ESA - West Penwith Environmentally
Chun is one of our latest aquisitions - purchased in May 1998
TYPE OF HABITAT
It covers an area of about 22 ha (54 acres) and is one of Cornwall's finest heathland sites.
OS map ref SW 405 339
Chun Downs is located about 3 km inland from Pendeen towards the north coast of West Cornwall. A lane signposted 'Chun Castle' leads west from the Penzance - Morvah road at Bosullow Common, 1 mile south-east of Morvah. Cars may be parked at Trehyllys Farm and a path leads up to Chun Castle on the hill.
Chun Downs is a key part of the West Penwith moors. These moors make up about 25% of the county's heathland and Chun Downs being a particularly fine example. The remains of Chun Castle, a prehistoric hill fort, dominate the site. Across the Downs from the Castle you can see Chun Quoit, an ancient burial chamber. In late summer the site is ablaze with bright pink, purple and yellow swathes of heather and gorse.
SPECIES OF PARTICULAR INTEREST
The spectacular heathland which covers the Downs is a haven for birds, butterflies, rare plants and other wildlife. In West Penwith, wildlife found on the heathland includes nightjars, adders, hen harriers, skylarks and many butterflies. It is likely that bats use the area for feeding as they have been recorded in buildings close to the site.
Built in the third century BC, the Castle probably protected tin ore in transit to the ports. In the 19th Century much of the stone from the castle walls was used to build in Penzance. Today only the ruins of the castle remain, but it is still an impressive sight. Chy wun - the Cornish for Chun Castle literally means 'house on the downs'. Chun Downs. The landscape that surrounds Chun provides considerable evidence of earlier farming systems, hut circles and monuments. Today it provides a haven for wildlife.
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