|Ballowall Barrow - 29th September 2003
From the west side of St.Just follow the 'Cape Cornwall' road past 'Cape Cornwall School'. 300 metres on, as the houses finish on the left hand side of the road, take an immediate left. This is NOT signposted (and bloody should be for a site if this importance). Follow this road into the National Trust land and you can hardly fail to spot this sublime 'barrow' on the left hand side of the road, just after an old mine chimney.
Parking is available a short distance past the barrow.
I put inverted commas on 'barrow' because this thing is so amazing that I feel there has to be a separate word for it! I have seen quite few different types of barrows and burial places in my time and this blows them all out of the water, being a mix of different sites and styles. The central dome is assumed to have been significantly bigger before, and with its strange thick collar all around it surely would have been a magnificent sight all those years ago, whatever it actually looked like at the time.
The entrance grave on the outside is clearly visible, as is a cist directly on the other side of the 'outer collar', and another cist at the other side of the central dome. There is also a strange alcove and pit on the east side. This was built by Borlase as a viewing pit; a sort of 'show pit'. Read the English Heritage listing for the barrow via the internet link below to try to fathom out all of this (I could just follow it, but a diagram would have been useful).
Walking between the outer collar and central dome is a fantastic experience as your senses are surrounded by the ancient equivalent of the art of dry stone walling (although some of it is Borlase's work).
This post appears as part of the weblog entry Kernow Again - Part 1 - Vote Alex
Posted by pure joy
5th October 2003ce