PhotoFile Cornwall LogoPhotoFile Cornwall LogoPhotoFile Cornwall - Photographs, information and images around Bodmin Moor and South East Cornwall
Bodmin Moor and its natural and historical heritage South East Cornwall places of interest inland South East Cornwall places of interest on the coast North Cornwall places of interest inland and on the coast West Cornwall places of interest inland and on the coast
St.Cleer, Redgate, Golitha Falls and the local area, Minions and Liskeard Mining heritage of the Caradon, Minions and Liskeard mining area and South East Cornwall Houses and Castles around SE Cornwall - and the rest of Cornwall Cornwall's Moods - from moor to sea X-Files and Other Things - the Beast of Bodmin Moor, Lyonesse, Square Rig Sailing and more!
Buy Photos and Mounted Prints, and Images for website use and publication from PhotoFile Cornwall Bed and Breakfast accommodation in South East Cornwall at Redgate Smithy B&B Buy Books and Maps about Bodmin Moor from PhotoFile Cornwall


Liskeard & Caradon Railway:
Moorswater to Caradon & Gonamena

See the following page for the Caradon to Kilmar section of the line.

The Liskeard & Caradon Railway (L&CR) originally linked up at Moorswater (below Liskeard) with the Liskeard & Looe Union Canal, and then later with the Liskeard & Looe Railway (L&LR). The line was constructed for the shipping of granite and copper ore from the old copper mines and granite quarries on the heights of Bodmin Moor (at over 1150 feet above sea level) to Moorswater, to meet the canal and L&LR for onward transportation to the sea-port of Looe. The L&LR line from Liskeard is still in operation as the very scenic Looe Valley Line.

The Liskeard and Caradon Railway had a convoluted route in its attempt to scale the comparative heights of Bodmin Moor, and this can be shown from the map copies (south section shown here) that are on display in the Minions Heritage Centre, now an information centre for the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. The line opened originally in 1844, and finally closed as an operational railway in 1917.

Liskeard and Caradon Railway - Map South
The southern section of the Liskeard & Caradon Railway
(photo taken from map on display at Minions Heritage Centre)

Woodhill Bridge
The L&CR bridge near Woodhill Manor just to the north of Liskeard, after the line leaves High Wood on its
way round from Moorswater, is probably the best condition bridge that is still extant on the old line, and
it remains in full use as a bridge, at least in so far as being a monument to the railway over the road!

Tremabe Bridge
Virtually all that remains of laid track today is the memorial to the Tremabe Bridge, where the
railway passed under the road just south of St.Cleer. The bridge was demolished in 1985.

Tremabe Bridge Memorial
A close-up of the sign on the Tremabe Bridge memorial.

Lower Tremar Bridge
The Liskeard & Caradon Railway bridge in Tremar (near St.Cleer) now has trees growing on it!

Tremar Crossing
The old crossing along Tremar Lane just to the east of St Cleer, looking towards the St Cleer goods depot.

St Cleer Goods Shed
Looking back down the track route of the old line from the road opposite the Memorial Hall in St Cleer. The
building is the old goods depot and coal shed, and the gate posts were originally one, now split in two for their new
purpose - you can just make out the "plug and feather" drill marks on the left hand one where this was achieved.

The Gonamena Incline

The line up to Minions originally took the steep route up the Gonamena Incline, which is the missing fourth side of the square around Caradon Hill on the north section map on the following page. This route was operated from its conception, by Act of Parliament, as a gravity-fed line with braked wagons to bring the ore down from the moor, with the empty wagons being horse-drawn back up again. Thus the steep Gonamena Incline was not a specific problem - except perhaps for the risk of runaway wagons! In 1860 through 1887, various improvements to the line were begun, including extensions to Tokenbury and East Caradon, and links to Cheeswring (Minions) and to the Kilmar Railway, then a part of the Chesewring Quarry operations. The use of steam locomotives was then permitted in the following years, though the letter of the law with regards their first use on the line appears to be a little vague! The first locomotive in use was named "Caradon". The lines around Tokenbury and East Caradon to Minions also meant that the steep Gonamena Incline could be bypassed and avoided. This was finally achieved by a "Y" Junction at South Caradon, where trains stopped and were hauled in the opposite direction to continue on to Tokenbury. The Gonamena Incline then fell into disuse.

The view looking out over part of the West Caradon and South Caradon Mines, where the Gonamena Incline
emerges at the top of the valley. Various trackways and tramways were in use at the bottom of the incline
and the route can get a little confused on the ground here.

Looking up the remains of a lower section of the incline. The track stone sleepers can be clearly identified.

An old stone railway marker, clearly marked "LCR" - Liskeard & Caradon Railway.

A wooden loading structure of some form perhaps? The railway marker is seen on top just to the left.

The incline as it heads towards Minions (then Cheesewring Village) past the lovely old house at Pontious Piece.

A little more level here, with sleeper stones well preserved, as the line approaches Minions

Looking down the incline from just outside Minions

The Gonamena Incline as it emerges into Minions village - a busy location for a railway!

The line continues along the Caradon to Kilmar section of the line...


All photographs are copyright of Clive ffitch; please contact PhotoFile Cornwall if you wish to use them.
Details of purchase and use of photographs and images can be found under Purchasing Photos


Redgate Smithy Bed and Breakfast
Come and stay with us at Redgate Smithy B&B in South East Cornwall - check availability on our website
E-mail: (opens a message/enquiry to us)
Redgate Smithy B&B, Redgate, St.Cleer, Liskeard, Cornwall PL14 6RU ~ Telephone: +44 (0) 1579 321578
Visit the Redgate Smithy website

Redgate Smithy Bed and Breakfast in South East Cornwall