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

The Great Tomb on Porth Hellick Down

Chambered Cairn


This is one of those places that is, at one of, the ends of the world, ancient man had a thing for at the ends of the world, The Isle of Lewis and Orkney are two other good ones. Like them it takes a lot to get here, firstly is the big drive down, it's a big drive from everywhere outside of Cornwall, then there's the two and a half hour puke fest on board HMS Nausea. Next you have to decide what to see, with little more than four hours to spend here the choice is a difficult one.
We rented a trio of bikes to get around on, with two much messy abouty kids with me, speed was going to be key today. The plan, such as it was, was to get to all three of the sites in the TMA big orange book, first on the list, because it's closer is the Great tomb on Porth Hellick down.

Scilly isn't just extremely out of the way, it is extreme in many ways, there are up to seven other chambered cairn in the near vicinity, none have been restored like the Great tomb. The next hill over also has a tonne of tombs too, Do you like oddly shaped weathered big stones, they've got loads all over the place. Loads of exotic plants and extremely none English weather, hardly any cars ( except that one) and they're not, and this should be strongly emphasised speaking French.
Extremely good !

Scillonian tombs aren't great big massive affairs, like in Brittany, these tombs are low, get on your knees, melting into nature tombs. So with goosebumps and
a flutter in my chest I get on my knees and sidle past the blocking stone at the entrance and enter the crypt.
Chamber, but crypt went in better, there's possibly too much cement visible inside, reminding you too much that this is a restoration job, never a bad thing is restoration, but some go better than others, at least there's no modern bricks showing.

The unroofed passage was my favorite part, the old bright stones bursting with little flowering plants, even if some of it was gorse, my new worst enemy.
Walking round the tomb the kerbing stands pround of all flowers and grass, the tomb has a deflated look to it, like a cushion used by Brian Blessed for a while.
Monkey boy suggests a photo from the tree house in that tree over there would look quite good, I couldn't help but agree so we climbed up for a look about, and concluded that this was an extremely good place to be, not up the tree, I hate heights, but the down, put us on a marvelous up.
postman Posted by postman
2nd August 2015ce
Edited 2nd August 2015ce

Comments (2)

Hi Postie, you have (at least) one envious reader here. Would love to visit the Isles of Scilly. Way up on the 'wish list'! Looks like you had a good trip. Posted by CARL
3rd August 2015ce
Hi Carl,
It's a very pretty place bursting with chambered cairns, I have no doubt that you'll get there one day.
postman Posted by postman
4th August 2015ce
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