was gone, again. long drawn out siiiiigh.
But we kept on going, pushing aside any thoughts of wandering the moor forever more, (Ahem), my daughter was waiting in the car for us, she doesn't see many stones anymore, shes thirteen now and very settled in her role as moody teenager, hopefully we'd be back soon.
I did not know the Cheesewring is right next to a dirty great quarry, no idea at all. Nor did I know the rock stack was so big, a giants construction if ever there was one. And whats with the corner supports ? apparently helping to prop up the higher layers, surely not ?
A brilliant place to sit and watch the mists rolling across the moor, probably best seen on a nice summers day, but any weather will do if you've come more than 200 miles.
After visiting Trethevy Quoit, where not a soul was to be seen, it came as a bit of surprise to find that we were not the only ones to brave the snow on Boxing Day. About 50 people were present around the Hurlers and the Cheesewring.
Standing between The Pipers gives an excellent view from a distance - this position forces the cheesewring into your perspective, and I don't doubt that these stones were put here for exactly that purpose.
In the snow, no track was visible, so we had to go carefully climbing up the rocks and boulders on the hill.
The view from the top is incredible, and underneath the Cheesewring is the perfect spot for a picnic.
Access: See the Hurlers. The path leads directly north and is incredibly easy to follow because you can see the Cheesewring all the way. It undulates over reasonably even moorland for about half a mile's easy going until you reach the foot of the hill with the Cheesewring outcrops on top. It then gets steep and considerably harder going as you negotiate craggy exposed rock and boulders.
Saturday 6 March 2004
This is such a great place! I have to confess that on my first visit to the Hurlers I hadn't bothered to walk up here. The views and feeling of wildness and freedom are everything you could expect.
It was cold, but bearable as it wasn't particularly windy. So Jane painted while I poked about amongst the outcrops and investigated the north side of the hill.
On the way back for another look (successful this time) for Rillaton Barrow we spotted Daniel Gumb's House low on the hillside at the side of the quarry, just below the most teetering and prominent outcrop nearest the Hurlers. I'd forgotten about it on the way up, but for some reason had thought it was on the other side of the hill anyway....
Gor blimey! What a windy place! Visited here in September 2001, and have NEVER been anywhere so windy! The force of the wind probably explains why the rocks in the area are so smooth (but hey, I'm no expert!). It was this place that made me bald, I swear! There's a little shelter, which I later discovered was Daniel Gumb's House. Or the remains of, at least. From reading up on this area, it seems to have suffered a fair bit at the hands of the quarry works... nothing is sacred *sigh!* Nice place - good walk to the top, and a cracking view from the top!
Don't be fooled by the postcards. The Cheesewring is not balanced without a little help. If I remember right, you can see a couple of rods driven into the lower base by some smaller stones, which were put in when the silly sods blew up half the hill to make westminster bridge etc. Old postcards are interesting, as there is, then isnt, then is again this small pile acting as a sort of wedge, off to one side at the narrowest point. Hard to see how it all stood up without them. If I ever get a scanner, I'll put my small old postcard collection up on the site.
What better way to spend Boxing Day then walking up to the Cheesewring to wonder at the pile of precariously balanced stones. The walk up was well worth it, the sheer size of the largest pile surprised me. It was much bigger than I had thought it would be. It almost made the Hurlers below seem quite insignificant in comparision.
From the elevated position we felt like we were on top of the world. A hail storm blew across Bodmin Moor and we watched it make its way in our direction. It was a great feeling to see the weather doing its thing below us and then it was upon us - the piles of stones provided easy shelter.
I couldn't visit the Hurlers without a visiting the Cheesewring as well what with it being such a short walk away. Basically a large naturally exposed rock outcrop / tor just teetering on the edge of a quarry. Bit of a climb to the top, but well worth it. Thereare some magnificent views to be had of the wilderness of the surrounding area and getting closer to the rocks just brings home what a freak of nature this formation is. Like other tors around the region, the rocks are precariously balanced on one another and it looks as if they could topple at any moment. Has all the makings of a classic rock idol and as potent as many man made temples, if not more so. A lonely, but magnificent place.
In his 'Popular Romances of the West of England' Hunt describes a rock in Looe that turns around 3 times when it hears a cock crow. He adds:
The topmost stone of that curious pile of rocks in the parish of St Cleer known as the Cheesewring is gifted in like manner. Even now the poultry-yards are very distant, but in ancient days the cocks must have crowed most lustily, to have produced vibrations on either the sensitive rock or the tympanum of man.
It consists of a Groupe of Rocks, which are the Admiration of all Travellers. On the top Stone were two regular Basons; but Part of one of them has been broke off. This Stone, as we are informed, was a Logan or Rocking-stone, and when it was entire, might be easily moved with a Pole; but now great Part of that Weight which kept it on a Poise is taken away.
The whole Heap is about 30 Feet; the great Weight of the upper Part, and Slenderness of the under, makes every one wonder, how such an ill-grounded Pile could resist, for so many Ages, the Storms of such a Situation. It may seem to some that this is an artificial Building of large flat Stones, laid carefully on one another, and raised to this height by human Skill and Labour; but as there are several Heaps of Stones, on the same Hill, and also on another about a Mile distant, called Kell-Mar's, of the like Fabric, tho' not so high, we think it a natural Crag, and that the Stones which surrounded it, and hid its Grandeur, were removed by the Druids...
Probably ideas that Passers-By are still Debating. From p4 of vol 1 of Benjamin Martin's 'The Natural History of England' (1759) - you can read it on Google Books.
Dr Borlase recorded " the vulgar used to resort to this place at partricular times of the year,and payed to this stone more respect than was thought becoming of good Christians " I wonder what they got up to.
Daniel Gumb was born in the Tamar Valley April 1703 and moved up onto the moor to be where his work was. He was a stone cutter and as well as cutting stone for building purposes he also cut gravestones (some of which can be found in local churchyards).
What we see now of his home is only a small part, it was origanally sited onb the south facing slope of Stowes Hill, what is now Cheesewring Quarry. The large slab roof was originaly 30ft by 10 ft and Daniel tunneled under it putting other slabs in to support the weight untill he had three rooms.
In this primitive house he brought up at least 9 children, it is thought that he had 13 but some died early. The date carved on the stone beside the house "D GUMB 1735 is said to be the date of his third marrige and was part of the door post for the house.
Sitting on the roof of his house Gumb studied the stars by night and solved mathematical problems by day. The carving of Euclids theorum on the roof can also be found on other slabs of granite east of the old railway line into the quarry.
When the Cheesewring quarry was started in the mid 1800s the home was broken up, Gumb had died in 1773 and many of his offspring had emigrated to the Americas. What remains now is only a small part, possibly placed in amongst the finger dumps of the quarry as a shelter to use during blasting.
It is best found by walking from the Hurlers towards the Cheesewring, when you come to the track that cuts accross you look for a green path heading of into the piles of stone. the cave is at the head of the path.
Please treat it with care and do not climb onto the roof.