Hawker's Hut walk
This gentle cliff top walk encompasses breath-taking views of North Cornwall's coast. You'll come across a beautiful church, believed to date back to Saxon times, and of course, Hawker's Hut, the refuge of poet Reverend Robert Hawker. On a clear day, Lundy Island can be seen, and there's also a great deal of interesting local wildlife.
Rectory tea-room, grid ref: SS205153
Start in the car park of the Rectory Farm tea-rooms.
Follow a track at the far end of the car park, past the church to a gate, following signs for the coast path.
Go through the gate into a field and keep following the path along the top of the field.
You should pass through two gateways until you reach a third gate at the cliff edge.
Turn left through the gate and follow the coast path signs to Stanbury.
Follow the path along the cliff edge; you'll see signs for Hawker's Hut. Go and have a look if you like, it's only a short detour from the route.
The eccentric Reverend Stephen Hawker was the incumbent of Morwenstow from 1835 until 1874. During this time he tended to the needs of his parishioners, looked after shipwrecked sailors, beautified his church, built the rectory and wrote many books and poems. The best known of his written work is Song of the Western Men: 'And shall Trelawny die? Heres twenty thousand Cornish men Will know the reason why!' Hawker also invented the Harvest Festival. He habitually wore a fishermans jersey and sea boots, and spent many hours in his hut on the cliff, made from driftwood dragged from the rocks below.
Go through the kissing gate at the end of the field and take a sharp left.
Follow the path along the hedgerow and through another kissing gate until your reach another gate at the end of the field.
Go through the gate onto a wide track and follow the track. Before you reach the barn, you'll see a stile on your left signed 'Rectory Farm tea-rooms'.
This ancient farm was owned from 1290 until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1537. The monastic house took the great tithes for itself, whilst allocating the small tithes to the resident vicar. That explains the unusual appearance of the vicarage and rectory appearing side by side on the map. The house now looks vaguely Elizabethan but when we re-roofed it in 1983, it became clear that it was much older; it may have been built by the Bridgwater monks soon after they acquired it.
Cross the stile and walk across a field until you reach another stile. Cross this and keep going down the track until you reach Rectory Farm tea-rooms.
Reverend Hawkers vicarage is now in private hands and can't be visited. It was built in 1837, in a location where all Hawker desired to behold was, 'Church and the Sea, the suggestions of both which are boundless'. The gothic style house is notable for its clearly visible chimneys based on the towers of churches in which the Rev. Hawker had served. Over the front door of the house he composed the lines 'A House, a Glebe, a Pound a Day, A pleasant Place to watch and pray: Be true to Church; Be kind to the poor, O Minister for evermore.'
We hope that you really enjoyed this one-mile walk. The National Trust looks after some of the most spectacular areas of countryside for the enjoyment of all. We need your support to help us continue our work to cherish the countryside and provide access to our beautiful and refreshing landscapes. To find out more about how you too can help our work as a volunteer, member or donor please go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk.
Rectory tea-room, grid ref: SS205153
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