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Not a perky puffin in sight


Apparently 'Lund-ey' is Norse for Puffin Island. I didn't see a puffin all day. But then again, everything was such a rush that a Puffin could have ridden past me on a camel singing the national anthem and I might not have noticed.

There's not much more I can add to the day which I haven't already added below, in the general Lundy fieldnotes. Hopefully that's enough info for most people. And there is always the official Lundy Island website to look at as well.

My top tips: 1) allow extra time if you have to go through Barnstaple, 2) expect the unexpected, 3) expect it to be colder than the mainland, 4) don't try to do too much, 5) take a GPS system if you want to be sure of finding some of these ancient sites, 6) have patience finding sites and clue yourself up with the English Heritage scheduling info I hope to add to this site soon.

If anyone wants to follow my route, the fieldnotes are given below in my route order.

An amazing island. Enjoy it because you may never visit again...

Lundy — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
The whole day was great, but fraught with small problems. It was great to see 100 people interested enough to want to visit this island and help keep it alive. I'd like to go again, but with more knowledge of these problems, and either on a longer day trip, or to stay for several days.

Be warned, traffic in Barnstaple can be a nightmare, especially if you need to get through Barnstaple to get to Illfracombe. Cars stretched along the A3125 back from the centre to the A39. After a while in a jam I realised the car in front had a sticker that read 'Barnstaple - Home of the Traffic Jam'. Nice one!

Parking info for Illfracombe was poor. The letter with my ticket said info would be given when you arrive. When I phoned up I was given a vague "long term parking is on the other side of the quay". It seems stupid to give this info out just before the ship sails when people are trying to book late tickets, collect tickets etc. And then the advice was dodgy, sending us up to a £2 car park a long way up the hill opposite the quay, whereas I learnt later that the car park at the bottom of this hill was only £2.80 a day, which if you ask me is worth the extra 80p, especially if the Barnstaple gridlock has made you later than you expected. If you come before mid May, or later in the season, there is also a chance you could park in one of the Illfracombe streets for free. Check the restrictions.

The boat trip is currently (2004) £28 for a day return (£25 concessions, including National Trust members). Or £42 for a period return. Helicopters run in the winter for £69. All these are for adult prices. Fine website (see link below) including online booking facility for day trips.

The road/path from the jetty on Lundy is long and steep. Not surprising really considering Lundy is like a huge slab of granite plonked in the ocean, but I thought I'd warn you all. The top of the island is mainly a plateau (120 to 140 metres above sea level), however, even this plateau is undulating and although the coastal paths are quite obvious, not all the paths are. Luckily you can walk just about anywhere you want as long as you abide by the common sense country code and close the few gates that are around. There is also a 4x4 track running the length of the island, which you might prefer to use to get places. It is quite rocky but still easier walking for some than the smaller paths. Lundy and the boat (MS Oldenburg) have no special disability facilities, however they say they will try to help and adapt as best they can for people with disabilities.

Weather conditions change rapidly and even on a nice day (like my day) you can still have bad sea (or land) conditions. It took us 20 minutes to dock and only later I heard there had been a strong possibility that we wouldn't be able to get off the boat. So don't assume anything and be prepared for possible changes / disappointments.

The boat says it takes up to 267 passengers. I'd hate to see it with that many on it! Most places to sit (inside and outside) were taken with only 120 people on board and on a nice day. The booking section on their website tells you how many tickets have been sold so far so you could use this to pick a quiet-ish trip, however I'm not sure how accurate it is.

The boat also seems to make up the rules as it goes along and doesn't always tell you things. We were clearly told the boat would leave at 3.30pm (incidentally, slightly earlier than we expected when booking) and you can embark from 3pm. So, as I returned through the village at 3.05, knowing I'd make it by 3.10/3.15 I felt pretty happy with my timing. But no, I was told by the shopkeeper they were sailing at 3. Rush etc! I was met by a Land Rover on the coast road that took me the last 500 metres, and was given the impression by some people that I had held everyone up. In reality we had actually left 15 mins early. What they don't tell you is that once everyone expected is aboard they will leave, so 3.30 was the latest time, not necessarily the actual time it will leave. I'm not saying they would have left without me, but I was narked for having to feel like I'd been late (I'm a pretty punctual person), and for having to worry that they might leave without me! Half of me felt grateful they had 'waited', half felt annoyed they made me look like a latecomer and people were asking me 'what happened?' Note - remember that most people just go for a quick walk on the south bit of the island and settle down in the village. Most won't go wandering like I did (and you might).

And the shopkeeper had said "Didn't you hear the foghorn blasts? That means they are ready to leave". Well, fecking sorry if my father didn't give me a seafaring lesson when I was 4 years old! How am I supposed to know things that I'm not informed about? I'm an intelligent enough person. Inform me of something and I'll do my best to understand it and ask questions if I need to, but this assumption of knowledge / lack of info was really annoying.

A National Trust leaflet called 'The Archaeology of Lundy' was available on the boat for 50p. Apparently a more substantial booklet might be available at the Island shop but I never got the chance to find out more due to the above problems.

A free Lundy leaflet, advertising the island and the boat schedule, includes a slightly magnified version of the 1:25,000 OS map, so no need to buy the OS map unless you really want to.

Tent Field Five Stones Monolith — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Tent Field Menhir (south west) - 30.3.2004

Due to the lack of time I just peered at this from over the wall. It is right next to the wall in the south west corner of the field (called 'Tent Field'). This is 2.2 m long and would have been a very substantial stone when erect (if erect?).

Tent Field Five Stones Monolith — Images

18.04.04ce
<b>Tent Field Five Stones Monolith</b>Posted by pure joy

Rocket Pole Pond Chambered Tomb — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Rocket Pole Pond Chambered Tomb - 30.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref (from English Heritage scheduling) = SS13624372

I'm really annoyed that I didn't find this because it's the only chambered tomb on the island. Although the English Heritage directions say "165m north east of Rocket Pole Pond", at this point I couldn't find it (!) and was wondering if it was covered in one of the pockets of bracken that inhabit this area of the west side. When I got home I realised that the 8 digit grid ref places it actually only 20m south and 20m west of the Tent Field Fives Stones Monolith; which I had found (SS13624372 & SS13644374). Shame I didn't realise this at the time. I suspect that either the EH directions are wrong (North north east maybe?), or the grid ref of one of the sites is wrong.

South West Field Stone & Cairn — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
South West Field Stone & Cairn - 30.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref (from English Heritage scheduling) = SS13314381

I think I found this site. A small standing stone with a flat cairn behind it.

South West Field Stone & Cairn — Images

19.04.04ce
<b>South West Field Stone & Cairn</b>Posted by pure joy

Beacon Hill Stones — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Beacon Hill Stones - 30.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref (from English Heritage scheduling) = SS13194409

I think I found this standing stone. It's not obvious. In general I need to point out that the principle of 'livestock rubbing posts' doesn't seem to exist on Lundy because most of the nine standing stones recognised by English Heritage on the island are not the right size to be considered as Bronze Age menhirs in Cornwall.

Beacon Hill Stones — Images

20.04.04ce
<b>Beacon Hill Stones</b>Posted by pure joy

Beacon Hill Settlement — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Beacon Hill Settlement - 30.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref (from English Heritage scheduling) = SS13224425

The Iron Age hut circles here are not that easy to spot except one which stands out as quite an obvious circle (but it's still not exactly Chysauster!). The circles are in the area 20m or so south of the wall of the 'Old Light' (the old Lighthouse).

Beacon Hill Settlement — Images

18.04.04ce
<b>Beacon Hill Settlement</b>Posted by pure joy

Ackland's Moor Standing Stones — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Ackland's Moor Standing Stone (south) - 30.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref (from English Heritage scheduling) = SS13284435

At last, something easy to find! This stone, despite still only being 1.45m tall, sticks out like a sore thumb, about 100m north east of the Old Light. I took a pic with a lamb close to it - aaah.

Ackland's Moor Standing Stones — Images

18.04.04ce
<b>Ackland's Moor Standing Stones</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Ackland's Moor Standing Stones</b>Posted by pure joy

Ackland's Moor Standing Stone (North) — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Ackland's Moor Standing Stone (north) -30.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref (from English Heritage scheduling) = SS13264445

Another easy one to spot! Probably even easier to spot that the Ackland's Moor Standing Stone (south) just 70m to the south, because this one is a really thick stone.
<b>Ackland's Moor Standing Stone (North)</b>Posted by pure joy

Ackland's Moor Cairn Stones — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Ackland's Moor Cairn Stones - 30.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref (from English Heritage scheduling) = SS13244460

Took me quite some time to be relatively happy that I had found this site. There are a lot of stones in the area and this cairn is not obvious! And if I did find this cairn then I didn't find the standing stone that the English Heritage focuses on. Maybe it has fallen? There were definately no 1.4m tall standing stones in this whole area.

There is a very distinct large stone on the ground, and apart from spotting this stone there is no obvious way of getting to this spot again. This large stone looks like a classic schoolboy drawing of a penis and scrotum!

Ackland's Moor Cairn Stones — Images

20.04.04ce
<b>Ackland's Moor Cairn Stones</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Ackland's Moor Cairn Stones</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Ackland's Moor Cairn Stones</b>Posted by pure joy

Ackland's Moor Hut Circle & Enclosure — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Ackland's Moor Hut Circle & Enclosure - 30.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref (from English Heritage scheduling) = SS13044451

This is a probable Bronze Age hut circle & enclosure. I was definitely in the right area for this (well, I was definitely in the area English Heritage described; 30m from the cliff edge and 30m south of a natural spring) but not convinced I could see on the ground exactly what the English Heritage report mentions. Stunning location though. Not a bad place to live on a nice day like this, but being on the west side of the island it would get the Atlantic winds!
<b>Ackland's Moor Hut Circle & Enclosure</b>Posted by pure joy

Ackland's Moor Standing Stone (West) — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Ackland's Moor Standing Stone (West) - 30.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref (from English Heritage scheduling) = SS13084458

Thanks to the detailed English Heritage directions I definitely found this stone. I would add though that this is not in a 'wall' as you and I might think of as a field wall. It should really be described as the last remains of an old field wall, i.e. you can clearly see a few stones that are in some sort of line, but that's all. The 'standing stone' does stand out because it is very wide (1.4m - actually slightly wider than it is tall) and like most of the Lundy stones it is not earthfast (i.e. it is set on the ground rather than in the ground and has stones packed around its base to keep it upright).
<b>Ackland's Moor Standing Stone (West)</b>Posted by pure joy

Ackland's Moor Cairns (North) — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Ackland's Moor Cairns (North) - 30.3.2004

There are two Cairns listed, very close together towards the north part of the moor. One is at SS13234478. As this is clipped by a shallow quarry pit on the south west side, it's pretty easy to locate. As with most Lundy Cairns there is little to see. But the quarry pit pond does add a little photogenic quality to this one though.

The other is at SS13194473. Given limited time I gave this one a miss, but given that the other nearby cairn is easy to locate, I imagine this could be found via that cairn if need be.

Ackland's Moor Cairns (North) — Images

20.04.04ce
<b>Ackland's Moor Cairns (North)</b>Posted by pure joy

Chambered Stone Dwelling — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Chambered Stone Dwelling - 30.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref (from English Heritage scheduling) = SS13274613

Well I thought I had found this. I was definitely in the right place but the English Heritage directions fail to mention that there are two rocky outcrops in the area. After the natural spring there is an outcrop of rocks after barely 10 metres, and then another 20/30m further on. And the directions say the dwelling is "tucked under a rock outcrop" - do they mean literally under the rock on the cliff edge? So which one is it closest to? Well there is some sort of dwelling between the two, on the cliff top, and it's pretty stunning, with rooms that can be made out. BUT a pic on the National Trust leaflet ('The Archaeology of Lundy') shows what I think I found and labels it as a "ruined medieval building on the east coast". The more I think about it, the more I think I didn't find the ancient site. Needed more time. I'm disappointed because this is a unique dwelling on Lundy and sounded cool.

Chambered Stone Dwelling — Images

20.04.04ce
<b>Chambered Stone Dwelling</b>Posted by pure joy

Halfway Wall Cairn — Fieldnotes

10.04.04ce
Halfway Wall Cairn - 30.3.2004

This cairn is only about 100m north of halfway wall. Despite it's tiny height (the English Heritage report says 0.11m high - that's 11cm!) this is easier to spot than many of the other cairns on the island, because 1, it's a relative high point in the area, 2, it's close to the 4x4 track, and 3, there are lynchets running from it.

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Don't get me down.....


The Trehundreth & Greenbarrow Downs are one of those brilliant complexes that you get in Cornwall, like Leskernick, where you have standing stones, settings, a row, cairns, barrows, etc all in one relatively compact area. This one is also relatively flat, and relatively easy to get to and get around within. So everyone's a winner.

Surprisingly none of this area is mentioned in Craig Weatherhill's otherwise excellent 'Cornovia: Ancient Sites of Cornwall & Scilly' (Cornwall Books - 1985, revised 1997 & 2000).

It isn't always easy to see what is what though, or to find it all. The OS map, the text and pictures in Peter Herring and Peter Rose's 'Bodmin Moor's Archaeological Heritage' (Cornwall County Council - 2001) and the text, drawing and pictures in Cheryl Straffon's guide 'The Earth Mysteries Guide to Bodmin Moor and North Cornwall (including Tintagel)' (Meyn Mamvro - 1993, amended 2000) all help, but also can confuse. I think that by writing all these notes I have helped to pull this info together, but without a repeat visit with a GPS system I don't think some of these mysteries will be solved yet!

The other side of the road contains Colvannick Tor Stone Row, the best stone row in Cornwall. Harder to find and interpret than the more famous, and still brilliant Nine Maidens row, but more rewarding and challenging. And with a name that means 'erect penis' what more could you want!

If anyone wants to follow the route, the fieldnotes are given below in my route order. I wouldn't particularly encourage doing it in this order though (unless you have a GPS system) because I found the stone row hard to find from the western end and had to find it via the barrows and cairns on Greenbarrow Downs.

Colvannick Tor Stone Row — Fieldnotes

07.04.04ce
Colvannick Tor Stone Row - 31.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid refs = SX12817189 to 12937163.

One easy-ish way to get here is to park at the picnicy area mentioned in the Trehundreth & Greenbarrow Downs section, and hop over the fence into the firled to the south. Follow the fence along to the west until a footpath starts at SX128723 (the path isn't actually visible on the ground!). This skirts around the large pond. You will need an OS map and even then the stone row can be difficult to spot. I was confused by the field boundary the map showed on the east side of Colvannick Tor. In reality this is not a wall but maybe an ancient boundary; a sort of low bank and slight ditch. If like me you find the stone row difficult to find, head up to the Tor and the northern most stone should be clearly visible due east, about 300 metres away. From this stone you can take a compass bearing south east and walk the line of the row (sometimes through gorse!). There aren't many obvious stones until you reach the southern stones, one of which is large and still upright and can also be seen from the Tor. Beyond this stone there are a few large but fallen stones, and then one final stone 80m or so further on; a very large stone, semi erect. By this point you'll be able to see a few red and white poles in the distance, presumably warning poles for the 'Danger Area' on Cardinham Moor.

In all I counted 3 standing stones (2 of which were large), 1 semi erect (the large southern end stone), 5 fallen (all large), 2 broken stones together, and around 10 possible smaller stones, all fallen or just stumps. This is the best stone row in Cornwall. Harder to find and interpret than the more famous, and still brilliant, Nine Maidens row, but more rewarding and challenging.

From the stone row you can clearly see the small possible Trehundreth Downs Menhir / markstone that aligns with it on Trehundreth Downs across the road.

There are ponies and sheep all around, and some sampy area around the large pond. Gorse and brambles line the A30 so getting over to Trehundreth Downs is not that easy. One simple way is by retracing your steps to where the footpath starts on the south side. Opposite this there is a gate into Trehundreth Downs on the north side of this very busy dual carriageway.

Cheryl Straffon's guide 'The Earth Mysteries Guide to Bodmin Moor and North Cornwall (including Tintagel)' (Meyn Mamvro - 1993, amended 2000) writes that "Colvannick Tor itself as probably named after the stones, meaning is it does in English 'erect penis', an indication of an ancient awareness of the phallic nature of the stones, and hinting at fertility rites performed here." I wonder if that's the first mention of an erect penis on this website? Probably not!

Colvannick Tor Stone Row — Images

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<b>Colvannick Tor Stone Row</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Colvannick Tor Stone Row</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Colvannick Tor Stone Row</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Colvannick Tor Stone Row</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Colvannick Tor Stone Row</b>Posted by pure joy

Trehudreth Downs Menhir (markstone?) — Fieldnotes

07.04.04ce
Trehundreth Downs Menhir / markstone -31.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref = SX12537258

Cheryl Straffon's guide 'The Earth Mysteries Guide to Bodmin Moor and North Cornwall (including Tintagel)' (Meyn Mamvro - 1993, amended 2000) reports a "small menhir or markstone at SX12537258. Walking towards this mark stone on the top of the rise the Colvannick Tor Stone Row comes into view across the A30".

Easy to spot as it lies in an area of the Downs with little bracken and few stones. However it is extremely small and very reminiscent of two boundary / marker stones I saw on the Downs, and the pitiful Peverell's Cross. It has about 60cm of stone above ground, with an extra 25cm as part of the 'pit' it stands in. However, from my memory this stone doesn't have any letters carved on it, unlike the boundary markers elsewhere on the Downs. Curious.

Elsewhere in the Straffon booklet she writes that Trehundreth Downs Menhir is aligned to a cairn, and this stone. Add to this the Colvannick Tor Stone Row and "evidently all these stones were part of a special alignment, and perhaps a spirit path of the dead associated (sic) with the burial mounds here". Maybe Straffon wants this to be a menhir, rather than a boundary stone, because it is conveniently aligned to the stone row?
<b>Trehudreth Downs Menhir (markstone?)</b>Posted by pure joy

Trehudreth Downs Menhir — Fieldnotes

07.04.04ce
Trehundreth Downs Menhir - 31.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref = SX12427281

Marked on the OS map. I don't think I found this. It was all getting a bit confusing at this point. The OS map, the text and pictures in Peter Herring and Peter Rose's 'Bodmin Moor's Archaeological Heritage' (Cornwall County Council - 2001) and the text, drawing and pictures in Cheryl Straffon's guide 'The Earth Mysteries Guide to Bodmin Moor and North Cornwall (including Tintagel)' (Meyn Mamvro - 1993, amended 2000) all help, but also can confuse. I think I have helped pull this info together, but without a repeat visit with a GPS system I don't think some of these mysteries will be solved.

Trehudreth Downs Stone Setting / Row — Fieldnotes

07.04.04ce
Trehundreth Downs Stone Setting / Row -31.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref = SX12527274

An interesting row / setting of 3 large stones, one of which is still standing. Quite easy to spot form afar and from all around the Downs, which thankfully makes it easier to find than some of the other things around
<b>Trehudreth Downs Stone Setting / Row</b>Posted by pure joy

Trehudreth Downs Cairn — Fieldnotes

07.04.04ce
Trehundreth Downs Cairn - 31.3.2004

Marked on the OS map. I can't say for certain that I found this unless it is the small mound aligned just to the west of Trehundreth Downs Stone Setting / Row.

Trehudreth Downs Cairn — Fieldnotes

07.04.04ce
Another Trehundreth Downs Cairn - 31.3.2004

Marked on the OS map. I didn't look for this.

Greenbarrow — Fieldnotes

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Greenbarrow - 31.3.2004

Marked on the OS map. A large, easy to spot barrow. It literally is green and sticks out amongst the brown downland. One stone is stuck in the edge of the barrow as if it might be the last remnant of a kerb. A faint ditch also seems to circle as least part of the barrow.

Greenbarrow — Images

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<b>Greenbarrow</b>Posted by pure joy

Greenbarrow Downs Cairns — Fieldnotes

07.04.04ce
Greenbarrow Downs Cairns - 31.3.2004

The OS map marks two cairns very close to the Greenbarrow. One is obvious to spot at SX131730. The other, marked at SX129730 didn't seem obvious to me.

Greenbarrow Downs Cairns — Images

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<b>Greenbarrow Downs Cairns</b>Posted by pure joy

Trehudreth Downs Stone Row — Fieldnotes

07.04.04ce
Trehundreth Downs Stone Row - 31.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid refs = SX12477292 to 12757302

Not that much to see. I was tired by this point so didn't count or plot what I could see. I found this difficult to find from the west. Easier to find from either Greenbarrow or the Greenbarrow Downs Cairns. From any of these walk north west and you should walk right through the row! The row is low and small. One bonus is that you can clearly spot the Trehundreth Downs Stone Setting from this row. If you want to see a totally different type of row (tall, long and chunky) pop over the A30 and try to find Colvannick Tor Stone Row.

Trehudreth Downs Stone Row — Images

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<b>Trehudreth Downs Stone Row</b>Posted by pure joy

Trehudreth Downs Stone Setting — Fieldnotes

07.04.04ce
Trehundreth Downs Stone Setting - 31.3.2004

Full 8 figure grid ref = SX12587292

I found this from the Trehundreth Downs Stone Row. There is a good picture of this in Peter Herring and Peter Rose's 'Bodmin Moor's Archaeological Heritage' (Cornwall County Council - 2001). This excellent book writes "next to a cairn on Trehundreth Downs is a setting of three uprights in an arc, as if to define a forecourt-like area where rites could be performed against hills under the great expanse of the upland sky". Although their description is a bit strange to what is on the ground and their interpretation surprisingly flowery compared to the rest of the book, it proved very useful to help me find this.

Trehudreth Downs Stone Setting — Images

05.05.04ce
<b>Trehudreth Downs Stone Setting</b>Posted by pure joy

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Looking down on Kernow


Well I made it to Cornwall's highest point, Brown Willy (stop tittering at the back there!), which ironically is an ancient monument as well because it is a Bronze Age cairn. And I'd come via several other ancient sites, including a rare Long Cairn.

This was a long walk, about 10km in total. Very rough and tough in many places. Lots of ups and downs. Areas of wet ground and areas of very uneven ground. However there were also a few small bits of pleasant easy-ish walking. It took me 3 hours, but that was without hardly any rest. I would allow 4 to 5 hours for a more leisurely walk.

I didn't see a trace of human life for the entire walk except for a Land Rover in the distance. Some fields had cows, sheep or horses in, but very few and far between.

If anyone wants to follow the route, the fieldnotes are given below in my route order. I wouldn't particularly encourage doing the Catshole Tor Settlement or the western cairn on Catshole Tor on the way back because the land is very uneven and not easy to get into, but instead taking the easier (outbound) route back to Tolborough and maybe nipping over later to the western cairn if you wish.

Technically most land on Bodmin Moor is 'private' as it is owned by someone, even Downs and Common land. But in reality places like these Downs are rarely visited by anyone or anything and as long as you use the normal common sense country code I don't imagine anyone challenging you (don't quote me though as some sort of magic access key!).

Tolborough Tor Cairn — Fieldnotes

04.04.04ce
Tolborough Downs - 28.3.2004

There is probably no easy way to reach the barren Tolborough Tor, on the Tolborough Downs. However, one decent way is to start near Bolventor. Cheryl Straffon's guide 'The Earth Mysteries Guide to Bodmin Moor and North Cornwall (including Tintagel)' (Meyn Mamvro - 1993, amended 2000) says "A pathway behind Jamaica Inn crosses the bypass up to Tolborough Downs". Umm, well, I doubt the first bit, unless she means the underpass to the East of Bolventor. There is no obvious route across the dangerous A30 otherwise.

I found a good place to park and start from, at SX182769, just a few metres from the footpath that leads to Tolborough Downs. If heading towards Launceston on the A30 take the turn off for Bolventor but then take a sharp left turn (signposted 'Bolventor Church') and another immediate sharp left (signposted the same). This dead end lane takes you parallel and above the north side of the A30. The footpath is clearly marked about 300m along this road. If you are driving towards Bodmin the principle is the same. Get off at the Bolventor turnoff but don't go into Bolventor itself. Instead imagine you were trying to get on the A30 towards Launceston, and you will see the Bolventor Church signpost on the bend just before the A30 starts again.

This footpath takes you down a few fields (cows grazing) and across a stream to a few houses at Dairywell Hill. Keep to the right of the houses, through a farm looking gate and head up the very steep and rocky track. Carry on until you finally come out into the bottom of the field where Tolborough Tor lies. If you wanted a slightly less hilly/stony walk you might be able to approach (on foot) along the lane from the main road (at SX191777) towards Tober Barton Farm. Don't know where you would be able to park on the main road though.

The Tor field was very rocky and very wet.

Tolborough Tor Cairn — Fieldnotes

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Tolborough Tor Cairn - 28.3.2004

For directions etc, see the main Tolborough Downs page.

This large cairn sits on top of the hill and is visible all around; a bump of green on the otherwise light brown hill.

The cairn aligns with the south cairn on Brown Willy, the west cairn on Catshole Tor, and the Catshole Long Cairn, although the long cairn can only been seen from this cairn, whereas the other three can all be seen from one another.

Tolborough Tor Cairn — Images

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<b>Tolborough Tor Cairn</b>Posted by pure joy

Tolborough Tor Stone Row — Fieldnotes

04.04.04ce
Tolborough Tor Stone Row - 28.3.2004

For directions etc, see the main Tolborough Downs page.

Cheryl Straffon's guide 'The Earth Mysteries Guide to Bodmin Moor and North Cornwall (including Tintagel)' (Meyn Mamvro - 1993, amended 2000) says "On the top of the Tor is a large cairn, to the South East of which is an unusual miniature row of five small stones - SX17567786". Well, yes, but I should add that it is VERY small and overgrown and that is hardly decipherable. It is also very close to cairn (the final, furthest stone is barely 8m from the cairn) so don't go wandering off looking for it many metres away. This final stone is also now broken.

Tolborough Tor Stone Row — Images

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<b>Tolborough Tor Stone Row</b>Posted by pure joy

Catshole Downs — Fieldnotes

04.04.04ce
Catshole Downs - 28.3.2004

For one way to get to the general area, see the Tolborough Downs page.

To get towards the Catshole Downs Long Cairn and the eastern Catshole Tor cairn, from Tolborough Tor head north to the gate in the angled bit of the field (circa SX171782). This leads you out towards these sites.

The Catshole Tor settlement and western Catshole Tor cairn are in the opposite field. From Tolborough Tor head for another gate, just to the west of the angled bit of the field. These gates are very close to each other. This leads you out towards these sites. Note that these four sites are in two separate fields with a fence in between.

Technically most land on Bodmin Moor is 'private' as it is owned by someone, even Downs and Common land. But in reality places like the Tolborough Downs are rarely visited by anyone or anything and as long as you use the normal common sense country code I don't imagine anyone challenging you (don't quote me though as some sort of magic access key!).

Catshole Downs — Fieldnotes

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Catshole Downs Long Cairn - 28.3.2004

For directions etc, see the main Catshole Downs page.

This long trip is worth it for this alone. A huge rarity and relatively easy to find (once you get to the general area), especially if you've previously seen a picture of it. You can also spot it from Tolborough Tor.

From Tolborough Tor head for the gate in the angled bit of the field (circa SX171782). Note -the downs were pretty swampy in places when I visited (& more swampy than other upland areas in Devon & Cornwall). The Long Cairn is then 100m away just to the right of the old field wall.

What does a Long Cairn look like? Imagine a small long barrow, made of stones instead of earth, in a triangular shape, typically 17 to 30 m long sometimes with traces of internal structure. At Catshole you can see the large-ish front stone, and from there you can make out what might have been flanking stones, and a small litter of stones in the interior. They are of the fourth millennia BC.

Peter Herring and Peter Rose, in 'Bodmin Moor's Archaeological Heritage' (Cornwall County Council - 2001), map three long cairns on the moor, with three other possibilities. They suggest that the Catshole long cairn is carefully aligned to the east part of Catshole Tor. What I can add is that the cairn in general does align with the west cairn on Catshole Tor, the south cairn on Brown Willy, and the Tolborough Tor Cairn, although the long cairn can only been seen from the Tolborough Tor Cairn, whereas the other three can all be seen from one another.

Catshole Downs — Images

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<b>Catshole Downs</b>Posted by pure joy

Brown Willy Cairns — Fieldnotes

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Brown Willy Cairns - 28.3.2004

For directions as far as Catshole Downs, see the main Catshole Downs page, and the Tolborough Downs page.

Well, if you've got as far as Catshole and still want some hard walking you might as well bag the highest point in Cornwall, Brown Willy.

And from the east side of the fence on Catshole Downs it is pretty easy to get to, if a hard slog. Carry on North, close to the fence / old field wall. Cross into the next field. After 1½ kms a rocky outcrop will be visible on your right. Continue by the fence for 100m and a stile lets you into the field on the east side of Brown Willy. A recognisable (but unmarked) path takes you across the field and straight up Brown Willy to its highest point. This 'path' is just a boggy lumpy track but it is obvious that people / livestock have used it, and its direction straight to the northern cairn on Brown Willy is useful. It's a very steep climb to the top (only about a 75m rise but all steep!). As I made the last step onto the plateau at the top I surprised several sheep that dashed past me. I bet they weren't as knackered as I was!

Even on an intermittently dull and drizzling day like this the views are not surprisingly amazing, across Rough Tor to the north west and Colliford Lake several kilometres south east.

The south cairn on Brown Willy aligns with the west cairn on Catshole Tor, the Tolborough Tor Cairn, and the the Catshole Long Cairn, although the long cairn can only been seen from the Tolborough Tor Cairn, whereas the other three can all be seen from one another.

Note - this is very much the unofficial and (probably) much harder route to Brown Willy. I did it this way so I could get Tolborough, Catshole and Brown Willy all in one long walk. The real 'permissive' route seems to be the path on the map that enters Brown Willy from the north, from the Fernacre track (circa SX148797)

Brown Willy Cairns — Images

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<b>Brown Willy Cairns</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Brown Willy Cairns</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Brown Willy Cairns</b>Posted by pure joy

Brown Willy Settlement — Fieldnotes

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Brown Willy Settlement - 28.3.2004

For directions to the general area, see the record for the Brown Willy Cairns.

In a field on the south east edge of the slopes of Brown Willy there is what I assume is a Bronze Age settlement. I know nothing about this site - just what I saw on the OS map - and haven't seen it mentioned in any of my books. Given that the area is littered with a variety of settlements, I imagine this is pretty much the same as others. Despite the moorland undergrowth several roundhouse are quite clearly visible and worth a quick visit if you have any energy left at this point.

Brown Willy Settlement — Images

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<b>Brown Willy Settlement</b>Posted by pure joy

Catshole Tor Settlement — Fieldnotes

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Catshole Tor Settlement - 28.3.2004

For directions etc, see the main Catshole Downs page.

I know nothing about this site - just what I saw on the OS map - and haven't seen it mentioned in any of my books. Given that the area is littered with a variety of settlements, I imagine this is pretty much the same as others. I walked through the area on the map but couldn't see anything obvious. The ground in this field is very uneven and hard work and by now I was too knackered to look too hard!

Catshole Tor Cairns — Fieldnotes

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Catshole Tor Cairns - 28.3.2004

For directions etc, see the main Catshole Downs page.

The OS map shows two cairns on Catshole Tor, one on the east side (SX172786 - which I didn't find), and one on the west side (SX170785). Note that they are in two separate fields with a fence in between. The western one is basically flattened but you can make out the circular shape and probably flanking stones. Ironically the clitter of stones around the area are more 'obvious' and larger than the actual cairn.

The west cairn on Catshole Tor aligns with the south cairn on Brown Willy, the Tolborough Tor Cairn, and the Catshole Long Cairn although the long cairn can only been seen from the Tolborough Tor Cairn, whereas the other three can all be seen from one another.

Catshole Tor Cairns — Images

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<b>Catshole Tor Cairns</b>Posted by pure joy

Weblog

Kernow again - Part 2 - Land of the Giants


Wednesday was due to be a cracker, despite the first bit of bad weather. Carn Brea is a great big hill just outside Redruth, and is currently the second oldest excavated and dated occupation site in the county. It's not easy to see much here, but is well worth it for the view and the vibe.

Carn Brea — Fieldnotes

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Carn Brea - 1st October 2003

Carn Brea is a great big hill just outside Redruth, and is currently the second oldest excavated and dated occupation site in the county.

After hauling my ass up to the top of this hill, I discover a track/road and parked cars on the other side of the summit. Well, I do like walking uphill so I won't complain, but if you want to take the easy way up, I guess the top can be reached by car from Carnkie.

I noticed a car park on the map at the south side of the hill (at the bottom - around SW681412). I couldn't see any road signs towards it so I drove via Carn Brea Village and the furthest I could get was a small layby at SW686412, which already had one burnt out car in it. But it is a decent (but not signposted) place to park because two paths up the hill start from close by. One path is wide and goes around and up the east side of the hill and the other is more overgrown and goes up the hill into the middle of the Neolithic enclosure, through what is believed to be the ancient entrance.

It's not easy to see much of the ancient bits on the hill though (even with the detailed drawing in Cornovia), but is well worth it for the view and the vibe. Not surprisingly the view from the top is amazing, including a good view across to St.Agnes Beacon.

Carn Brea — Images

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<b>Carn Brea</b>Posted by pure joy

Carn Brea — Images

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<b>Carn Brea</b>Posted by pure joy


What's left of the Wendron Stone Circles were one of only two circles in my week (I've visited most on previous trips) and is easy to find.

Nine Maidens (Troon) — Fieldnotes

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Wendron Stone Circles - 1st October 2003

What's left of the circles are situated just to the east of the B3297, 800 metres south of the junction with the B3280, around two fields behind a house situated on the rise in the road. There is a lay-by opposite for about 3 cars, although it is quite dangerous to get out of given its situation just under the top of the hill. Directly to the left of the house is an unmarked public footpath that leads towards that back of the house. 2 stones from what was a circle are part of the field wall, apparently still in situ (i.e. they weren't moved, but were conveniently used as part of the field wall). See Cornovia for a diagram. The other circle is mainly in the next field over (except for one in the field wall - at the viewing point - that is believed to be from the circle), but there is a convenient viewing point at the wall, and it's obvious that loads of people have climbed over the wall.


I was like a kid waiting for Christmas because I knew that I'd see the Tolvan Stone today, and it was just as cool as expected, although I always manage to build up pictures of places in my head and they are never quite the same.

Tolven Holed Stone — Fieldnotes

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The Tolvan - 1st October 2003

Just as cool as expected, although I always manage to build up pictures of places in my head and they are never quite the same. I don't know why but I didn't quite expect the road the cottage is on to be a country lane, or to be next to the rolling countryside. The area is also surprisingly close to the water (The Helford River is barely 1km away).

Just in case you didn't know the Tolvan is situated in the back garden of Tolvan Cross Cottage, which is 800m north of Gweek. From Gweek, the main road bends slightly right, whereas the road for the Tolvan is straight on as you get to the Spar / Post Office. The current owners are a lovely young couple, and although they obviously retain the right for people to view at their discretion, they are very flexible and don't mind people turning up unannounced. Or you can, as I did, give some prior warning in case they are out, away etc. They get about 5-6 people a year at the moment, and unless those number rise dramatically they don't see it as a problem at all.

The stone is all I expected. Big and enigmatic. One thing that I hadn't noticed on pics was a small circular hole on the left hand side. Wonder what that is all about?

NB - their 'front door' is at the back, next to the stone.

Tolven Holed Stone — Images

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<b>Tolven Holed Stone</b>Posted by pure joy


Then onto a wet Halligye Fogou which everyone should see. Everyone! The whole place is just great. Feel the quality of the workmanship. But the fogou didn't want its picture taken. I managed to smash my old compact camera on the way out by getting tangled in its strap and accidentally thrashing it about.

Halliggye Fogou — Fieldnotes

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Halligye Fogou - 1st October 2003

Amazing. Without having seen all the other fogous, this and the Carn Euny fogou must be the cream of the crop. Everyone should see this. Everyone! Despite the changes over time (the current entrance is believed to be wrong, and a hole now exists in the main passageway thus letting in light) this is still in very good condition, and with public access for much of the year. I felt the hole might be deliberate to let light into the main passage and make it safer to be in. Just a total guess though.

It wasn't clear from the OS map exactly where the entrance to the Trelowarren Estate was, so it was a good surprise to see a brown (tourist) sign at the roundabout linking Garras, Mawgan and Rosevear (at SW701243). The turn off to the estate is then marked by a bright modern sign a few hundred metres towards Garras, with the actual estate entrance another 400 metres on at SW705242. After 1km through the estate there is a sign to the fogou and parking for 3-4 cars at SW713241. A short walk up the track takes you to the gates of Halliggye Farm. A marked footpath to the right takes you into an enclosure and you are there, at this amazing structure.

I went in every bit of the fogou, including the tiny original entrance, which I felt was the most stunningly claustrophobic and well engineered. The whole place is just great. Feel the quality of the workmanship.

But the fogou didn't want its picture taken. Not only was the rain getting heavy now, but I managed to smash my old compact camera on the way out by getting tangled in its strap and accidentally thrashing it about. I'd taken pics with this because it had a flash, whereas my Pentax SLR didn't. So to try to re-create the now lost pics I went back and took pics again with the Pentax on a fixed shutter speed and trying to use the flash from the compact as a flash. It didn't work!

NB - The entrance to the estate had a sign saying that all permissive footpaths on the estate were closed between 1st October and ..um...didn't write the end date down (probably around Easter - I was too busy slapping my head and shouting doh at coming on 1st October!). Despite my fears it didn't affect me getting to the fogou and I imagine it shouldn't cause any problems for others because the fogou is an English Heritage site, and up a farm track rather than a footpath. Also the fogou is closed for the winter anyway (currently November to March inclusive).

Halliggye Fogou — Images

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<b>Halliggye Fogou</b>Posted by pure joy


Then just a quick stop at the Prospidnick Menhir on the way home, a thin and sexy beast virtually on the roadside.

Prospidnick Longstone — Fieldnotes

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Prospidnick Menhir - 1st October 2003

It's not easy to describe exactly how to get here through the variety of lanes. Probably best to get an OS map. Or try this. On the B3297 just north of Helston, take the first left after the golf course (signposted 'Coverack Bridges'; and others). Pass the red phone box at Coverack Bridges and continue along the lane, past the school. Take the next right at a small triangular junction. This lane takes you past the farm at Chyreen. Just past Halvance Farm there is a small junction. Go right (signposted 'Releath' and the sexy menhir is then clearly in view on your right.

This slim but tall stone lies in the field wall on the roadside. There is space almost opposite to park for a short while.

Prospidnick Longstone — Images

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<b>Prospidnick Longstone</b>Posted by pure joy


The next day was a rest day and I just visited a few sites local to Perranporth, starting with the picture perfect and historically important St.Piran's Round, before heading for the Bolster Bank and St.Agnes Beacon area with it's folklore and stunning views from the Beacon.

Piran's Round — Fieldnotes

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St.Piran's Round - 2nd October 2003

Although it's not signposted it is relatively easy to find 1.2km along the B3285 from Goonhavern (towards Perranporth), on the north side of the road, just off a small lane opposite a pink house. You can park a car discreetly on the side of the lane, just off the main road. There is open access to the land.

There is a stile into the enclosure where the earthwork stands and a flagstone entrance into the interior. A small sign gives the following statement, "This St.Piran's Round is protected as a monument of national importance under the Ancient Monuments Acts 1913-53: Department of the Environment".

The earthwork is 'perfect'. Well kept, a perfect circle, with two opposite entrances, equal height banks, and a decent (if overgrown) ditch on the outside. Birds fluttered and it was all so idyllic, almost too idyllic!

The ladle shaped depression is way cool. I can just imagine it being used in the medieval miracle plays.

Piran's Round — Images

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<b>Piran's Round</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Piran's Round</b>Posted by pure joy

Bolster Bank — Fieldnotes

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Bolster Bank - 2nd October 2003

I wouldn't agree with Craig Weatherhill, in "Cornovia: Ancient Sites of Cornwall & Scilly" (Cornwall Books - 1985, revised 1997 & 2000) who says the best place to view the dyke is where it abuts the south side of the road between the west side of St.Agnes and Goonvrea (at about SW717501). Yes, there is a public footpath at that point but it is separated from the dyke by highish hedge, and there is no obvious way to see the dyke close up.

I didn't try viewing the bank (up close) from a different place. The obvious place to try would be where the bank crosses the road from St.Agnes Beacon to Towan Cross (around Goonvrea Farm, at SW 713496). Instead, I got a pretty good overview from the top of St.Agnes Beacon although it does take a few moments to get your bearings; the dyke is hardly the Wall of China and takes a bit of spotting.

It is believed that originally this Dyke enclosed the whole of the coastal area around the hill, cutting it off from the surrounding land. The reason for the bank is not obvious, and nor is the date. Craig Weatherhill, in Cornovia, writes that "It could date from anytime between 500BC and 1000AD, but opinion leans in favour of a post-Roman date, probably fifth or sixth century AD".

St. Agnes Beacon — Fieldnotes

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St.Agnes Beacon Cairns - 2nd October 2003

Can't really miss this hill, just west of St.Agnes village. Easy to reach, via numerous public footpaths around the area. National Trust openland. Closest place to park is at SW706507, facing a metal farm building, with room for about 8 cars. But you can also park at many other places in the area and walk to the beacon via footpaths or roads.

The OS map shows 3 cairns on the summit. Two towards the highest point (at the south east end of the summit) and one at the north west end of the summit area. All are in light gorse, with the most southerly one the deepest amongst the thorns. None stand out massively, and there are many other similar mounds round the hill. I cannot believe that some of these aren't also burial cairns.

The hill stands out for miles around, and the views from it are totally stunning. The highest point isn't actually a cairn, but the old beacon, which is topped with a panoramic plate showing you the landmarks for around 25kms around, including several windfarms, the china clay area around Roche (24km away) and Carn Brae (10km away).

The Bolster Bank is visible to the south and southeast of the Beacon, but isn't totally obvious ( an OS map will help you orientate yourself). It is believed that originally this Dyke enclosed the whole of the coastal area around the hill, cutting it off from the surrounding land.

St. Agnes Beacon — Images

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<b>St. Agnes Beacon</b>Posted by pure joy<b>St. Agnes Beacon</b>Posted by pure joy


On my last full day I finally made it to the Isles of Scilly. The ferry may be slow (and only gives you four and a bit hours on the island for a day trip) but it's cheap and cheerful and a great way to not only see the south side of Penwith from the sea but also to have a perfect view of all of the coastline of St.Mary's (because it has a one way system meaning you enter one way and exit out the other).

Samson — Images

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<b>Samson</b>Posted by pure joy

Giant's Castle — Images

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<b>Giant's Castle</b>Posted by pure joy


The Buzza Hill Entrance Graves are not as well known as the 'show graves' but it's well worth the short climb and gives you the best views back over Hugh Town. The Menhir at Harry's Walls is not too far away, but was a rather 'cold' place for me.

Buzza Hill — Fieldnotes

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Buzza Hill Entrance Graves - St.Mary's, Isles of Scilly - 3rd October 2003

Buzza Hill can be reached via a footpath up from the east end of Porthcressa Beach, or from just off Church Road (either a footpath from the Power Station, or via the Hospital Lane).

It's well worth the short climb. Not only does the hill give you the best views back over Hugh Town but also it contains one existing entrance grave, one that was probably an entrance grave before a windmill was built on it in 1834 (and which is now 'King Edward's Tower' and lots of stones that might be some sort of chamber (between the two above ones).

Compared to all the 'show graves' of the islands the entrance grave is not great (only one capstone in place), but the position is fantastic and it is a very enigmatic place. The Cornish Antiquarian William Borlase excavated two chambered cairns on the hill in the mid-18th century. He found neither pottery or human bones.

The kerbed ring around the tower is excellent in places and I guess it would have a been a classic entrance grave in it's original form.

Buzza Hill — Images

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<b>Buzza Hill</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Buzza Hill</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Buzza Hill</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Buzza Hill</b>Posted by pure joy

Harry's Walls — Fieldnotes

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Harry's Walls Menhir - St.Mary's, Isles of Scilly - 3rd October 2003

Given that just by getting to St.Mary's, and presumably having a map, you have show a lot of initiative and commitment, I won't try to describe the minutiae of getting to sites on the island (but might just make a few comments). Most major sites are signposted, but I was disappointed (in general) at the poor signposting of paths, especially given that I have read others say that Scilly sites are well signposted, and the general fact that tourism is the main economy of the islands.

This is obviously a strange one because of its location right next to an X shaped daymark (within an unfinished Tudor fort) and it being cemented in place, but seems to be recognised as a menhir. It was first recorded by Borlase in 1756 as sitting on a mound. Stones litter the immediate area possibly suggesting a previous cairn?

Give all the above I felt the menhir was in a rather 'cold' place. Couldn't get much feeling of ancient history!

Harry's Walls — Images

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<b>Harry's Walls</b>Posted by pure joy


Walking across to the other side of this stunning island brought me to the entrance graves at Innisidgen. The 'Higher' grave is a real beauty; it just screams perfection. I noticed a strange similarity to the rocky outcrop above it (as if it mimicked it), and I swear I saw someone move in the rocky outcrop whilst I took a picture of both. Spooky.

Innisidgen — Fieldnotes

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Higher Innisidgen Entrance Grave - St.Mary's, Isles of Scilly - 3rd October 2003

Given that just by getting to St.Mary's, and presumably having a map, you have shown a lot of initiative and commitment, I won't try to describe the minutiae of getting to sites on the island (but might just make a few comments). Most major sites are signposted, but I was disappointed (in general) at the poor signposting of paths, especially given that I have read others say that Scilly sites are well signposted, and the general fact that tourism is the main economy of the islands.

A few snippets re location. If coming from the west on the track past Lenteverne and you want to get to Innisidgen via the coast, you need to take the path to the right (downhill). After 100metres you then continue on slightly left (instead of crossing a tiny gully to the right which takes you to the coast path for the south) and you will be on the coastal path. It is a 'lower' grave in terms of height above sea level rather than lower in terms of south from the higher (i.e. the lower grave is actually to the north of the higher grave). Both are on the footpath. If you approach the area from the West it is much easier, because the path to the higher grave is signposted (and that path runs past the lower grave anyway).

'Higher Innisidgen Carn' is a real 'show grave'. A beauty; in a beautiful location. It just screams perfection. I noticed a strange similarity to the rocky outcrop above it (as if it mimicked it), and I swear I saw someone move in the rocky outcrop whilst I took a picture of both. Spooky.

For info on 'Lower Innisidgen Carn' see the separate page.

There is another chambered cairn in the area, marked on the map at around SV923122. If I found it, then all I found was a few jumbled stones just off the higher cliff path. I think maybe I didn't find it. Didn't have enough time, and the undergrowth in the whole area was pretty fierce.

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Bant's Carn is similar, despite being eaten into the surrounding field walls. What a great place and great location. The chamber is higher than most and I can imagine that the entrance would have been pretty special in its full glory. It is also next to the evocative Halangy Down Settlement and makes the whole area an important multi-period site.

Bant's Carn — Fieldnotes

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Bant's Carn - St.Mary's, Isles of Scilly - 3rd October 2003

Given that just by getting to St.Mary's, and presumably having a map, you have shown a lot of initiative and commitment, I won't try to describe the minutiae of getting to sites on the island (but might just make a few comments). Most major sites are signposted, but I was disappointed (in general) at the poor signposting of paths, especially given that I have read others say that Scilly sites are well signposted, and the general fact that tourism is the main economy of the islands.

I have to say again that I was disappointed at the footpaths in the area. There doesn't seem to be a coastal path from the east, which was a disappointment. It was signposted from the large pylon but it was a shame to have to come inland and via a scabby pylon (and past a road that said 'Private Road') to get to one of the most important multi-period sites on the islands.

Like the tomb at Higher Innisidgen, this is a real 'show grave', despite being eaten into the surrounding field walls. What a great place and great location. The chamber is higher than most and I can imagine that the entrance would have been pretty special in its full glory.

Halangy Down — Fieldnotes

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Halangy Down Settlement - St.Mary's, Isles of Scilly - 3rd October 2003

For directions and comment, see Bant's Carn.

This was a really evocative site for me, and I could well imagine people living here. The courtyard house is excellent, although the rest of the settlement would require more time to explore to try to make more sense of it all.

NB - It should be said that although there is evidence of settlement on the site going back to the Bronze Age, the settlement we now see probably belongs to the second to fourth centuries AD.

Bant's Carn — Images

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<b>Bant's Carn</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Bant's Carn</b>Posted by pure joy

Halangy Down — Images

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<b>Halangy Down</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Halangy Down</b>Posted by pure joy


On the way back to London I stopped off at the Trippet Stones, a very easy to get to site on Bodmin Moor.


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Trippet Stones — Images

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<b>Trippet Stones</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Trippet Stones</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Trippet Stones</b>Posted by pure joy

Callanish — Images

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<b>Callanish</b>Posted by markeystone

Weblog

Kernow Again - Part 1 - Vote Alex


Back to Cornwall again for another week, although this time I was chilling out much more and not undertaking long walks across moors. I even had a day in Truro, the shopping mecca of Cornwall. I was again blessed with great weather, and was confused by a campaign to vote for someone called 'Alex' on Fame Academy, who I mistook for a boy.

On the way down I only stopped at one ancient site, Blackbury Camp, just inside the Devon borders. This is a great spot to stop off and wander around a hill fort. The car park was being used by lorries to take sheep away (presumably to slaughter); one escapee was a few metres down the road when I left but seemed paralysed with confusion about what to do next!

Blackbury Camp — Fieldnotes

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Blackbury Castle / Camp - 27.9.2003

Located just to the North side of A3052 between Seaton and Sidmouth. A relatively simple way to get this English Heritage administered site is via a side road close to the junction with the B3176. However it is not actually signposted from this main road which is a pain if you don't have an OS map. If you do find this lane heading north from the main road, the site is then signposted at the next (left turn), and about 1.5 kms along this road the hillfort lies just south of this narrow lane. At the site itself it is signposted from the westerly direction, but not the easterly so you could miss it! The 1:25,000 OS map calls it Blackbury Camp. The 1:50,000 map calls it Blackbury Castle.

A small car park is located just off the easterly entrance through the large and very impressive ramparts. A board gives the following info, '"An Iron Age hillfort defended by a single bank and ditch forming a rough D-shaped enclosure. A triangular outwork or barbican was added to the South but never completed. The fort was probably occupied between the second and first centuries BC by a cattle farming community".

This is a fantastic and interesting 'hill fort' with impressive defences, and an interesting annexe on the south side. Trees also surround it, and it isn't on the actual top of the hill, but surely would have been quite an imposing structure. Despite being around 185 metres above sea level you cannot see the sea, which is blocked by one more hill to the south. Well worth a visit.


On the Sunday (28th September) I went to the coast between Perranporth and Newquay, via the almost non-existent Cubert Settlement, and the enormous Cubert Common Burrow, which given its great view to the sea may have been for an important local burial.

Cubert Round — Fieldnotes

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Cubert Round Settlement - 28th September 2003

Very little now seems to survive of this enclosure. Either that or I wasn't very observant.

The site straddles the road from the A3075 to Cubert and Holywell (about 1km from the A3075 junction), and the OS map seems to be out of date now. The blob on the south side of the road is a large agricultural barn, but a similar (although smaller) structure now also exists on the north side of the road. Both have tracks leading into them where on a quiet day you might be able to park for a short while. There doesn't really seem to be anything left of see of the enclosure, although I assume some of it still exists under the very wild overgrowth on the south side of the road, complete with old agricultural equipment.

Cubert Common Burrow — Fieldnotes

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Cubert Common Round Barrow - 28th September 2003

This massive barrow can be found on the far south edge of Cubert Common, now owned by the National Trust. It can be reached by two main means, either via the large tract of National Trust land to the west and north (which includes a discrete official and free car park reached via Treago Farm) or via the tiny lanes from Cubert, Tresean or Treworgans. These lanes bring you to a gate on the south edge of the NT land and you can actually park inside the gate, right next to the barrow, but horses have been know to damage cars.

The barrow is massive and has a great view to the sea, so may have been for an important local burial.


From either West Pentire or Holywell it is easy to wander along the cliff path and take in the cliff castles at Kelsey Head and Penhale Point. The defences of the later are most impressive, and not surprisingly the views are great. You can also search for the almost gone barrows around The Kelseys.

Kelsey Head Cliff Castle — Fieldnotes

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Kelsey Head Cliff Castle - 28th September 2003

The car parks at West Pentire both seem to be privately run because they seem to charge all day / all year around (whereas most Council owned ones are free off season / outside peak hours), but are probably still the best places to start if you come by car. If you stick to the coast path you could probably get away without a map. Otherwise you may feel more confident with one. By the by, there is a semi-signposted short cut across fields to 'Porth Joke'. The National Trust car park via Treago Farm is free, but not well signposted.

Porth Joke is not only a great name, but also had cows grazing right up the sand (and even some hoof prints in the sand - had they been out surfing??). Kelsey Head Cliff Castle is then on the next headland.

The defences are not particularly impressive but you can imagine that the site would have been quite out of the way and maybe would not have needed large ramparts. The entrance (in the middle of the V shaped ramparts) is relatively obvious if you walk long the defences.

Penhale Point Cliff Castle — Fieldnotes

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Penhale Point Cliff Castle - 28th September 2003

Easily reached via Holywell, although the interior of the headland is littered with old mining activity, and modern god knows what (not marked on the map - seem to be some sort of telecom / electrical stuff) and signs tell you to stick to the coast path. It's worth the effort because the view in all directions is stunning, be it out to sea and Carter's Rocks, to Ligger Point to the south or towards Holywell Beach and Kelsey Head to the north. And the defences of the cliff castle are still quite impressive.

The Kelseys — Fieldnotes

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The Kelseys Barrows - 28th September 2003

SW7660 area

The OS map shows 3 barrows dotted around 'The Kelseys', near Kelsey Head Cliff Castle. The nearest to the cliff castle is allegedly at SW765605, but I couldn't find a trace of it. The second is visible as a low mound near the cliff edge at SW765602, and the third is at SW768600 but is pretty indistinct.


A short hop over the Crantock channel (if only I was born from the giant Bolster.....) gets you to Pentire Point East, where there are two barrows and stunning views reaching as far north as the Trevose Lighthouse, about 15km up the coast.

Pentire Point East — Fieldnotes

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Pentire Point East Barrows - 28th September 2003

The area is easily reached via the dead end road through Pentire, 2kms from the A392 coming into Newquay. A car park (not free in season, but only 50p an hour) is situated where the road ends, and also has toilets. Or you could chance parking at Lewinnick Lodge Restaurant, halfway along the north slope of the headland.

Not surprisingly the views off the headland are stunning, reaching as far north as the Trevose Lighthouse, about 15km up the coast. The end of the headland is a great position for a low barrow at SW781616.

Just before you get to the carpark, there is another barrow (topped with vegetation) on the northside of the road at SW789615. Opposite houses, on the 'Pentire Pitch and Putt'.


The next day was spent in and around Penwith (Land's End) but I only managed to visit a few of the 'big' sites I had missed out previously. Carn Euny Fogou & Village was something I really wanted to visit, mainly for the fogou. I didn't get the doggy guided tour and therefore felt very left out. In fact a dog looking like a guide seemed to disappear not long after I got there - maybe I stank of poo? The fogou will blow your mind. The journey is worth it just for this. The corbelled room will shock you even if you have been in other fogous or Scottish souterrains. Forget the dodgy roof, just feel the width!

Carn Euny Fogou & Village — Fieldnotes

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Carn Euny Settlement - 29th September 2003

With an OS map, this is pretty easy to get to, despite the tortuous journey through lanes with many blind corners. Without a map you might still just make it because the settlement is easily found once you reach Brane, which is basically a dead end settlement. It's a shame that this amazing settlement isn't a little bit better signposted from the carpark and given a separate footpath up to it because I can imagine that this could be a very muddy trek in the wrong weather, and if cows are in the fields.

There is a very small 'brown' tourist sign at Drift, alongside the sign to Sancreed. At the next main junction (at SW423291) 'Brane' is clearly signposted. Only at the next junction (with the lane to Tregonebris - SW416288) is 'Carn Euny' not signposted. As you come into Brane, there is one last 'Carn Euny' brown signpost. 300 metres after this, next to small wooded area and opposite the last house in Brane, is space for about 5 cars to park. The settlement is then about 300 metres away, up a lane, half way up the next field and then left though a small field to the settlement.

The fogou will blow your mind. The journey is worth it just for this. Although I knew it was a long fogou I wasn't sure if it was open (because the Chysauster one is so sadly neglected and buggered by English Heritage) and hadn't totally read up about it. I was happy to simply see that the south entrance was open and got my torch at the ready thinking it would be a creepy, narrow place, but soon realised that once under the lintelled south entrance (which originally wouldn't have been an entrance by the way) I could easily stand up - indeed, I later ran through the fogou and back into the corbelled room jumping up and down at the bloody size of the underground structures! The corbelled room will shock you even if you have been in other fogous or Scottish souterrains. Forget the dodgy roof, just feel the width! And look at the skill of the building work. Amazing. The main fogou passage is also a masterpiece of engineering. The creep at the southern end (believed to be originally the only entrance) is also pretty cool, although it is sensitively blocked at ground level by wooden slats.

The courtyard houses are not as impressive as Chysauster, but nevertheless are well worth the visit as well.


Ballowall Barrow was my other must see. This will also blow your mind, and despite all the alterations that the kindly Mr Borlase did it surely would have been a magnificent sight all those years ago, whatever it actually looked like at the time.

Carn Gluze — Fieldnotes

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Ballowall Barrow - 29th September 2003

From the west side of St.Just follow the 'Cape Cornwall' road past 'Cape Cornwall School'. 300 metres on, as the houses finish on the left hand side of the road, take an immediate left. This is NOT signposted (and bloody should be for a site if this importance). Follow this road into the National Trust land and you can hardly fail to spot this sublime 'barrow' on the left hand side of the road, just after an old mine chimney.
Parking is available a short distance past the barrow.

I put inverted commas on 'barrow' because this thing is so amazing that I feel there has to be a separate word for it! I have seen quite few different types of barrows and burial places in my time and this blows them all out of the water, being a mix of different sites and styles. The central dome is assumed to have been significantly bigger before, and with its strange thick collar all around it surely would have been a magnificent sight all those years ago, whatever it actually looked like at the time.

The entrance grave on the outside is clearly visible, as is a cist directly on the other side of the 'outer collar', and another cist at the other side of the central dome. There is also a strange alcove and pit on the east side. This was built by Borlase as a viewing pit; a sort of 'show pit'. Read the English Heritage listing for the barrow via the internet link below to try to fathom out all of this (I could just follow it, but a diagram would have been useful).

Walking between the outer collar and central dome is a fantastic experience as your senses are surrounded by the ancient equivalent of the art of dry stone walling (although some of it is Borlase's work).


On the way to Truro the next day I tried to find something I spotted on the map, a small settlement next to Callestick Cyder Farm; and failed. I love Cornwall but it does have more than its fair share of ultra cheesy touristy places, and this place must be the equivalent of Gorgonzola. It really is awful, and the cider isn't even that good.

Callestick — Fieldnotes

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Callestick Settlement - 30th September 2003

Marked on the 1:25,000 OS map as a small round settlement. The map suggests it is bisected by a field boundary just to the west of the 'Callestock Cyder Farm'. However when wandering to the west of the cyder farm it seems like the one big field on the map is now two fields - the east side is the car park and some wildish land with a large earth bank as a boundary (which I first took as possibly part of the settlement but later discounted), and the west side has been made into a horse field. This means the setlement must be part of the far side of the horse field, with the other part in the next field. With the naked eye, and at a distance, I couldn't see anything to suggest the
remains of a settlement was there.

I love Cornwall but it does have more than its fair share of ultra cheesy touristy places, and this 'Cyder Farm' must be the equivalent of Gorgonzola. It really is awful, and the cider isn't even that good (and is VERY expensive for no good reason).


Far less difficult to find is the Four Burrows Cemetery. It can't really be missed and two of them stood majestic in their recently ploughed field.

Four Burrows — Fieldnotes

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'Four Burrows' Barrow cemetery - 30th September 2003

Located on either side of the A30, on the highest land in the area, these enormous barrows are impossible NOT to spot between the A30/A390/A3075 roundabout (locally called the 'Chiverton' Roundabout) and the junction of the A30 and B3284! You can either park in a small layby right next to the dead-end lane to 'Fourburrow' (not signposted), or just off the dead end lane itself.

As barrows 1 and 2 are located in the corner of fields it looks as though they are pretty much left to grow wild, whereas barrows 3 & 4 are more part of the cropped field and when I visited they were pretty neatly kept, and being famed up to the edge, making them stand out in the field (as if there size didn't make them stand out anyway!)


Pentire Point East — Images

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<b>Pentire Point East</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Pentire Point East</b>Posted by pure joy

Carn Euny Fogou & Village — Images

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<b>Carn Euny Fogou & Village</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Carn Euny Fogou & Village</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Carn Euny Fogou & Village</b>Posted by pure joy

Carn Gluze — Images

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<b>Carn Gluze</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Carn Gluze</b>Posted by pure joy

Four Burrows — Images

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<b>Four Burrows</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Four Burrows</b>Posted by pure joy

Cubert Round — Images

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<b>Cubert Round</b>Posted by pure joy

Cubert Common Burrow — Images

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<b>Cubert Common Burrow</b>Posted by pure joy

Kelsey Head Cliff Castle — Images

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<b>Kelsey Head Cliff Castle</b>Posted by pure joy

The Kelseys — Images

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<b>The Kelseys</b>Posted by pure joy

Penhale Point Cliff Castle — Images

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<b>Penhale Point Cliff Castle</b>Posted by pure joy

Blackbury Camp — Images

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<b>Blackbury Camp</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Blackbury Camp</b>Posted by pure joy
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My real name is Martin, but there is already a Martin vigorously posting on this fantastic web site so I decided to use 'Pure Joy'; which was the title of the Teardrop Explodes and Julian Cope fanzine that I set up in 1988 and ran until 1991/2. Strangely my interest in ancient sites pre-dates the knowledge that Julian was also into them. However Julian's book has certainly led me to visit more, and plan holidays and pit-stops around places to visit! Studying History (and International Relations) at Uni and coming from the West Country led to a healthy fascination with ancient sites and the countryside.

I was born in 1970 in Colerne, a historic village between Bath and Chippenham (mentioned in the Domesday Book) and have spent time in Bath, Reading, Manchester, West Africa, and Ethiopia. I'm currently living near London, but itching to live in the countryside, preferably Cornwall, or Africa. Reality check! little money and inertia creep.

Most of my working life has been in the voluntary sector, usually by supporting voluntary and community groups with advice and information. I enjoy doing quite a bit of voluntary work with our Credit Union, and as an elected Council member of the National Trust.

I'm no photography expert but I like to take photos (nearly always black and white) of places I visit. Some of the earlier ones looked good but it was only with a £25 point and shoot camera that was amazing unreliable. I've now got an old Pentax SLR, but at the moment I refuse to use filters and special effects. You get what you see.

Up side of ancient site = the sense of history, the countryside, the walk, the sense of adventure, the tranquillity, and the weird things that sometimes happen.

Downside = the loneliness, territorial cows, and the cravings to get back to the countryside

My TMA Content: