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

Men Amber

Natural Rock Feature


An odd one that I'd been for many years aware of the feature from afar without ever really being able to place it satisfactorily in close up. Men Amber is a granite tor on the most westerly rise of the Carnmenellis granite, and viewed from northerly aspects comprises a readily identifiable outcrop on a long low ridge that also comprises Crowan Beacon, Polcrebo Downs, Longstone Downs (see below) and Prospidnick Hill before the land drops towards the Cober valley and the Lizard. It is the only granite tor visible along this otherwise relatively smooth ridge from a north-westerly direction, and is plainly visible from the North Cliffs and thus sites such as Crane Castle 11km distant.

The tor is very much of the classic 'stacked' formation rather than a crag, and thus is quite possibly the site of a logan stone I have seen reference to in Cornish antiquarian literature as 'being near to Nancegollan'.

It is also at the crossroads of two tracks of arguably great antiquity: firstly a ridgeway slightly bowdlerized by subsequent enclosure running broadly south from Black Rock (adjacent to the cairn and fire summit at Crowan Beacon) along the ridge a modern field's width behind the tor across Longstone Downs; within a couple of hundred yards of Prospidnick Longstone, then just east of the summit of Prospidnick Hill, before becoming a minor road and dropping gradually into the valley of the River Cober to the erstwhile (medieval at least) tidal limit of that river at Helston St. Johns; secondly a mostly intact track which seemingly originated at Tregonning Hill, across NW through Carleen before becoming a hollow way on the direct incline up immediately past Men Amber. East from here a sequence of now unclassified minor roads lead in an almost direct easterly bearing across the Carnmenellis uplands to Porkellis, Longdowns and eventually Mabe Burnthouse above the River Fal.
I need to do some more fieldwork and sight bearings on this one, but am sure it is usefully sightlined with Tregonning Hill, and indeed even as far as the foothills of Penwith looking NW. The shout goes out - calling Mr. Hamhead?!?
chris s Posted by chris s
7th December 2007ce
Edited 7th December 2007ce

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