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


Higher Bodinnar Fogou

Fogou (Destroyed)

Also known as:
  • Higher Bodinar
  • Giant's Holt

Nearest Town:Penzance (6km E)
OS Ref (GB):   SW415320 / Sheet: 203
Latitude:50° 7' 51.62" N
Longitude:   5° 37' 3.26" W

Added by phil

Discussion Topics0 discussions
Start a topic

Show map   (inline Google Map)


Add fieldnotes Add fieldnotes
Totally destroyed, only a grass covered long depression remains. Posted by phil
2nd February 2002ce


Add folklore Add folklore
The fuggo at Bodinnar, called the Giant's Holt, was a few years ago much dreaded, as it was thought to be the abode of ugly spriggans that kept watch and guard over treasures which still remain buried in that ancient hiding-place.
From William Bottrell's second volume of Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall (1873), which you can read at the Sacred Texts Archive website.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th May 2010ce
Edited 15th May 2010ce


Add miscellaneous Add miscellaneous
Borlase's description of the fogou:
Bodinar Cave, called the Gyant's Holt.

In the tenement of Bodinar, in the parish of Sancred, somewhat higher than the present village, is a spot of ground amounting to no more than half an acre of land (formerly much larger), full of irregular heaps of stones overgrown with heath and brambles. It is of no regular shape, neither has it any vestiges of Fortification.

In the Southern part of this plot, you may with some difficulty enter into a hole, faced on each side with a stone-wall, and covered with flat stones. Great part of the walls as well as covering are fallen into the Cave, which does not run in a straight line, but turns to the left hand at a small distance from the place where I entered, and seems to have branched itself out much farther than I could trace it, which did not exceed twenty feet. It is about five feet high, and as much in width, called the Giant's Holt, and has no other use at present than to frighten and appease froward children.

As the hedges round are very thick, and near one the other, and the inclosures within them extremely small, I imagine these ruins were formerly of much greater extent, and have been removed into the hedges; the stones of which, appearing sizeable, and as if they had been used in Masonry, seem to confirm the conjecture. Possibly here might be a large British town (as I have been informed the late Mr. Tonkin thought), and this Cave might be a private way to get into or sally out of it; but the walls are every where crushed and fallen, and nothing regular to be seen;

I will only add, that this Cave, or under-ground passage, was so well concealed, that though I had been in it in the year 1738, yet, when I came again to examine it in the year 1752, I was a long while before I could find it.
From 'Antiquities, historical and monumental, of the county of Cornwall..' by William Borlase, published in 1769. 'Froward' is a real word by the way, it means contrary, ungovernable and generally naughty.

Oh wouldn't it be great if this 'destroyed' place wasn't really destroyed at all but was only hiding (like Higher Boden). If anyone knows what happened to it for sure...
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd August 2011ce
Edited 2nd August 2011ce