|Visited 8th March 2014
My quest this week was to visit the four West Penwithian stone circles, and the Boskednan Maidens were the last elusive stones to find. Our intention had been to park at the Men-an-Tol lay-by and walk from there to the circle. On arrival though our plans were foiled by due to a plethora of horse-boxes and 4x4’s disgorging the local hunt, and blocking up the pull in and nearby verges, and clogging the road with all the arrogance and inconsideration that only a bunch of red coated buffoons can exhibit.
Continuing up the lane we spot a place to pull in just on the left, opposite a track to a house called Dakota. A quick check of the O.S. map shows we can reach the stones from here, and then head via Ding Dong back down to Men-an-Tol, the engine house of the ruined mine providing a useful landmark with which to orient ourselves. We set off along the path onto the moors, and before long I’m delighted to spot the stones on the skyline.
Tramping across the moorland it’s a great walk, but very muddy, wellingtons again proving their worth. After walking for about twenty minutes, and fixedly gazing at either the stones on the horizon, or our feet lest we tread in a muddy bog, I look back and notice Men Scryfa some way behind us. I’m annoyed we missed it, but would rather spend more time at the circle than go back to visit it now, so as always, there’ll be another time to visit I’m sure, and it’s always a good excuse to return (as if I need one!).
We steadily climb up the ridge of the moorland, the circle temporarily hidden from view, before coming upon some stones, which I initially take for the circle, and am a bit taken aback, as it seems a lot smaller than I was expecting. It’s only when Ellen points out some more stones ahead, that I check the map and realise we are at Boskednan cairn, a nice bonus to stumble on as I didn’t even realise this place was here!
It’s been a walk of just under two miles, but the circle is soon reached, and what a lovely atmospheric place it is. The eleven stones (the nine maidens in this case coming from the magical symbolism of the number, rather than the extant number of stones), lean attractively in that romantic ruin type of way. The dun winter shades of the moor make it look as if the stones are sprouting organically from the ground. It’s still windy, but also seems surprisingly sheltered, and the circle has a warmth about it, a welcoming sheltering place atop the bleak moors.
The contrast between the Boskednan maidens and the Merry Maidens couldn’t be greater, for all the manicured perfection of the latter, here is a wild elemental place, raw, lonely and magnificent, and all the preferable for it. A truly wonderful circle.
Posted by Ravenfeather
14th March 2014ce