Nice write - up Mr Hamhead. The National Monument Register number for these bronze age cairns is SX 17 SE 15 see English Heritage Pastscape online. Of general interest in the area are finds of late stone and early bronze age tools in Dozemary Pool at SX 194 748 and a Roman tin bowl at SX191 712.
Brown Gelly is one of those hills you see from miles around...and notice that it has features on top. Right of access has always put me off climbing it, but now that it is open access I decided to take a stroll up onto the summit on a glorious May afternoon.
There are a couple of gateways along the Dozmary Pool-St Neot road that give access to the hillside and then another couple of gates give access into the summit field.
Please use them and don't go scrambling over walls or fences.
The top of the hill is reasonably flat and featurless, several wet areas are best avoided and it is only the southern end that has rocky outcrops.
Along the ridge run five cairns, the size of which you only realise once you get up close.
At the northern end a large cairn has had its top compleatly taken away and the inside scooped out. Uninterupted views of Dozmary Pool and Brown Willy and Roughtor can be had from the cairn.
The second cairn I found the most interesting. I suppose it would be called a ring cairn..but on a giant scale. The outer bank is about 3 ft high with a depresson about 4 or 5 ft across inside of it before reaching the central mound. The central mound has been dug into deeply, and looked like it might be holding water...I didn't investigate.
The central cairn is the largest and I would think about 15 ft high. It stands proud on the hill with steep sides and a good dome shape. Although there has been some excavation on the summit it is not too severe.
The fourth cairn is a mess. It has been dug into and pulled about and is just a low pile of stones. A Trig point stands beside it, built onto what looks like a base of stones taken from the cairn.
The last cairn at the southern end has again been dug into but not to the extent of cairn 1 or 4.