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

Carn Gluze

Chambered Cairn


Surrounded by spoil heaps and yet another chimney, the setting is still stunning. The hills of Bartinne and Chapel Carn Brea are the dominant features inland, while Land's End and the Longships beyond form the seaward backdrop. It's almost exactly ten years since my first visit here and I had forgotten what a brilliant monument this is. It's been heavily messed about with, exposing central spaces that were not originally there (the space between the collar and central mound). But it remains magnificent, huge and beautifully sited.

The entrance grave, set into the southern wall of the outer collar, is partially hidden by summer vegetation giving it a cool, leafy feel. It would be impressive in its own right, but here it simply serves to enhance the much larger mound above. Climbing over the outer collar, the well-preserved southern cist is set into the inside of the wall at almost the same position as the entrance grave is in the outside (see plan from info board). It is the only one of several original cists that retains its capstone, as the others went "missing" after Copeland Borlase excavated and exposed the inner workings of the mound. The circular space between the outer collar and the inner mound is not an original feature, having been inserted by Copeland Borlase to allow visitors to see the interior more easily. Walking around this narrow passage gives a great sense of the scale of construction, as the drystone walls are at head height on either side. Foxgloves grow in the light soil. At the northeastern part of this passage, a second cist can be seen, sadly now lacking its capstone. There is also an unexplained "pit" set into the outer collar on the east side. A climb over the wall of the inner mound gives access to the central chamber, with a deeper pit – a grave? – at its northern end. There were further cists here, but they have also gone now. Even without a roof, it's an intimate, enclosed feeling place, hidden away from view from outside.

We sit and enjoy the quiet for a while, as clouds form overhead. Eventually, we leave, heading back to nearby St Just along Carn Gloose Road. First fix of the holiday greatly enjoyed!
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
4th July 2011ce
Edited 13th September 2016ce

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