Friday the 27th was my last full day in Cornwall so I spent it in the Land's End peninsula. First stop was the captivating Chysauster Settlement. Chysauster is excellent and thankfully not even the amazing ineptitude of English Heritage can ruin the spirit of this fascinating settlement. The fogou has been filled in with earth and has a nasty set of railings over its entrance, a garish wooden shed and picnic table dominate the South East edge of the site, and the info board totally denies its Pre-Roman reality.
I failed to reach Mulfra Quoit and afterwards I got hideously lost amongst the roads. I really felt like I was losing my mind, going up and down the same roads. Later on I found out that Chris Collyer had had a similar experience a few years before. Is someone trying to tell us something?
After some torrential rain over night this rest of the day really was a sodden trek for me. The track from the old Carn Galver Mine towards the Nine Stones of Boskednan had become a fast running stream. But it was worth it though. The Nine Stones / Maidens, and the surrounding antiquities, are lovely, but hiding in gorse and swamps. The views all around are pretty stunning. Despite it getting late I tackled the mud baths to see Men-an-tol. It's just one of those 'must see' sites that you've seen a million times in books and on postcards. On my way back I visited the Men Scryfa, a curious inscribed stone.
Under a crimson setting sun Lanyon Quoit was my final destination. After Trethevy Quoit this looks positively tiny, like it's from the model village at Polperro, or Legoland in Windsor. Strange.
On Saturday (28th) I made my way home, via Dartmoor. The Merrivale complex has a lot to explore. Plan to spend some serious time here. The stone rows, the stone circle, a standing stone, barrows, cairns, lots of rocks, and even a less old boundary stone designed to confuse a little. Apart from all the more well know stuff in most of the books I thought it was also of interest to wonder about the lesser known scatterings of ancient remnants like the barrow about half way along the South row, the barely perceivable stone row leading from the South row towards an outlier, and the stones around the standing stone to the South of the stone circle.
I then found it quite a challenge to find and map two stone rows that were on the map but of which I knew very little about. I don't know if they have names (I don't have Jeremy Butler's monumental 5 volume 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities') so I've temporarily named them Sharpitor Stone Rows and Horseyeatt Stone Row . The first is pretty easy to find, but difficult to 'see', whereas the latter is harder to find but easier to 'see'. Sharpitor came with two arm waving enthusiasts and a nice cairn and cist .
Finally I did something different, visiting the White Lady waterfall at Lyford Gorge (where I passed an arm waving couple with almost the same battered old car as me – I felt really at home in Cornwall, where E-reg's are all the rage), the nearby Lydford Castle and Saxon town, and the Winkleigh Cider Company('Sam's Dry' from the barrel is amazing).
Posted by pure joy
1st February 2003ce
Edited 22nd July 2003ce
pure joy's TMA Blog
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