History Revealed - Walk

Shaugh Prior, Plymouth, Devon

About this walk

Follow the River Plym from verdant valley to open moorland, and uncover this area’s industrial past.

Memories of the china clay industry are all around you, right from the beginning of the walk up to the current workings above Cadover Bridge. At the Shaugh Bridge car park are the ruins of the old china clay drying kilns.

Uphill, you will pass a square clay settling tank and your way follows the “pipe track”. China clay in suspension was carried down the pipe — of which remains can still be seen — from the workings higher upstream. It was then diverted into the settling tanks and the deposited sludge taken to the kilns at the bridge for drying.

The landscape on your right as you emerge at Cadover Bridge is strangely lunar. The silver sand hills are the waste product remaining when the clay has been blasted out by high-pressure hoses — seven tons of it for every ton of clay produced!


8 miles



Start/End point

Shaugh Prior, near Plymouth


Moorland, Heritage.

Special Interest

Archaeological, Nature, Historical,


Dartmoor National Park, South Devon – South Hams.


White Thorn Inn at Shaugh Prior, and there are normally ice cream vans at Cadover Bridge.

Other Information

This route should take roughly 4 to 5 hours for the average walker.

Hints and Tips

Drewerstone Rock, along the route, is Devon’s highest inland granite cliff, and therefore popular among climbers.


Footpaths, tracks & open moorland walking.