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

Carn Gluze

Chambered Cairn


Visited 8th March 2014

I’d been itching to get back here all week, seeing as it was just a five minute walk away from where we were staying, however every morning I got up to be greeted by either grey rain swept skies, or cold dank sea mists. Today however I was woken by bright sunshine peeking its way through the curtains. So enticed by the thought of a barrow before breakfast, I was up and out by 8am.

Just a short walk along the top of the headland above Priest’s Cove and I arrived at Carn Gluze, and now knowing why the sea mist had vanished, blown away by a bitter wind of such incessant force it made me homesick for Orkney!

The barrow itself is big. Standing in the shadow of an old mine chimney which looms nearby, it could at first glance be mistaken for the remains of one of the old industrial buildings, or the remains of a spoil heap, which is not helped by the 19th century ‘reconstructions’ of William Borlase, which only seek to confuse the layout of the site. Climbing onto the outer stone ‘collar’, I’m almost blown off by the wind, but clambering down into the space between the dry stone walls allows me surcease from the icy gusts, and the ability to inspect the cists a bit better and write my fieldnotes.

It’s certainly an impressive place, and amazing views are to be had out to sea, looking down to the Land’s End peninsular, but I find it difficult to get a handle on this place. It is very different in layout to most barrows and chambered tombs, and the radical alterations undertaken by Borlase in 1878 obfuscate the original layout to such an extent the monument as a whole loses something for me. I’d love to see a more sympathetic modern archaeological restoration undertaken to more properly bring out the wonder of this place.

My hands are freezing by now, even in the shelter of the barrow, and I’m too cold to stay much longer, so clambering out I bid the place farewell. I’m sure I’ll be back, I’ll need at least few more visits to try and work out this place!
Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
14th March 2014ce

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