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Carne Beacon

Round Barrow(s)


The beacon at Veryan stands on the highest ground in Roseland, at a short distance from the cliff which overlooks Pendower and Gerrans Bay. Dr Whitaker, in his 'Cathedral of Cornwall,' states it to be one of the largest tumuli in the kingdom. Its present height above the level of the field in which it stands is about twenty-eight feet, and its circumference at the base three hundred and fifty feet; but it must have been originally much larger, as a considerable portion on one side has been removed, its summit being now about' eighty feet from the base on the south side, and only fifty feet on the north, whilst the top of the cairn which was discovered in it, and which 'was, no doubt, placed exactly in the original centre of the mound, is at least ten feet still farther north than the present summit.

"A tradition has been preserved in the neighbourhood, that Gerennius, an old Cornish saint and king, whose palace stood on the other side of Gerrans Bay, between Trewithian and the sea, was buried in this mound many centuries ago, and that a golden boat with silver oars were used in conveying his corpse across the hay, and were interred with him. Part of this tradition receives confirmation from an account incidentally given of King Gerennius, in an old book called the 'Register of Llandaff.'

It is there stated that, A.D. 588, Teliau, bishop of Llandaff, with some of his suffragan bishops, and many of his followers, fled from Wales, to escape an epidemic called the yellow plague, and migrated to Dole in Brittany, to visit Sampson, the archbishop of that place, who was a countryman and friend of Teliau's. 'On his way thither,' says the old record, 'he came first to the region of Cornwall, and was well received by Gerennius, the king of that country, who treated him and his people with all honour. From thence he proceeded to Armories, and remained there seven years and seven months; when, hearing that the plague had ceased in Britain, he collected his followers, -caused a large bark to be prepared, and returned to Wales.' 'In this,' the record proceeds, 'they all arrived at the port called Din.Gerein, king Gerennius lying in the last extreme of life, who when he had received the body of the Lord from the hand of St Teliau, departed in joy to the Lord.'

'Probably,' says Whitaker, in his remarks on this quotation, 'the royal remains were brought in great pomp by water from Din-Gerein, on the western shore of the port, to Came, about two miles off on the northern; the barge with the royal body was plated, perhaps, with gold in places; perhaps, too, rowed with oars having equally plates of silver upon them; and the pomp of the procession has mixed confusedly with the interment of the body in the memory of tradition.' "
From Popular Romances of the West of England
collected and edited by Robert Hunt
[1903, 3rd edition]

online at the Sacred Texts Archive:
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th November 2006ce

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