|My last visit in Lands End was over 7 years ago, but it was before I bought Julian Cope's book, I was armed only with an os map and didn't know what a fogou was, failed to find the dancing stones though I only knew it as stone circle, I was a bit green. So it was time for a return trip, though four days camping would have to suffice. It's nearly 400 miles from Crewe Cheshire to Penzance so by 6 am we were on our way, our only stop was at Okehampton Castle, a very nice place but not ancient so we'll continue. It was raining when we arrived so I was unwilling to put up the tent immediately, a little trip to the merry maidens not strictly on the itinerary but tregiffian burial chamber was. It's mound was cut through by the nearby road like Olcote on Lewis, it has a curving passage a bit like Arthurs Stone near Hay-on-wye, and it has a very interesting stone which is a modern replacement just like the Enigma stone at Bryn celli Ddu, Lewis, Anglesey, lands end, the more different places I go the more they seem the same.
The rain has stopped now so we quickly throw the tent up and had some tea then we went to Lanyon quoit, why are they called quoit's, at school a quoit was a small rubber ring.
It's nearing sunset so we go to Carn Gluze also known as the Ballowall Barrow, barrow is such a naff discription for this wierdest of over engineered constructions I've never seen anything like it, and I'm sure all the other folk who came and went haven't either. It looked a bit like a Talaiot that I'd seen in the Megalithic European, until you see the interior corridors, what kind of roof did it have?. The best place in England to watch the sunset especially around Equinox time as it's too far north although the only thing there's too much of is wonder. Don't forget to go down the road to the rocky outcrop over looking Cape Cornwall, magnificent
The next morning it was raining again so I didn't get up early again three weeks of heat wave and now it rains, but during breakfast a little miracle happened, from grey raining skies two hours later, sunshine and blue skies, isn't Cornwall fickle.
Chysauster is the most complete iron age settlement I've ever seen, a pity about the knackered fogou but the huts walls are so complete you can almost hear the ancients voices. Even the walk up hill seemed idyllic, the rain of before had been completely forgotten.
Next we went to Mulfra Quoit. We parked the car in a grassy layby opposite a house in the Try Valley, fifty paces north up the road leads to a rough but tended footpath that zigs zags up hill. Eric romped up the hill in front of me and Phillippa which was good because they usually hassle me to carry them. As you walk up the hill more and more of Mount's bay comes into view untill you reach the top and the mount itself can be seen then we remember why were here and POW Mulfra quoit. Some times the kid's can't help them selves and they climbed all over it , I worried they might upset the spirits of folk laid to rest here then I debate with myself on the nature of the afterlife and decide that if there are spirit's why would they mind children playing 5000 yrs in the future daft isn't it , just one man walked past walking his dog he looked like he wanted to say something but just said "morning"and carried on .
After Mulfra I decided on a quoit with a roof and that means Chun.There was no footpath sign so I asked a lady and her son and they pointed us in the right direction,now where to park the car,pick your own place I dare not say where Ileft mine suffice to say I got away with it .After a nice walk uphill again in glorious sunshine we found the megalithic mushroom , which was already occupied ,we sat on one side and they sat on the other , but my kids worked their magic and they left it to us and went up to the castle.
I took a photo of my daughter crawling into the quoit and thought of posting it here with a joke about the stature of ancient man,untill my wife said the bloke who was here before us went in , so I tried it myself , a little unnerving even without claustrophobia,there's a nice little capstone overhang to sit under in the shade and look at the view these places allways have a view
After that we gave the kid's time off for good behaviour and went to the beach at Sennon cove
Carn Euny after tea ,as advised we went near sunset ,this was to be my first fogou. The hut wall's aren't as high as at Chysauster but its free and the fogou seems pristine .This was where a magic moment occured ,I noticed two Swallows (Bill Oddies favourite bird )flying through a hole in the wall (window?)throuh the fogou and into the Beehive hut,when they came back out we sneaked in and sat on a stone near the entrance and waited quietly ,soon enough the Swallow flew in and hummed around the small room passing within arm's reach of us ,it settled in a gap near the roof and we heard the babies begging for food ,then the other one came in and did the same .We left Carn Euny in sunset's golden glow with a good, good feeling
I got up early the next morning as postmen are wont to do and went to Brane the best preserved Scillonian burial chamber on the mainland. the chamber is visible from the campsite the footpath only 5ft from our tent,lucky eh .
Said footpath was on the map but no sign pointed the way ,after dodging hundred's of slugs (cant stand the slimy little buggers)and snails ,got soaked from the knees down.I arrived with just one wall between me and the chamber I vaulted over and sidled along the field's edge .What a little beauty ,it looks like it was grown rather than built seeing this place made me hungry to go to the Scilly isles .
I don't have high regards for farmers (How much land do they own)so when I heard a farmers tractor and not wanting to upset him , I played a silly game of peekaboo he went this way and I went that way allways keeping the barrow between ,silly I know but it was fun. Onthe way back I snapped a photo of the long barrow is it or isnt it ,send in the Time Team.
After that we went to the Eden project cant really recomend it too many people too dear.
Another visit to the beach and some tea and we went to find Tregaseal stone circle the dancing stones.
On the approach I realised id been here before ,but failed to find it ,dont see why it was a piece of cake this time ,practice makes perfect I suppose.Got there in time for the sunset,perfect, the ferns had grown back like there was no fire at all such a perfect place ,the stones the sunset ,the landscape just us and this complete perfect circle truly amazing ,the stones seemed unlikely to dance so we did instead luckily it wasny sunday .Perfection crops up again and again in Lands end . On the way back we passed three surf dudes late but there nontheless
Hometime today just Zennor quoit then the long drive home.
Once again the map knew the way but the footpath was unmarked we trod the path seldom trod wondering if it was the right one ,it went this way and went that way but got us there in the end.After the hard walk uphill (again) I was surprised to find other people here ( a wise man once said hell is here on earth and its called other people)but they stayed on there side and we stayed on ours .
What a massive capstone ,how on earth did they get it up there ,crazy.Why dont they get rid of the intrusive cow shed stones .
All quoits are different ,but Lanyon is more different still capstone on three uprights but Chun,Mulfra and Zennor are of another sort no uprights but big wall slabs hiding the interior.When I realised the other people wern't going ,we went to the rocks by Sperris quoit we could see the one remaining upright but didn't go over as its almost totally destroyed .Time passed and we had to go ,not wanting to go all the way back round ,I decided to cut through the gorse and bracked BIG MISTAKE ,the thorney gorse prickled and briused my legs , a 7yr old on my shoulders and a 4yr old in my arms ,it was more like an army yomp ,absolutely dreadful.But then Karma paid me back and we got really close to a common lizard the only wild lizard iv'e ever seen.
Zennor was last on the list but along with the Swallows fogou they shall stay with me for ever .
Is this weblog too long ? I just want to say what can be accoplished in a short time ,youve been a wonderful audience thanks very much and goodnight.
Posted by postman
6th August 2006ce
Edited 14th February 2007ce
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