THE MANOR, TITHING & BARTON OF MERTHEN
The Barton of Merthen has belonged to the Vyvyans of Trelowarren for three hundred years.
It occupies a promontory that runs out into a long tail-
ANCIENT ROADS AND TRACKS.
The road system of Constantine is not merely medieval, it is prehistoric. This is not intended to be a criticism of those who have charge of the roads but merely a statement of fact. There are no
roads in the parish worth mentioning that have been made in modern
times1.W e have seen that the principal roads leading northwards from the Helford River are ridgeways. The most westerly is still in use as the main road from Gweek to the Helston-
Baidu till it joined the principal ridgeway running along the watershed
from one end of Cornwall to the other. This road brought the tin
bearing region of Stythians into communication with the port of Gweek.
It enters Constantine parish at a place called Ponstreath or Ponstrays,
which is possibly a corruption of Penstrase, i.e., Street-
the principal track leading across the parish, and the meeting place of the roads was doubtless suggested by the presence of the Tolvan
The second ridgeway from Gweek runs up to Carwythenack Chase, where an earthwork lies on its left hand3. Then it went straight up over the top of Brill hill, to Trevease, passing the stone cross at the ford, and so out to join the other ridgeway at Buttres Gate. This road is only used in its lower part, but it can be traced through the crofts on Brill hill by a double line of hedges.
Ancient Roads and Tracks 17
The third ancient ridgeway is that coming from the Quay at Merthen Hole4, up through the woods, across the old deer park, where it passes through the ditch of the earthworks, so out over the Downs, across the fields to Brill. Then to Trewardreva and over the ford (Ret) which gave name to Retallack. So up the hill along past the site of Maen Rock, skirting Treworvac, across the fields to the “ Dead lane” , where it proves its antiquity by being a part of the parish boundary, then into the Lestraines lane and out to the Turnpike from Helston to Truro at Rame. The “ Dead lane ” is a strip of this ridgeway which has not been used for over a century, and is so called because It is now a cul-
This enters the parish from Mawnan at Tregarne Mill, passes the steep hill to Treworval , by what is now a rough lane, continues across the fields to Driff and Treviades, then down past Gwealllin to the creek-