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

News Items by Mr Hamhead

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Showing 1-20 of 23 news posts. Most recent first | Next 20

Carwynnen Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Latest TV news from on-site

Embury Beacon (Cliff Fort)

Race against time to save hill fort

In the North Devon Gazette this weekend.

A TEAM of archaeologists will be surveying and excavating the remains of a hill fort before it is lost to the waves forever.

The work at Embury Beacon in Hartland will be a race against time to save the remaining 25 per cent of the fort.

Previous surveys suggest that the monument may have enclosed the crest of a prominent coastal headland, most of which has eroded away in the last 2,000 years.

The current excavations, which began on April 16 by a team of volunteers, are examining how the original entrance opened.

Justin Seedhouse, National Trust Ranger, said: ““We have enjoyed involving local schools in the digs.

“Woolsery Primary School got their hands dirty learning to be trainee archaeologists and hearing about the history of the fort here, and we have Hartland Primary School also coming to visit.”

The excavation is part of the ‘unlocking our coastal heritage’ project, supported by the Rural Development Programme for England, which aims to improve the visitor experience along the South West Coast Path National Trail.

The excavation is being undertaken by AC archaeology in collaboration with the National Trust, English Heritage and SWCP Team.


Cornish Bronze Age boat project

Dumbed down TV article about project to build a replica Bronze Age boat the the National maritime Museum at Falmouth where you can also see the Nebra Sky Disc.


Peak District Exhibition

Just been notified of this by the good people of the Peak District tourism dept...

Not sure if i can get there but it looks worth a visit..

..Good on you Kosmik Ken!


New Books

Two new books are to be released this month by the Cornwall Historic Enviroment team. One looks at the landscape and archaeology of the West Penwith moors whilst the other may raise a few eyebrows here..its about managing the landscape in the far west. Cows and they mix?


Preservation group up for award

From Western Morning News Feb 26th 2011

Nomination for project to save cairns on moor

A project to improve the condition of prehistoric cairns on Dartmoor has been nominated for a national award.

The Dartmoor Cairn Repair Project has been shortlisted for the Marsh Archaeology Award, organised by the Council for British Archaeology.

The award is given to a voluntary project which has worked to improve the condition of the nation's heritage.

There are more than 1,200 known round cairns on Dartmoor. The majority are thought to date to around 3,500-4,000 years ago, although some may be even older.

The project between Dartmoor National Park Authority (NPA), English Heritage and the Dartmoor Preservation Association saw volunteers carry out surveys and repairs under specialist supervision.

It has resulted in 31 of the scheduled monuments being removed from the English Heritage "at risk" register.

NPA archaeologist Andy Crabb said: "This is great recognition for a fantastic project which has surveyed and repaired over 45 prehistoric cairns in the last five years.

"The cairns repaired by the project had become damaged through disturbance such as the remodelling of the stone material to create shelters. This can expose fragile archaeology once contained within the cairn and destroy its distinctive profile."

James Paxman, chief executive of the Dartmoor Preservation Association, added: "This is tremendous news and proves what an enormous amount can be achieved by volunteers working together with other organisations.

"The team has become a highly skilled and close knit unit. Besides the actual restoration work the quality of their field survey drawings is outstanding and provides an important new source of information about Dartmoor's cairns." The winner will be announced in March.

Crowpound Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Menhir gone!

I am not sure what has happened and will be making enquiries but the stone that may or may not have been a standing stone...has vanished.
It has been replaced by a modern granite upright with a messy road sign stuck in top of it....
I asked a couple of locals if they knew what had happened to the stone but I am no further forward.

Mr H

Stonehenge and its Environs

New website being looked at.

Feasibility study for a Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site web presence

The Tourism Company have been commissioned by English Heritage to look at how they could improve the online presence of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. At present, information is spread across a number of different websites run by a variety of organisations that have a stake in the World Heritage Site. The result is a fragmented online presence that is hard for users to navigate around. English Heritage has asked us to look at whether it would be feasible to create a more joined-up approach to presenting the World Heritage Site online, with one option being to create a centralised website. Our work involves consultation within English Heritage and amongst the World Heritage Site partners. It also includes the compilation of case study material from comparable multi-stakeholder web projects around the UK and from abroad.

Carwynnen Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Tomb of the Ancients Saved....

In yesterdays Western Morning News...


Axe heads kept at Cornwall museum

A collection of rare Bronze Age axe heads discovered in Cornwall has gone on display in Truro after a campaign to keep the relics in the county.

The 3,000-year-old artifacts were found in perfect condition, buried in a clay pot at Mylor near Falmouth during a search using metal detectors.

The collection would have gone to the British Museum but the Royal Cornwall Museum raised about £10,000 to keep it.

The find is believed to be the biggest of its type in Cornwall.

Conservator Laura Ratcliffe said: "All finds like this would normally go to the British Museum, but they were so special we wanted to keep them for Cornwall.

"To get such a large collection in one place is pretty unusual.

"It's the biggest hoard to come out of Cornwall by a long shot."

The axe heads, all found in pristine condition, are thought to have been buried on purpose thousands of years ago.

Ms Ratcliffe said: "It could have been for security purposes or ritual, we just don't know."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/01/14 10:50:45 GMT


Cist uncovered at North Cornwall beauty spot

Heard about this on local radio...not sure how accessible it is to the general public.

and this from the Western Morning News 16/08/2008

A WALKER strolling along a beach made an amazing find when he stumbled across the remains of a Bronze Age tribal chieftain protruding from the ground.

The discovery of the middle-aged man's skeleton and cisk – or burial casket – was made by amateur archaeologist Trevor Renals on Constantine Island, on the North Cornwall coast.

He noticed that fragments of what appeared to be human bone had become exposed owing to coastal erosion.

Experts were so excited by the find that they performed an emergency week-long excavation of the site to extract it in a race against coastal erosion and storms.

The Middle Bronze Age find is thought to be of an important man, possibly a chieftain, and is very unusual because cremation, not burial, was popular in the period and other skeletons are not normally found so well-preserved.
Click here!

Mr Renals said: "I was walking along the coast – it is a particularly rich area for remains – and I was actually looking for flint and there was one area that was particularly eroded from pedestrian access.

"While searching one particular area I found a front tooth and another piece of bone and I looked to see where it had come from.

"I could see from the bit of flint sticking out of the ground that it was actually a stone-lined cisk.

"When I realised it was actually a burial I got in contact with the county archaeologist."

Mr Renals said he also identified the base of the spine, pelvis and femur.

In a race against time and the elements experts from Cornwall County Council Historic Environments Service and the National Trust began an excavation of the site after it was discovered.

The trust, which owns the land where the skeleton was found, said Constantine Island was once part of the mainland.

A spokesman said: "It is rare because it is a skeleton – they were cremated or the bones didn't survive.

"As soon as we found out we had to make arrangements for it to be excavated because of the danger of it going into the sea. We knew that storms were coming and we had to get it removed."

It is believed that the man was from the Middle Bronze Age of about 1380-1100BC and may have been an important member of his community.

The spokesman said: "We think he was probably a middle-aged male.

"We don't know how tall he would have been because the long bones were fragmented. We know he had quite small teeth for a man.

"Little is known about the man but he may have been of importance to the small community that he would have come from as it appears that special care was taken over his burial.

"To build a cisk and cover him with stones and possibly, turf on top wouldn't have been done with everyone."

The cisk and remains are with Cornwall County Council's historic environments service.

Mr Renals, 42, an ecologist working for the Environment Agency, said he was excited to identify the site and said that walkers on the coastal path had not noticed it – despite sitting on and walking over the ancient casket.

"The cisk was right on a quite popular path and people had been sitting on it and walking over it and not realised they were inches away from an ancient skeleton," he said.

"I feel very privileged, more than anything. I didn't just treat it like animal remains. I was very cautious to show him respect."

Mr Renals, from Wadebridge, North Cornwall, said the man had been buried in a crouching position typical of pagan rituals.

"It's clearly a pagan burial because it is a north-south alignment which is a pagan alignment

"And the body is looking out west towards the sea."

Mr Renals added that the site had been excavated just in time as in winter storms would lash the tidal Constantine Island, destroying the site.


Making History: Antiquaries in Britain, 1707–2007

This exhibition at the Royal Academy explores the work and achievement of the Fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries of London since its foundation in the early eighteenth century to the present day.

Organised by the Royal Academy of Arts and the Society of Antiquaries of London to celebrate the Society's tercentenary, the exhibition showcases treasures from Britain's oldest Learned Society concerned with the study of the past and is complemented by works from national and regional museums.

It features works of art, antiquities and manuscripts of unique historical importance, such as a processional cross of King Richard III and his defeated Yorkist army recovered from the battlefield of Bosworth (1485). Also on show will be the earliest known medieval manuscript illustrations of Stonehenge, as well as drawings and paintings of this and other historic sites and monuments by great artists such as Constable, Turner, Girtin and Blake.

A selection from the Society's extraordinary collection of early English royal portraits from Henry VI to Mary Tudor will be displayed together in public for the first time.

Carwynnen Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Funds needed...

I have received this email today from a group called the Sustainable Trust...the third paragraph is the interesting bit...

Crenver Grove, the 14Hectare woodland we manage for the Dandelion Trust, now entertains local children as part of Forest School activities. Any initiative to bring volunteers of all ages and abilities in contact with nature and their heritage is welcomed. Help with clearance of the invasive species is constantly needed, and is always a light-hearted activity. Just ring us for details. 01209 831718. ' Breathing Spaces', a Big Lottery fund have just made us a sizeable award for works to Crenver Grove, mending walls, an archaeological study, green woodworking workshops and training.

Globally-our little project in Sri Lanka helping tsunami victims has moved on. The Saga Charitable Trust have put a further £5,000 into the neglected village we helped back into employment with a Cornish boost to their coir spinning cottage industry last year. They will buy sewing machines, train and provide a showroom together with our Sri Lankan partners, the Centre for Environment & Development. We have also been instrumental in forming a Credit Union in this village, Madampagama. Microfinance often help poor villagers cross the poverty line, making their work and lives more sustainable. Scooby, a photographer from University College, Falmouth recorded the project. Her images of the progress is being exhibited around Devon & Cornwall this year. The exhibition is called 'Recovery'. Prints are for sale at (www.

Locally, we are engaged in negotiations to buy the 'Giants/Pendarves/Carwynnen Quoit/Cromlech/Dolmen- also known as the 'Frying Pan'. Naming it is a weighty problem, the least of our worries is clearing a planning technicality and raising the money to buy this Listed Scheduled Monument together with the surrounding 5 acres of land. We would be delighted to receive any donations towards the £22,000 asking price, or any offer of help or suggestions towards running a series of events to involve a wide audience. H.R.H the Duke of Cornwall , Camborne Town Council and The Cornish Gorsedd have kicked off the fund with Community Energy Plus donating 200 indigenous trees to extend the wildlife corridor on this land, which was formerly set aside land, owned by a bulb growing company.

So we trundle on, pleased with an involvement in a new magazine called 'The Source', happy to make charcoal for cooking and drawing, and most of all to welcome new people to help us 'treat the world as if we intend to stay.'

The website for this is


Protection in West Penwith

My latest issue of the Cornwall Archeological Societys newsletter has a nice feature on the work of the Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network.
They have a number of site clearence days coming up througout the year (see website) which I might try to make and are also working to erect boulders at the entrances to sites with engraved phone numbers on them to ring to report vandalism or damage and also info about respecting sites.

Full marks to them!

Eathorne Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Erection Surprise!

Following on from the news last year (spookily I posted it exactly a year ago) that the stone had been re-erected, I have just read in the Cornish Archaeological Society newsletter that the experts have done some dating on charcoal samples found in the original socket hole. These have found that the stone was probably erected between AD70 and AD240..a long time after they thought..somewhere between 1000BC and 3000BC.

There is always the possibility that it had been re-erected at that time, which raises interesting issues of attitudes to ancient monuments in the distant past writes Steve Hartgroves of Cornwall Historical Enviromental team.

Boscawen-Un (Stone Circle)

Path cleared

I have just received the minutes from Penwith Access and Rights of Way Forum (Feb 2006)

In them it states that the access gate on the permissive path to Boscawenoon (sic) stone circle has been repaired and rehung and that the definitive path has been trimmed back hard of brambles and gorse by local volunteers and a new way marker installed at the start of the path.

The Hurlers (Stone Circle)

Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project Roadshow

Press Release 10 Nov 2005

A roving display about a major bid to help conserve and manage the Caradon Hill area takes to the roads of South East Cornwall on Monday 14 November.

The roadshow aims to spread the word about the Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project and the special features of the local landscape, which includes moorland, rolling farmland, wooded steep valleys, industrial remains and Neolithic sites such as Trethevy Quoit.

The display is one phase of a Heritage Lottery Fund bid planned by Caradon District Council and Cornwall County Council for next year, which could secure funds for restoration, preservation and enhancement work suggested by the community.

The proposed project area for the bid covers around 58 square miles to the north of Liskeard, centred around Caradon Hill, which is part of the granite upland of the south eastern portion of Bodmin Moor, and including lowland areas surrounding the hill. Some 10,500 people live in the area in settlements including Pensilva, St Cleer, Minions, Upton Cross and part of Liskeard. The area is of great heritage and environmental importance, with part lying within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the remainder in an Area of Great Landscape Value.

The display includes information about the Caradon Hill Area Project plus photographs and pieces written by local residents describing the area's unique qualities. There will also be details about the consultation report that will be available to the general public to read and comment on from the end of December to January.

Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project development officer Becky Hughes said: "All of the photos and creative writing were inspired by a recent community workshop about the landscape character of the Caradon Hill area. I think people will surprised and delighted by the quality of the work, which very much reflects both the detail and the vastness of the landscape."

The roadshow will be on display at:
• Liskeard Library – 14-20 November
• St Cleer Memorial Hall – 21-27 November
• Upton Cross School – 28 November-4 December
• Pensilva Millennium House – 5-11 December
• Minions Heritage Centre – 12 December onwards

Caradon Hill project update including Hurlers re-erection

The project to get funding to improve the area around Caradon Hill has "reawoken". A new project officer has been appointed and "experts" brought in to assess the whole thing.
At a meeting on the 31st October Bryn Tapper of Cornwall Historic Enviroment Service (what used to be CAU) discussed what role the archaeologists would like in the project.

Keeping away from the 19th century mining remains he has looked at over 1000 sites in the area which stretches from Bearah Tor in the north to Liskeard town in the south, Golitha falls to the west and the Lynher river in the east. Of this 1000 sites he cut it down to 165 which were inspected on foot. From this the team have drawn up a list of 95 that they believe would benefit from financial help and would be of interest to the community historically.

The sites range from Siblyback lake where flint deposits have been found to dissused Methodist chapels.
The BIG news for those of us on the TMA is that he has put forward a proposel to re-erect 11 stones in the Hurlers complex. These will be part of the northern and southern circle and the latest technology will be used to make sure they are placed in thier correct positions. As many of you will be aware the Hurlers have been re-erected over the years and there is some doubt over the origins of some of the stones.

Bryn is aware this suggestion may not be liked by all, and I have offered to post a few words on the forum... please go there to comment.

Mr H

Eathorne Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Menhir now back in original position

The latest newsletter of the Cornwall Archaeological Society brings news that the Eathorn Menhir, long stuck at the side of a field and covered in ivy and chicken wire, has now been re-erected in its original position.
With the help of Steve Hartgroves of CAU and the Earth Mysteries Group the original base was found and the stone placed back in it using a local farmers crane.
Sadly this news came 24 hours too late for me...I was down on the Lizard yesterday and if I had known would have popped round for a photo.

Dozmary Pool (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Sacred hill bordering pool up for auction

Brown Gelly, the hill to the south of Dozmary Pool goes up for auction on the 27th September. On the hill are several barrows plus iron age settlements. The land has recently become open access land, before that access to the hill was never clear. The guide price for 240 acres of prime Bodmin Moor is £220,000...The save Brown Gelly fund starts here!

For more info go to..
Showing 1-20 of 23 news posts. Most recent first | Next 20
Mr Hamhead started as a doodle on a scrap of paper many years ago.....then he became a submariner in a series of poems that I am writing. When I needed a name for this site he just sort of popped up.
In the real world I go under the far less interesting title of Mark Camp, keen walker, historian and tourist guide.
I am lucky enough to live in Cornwall, a mile from the south coast and within half an hours drive of Bodmin Moor. Hence the sites I have contributed.
My first love up on the moors (and Cornwall in general) is industrial history, but you are never far from a lump of granite and through research for walks I have become interested in all things ancient.
It has helped that I have been listening to Mr Cope since buying Reward as a young student and have followed his career from the far west where musicians seldom come to play.
As I have said before on the site, if any TMA contributors are in the area and fancy a walk on the moor, get in touch, I will be happy to share my knowledge of everything the moor has to offer.

oh yes website is at

My TMA Content: