|Visited 8th March 2014
On previous visits we’d just parked up in the lay-by and walked down the track to the stones, but today Men-an-Tol came at the end of our circular walk over the moors.
We approached down the path from Ding Dong mine, and all was well until we reached the dip at the bottom of the hill where all the accumulated rainwater runoff from the moors had collected into a swampy morass. Ellen was a bit perturbed about crossing the quagmire but with the famous last words of ‘Don’t worry I’m sure it’s not that deep’ I strode forward and plunged knee deep into sucking mud. Fortunately Ellen was able to extricate me from the bog whilst miraculously managing not to loose my wellingtons, and we gingerly picked our way through some tussocky areas just visible above the water.
After this it was all plain sailing on the rest of the walk. The stones are so small though they’re not really that noticeable from this direction until you get right up close to them, then seeming to magically appear from the moorland in front of you. We’ve got the place to ourselves, a rare occurrence, and it’s nice to rest in the sunshine by the diminutive stones. I’d forgotten how small they were, and despite lacking the grandeur of some of Penwith’s other sites, and if you wanted to be unkind, perhaps looking a bit like a garden feature (although this is exactly the sort of thing I’d give anything to have in my garden!), there is an indescribable something to this place, that grants it a magic all of its own.
I’m pleased to see no signs of cattle damage or erosion as I walk around the stones, although today I’m too tired and muddy to squeeze myself through the holed stone. Instead I bend down and look through the aperture, loving the perfectly smooth roundness of the holed stone as I run my hand around it. I know it was once supposed to be a stone circle, but it just seems to me so unlike any other monument of that type, I do wonder. Making the hole in the stone would have needed tremendous effort, and if the monument was once a circle with the holed stone as a just a perimeter stone set obliquely to the rest, why go to all that effort? I would have expected it to be more of a feature, perhaps a portal entrance or setting within the circle, or perhaps it was the case that the hole was made later in an orthostat, perhaps after the circle had fallen into disuse. It all just adds to the enigmatic mystery of this lovely place.
So after a good long ponder, we finally set off down the track which takes us back to the lane and the end of our walk, tired, happy, and with the prospect of a nice lunch in the Kings Arms at St Just ahead of us, exactly what a day out megalithing should be!
Posted by Ravenfeather
13th March 2014ce
Edited 13th March 2014ce