Another one ticked off my must see list.
The kids had had enough of stone hunting for this day, so I parked as close as I dared and trotted off into the field.
The footpath is supposed to pass right by two "tumuli" but I'd obviously gone too far because I couldn't find them. Backtracking I had to start looking among the walls and bracken/gorse which worked a treat because I came upon the lesser of the two first. It really is a lesser of the two as well, couldn't see any stones amid the undergrowth. So I moved further south and came across the better one. It couldn't have been better hidden if it had been through SAS sniper school, it was that well camouflaged I didn't know it was there until I almost walked over it.
After five minutes with my PO general use scissors the entrance was uncovered, I scuttled in and took a seat. But only for a minute, the insides of these little chambers are for bones and small animals, the sunlit outside is our domain.
What a little beauty this is, small, but perfectly formed, just a slight hump in the landscape, among other slight humps which turn out to be big gorse bushes.
A lot like Brane chambered cairn but smaller.
I leave the enclosure and onto the road. My original plan had been to go down to the cliff castle on Gurnard's Head, but time is against me now and I don't want to rush a visit. So I content myself with a stop-off at the southern of the two Treen entrance graves. More overgrown than I remember from my previous visit, this is a great site, full of character and interest. The chamber is almost hidden behind a curtain of bracken fronds, but once inside it's a cool and damp space.
An unlikely overgrown hummock turned out to be one of my favourite places in the whole of Penwith.
There are a few graves here, but the one blew me away. Dreadlocked with brambles and gorse, I set to work with ocifant's 'Leatherman' [TM] clearing the tangles away from the entrance with the handy saw to gain access to the tomb. And I was well rewarded with a 10' long chamber, maybe 3' high with 3 lovely capstones. The walls were of large stones. I crawled in and sat at the back for some time. A fox had made his home here in a burrow within the chamber.
This one looked like nothing but turned out to be reet special. A real discovery, and not unlike the tombs on Scilly, though I wasn't to find that out till the next day.
The northern chamber I've recently carried out *subtle* restoration work to!. A gap had appeared between two of the three roof slabs. I feel prior to me discovering this wonderful place it may have been in this state for some time. The hole in the roof I re-constructed with what was used originally, and looking at the exterior of the mound you would never know it had ever fallen in at all!. Old tea light candles suggest 'ritual' has taken place of some form in the past by persons unknown, these have been cleared out.
The chamber itself is a wonderful example, I havent yet located the others in the area, the land is thick with gorse (my pet hate!!), damn stuff resembles 'barbed wire'!!. Respect is due when visiting, you are 'not' alone as you sit there...guardians are appointed to such places for a purpose.
Five minutes walk up the road heading to 'Penzance' you'll find the 'Porthmear' stone circle (treen common) in a rather dilapidated yet inviting condition!. 'Carn Galva' dominates the area, the giant lives on up there!!!...
Marked on the Explorer map 102 as ‘Tumuli’. On croftland fields, not far from a public footpath that runs between the side road (between Treen and New Mills, not far from the B3306) to Bosporthennis.
This is what Craig Weatherhill says in his book ‘Belerion: Ancient Sites of Land’s End’ (Cornwall Books, 1981)...“There are four barrows here, two so mutilated that is impossible to tell whether they were ever chambered. The other two are unmistakably entrance graves. The southern tomb is the best preserved, with a find mound 7.6m across and 1.3m high, containing a chamber 4.9m long and 0.9m high. The three large roof slabs are exposed at the top of the mound which has lost its retaining kerb. The chamber entrance, on the North side of the barrow, is restricted in width by two low jambstones. The north tomb, 61m to the north-west is 6.1m in diameter and just 1.1m high. Only the inner end of the chamber, with one roof stone remaining, is left. It was entered from the south-west.”
The chamber of the south tomb faces north-west. Both ‘Belerion’ and ‘Cornovia’ contain pictures and drawing of the tombs.