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


Stone Circle


Boscawen-ûn; Cornish name derived from bod, "dwelling or farmstead" and scawen, "elder tree". The suffix –un comes from goon, "downland or unenclosed pasture".

Folklore has it that Boscawen-ûn is a circle created by maidens dancing on the Sabbath being turned to stone. Whilst this story is attractive, perhaps more credible is the possibility of Boscawen-ûn being one of the three Gorsedds, or Druid Meeting Places, of Britain. The Welsh Triads which date back to around the 6th Century AD record "Boskawen of Dumnonia" as being one of the "Gorsedds of Poetry of the Island of Britain". Certainly the circle is still an important spiritual meeting place for local Pagan groups and ritual offerings are still placed here.

- From Historic-Cornwall website
faerygirl Posted by faerygirl
30th May 2010ce

Comments (3)

Which reminded me of Edward Thomas's writing in The South Country........

"on every hand lies cromlech, camp, circle, hut and tumulus of the unwritten years. They are confused and and mingled with the natural litter of a barren land. It is a silent Bedlam of history, a senseless cemetery or museum, amidst which we walk as animals must do when they see those valleys full of skeleton where their kind are said to go punctually to die.

There are enough of the dead; they outnumber the living, and there those trite truths burst with life and drum upon the typpanum with ambigous fatal voices. At the end of this many barrowed moor, yet not in it, there is a solitary circle of grey stones, where the cry of the past is less vociferous, less bewildering, than on the moor itself, but more intense.

Nineteen tall, grey stones stand round a taller, pointed one that is heavily bowed, amidst long grass and bracken and furze. A track passes close by, but does not enter the circle; the grass is unbent except by the weight of its bloom.

It bears a name that connects it with the assembling and rivalry of the bards of Britain. Here, under the sky, they met, leaning upon the stones, tall fair men of peace, but half warriors, whose songs could change ploughshares into sword.

Here they met, and the growth of the grass, the perfection of the stones(except that one stoops as with age), and the silence, suggest that since the last bard left it, in robe of blue or white or green - the colours of sky and cloud and grass upon this fair day - the circle has been unmolested, and the law obeyed which forbade any but a bard to enter it........

And the inscription on the chair of the bards of Beisgawen was "nothing is that is not for ever and ever" - these things and the blue sky, the white, cloudy hall of the sun, and the green bough and grass, hallowed the ancient stones, and clearer than any vision of tall bards in the morning of the world was the tranquil delight of being thus ' teased out of time' in the presence of this ancientness,...."
moss Posted by moss
30th May 2010ce
Brilliant! Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
30th May 2010ce
When I visited, felt there must have been a solar/lunar reason for it being built - perhaps in a more obvious way that some stone circles. It looks like a sun-dial and while I sat beside it the moon appeared in the afternoon sky.
The elder tree connection is interesting.

Evocative piece of writing by Edward Thomas, Moss - thanks.
tjj Posted by tjj
30th May 2010ce
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