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


Stone Circle


A most impressive site that would benefit from restoration of its surroundings. One can feel and visualise the important landscape features but these are obscured by walls/gorse etc. last time I visited in 1998. The central stone is magnificent in its phallic positioning. I have often mused that this could be a possible symbolic male aspect of the earth spirit fertilising the female circle/egg, therby distributing the fertile energy through the ritual landscape, but you can play this game with almost any site. Certainly many line of site alignments have been claimed for the circle by the likes of Sir Norman Lockyer, (The Dawn of Astronomy : a Study of the Temple Worship and Mythology of the Ancient Egyptians, Cambridge, 1964.) who is sometimes described as the father of archeo-astronomy as well as John Michell (Old Stones of Lands End, Pentacle, 1974). There are around 95 existing or former menhirs in the West Penwith area and it has been reliably demonstrated that many are inter-visible falling into a sighting system that may have had ritual use. (Peters, F., Cornish Archaeology, 29, 1990) but the jury is still out on Boscawen-Un ñleysî. There are two routes into the circle, and the use of an OS map is recommended. The most popular is from the obscure small lay-by on the A30 westbound from Penzance near the prominent (though small) rock outcrop of Creeg Tol (approximately situated at OS 277410). This is the route described by most writers as it is the most convenient. However, the most interesting and atmospheric approach has to be from the east, and this may have been the original ritually aligned entrance path. Travelling east from Penzance, turn left shortly after passing the Blind Fiddler menhir towards Boscawenoon village. Turn right in the village towards Changwens and stop in the field where the footpath/track forks to the left through a cattle-grid towards a farmhouse. (approximately OS 274415) This was signposted to the circle in 1998. The right-hand fork is the footpath to the circle and well worth the extra walk. We visited on a beautiful sunny early August morning. The route is very atmospheric, slightly overgrown and bursting with nature. We spotted many unusual plants and insects on our way. A Buzzard flew overhead as we approached the circle adding to the mythic potency of our mental and physical journey. Along this track you have to climb or step over a number of large stones that announced the imminence of the Circle before emerging through a portal of Hawthorn into the magic of Boscawen-un. Opposite you is the white quartz stone (that a later visit one full moon revealed its lunar resonances by glowing like a will oÍ the wisp in the moonlight) bisected by the central stone. Take some time hereƒ.This area is rich with ancient sites and the circle can be included on a day itinerary that includes the Blind Fiddler, Carn Euny settlement and foogou and the most magic site in Cornwall, Sancreed Holy Well.

Posted by Porkbeast
13th July 2000ce

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