The South West of England: Pt 24 – Lostwithiel, Cornwall

Moving on from the quaintness of Fowey, we passed through Lostwithiel, a charming Cornish town 7 miles North…


Status: Cornwall Unitary District & County, Town, England

Date: 12/08/2014

Travel: Car

Eating & Sleeping: N/A

Attractions: Lostwithiel Free Methodist Church, High Street, St Bartholomews Church, Moorswater Viaduct etc

Lost 1

We were only passing through the town, but on the way we saw a few things of interest. We started on Edgcumbe, which, along with a number of other roads forms the A390, the main road through the town which runs on towards the A38 near Liskeard.

It’s a pleasant street in the centre of town, with well painted buildings and green spaces. Outside the short cream building at the end of the row of buildings, which is currently a Health & Beauty Salon, is a small stone monolith (out of shot) which is called “The Milestone” making the distance to both St Austell, VIIII (9 Miles) and Truro, XXII (22 Miles) from the town.

In the distance, the spire of St Bartholomew’s Church dominates the skyline. The Church, crafted out of slatestone rubble is made up of various sections constructed at different points in the last few centuries. The main tower is the oldest features, from the 13th Century, followed by the Nave, Aisles and Porch from the 14th. The final addition was the Vestry in the 19th Century, although various windows in the building have been replaced over the years.

Fowey 12 

Moving further down the street, after it had become Queen Street, one of the standout buildings was the local Methodist Free Church, which dates back to 1900. Aside from the main Church building to the left of the picture, which consists of the tall facade with a tower either side, one circular and one topped by a copper spire, there is a Sunday school building to the right of the Church. It’s a shame that that was all we saw in Lostwithiel, as we had one more stop on our epic journey from Land’s End back to Dartmouth, as there is more to see in the town. The River Fowey passes through the town, and enters the sea at the town of Fowey, which we had just visited. Elsewhere in Lostwithiel you could visit the War Memorial on the banks of the river, or the Lostwithiel Bridge, a 15th Century stone bridge which crosses the river. It consists of a number of arches, at least 2 of which are flood relief arches from the 18th Century.

Lostwithiel does have a train station, which opened in 1859. Trains run Southwards to Penzance via Truro, and Northwards to Plymouth and London.

Whilst our time in Lostwithiel was at an end, there was one more landmark on this section of our route. We had left the town and joined the A38 near Dobwalls. As we followed the road around the outskirts of the town of Liskeard, we spotted the spectacular figure of Moorswater Viaduct, which runs close to the road at this point. I apologise for the 1st picture which is slightly blurred, but the camera takes a few seconds to save the picture, and in the next shot I got the Viaduct was mostly obscured by trees. Even so, you get the idea of what it looks like, and it of course carries the Cornish Main Line, which, just 13.3 miles further East, would cross the border into Devon, across the river Tamar, into the city of Plymouth. The train was mostly likely running to London, as it was a First Great Western service, and they operate most of the local services in the area, aside from long distance services to Scotland handled by Cross Country.

The Viaduct was originally completed around 1867, by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806 – 1859, English Civil Engineer who also built the Great Western Railway which runs over the Viaduct). It would be replaced just 20 years later, as by 1881 a new viaduct with 14 pillars (8 arches) was built with stone arches and an Iron parapet across the top. It is this version that still stands today, which was built a few metres further across than the original, and some of Brunel’s Viaducts piers still stand there today, side by side with the new version.

It’s quite a site, but there were two other bridges on the horizon, including one of Brunel’s even more famous creations, the renowned Tamar Bridges, in the town of Saltash, which was our next stop…


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