|Visited 8th March 2014
This was another site on my must see list for this trip down to Cornwall. With some judicious Google Earth scrying beforehand, in conjunction with a trusty O.S map, I’d identified the parking spot on the bend mentioned in Carl’s notes.
We approached down a narrow lane off the A30, a signpost warning that the track was unsuitable for HGV’s, and even in our little car it was tight going. Ellen drove as I navigated, somewhat fretful in case she met something coming the other way, as there were few passing places, and reversing on the narrow twisty roads would have taken some doing.
Following the signs towards Carn Euny we reached an even narrower track, this one with a no through road sign at the start of it. Ellen was reticent about taking it, but I encouraged her to take a drive of faith and so we carried on. Within minutes there is a thick band of grass growing up the centre of the road, but we’d come this far so there’s no turning back now! It’s not long though before I recognise the pull-in next to the public footpath sign I’d seen on Google Earth.
Parking up here Ellen decided to wait in the car, worried in case we ended up blocking the way for some huge agricultural machinery, and also being a bit more wary of trespassing than my blasé attitude towards it. I happily hopped over the gate however, and walking up the edge of the currently empty meadow, again followed Carl’s directions into the neighbouring field.
As I entered the field I was taken aback, the burial mound, so perfectly small and round sitting there incongruously in the field, just looked so unreal. Getting up close I could see just how different this chamber seemed from other barrows I’d visited, looking more like a roundhouse than a tomb (perhaps that’s the idea?).
Either way it’s lovely, probably the first chambered tomb I’d describe as cute. The gorsey toupee just adds to its character, and the vegetation growing around it gives the place an organic quality. As I bend down to look into the entrance it’s almost as if the stones of the entranceway are reaching around to give me a hug. Squeezing into the chamber, no slugs are in evidence today, but creeping tendrils of bramble are starting worm their way in, grabbing at my coat, and I really wish I had a pair of secateurs with me just to keep the chamber clear.
As I lean against the side of the mound to write my notes everything seems a bit illusory here, the sky is perfectly blue, the grass low cropped and gently rippling in the breeze, the lonely cawing of crows overhead, and not a sight or sound of the modern world in evidence. It’s like some bucolic idyll, and it feels as if nothing has changed since Borlase was here, if ever a site had a palpable vibe, it’s this one.
Utterly enchanted I forget the time, and feeling a bit mean about abandoning Ellen, I drag myself away, only to find on my return she’d dozed off in the car, so I could have stayed a bit longer I suppose! Anyway I will be back!
With all the abundance of megalithic wonderment crammed into this small part of West Penwith it’s interesting that this little burial chamber seems to have affected me most of all the places I’ve been so far this week, I can’t recommend a visit to this hidden gem highly enough.
Posted by Ravenfeather
20th March 2014ce
Edited 20th March 2014ce