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

Fieldnotes by phil

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Showing 1-20 of 30 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Caratacus Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Viewed from the road this looks like a little bus shelter. We had to laugh when we got up close the dear little stone looked so cosy in his little house. The stone has a latin inscription on one side so it looks likely that this stone has been reveared since at least the 5th or 6th centuries. Other sources say it could have been a re-used standing stone from the Bronze age. It stands at the head of a stream. The sign board inside states that the little hut was erected in 1906 for protection.

Luxulyan Arse Stones (Natural Rock Feature)

Whilst driving towards Luxulyan from Lanivet this huge arse appeared over the hedge. After nearly crashing the car I stopped in a layby and stared in wonder......surely this was a place of worship?

Rocky Valley Rock Carvings

Had no trouble finding these. Left the car in layby opposite the "Rocky valley gallery" and followed footpath signs down the valley crossed over a footbridge across a fast running stream. The carving were just behind the ruins of the old mills about 100 metres after the bridge. Also guided by strips of cloths and other rubbish hanging from the trees around the site. This spoilt an otherwise idlic setting.

Hanging of cloth is quite common at certain holy wells in Cornwall but I was surprised to see it here. There is no tradition on of healing wells or trees at this site perhaps visitors were influenced by displays of cloth on trees at the the nearby Witchcraft museum in Boscastle.

The sign at the site claims that the carvings Bronze-age but there is heavy debate that the carvings could have been carved by a "bored miller". Perhaps they are ancient but more that one historian has pointed out the that work seems to have been carried out with a tool similiar to the ones used by millwright.

No other carvings of this type are found in Cornwall.

A site full of a mystery and well worth a visit. (Don't let the miller theory put you off).

Louden Stone Circle

12 jan 2003

Took the route from stannon circle and thought that the Louden circle would appear before us as we reached the crest of the hill.....wrong!

The circle would easily be missed if wasn't for the map we had with us. There seems to be about 4 what you could call standing stones (stumps) and the rest are more or less stones on the ground.
Had trouble tracing the shape also. Just to confuse things stones seem to stick out of the ground all over the place many are obviously cairns there are also some stone banks that aren't marked on OS maps. Unfortunately didnt have time to travel down to Fernacre which would have been an circle within easy reach if we had time (maybe another day)

Essa Standing Stones

Visited these after tip off from Johan.

After crossing on the passenger ferry from Fowey, we walked along the narrow (& steep!) road out of Polruan for half a mile till we came to the fork in the road after a further 200 metres along the right fork, you can see the first big stone on the left hand side. Looking down the the right you can see the smaller stone near the edge of the field.

They are unlike any other stones I have seen in Cornwall.
I saw 2 other similar stones in neighbouring fields of a similar type.
I also found some similar stones in the hedges around the fields.

The stones are mentioned in Robin Payne's book which I use for alot of my references.

He says that in 1813 the first ordnance survey map for this area shows a mound at SX141510 which is just to the south of these stones. Could this be the source of these strange stones?

While looking at the Essa stones 1 and 2, I found a stump ("Essa 3") in the field to the east. It looks very similar to the other two apart from the fact that it's much more squat.

Again no mention on the map and NO mention in Robin Payne's book.

If this is an ancient stone then I claim it!

Phil's stump! :o)

"Essa 4" - Noticed this from the roadside on the way to visit the Essa stones. It looks lighter that the Essa stones so may be a spar stone.

I thought it may be a rubbing post but why is it so close to the hedge when most rubbing posts are in the middle of the field?

The pic I took was using the full zoom on my camera.

Lack of access prevents closer examination.

Prideaux Hillfort

This site is not far from the Eden project.

A very pleasant walk thru the woods but unfortunately the site is on private property. I did try driving around to get a good view from a nearby hillside but you still can't beat an aerial view of this type of site.

Anyone have a helicopter handy?

have a look from above at....

Tregingey Round (Hillfort)

If you've ever been to Newquay you've probably driven past this site. It's on the hill just above the river Gannel.

It's called a round on the map, but looks to me more like a big hairy eyebrow.

It was quite difficult to get a good view of it but by driving around in carparks and housing estates on the hill opposite the river I was able to get a few clear shots of it.
i know it was excavated a few yaers back and there is a report on it somewhere.

What I love about looking out these kind of sites is knowing that so many people know nothing about its existance. Even people living in the houses looking down to the river.

(I'll get get me anorak)

Delford Bridge Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

I passed this site totally by chance.

I just noticed it over a hedge as I approach the clapper bridge at Delford.

I took several photos with zoom lense from the road side.

Looking at the stone from different angles it looks to me like a fallen Quoit stone, other stones scattered around it would add weight to this theory.

Looking on the map I found that the neighbouring farms go by the names
Penquite, South Penquite, Best Penquite, Higher Penquite and Lower Penquite

"Pen" = Hill or Head "quite" could be a corruption of quoit

hence: Quoit on the hill
Anyone agree?


King Arthur's Hall (Stone Setting)

What a site.
Different from any other!

If you want come by car, we managed to park near the end of the road at Casehill or if you want to come from the south you should be able to pull over on the road that crosses Emblance downs leading towards the water works.

The route from all directions is quite dry under foot.
(Mind you, the footpath from Lower Candra looked a bit sticky)

Leaze (Stone Circle)

Tricky one to get to due to fences, stone hedges and cattle.

I was visiting Arthurs hall and it was too close to miss out.

Much more impressive than the ruined circle on Arthurs downs.

I'm not sure on the rights of access but I didn't cause any damage or frighten any animals. There is gate to the field from the west, (which I found on the way out).

Caer Keif (Enclosure)

Didn't have time to get close to the site but got some reasonable photies from the roadside.

I see on the map there is a footpath that runs directly besides the wood so may be worth a visit in the future.

The whole area is made up of gorgeous rolling fields, woods and scattered farms.

Even a non-drood would enjoy a walk here!

Caer Dane (Enclosure)

"Car" or "Caer" in Cornish is a place name from the Celtic "ker" meaning fort. You will also find Caer place names in Wales. In Brittany they use the spelling "Ker"

Caer Dane has no public access but you can get a reasonable view from the road that leads from Perranzabuloe to the fantastically named vilage of Ventongimps.

The small fort sits nicely on the hilltop and is covered with trees in the distance you can also see the larger wooded site of Caer Kief.

Piran's Round (Hillfort)

Another of the sites you wouldn't know about unless you flew over it.

Just of the roadside between Goonhavern and Perranporth.
Don't look for any sign posts though (You won't find any)

Cubert Round (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

WOW! someone in their infinate wisdom drove a road straight thru this one. (Not recently though)

You wouldn't know its there if you han't noticed on the map.

I have driven thru this site soo many times without realising the history a ROUND me!

Cubert Common Burrow (Round Barrow(s))

Another LAAARGE barrow.
This one is on on the edge of Cubert Common. The site is owned by the the National Trust and even has it's own little car park.

The views from the top are stunning. You can see Castle an dinas to the north-east and St Agnes Beacon to the South west.

The Common is great place to walk your dog/kids/horse etc.

Higher Bodinnar Fogou

Totally destroyed, only a grass covered long depression remains.

Arthur's Bed (Natural Rock Feature)

This feature is cool, you can actually lie inside it like a granite coffin.
I visited this site a few years back. I was maning a check point for an orienteering event.
Spent about 3 hours here. Even had a snooze in it!

Showery Tor (Ring Cairn)

Easily reached from Roughtor carpark.
Head towards the left most peak.

This strange weathered granite formation is like a mini Cheesewring.

The site is natural but is completely surrounded by an ancient ring cairn of granite stones. There is also evidence of hut circles and ancient field enclosures all over the place. Nice views too

Helsbury Castle (Hillfort)

Helsbury Castle or Beacon is a fine circular earthwork. Looks like it could be Iron Age.

It has a square ruin in the centre said to be the remains of a medieval chapel.

The site is 684 feet above the sea and is sometimes called St. Syth’s beacon.

The chapel must be pretty old as it was in already in ruins when William of Worcester visited it in1478.

It reminds me very much of Knowlton Henge in Dorset which also has a religious building plonked in the middle.

Great views of Roughtor to the north-east.

Porthcothan Fogou (Cave / Rock Shelter)

Known locally as the fogou, this narrow cave is situated about a mile inland from Porthcothan beach

The low entrance to the cave is halfway up the valley side on the right. It's very well hidden in bracken and gorse in the summer. I'm not totally sure that public access is permitted as it is on farmland. (Find a friendly local who may know the way)

The site has been used in the past for smuggling and also as a hide-out during the Civil war.

There are notches near the mouth, into which smugglers lodged a beam of timber; they then heaped earth against the beam and covered the pile with furze to hide the entrance. The tunnel supposedly led to a farm half a mile away

Although some may say it is cave, on the 1888 map of Cornwall it is marked "fogou"

see the 1888 map online at

In the Co-ordinate box type:- 186461,71394
and click - search
Showing 1-20 of 30 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20
Born in Cornwall 1966.

Main interests include Hillforts and barrows. I try to cover mainly Cornish sites but about five times a year get to visit Dorset where my wifes family live. Fairly keen on folklore and earth mysteries etc.

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