|Despite being merely marked on our OS map as 'tumulous', this site was a superb long barrow, at the foot of the hill that has Merry Maidens circle on one side and the Pipers menhirs on the other, with the Gun Rith menhir just metres away to the north.
Quite incredibly, the construction of the road in 1840 decided not to go straight through this long chambered barrow nor to leave it intact, but to bend so as to obliterate half of it!
Covered in turf before 1840, the remaining half stands as bare stones. The largest of the capstones is thought to be a displaced menhir, and the others to have been moved from other parts of the monument.
There are madly large and deep cup marks on one of the entrance stones which appears to be made of very unusual rock. Which is indeed true, it's concrete as the original stone is in Truro County Museum.
Inside, an Iron girder supports the rear stone. And all the while traffic zooms by at speed.
And yet despite all of this, and the total loss of the northern half of the barrow, it still has strong presence and it is a very small task to imagine it in its original splendour.
Uniquely on this landscape, the monument has an explanatory plaque.
I strongly recommend Ian Cooke's 'Merry Maidens Stone Circle and other nearby ancient sites' pamphlet, available from local tourist info places, which provides a map, a suggest walking route and loads of history on this rich megalithic landscape.
Posted by Merrick
20th July 2003ce
Edited 23rd August 2005ce