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

Fieldnotes by carol27

Latest Posts

Gurnard's Head (Cliff Fort)

I think it's taken me this long since our visit to Cornwall yet again, to properly absorb this place. It haunts me. If I'd followed my instincts over the years id have walked the dragons back long before now..only ever viewing it from a car driving past.
Viewing it on tma i knew I'd wasted a lot of time. It was a glorious September day. We walked from the pub. The gently sloping field down to a monster of a place. It is truly monumental. On one side of the cliff roaring raging sea & the other side calm rolling waves. We alternated between being blasted with delicious sea spray & an absolute wind blasting roar to calm white topped rollling waves with seals playing in the swell all in the span of a few metres. Truly amazing. Looking up & down the ridges of this place it appeared to me as a dragons back. I saw what I presumed was a concoction of arranged stones on the way & then thought how could this be a place to inhabit for any time. But sitting & drifting away under the shelter of the uppermost rocks, choosing wether or not to be blasted or becalmed depending on which side of the outcrop i chose was astonishing to me. I know this is presumably a defensive hill fort but this place sent me into a trance with its absolute beauty. It was a particularly balmy day; I'd still tackle it when slippy but be very careful, those spines could be vicious:)

Men-An-Tol (Holed Stone)

Partner tried but couldn't make it. Gorgeous walk, blackberrying again. Keep wondering why a few folk have looked at me a little oddly untill fella points out that I'm smeared in berry juice!
Over a stile & there it is. Cow pats galore. Thought about squeezing through the ring stone but surrounding area very muddy;also a few people about & I felt a bit of a burk. Now of course I wish I'd done it, silly git.
Crags in view panoramic. Realised in hindsight that Boskednan stone circle is up the hill from here & didn't go. One of Sweetcheat's favourites & I bloody missed it. Bah!
On the way to Men an Tol we passed a little arrangement of stones by the side of the road next to a Zennor & St Ives signpost, between Morvah & Madron. Don't know if it's built. Will put a photo up.
I liked the stones but they looked a little odd, the immediate surroundings are very lumpy. I know it was originally a circle so thought. Fantastic views & craggy skylines.

The Bowl Rock (Natural Rock Feature)

Like Carl before me this huge stone seemed to leap out in front of the car. It's bloody huge & such a pleasing shape. A massive granite boulder. Imagine having this in the border of your garden albeit slap bang next to the road.

Sancreed Holy Well (Sacred Well)

Oh you TMA ers what have you started! Holy wells loads of them. Lovely walk to this well, overhanging gnarly hawthorne. Mossy green hewn steps down to the well. Candles & coins, bouquets of flowers. Had a drink of the radioactive water, living dangerously! Now glow in the dark!
There are ruins of an old building & two overgrown slate gravestones by the well. Two big old stones in the hedge of adjoining field where a horse came up for a pet & handfuls of grass.
Evocative place, noisy with the cawing of lots of crows in the trees near the church.

Tregiffian (Entrance Grave)

Just down from the Merry Maidens I found this entrance grave delightful, even though literally roadside it's peculiar how affecting to me it still was. I could picture the rest of the grave stretching over the destroying road.
Again, like the maidens, very pretty & neat. I hope the road doesn't encroach on it further. The aforementioned tourists at the maidens barely paused to look. Aren't I superior? Im becoming aware of a slightly sneering edge to my posts. I don't like it, it's not really how I feel around these places & who do I think I am anyway. Will concentrate on the wonder.
We drove all the way to Carn Euny but partner unable to manage & I felt guilty at abandoning him again so we turned round & drove back again. Stupid. Am kicking myself now after viewing the place on here. Never mind.

The Merry Maidens (Stone Circle)

Lots of sunshine. Cornwall shining like the jewel it is. The maidens are very pretty. Lots of Yanks, & maybe some Confederates too! Germans & Japanese. All being guided. Bloke talking about ley lines, dowsing & feeling the power whist standing on the omphalos. One of the Americans had Cherokee ancestry & stood quietly chanting a mantra . He was great.
At the top of the gently sloping field in an adjoining field there's a collection of stones grouped around a telegraph pole, with what I thought was a little mound/henge. Over imagination? Sunstroke? Field clearance probably.
Whilst searching for the Pipers we spotted the re erected menhir in the corner of the hedgerow over the road. We didn't find the Pipers; felt a bit narky about that, I mean they're huge! We are a pair of imbeciles, next time hopefully.

Halliggye Fogou

Took us an age to find.
One of the most beautifully placed monuments I've seen. Atop a hill looking out over vast swathes of glorious countryside; next to a lovely field of emerald green grass blowing in the wind. It is breathtaking. Sat for ages watching before even entering the fogou.
The fogou area is landscaped charmingly, a little grotto.
Picked my way very carefully down some very steep slippery steps. Exquisite stone walling entrance courtesy of the Victorians apparently. My pathetic torch was almost completely ineffective once inside. The rain began ripping it down outside;watching it from the entrance chamber was enthralling, diamond drops glittering in the breaking sunlight. Not so good for hop a long who was stuck outside, another broken hip not being worth the risk.
Ducked down to the left into the curving chamber, what a marvel this place is, standing upright once through the entrance. Chickened out at crawling through to the creep spaces. I felt transported here, almost dizzy with it.
Some striations on some of the stones. No litter, no offerings that I could see. Such fantastic construction.
Coming out from the dark into the light was very disorienting. Ferns frame the entrance.
The rain had stopped & the whole place was bathed in sunshine. The sky was dramatic, the clouds scudding along, the wind wild but not too cold. A place to mess with the mind, well mine at least. Dramatic & profound; exquisite & ageless.

Carwynnen Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Magic faeries at Carwynnen quoit.
Drove down a one horse track, knackered jalopy rattling alarmingly. My first quoit, stood on its lonesome at the bottom of the field. Lovely, lovely.
Great old photo of 1925 Cornish society picnickers, fascinating - one of them looked like a bohemian.
Quite tastefully done circular benches with saplings planted around them as a viewing area.
Huge capstone, (hadn't yet seen Trethevy Quoit); sparkling quartz stone. As others have mentioned odd mysterious little pits with stones in them dotted around the field.
It was very windy, with sunshine breaking through. As we wandered around we were accompanied by a whistling tune borne on the air , coming & going with each gust. We were enthralled & became increasingly excited, this tune could not be denied. We investigated the whole field boundary hedges & peered into the surrounding woodland; no lone flautist to be seen! At last evidence of the supernatural! Don't accept any food or drink from the faeries Nick says.
It's following me around says the limping one & indeed it was, or rather his metal walking stick, through the holes of which the gale was blowing scales! NOT faeries then! Bugger!
A bit magical all the same.

The Great Circle, North East Circle & Avenues (Stone Circle)

Drove from Hetty Peglar to Stanton Drew, still a sunny Sunday. It felt like we were driving through a posh private housing estate to the site itself. I think it was my headspace being off kilter but I found this place difficult.
The stones glittering pink & hoary are lovely. The earth here is a great rust colour; it looks so rich & fecund!
Unfortunately fecundity; "she", "mother" & "healing" was all I heard for the next hour as a group of people pranced about with flowers & bongos in the smaller circle. Oh dear what do I sound like? Each to their own, peace & love & all that! Can't we have designated days!
Some huge stones; odd rectangular shapes. Seems to have a henge? Benevolent cows everywhere, I even petted one! Hurrah.
Overheard a comment that we weren't in the vibe cos we were taking photos on a mobile phone; better than a conversation we heard from a female group member telling "Jemima" that she'd better use the rotivator on that particularly awkward part of the garden! Right Carol, shut up.
Really it's a fantastic place, we'll pick a better time on our next visit.
The Cove is lovely.

Hetty Pegler's Tump (Long Barrow)

Seeing stars at Hetty Peglars tump! Tump must be one of my most favourite words ever. "Stars" courtesy of a hefty wallop to the head when crawling out of said tump. Mother used to call me Lizzie Dripping as a child, I haven't changed ( banging into talking to witches etc!)
Visited Hetty on the way down to Cornwall, our first monolith of the trip. Got there early on a warm sunny morning. Lovely mound with dips in the earthwork at the sides & the top. She has one chamber off to the left. Quiet & clean inside, though some man made scratching inside, why?
Led down on top of entrance stone to recover from head spinning & pain! Soon healed up & feel batteries charging up for neolithic journeying.

Boscawen-Un (Stone Circle)

Oh my! How beautiful is this place? My favourite so far. Strolling along the paths through the gorse, obviously now a lot easier to access; blackberrying all the way, hands & lips stained purple.
Glimpsing the circle in between gaps in the hedges & from the top of Creeg Toll. Stones all over the place. Boscowan un flits in & out of view teasing us. Looking on it from above, on the Toll made me think of the scene from Stephen Kings / Stanley Kubricks The Shining ( of all things!) when Jack's watching his family moving about in the maze from the model in the Overlook Hotel (there were a couple of people walking round the circle.)
However, nothing sinister to me about this place. I did the Julian thing & led on my back in the shadow of the angled stone & gazed round the circle seeing the stones from the ground up under the dome of a glorious blue sky. I dozed there, feeling protected & held.
We had this unreal place to ourselves. We were bathed in sunshine, warm & calm, peaceful & still. Forgot the rush to the other Lands End monuments & soaked it up. Heavenly.
carol27 hasn't added a profile

My TMA Content: