Leaving St Agnes by car from Peterville (heading to Perranporth on the B3285) you will soon come to the very small hamlet of Barkla Shop. It is situated on the two sides of a valley and is notorious for its road layout including a very sharp, left-hand bend. The surname Barkla is often encountered in these parts and there used to be two "shops", a blacksmith and a carpenter, side by side, near the thatched cottage at the bottom of the dip. The buildings were demolished to widen the road.
The Mithian turning is a little further up the hill on your right. Known as Mithian Lane, this road takes you to the heart of the village and as the "square" comes into view you will appreciate why the place has delighted artists and photographers over the years. It lays claim to be the second oldest village in Cornwall and is typical of many Cornish communities. Most of the buildings are very old and their traditional appearance helps them blend with nature and justify the statement that the village is picturesque.
On your right as you enter the village, you will see a row of three white cottages with thatched roofs. The lower of the cottages used to house the Mithian post office. Immediately past this row of thatched cottages is the Village Hall. Built in 1893 with the help of John Passmore Edwards of Blackwater (see Walk 10) it originally served as a reading room or literary institute for the men of the village. The usage rules were gradually adapted to reflect the wishes of the users providing relaxation for the men of the village and respite from the women-folk who were not allowed access. The front porch was not part of the original building and was added circa 1910 G. These buildings can be looked at in more detail towards the end of your walk.
In the centre of the village on your left you will see the Miners Arms public house A, this is the starting point of the mapped walk. Formerly the Miners Inn, it was a part of Mithian Manor and is undoubtedly a very old building. There are a number of mysteries surrounding it, not least its precise age. Many books state that it was built in 1577 but it may well be older considering its historical and physical link with the Manor House across the road. It has been supposed that the building was used extensively for smuggling and that the tunnel that runs under the road and re-emerges in the Old Manor House was for this purpose. Smuggling was prevalent for a number of centuries and the inn was conveniently placed to store the merchandise from the prying eyes of the Revenue Men.