The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

St. Agnes Beacon



Many years ago, on Midsummer's eve, when it became dusk, very old people in the West Country would hobble away to some high ground, whence they obtained a view of the most prominent hills, such as Bartinney, Chapel Carn-brea, Sancras Bickan, Castle-an-Dinas, Carn Galver, St. Agnes Bickan, and many other beacon hills far away to north and east, which vied with each other in their Midsummer's blaze. They counted the fires and drew a presage from the number of them. There are now but few bonfires to be seen on the western heights; yet we have observed that Tregonan, Godolphin, and Carn Marth hills, with others away towards Redruth, still retain their Baal fires. We would gladly go many miles to see the wierd-looking, yet picturesque, dancers around the flames on a carn, or high hill top, as we have seen them some forty years ago.
From Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall by William Bottrell (1873).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th November 2012ce
Edited 21st November 2012ce

Comments (3)

The thought of all those people on all those hills dancing around the fires is a great one, thanks for that, and Sancras Bickan is sancreed beacon i presume? bladup Posted by bladup
21st November 2012ce
I did wonder. I'll put in the link, thanks. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st November 2012ce
They still have midsummer fires up near Knill's Monument (peculiar 18th century pyramidal folly above St Ives). And what a weird spelling of "Beacon". thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
21st November 2012ce
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