The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Nine Stones of Altarnun

Stone Circle


Our time in Cornwall is almost at an end, and as it started with a stone circle I thought it only right and good to end with one as well. Time however is, as it usually is, against me, so I decide upon this Nine stones circle, which surprisingly, or not, has nine stones to it. It's reasonably close to the A30, the main road in and out of Cornwall, so I hoped to get to a parking place quickly and easily and get to the stones with enough time to sit and appreciate the place for a while.
Looking at the map it was plainly going to be easiest approaching from the south, I did not read up on any directions, I just went for it. Turned off the A30 onto the B3257 towards Callington, at Congdons Shop (That's what the village is called, honest) turn right onto the B3254 then right again and head for Trebartha, the road, if memory serves, kind of takes you straight to the quick and easy parking place.

Now I'm home I know this is the way Mr Hamhead suggests and the route Sanctuary took 18 months ago. The kids decided that it was too far for them so they stayed at the car and mucked about with their bows and arrows bought from Restormel castle the day before, (I knew they'd come in handy) whilst I yomped up and over the hill at double speed. I noted the stone cross , but didn't go over, instead I followed the wall up the hill, until it ran out, someone with more time might have been able to go over the wall and perhaps search out two hut circles the map says are there, not me though its stone circle or bust.
Cresting the ridge that is seemingly known only as Ridge, again someone with more time might have gone to look for the tumulus at the east end of the ridge, I however ignore it utterly and trot down the hill towards the stone circle that is easily spotted from the ridge, I fail to see another hut circle in between the ridge and the circle, but ho hum, I'm just here for the circle and what a good one it is.
There are indeed nine stones, sometimes when they get people naming these sites they are clearly not able to count, but he was bang on the money here, although the ninth stone is the center stone, but I wont split hairs. There is a wide stoneless gap at the north east, one stone is down and one is going, slowly, down. But the others are holding up their end of the circle well. When I saw the triangular stone, I was reminded of Sanctuary, and when I saw the center stone I was reminded of a, well, lets not put a name to it, suffice to say it rules the world, or thinks it does.
A very good circle is this, blue skies, no clouds, it's only detractor is the sheep worn ditches around the stones, usually full of water but in the hot summer of 2013 it is medium to hard baked mud, and a small puddleit's not very good is it ? I do detest sheep, a little strong I know, but I just don't see the point in them. Extinction beckons, don't fight it.
On my way back I'm fairly sure I found a couple of hut circles that aren't on the map, there is much more in the vicinity, ring cairns, cairns, tumuli and hut circles galore, but i'll leave those for someone with more time, there are TMA'ers in Cornwall too arent there ? If I lived down here Id have been to every single one by now.
postman Posted by postman
29th August 2013ce
Edited 29th August 2013ce

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