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Adventures in Cornwall & Devon - Part 1

December 2002

I spent the 'Christmas' period in Cornwall; the perfect antidote to avaricious London and the zombies at the malls.

On my way down I managed to stop off at the Hellstone Burial chamber in Dorset, which I had missed out (due to time demands) on my Dorset trip in September 2002, the Spinsters' Rock on the edge of Dartmoor, and the lovely Grimspound, complete with fog and fading light.

On Monday (23.12.2002) I took a trip down to Land's End. I started by mainly visiting lots of lone or paired stones like The Blind Fiddler, Higher Drift Stones, and the Menhirs at Trelew, Treverven, and Kerris. The Boscawen-Ros stone(s) was the most mysterious. Where did the other stone go? I am a 'country boy' at heart so I can understand that farmers may really not want standing stones / burial chambers etc on their land (especially arable land) but the amount of stones that have disappeared (even in very recent times) is quite frightening. One reason that I try to be pretty precise and source any information I put on this web site is because, who knows, maybe info from this site will be a precious resource in future times. If we don't log what we've seen (or not seen) our history will just slip away from us, each time a developer wants a town or village to expand, or a farmer gets pissed off at having to plough around that annoying stone that sticks up in his field.

I thought that Boskawen-Un stone circle, and the stones close to it were fascinating. Next up was the complex around the Merry Maidens Stone Circle, including the lovelyTregiffian Burial Chamber and the phallic Gun Rith Menhir. I hadn't phoned ahead to visit Boleigh Fogou so I didn't visit, but at least I know where it is for next time. I ended the day trying to find Castallack Carn Menhir – but no joy, rather than Pure Joy.

I was knackered already – this clean air really does you in. On Tuesday (24.12.2002) I visited Duloe Stone Circle, the most local ancient site to where I was staying. Later I moved up North to the magnificent hill fort at Castle-an-Dinas in the Restormel District. Only three miles to the North the Nine Maidens Stone Row beckoned, plus the sad and lonely Magi Stone ('The Fiddler')another 500metres on. The Long Stone near Pencarrow was an interesting area – I'm no expert but there seems to be all sorts going on in this field and in the local area. I then did something different by visiting the British Cycling Museum at the Old Station, north of Camelford. A bit of a cheesy jumble, with every tiny cycling knik-nak kept for eternity, but also some real gems including very early cycles and a Tour de France 'Maillot Jaune' and World Championship jersey from Chris Boardman. All run by a very devoted couple John & Sue Middleton – I was the first visitor for 10 days!

Cornwall Archeological Unit — Links

The homepage of the Cornwall Archeological Unit, which is part of the Historic Environment Section of Cornwall County Council. Loads of interesting news and info, and over thirty publications available to buy.

The Blind Fiddler — Images

<b>The Blind Fiddler</b>Posted by pure joy<b>The Blind Fiddler</b>Posted by pure joy

Boscawen-Un hedge — Images

<b>Boscawen-Un hedge</b>Posted by pure joy

Boscawen-Un — Images

<b>Boscawen-Un</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Boscawen-Un</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Boscawen-Un</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Boscawen-Un</b>Posted by pure joy

Boscawen-Un — Fieldnotes

Boscawen-Un - 23.12.2002

I'm not convinced it really is a public road but presumably the locals have got used to people driving up the farm track towards Boscawenoon Farm, because half way up to the Farm there is a lay-by on the right and small sign saying 'No cars beyond this point'. The wall to this lay-by also contains the standing stone marked on the map at SW418277 - called Boscawen-Un Menhir on this site.

After the farm, you walk towards Changwens and then a small sign (at SW415274) points the way up to the circle. The track up to the circle is not a road track like the OS map makes it seem like. In fact, in December it was pretty narrow and overgrown and not very pretty.

After a while (at a double set of farm gates, either side of the track) the track widens out and after another 200metres or so you scoot through the wild hedge and the circle is in front of you in all its glory. The quartz stone is opposite the entrance.

As I walked back up the track I became suspicious at the enormous stones that formed the wall with the field to my left (the North). This is the first field back towards the Farm. As I got back to double gates mentioned above I decided to explore (officially trespass, but I was just looking along the side of the field, with no livestock or crops in). About halfway back down the field, parallel with the track (i.e. towards the circle again) there is a huge suspicious lozenge shaped stone making up part of the field wall - it's 270 x 170cm (on it's side - I've labelled the photo on the page as 'Boscawen Un suspicious stone 1'). 100 metres on, right down in the corner of the field (i.e. a stones throw from the circle, but separated by the hedge and the lane) there is another large suspicious lozenge shaped stone looking well out of place in the wall/hedge -it's 195 x 165cm (upright - I've labelled the photo on the page as 'Boscawen Un suspicious stone 2').

It is almost impossible to give these stones separate grid references as they both lie at about SW413274.

Boscawen-Un — Images

<b>Boscawen-Un</b>Posted by pure joy

Boscawen-Ros — Images

<b>Boscawen-Ros</b>Posted by pure joy

The Hellstone — Images

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

Drift Stones — Images

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

The Spinsters' Rock — Images

<b>The Spinsters' Rock</b>Posted by pure joy<b>The Spinsters' Rock</b>Posted by pure joy<b>The Spinsters' Rock</b>Posted by pure joy<b>The Spinsters' Rock</b>Posted by pure joy

Trelew Menhir — Images

<b>Trelew Menhir</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Trelew Menhir</b>Posted by pure joy

Treverven — Images

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

Boscawen-Ros — Fieldnotes

Boscawen-Ros Stones(s) - 23.12.2002


Interesting. 2 stones marked on the OS map, but only one remains. Approach from Boskenna Cross at SW426243, where there is a lay-by at the junction of the B3315 and the side road to St.Buryan. A well signposted public footpath leads from here towards the field with the stone in it; which was very very boggy. The remaining stone measures 230cm (H) x 45 (W) x 55 (D) and when I visited had been vandalised by several Christian crosses burnt into the lichen on the stone. This site is not mentioned in Craig Weatherhill's excellent 1981 book 'Belerion: Ancient Sites of Land's End' (Cornwall Books).

So where is the other stone? In Ian McNeil Cooke’s ‘Standing Stones of the Land’s End’ (1998 – Men-an-Tol Studio) he says that today’s stone was “re-erected in the centre of the field….a second stone (2m) stands uprooted in the hedge to the West”. I couldn’t spot this, but both fields you walk in seem to be littered with large stones in the field walls! So the jury was out for me. I took photos of suspicious stones and have posted above. The one labelled 'suspicious stones 1' is of the stones in the hedge on the East side of the field (approx SW429239). The one labelled 'suspicious stones 2' is of suspicious stones now part of the West hedge in the first field (approx SW427242) L stone = 225 (W) x 160 (H) - R stone = 205 (H) x 125 (W). The one labelled 'suspicious stones 3' is of stones in the hedge right by the entrance from the road layby.

Boscawen-Ros — Images

<b>Boscawen-Ros</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Boscawen-Ros</b>Posted by pure joy<b>Boscawen-Ros</b>Posted by pure joy

Duloe — Images

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

Castle-an-Dinas (St. Columb) — Images

<b>Castle-an-Dinas (St. Columb)</b>Posted by pure joy

Templewood — Images

<b>Templewood</b>Posted by sals
pure joy Posted by pure joy
29th January 2003ce
Edited 22nd July 2003ce

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