Just down from the Merry Maidens I found this entrance grave delightful, even though literally roadside it's peculiar how affecting to me it still was. I could picture the rest of the grave stretching over the destroying road.
Again, like the maidens, very pretty & neat. I hope the road doesn't encroach on it further. The aforementioned tourists at the maidens barely paused to look. Aren't I superior? Im becoming aware of a slightly sneering edge to my posts. I don't like it, it's not really how I feel around these places & who do I think I am anyway. Will concentrate on the wonder.
We drove all the way to Carn Euny but partner unable to manage & I felt guilty at abandoning him again so we turned round & drove back again. Stupid. Am kicking myself now after viewing the place on here. Never mind.
Shockingly on previous visits to the Merry Maidens I never knew that this place existed, yet it is literally two minutes’ walk from the parking spot for that stone circle, mind you that was in the days before I’d discovered the TMA website, and Mr Cope shockingly omits to mention Tregiffian in his magnum opus.
Today though after spending some time with the Maidens it was time to check out the neighbouring burial chamber, and what a pleasant surprise it is. A great curling semi-circle of stones for a forecourt, and surprisingly roomy chamber, make for an impressive monument. It’s a shame the road in effect cuts through the monument, and although the chamber is intact (albeit that the capstone is supported by a hardly subtle beam) when you step back you can see how the original curve of the mound is sadly curtailed. The cupmarked stone is really fantastic, at first I wasn’t sure whether it was a naturally marked stone or not, but the depressions on the stone were so deep they didn’t seem natural, it’s a great stone anyway, and I had no idea it was a replica until I’ve just read the previous fieldnotes! I also didn’t realise how close the Gun Rith menhir was as well, and totally missed out on seeing it, well just another excuse for a return visit, as if one were needed!
The way it's crouched next to the road reminds me of a slightly more battered version of Arthur's Stone in Herefordshire, but where as that place stands tall, Tregiffian seems to hunker down and sink into the road.
Tregiffian isn’t the quietest place to sit and soak up the atmosphere, as traffic regularly rumbles by, but it’s still a great place to visit, and so close to the Maidens that there’s really no excuse not to.
How easy to visit a site can it be?
As described elsewhere this is right next to the road and you can park in a layby only 20 metres away. There is an information board set into a wall. Stooping inside I noticed a large metal beam had been inserted to help keep the roof up. There is also what appears to be a heavily cup marked stone at the entrance to the barrow. Crawling out of the barrow I nearly gave a chap a heart attack as he was stood on the roof at the time and didn't know I was inside!!
I really should learn to look at the OS maps before I visit sites, you know.
On our way to the Merry Maidens we drove past this and I said "oh, wonder what that was" (Mark was doing his usual 60mph on country roads whilst I try to spot the stones as we whizz by!) and then spotted the Maidens in the field ahead.
We parked in the layby at the top of the road, walked down to the circle, across to Rith Menhir and then back along the road, via Tregiffian. I got all excited when I realised what we were approaching and, even though the road dissects the chamber, it is just great to see it within the context of the other sites. This muts've been the most amazing landscape at one time, littered with stones and fogous and chambers.
A mighty tomb with big stones and a big chamber now cruelly amputated by a main road. Yet despite the loss of its legs this is still a very powerful place, sandwiched in clear line of sight between the pretty dancing Merry Maidens stone circle and Gun Rith menhir which lurks in a hedgerow in the opposite field.
If you're heading out to see the Merry Maidens, then don't overlook Tregiffian, its well worth a look-see.
In my beer dazed state I stumbled on it, taking a few minutes to focus. Had the 17th century navies really drove this road straight through this structure. You wouldn't want a big bend around it though, it might slow up the speeding horse and cart. I can only believe that they were the ancestors of MT! Fab place though.
Despite being merely marked on our OS map as 'tumulous', this site was a superb long barrow, at the foot of the hill that has Merry Maidens circle on one side and the Pipers menhirs on the other, with the Gun Rith menhir just metres away to the north.
Quite incredibly, the construction of the road in 1840 decided not to go straight through this long chambered barrow nor to leave it intact, but to bend so as to obliterate half of it!
Covered in turf before 1840, the remaining half stands as bare stones. The largest of the capstones is thought to be a displaced menhir, and the others to have been moved from other parts of the monument.
There are madly large and deep cup marks on one of the entrance stones which appears to be made of very unusual rock. Which is indeed true, it's concrete as the original stone is in Truro County Museum.
Inside, an Iron girder supports the rear stone. And all the while traffic zooms by at speed.
And yet despite all of this, and the total loss of the northern half of the barrow, it still has strong presence and it is a very small task to imagine it in its original splendour.
Uniquely on this landscape, the monument has an explanatory plaque.
I strongly recommend Ian Cooke's 'Merry Maidens Stone Circle and other nearby ancient sites' pamphlet, available from local tourist info places, which provides a map, a suggest walking route and loads of history on this rich megalithic landscape.
It's a real shame that this site is partially submerged beneath the road, as I reckon it would have been another 'perfect' site had it not been (see the Merry Maidens for a definition of 'perfect'). Like Holy says, not a great place for meditation, though on a very busy day, from within the chamber perhaps the traffic noise above could give the same feeling as listening to Sunn O))), who knows? Traffic meditation, now there's a new idea! :-)
This really shocked me because it really is ON the B3315 road! It's such a beautiful burial chamber as well and would be even more well known if it hadn't been partially devastated by the road.
Considering how close it is to the Merry Maidens it's wise to park at the Merry Maidens and explore the stone circle, Tregiffian, and Gun Rith menhir all in one cracking visit.
There is a steel girder towards the back of the chamber, presumably to help hold up the stone from the pressures of modern life. The amazing cup-marked stone at the front right of the outside is actually an exact copy of the original, which is now in the County Museum in Truro.
September 2000 – wasn't tooo happy seeing this chambered-cairn, which has been f**ked over by road builders. Still it has faired alot better than similiar examples in Ireland.
Got some weird looks from folks wondering why I was looking around what they thought was a pile of useless stones, considering that The Merry Maidens were sooo nearby. Well, I thought the entrance was impressive & there's still plenty of room to get inside.
In answer to Holy McGrail, if in Ireland or Scotland you found English Heritage signs over all your ancient sites you would probably do something similar. The Cornish are not English but a Brythonic race related to the Welsh and Bretons. There has been a response to this and there is now a Cornish Heritage trust.