Abbey Wood is set within a larger area of woodland which at one time formed part of the grounds of St. Benet’s Abbey. The abbey is located at the half-way point on the Saints Way, a medieval route taken by pilgrims on their way from Ireland to France, which crosses from Padstow on Cornwall’s north coast to Fowey on the south coast. As well as its’ original use, the abbey, built in 1411, by the Benedictine order as a lazar house or hospital, has also served as the family seat for the Courtenay family (16th century), a hospice for troops returning from the Crimean War and is presently a guest house.
From the entrance way to the woodland an ancient track leads straight ahead, running all the way along to the northernmost point of the wood. This track has been used over many years, as evidenced by the way the ground to either side is raised up and at points all along the track, exposed stonework shows the way the banks were constructed.
The upper canopy of Abbey Wood is dominated by tall broadleaves, mostly beech and sycamore with some ash and oaks. Many of these trees have grown from large coppice stools, indicating that this part of the woodland was once worked, probably as a source of fuel for the Abbey. Beneath the larger trees is a somewhat unusual mix of bamboo and laurel. The bamboo harks back to a period after the second world war, when it was grown commercially in the area. In 1938 the Boy Scout movement were involved in cutting the Bamboo to send to London on a train for London Zoo’s first Pandas. The laurel here forms dense thickets which provide cover for wildlife, although some thinning would open up the woodland floor to more light and give other species the chance to emerge.
A short track branching left from the main track takes you up to a newly created clearing where a grove of native oaks has been planted. The ground flora here includes Enchanter’s nightshade(Circaea lutetiana) the perennial herb yellow pimpernel, another yellow flower in the celandine, bluebells and wild garlic (ramsons). Continuing on through the clearing you reach a lovely open area where a bench is set among a carpet of bluebells around a bench. From here a smaller track heads up and along the eastern boundary of Abbey Wood.
Old boundary banks – raised earth with mature (coppiced) trees set along them, run across the woodland, creating three separate compartments. The northern third, with its open aspect and abundant ground flora gives a good idea of what could be achieved with a bit of work clearing/thinning the laurel in the other areas.
Particulars and plans were prepared by our local manager, Stuart Brooking.
The purchasers of the woodland will be asked to enter into a covenant to ensure the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of adjoining woodlands and meadows.
You are welcome to visit this wood
by yourself, but please ensure that you have a copy of these sales details with you – many
of our woodlands do not have mobile phone
reception or internet access so we recommend either printing the details or downloading them
to your phone/tablet/laptop.
Do remember to also check that it is still available for sale.
If you have seen the woodland and wish to be accompanied on a second more detailed visit
please contact our local manager.
From the A30 dual carriageway:
- Leave the A30 at the Eden Project exit, also signed to St. Austell
- If travelling west, take the 3rd exit from the roundabout, cross over the dual carriageway and at the second roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A389 signposted to Lanivet
- If travelling east,take the 2nd exit at the roundabout onto the A389 signposted to Lanivet
- After about 1/4 mile you will reach the entrance to St. Benet’s Abbey hotel on your left
- The gated entrance to the woodland is a further 100 yards or so on your left
- There is no parking by the gate, but there is a small ‘pull-in’ on the opposite side of the road
- Alternatively, there is a free public car park just a little further down the road, on the right-hand side
- Go over the gate and follow the track straight ahead
- After about 100 yards there is a ‘crossroads’ in the track. Turn right here and Abbey Wood is to your left.
Satnav/GPS note: the postcode PL30 5HF is for St. Benet’s Abbey Hotel, the point shown by the red dot on the two location maps.