Continuing on from the
Moorswater to Caradon & Gonamena section of the line...
The Liskeard & Caradon Railway (L&CR)
continues on up around Caradon Hill to Minions, and the
quarries and mines beyond, having been built for the transport of granite and
copper ore down to the quays at Looe.
The Liskeard and Caradon Railway had a
particularly roundabout route as it climbed up past St Cleer and
around Caradon Hill to Minions,
and the layout of track beds is quite complex and has changed a number
of times during its history.
The map copy below (from
the maps that are on
display in the Minions Heritage Centre, which is now an information centre for the
Cornish Mining World Heritage Site),
shows the northern section, after the Gonamena
Incline had ceased to be used. The improved route was taken
around Caradon Hill via Tokenbury Corner and across the top of the Marke
Valley Mine, that was also then served by its own branch (the short line
to the right on the map). The line to the north continued on as the Kilmar Railway,
to serve the Bearah Tor and Kilmar Tor quarries.
The northern section of the Liskeard &
(photo taken from map on display at Minions Heritage Centre)
The new line included a "Y" junction where the train revesed direction to continue onwards, and was situated
at the bottom of the Seaton river valley to the extreme right of the photograph in the trees. The line to Tokenbury
then crossed a new bridge just above Crow's Nest as it headed east.
The Liskeard & Caradon Railway bridge just to the north of Crow's Nest
and south of Caradon Hill and the
The embankment of the line as it heads east to Tokenbury
The line swings west
around the north of Caradon Hill, and is seen here looking back down the line as
passes the old Bellingham Shaft pumping engine house of the
Wheal Jenkin mine,
and then turns north again to cross the Minions road just outside
Unfortunately, the bridge at Minions (sometimes called the Rillaton Bridge) was blown up by the US Army during
the Second World War for them to be able to move artillery equipment for firing training on the moor!
Looking north across the (blown up!) bridge at Minions, towards the old line to the Cheesewring Quarry,
where this new line back links with the old quarry line (see map) and joins up with the Kilmar Railway line.
The old L&CR quarry line as it came up from Minions village and the Gonamena Incline...
...and passes the site of some old loading bays and sidings.
An old railway shed on the way to Cheeswring Quarry
A view of Cheesewring Quarry, showing the route of the line into the quarry running left to centre.
Looking back from the top of the Cheeswring Quarry showing the line of the track (with puddles!)
as it heads back down and round the side of the hill to Minions.
The Kilmar Railway line,
originally operated by the Cheesewring Quarry, was built to link to the
Bearah Tor and Kilmar Tor quarries. There is still a working quarry
discretely tucked away at Bearah Tor, but this small operation is now
served by road. There was also at one time after 1887 a plan to extend
the Kilmar Railway to link up with the North Cornwall mainline from
Launceston with an extension at least to Trewint near Altarnun, but this
never came to fruition, save for the construction of some embankments
along the route, that can still be made out on the map east of
As seen from the top of Caradon Hill, the line of the Kilnar railway around the base of Stowe's Hill can be made
out running left to right in the centre on the photograph.
(The line of a linking tramway can also be made out linking
to the Cheesewring Quarry line, mid-left)
The Kilmar Railway as it heads around the east of Stowe's Hill.
Much of the old track beds are preserved as
walking tracks, which make very good paths to explore.
This would have been a very scenic little branch line, if the quarry and railway workers had time to appreciate it!
The sleeper stones are clearly visible along this stretch,
but the stones for the left rail in this photo are partly hidden in the grass near line of the bracken.
Looking back down the line as it curves around the side of the hill north of Wardbrook Farm,
and Stowe's Hill that is now on the skyline to the left of the photo.
The Kilmar line looking north as it heads towards Bearah Tor and Kilmar Tor.
One of the last turns around to the south of Kilmar Tor.
(There was also a link around to the north of Kilmar Tor from another "Y" junction up to the right of the photo)
Go back to the
Caradon to Moorswater section of the line