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Megaliths, Mênhirs and Stone Circles of West Cornwall
Bronze Age Barrow, St Just
Grid reference SW356312
Situated on the cliff-tops overlooking the Atlantic Ocean just south of Cape Cornwall. This chambered cairn is quite striking now but when built it must have been very impressive indeed. Dates from the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age - about 2000 BC to 1000 BC. Nearby mine workings confuse your senses but when tracked down, rest awhile you will not be disappointed.
Iron Age Enclosure, Sancreed
Grid reference SW394293
Bartinney Castle Cairn Enclosure lies atop Bartinney Hill, some 224 metres high. Displayed on OS maps as Bartine Castle, the enclosure lies about 700 metres to the northwest of the Carn Euny settlement near the hamlet of Numphra, Sancreed. The circular enclosure approximately 75 metres wide is thought to date from the Iron Age. At its centre lie three closely packed ring cairns.
Bronze Age Menhir, Lelant
Grid reference SW525371
The Beersheba Menhir or long stone lies across the valley north of Trencrom and can be easily accessed by following the St. Michael's Way footpath. It stands 3 metres tall and dates from the Bronze Age.
Bleu Bridge Inscribed Stone
Post Roman Inscribed Stone, Gulval
Grid reference SW477318
Bleu Bridge Inscribed Stone lies beside a lane leading from the Penzance to Heamoor Road, some 200 metres northwest of its junction with the B3311 at Trythogga, Gulval. Standing 1.7 metres tall, this 6th century pillar is inscribed with QUENATAUCI IC DINUI FILIUS - 'Quenataucus lies here, of Dinuus, the son'.
Bodrifty Round Houses
Iron Age Settlement, Newmill
Grid reference SW445354
Bodrifty lies just west of Mulfra Quoit and about a kilometre south of Bosporthennis. The Village consists of 6 or 7 circular huts dating from the late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age and so represent a 3000 year old site. First excavated in the 1950's, archaeologists have discovered several differing types and ages of pottery in the settlement indicating that the site was inhabited for between 700 and 1000 years. For more information contact the website at Bodrifty Iron Age Settlement at http://www.bodrifty.co.uk/home.htm.
Iron Age Fogou, Lamorna
Grid reference SW437252
It is thought to date from either the late Bronze Age or early Iron Age and so is only about 3000 years old. A fogou is basically a low tunnel leading to some sort of underground refuge. Their exact use is not known but as very few have any archaeological remains, they are thought to have been used for ceremonial rather than burial purposes. See also Halliggye Fogou near Garras, Helston and the fine example at Carn Euny - Grid ref.SW402288.
Boscawen-Ün Stone Circle
Bronze Age Stone Circle, St Buryan
Grid reference SW412274
A fine Bronze Age stone circle consisting of 19 granite uprights surrounding a leaning 2.4 metre stone set just off-centre. The 'female' stone indicating the western boundary is a large quartz stone that glistens brightly on a sunny day. The circle is set about 1 mile north of St. Buryan just off the main Penzance to Land's End road (A30). It is just over half a mile west of The Blind Fiddler (Grid ref. SW425281) - an impressive Bronze Age mênhir or standing stone some 3 metres tall. Technical Information: Circle Diameter 21-24 metres
Neolithic Barrow, Morvah
Grid reference SW431342
Bosilack Barrow lies about 500 metres west of Ding Dong Mine roughly midway between the mine and Lanyon Quoit near the hamlet of Bosiliack. This small chambered barrow is very similar to the neolithic Scillonian entrance graves. It consists of a 5 metre diameter circular mound of stones. The kerb of larger slabs is pierced by a passageway which faces the rising of the midwinter sun after the shortest day of the year.
Boskednan Stone Circle
Neolithic Stone Circle, Morvah
Grid reference SW434351
A stone circle formerly of 19 upright stones set on a hilltop mid-way between Mên-an-Tol and Bodrifty Iron Age Village. Dates from the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age - about 2000 BC to 1000 BC. The circle has been ravaged by time and nearby mining, so much so that now only 6 uprights remain with 5 others leaning or completely horizontal.
Bosporthennis Beehive Hut
Iron Age Settlement, Porthmeor
Grid reference SW436360
Bosporthennis Settlement lies just to the east of Carn Galva. Shaped like a beehive, the structure is very similar in size and layout to the huts at Carn Euny. Consisting of an entrance way leading to a cirular chamber some 3 metres in diameter parts of the structure have been rebuilt in modern times to allow access. Nearby structures have also been robbed of their stones to provide rudimentary sheep shelters so an overall idea of this Iron Age settlement is now hard to achieve.
Neolithic Quoit, Porthmeor
Grid reference SW436365
The quoit is now almost completely collapsed, it is the only known cromlech to be situated in a valley. It dates from about the Neolithic Era. Bosporthennis Hut and Corbelled Passage Grid ref.SW436470, dates from the late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age and so indicates possible habitation in this area for maybe 4000 years. The remains of Bosporthennis Holy Well lie off to the north at Grid ref. SW439363
Bosullow Trehyllys Settlement
Iron Age Settlement, Morvah
Grid reference SW410342
Bosullow Trehyllys is a small village of Late Iron Age Courtyard Houses situated at the base of Chûn Hill, about 550 metres northeast of Chûn Castle. It is second only to the nearby village of Chysauster, in terms of preservation. Bosullow Trehyllys remains unexcavated.
Bronze Age Menhir, Pendeen
Grid reference SW400329
This Bronze Age standing stone or menhir lies about a mile south of Pendeen. It stands about 2.6 metres high in the middle of a cairn, 12 metres in diameter. The stone lies in an area with a high concentration of ancient monuments with Carn Kenidjack Hut Circles, Chun Quoit and Portheras Barrows all within a kilometer of the site.
Botrea Round Barrows
Bronze Age Barrow, Newbridge
Grid reference SW403312
Botrea Round Barrows lie on the top of a hill just to the south of the A3071 near Jericho Farm. Marked on the OS map as tumuli, the barrows date from the Bronze Age and are aligned north-south. Botrea Menhir and Boswens Common Hut Circles lie within a mile of the site.
Neolithic Barrow, Sancreed
Grid reference SW401282
This tomb and Chambered Barrow dates from the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age - about 2500 BC to 1000 BC and might almost be overlooked on first sight. It lies on private farmland near Crows-an-Wra, mid-way between Carn Euny and Boscawen-Ün. It is largely enveloped by a gorse bush that grows right through the structure. Ask at the farm to visit.Technical Information: Height 0.9m
Neolithic Barrow, Sancreed
Grid reference SW402280
Brane Barrow lies to the northwest of Sancreed near the hamlet of Brane to the south of Carn Euny. This little chambered cairn or tomb, lies in a field to the south-west of Brane Farm. It is rather overgrown with a tree growing from its roof and can be easily missed if walking from the east. It is however quite well preserved and worth an inspection. The chamber has a height of 0.9 metres, a width of 1.2 metres and a length of 2.3 metres. The surrounding mound measures 6.1 metres diameter by 2.1 metres high. Its entrance faces 155 degrees SSE in line with the midwinter sunrise.
Breage Roman Milestone
Roman Roman Milestone, Breage
Grid reference SW618285
Breage Roman Milestone lies in the north aisle of St Breaca's Church, Breage. Dating from the 3rd Century AD, it is inscribed in Latin: IMP C DO NO MARC CASSI. The translation is most probably a dedication to the Emperor Marcus Cassianus Latinius Postumus who died in AD268.
Caer Bran Hill Fort
Iron Age Hill Fort, Sancreed
Grid reference SW408290
The almost circular Caer Bran Hill Fort site, over 60 metres in diameter is thought to date from the Iron Age. It lies just to the south of the Carn Euny settlement, between the hamlets of Brane and Grumbla, Sancreed. On construction the hillfort is thought to have consisted of a 3.6 metre thick inner wall standing 1.8 metres high with an inner ditch up to 13 metres wide. The outer rampart attained a height of 4.5 metres in places with the external ditch up to 2 metres deep. Much of its stonework has been robbed for buildings and the former external ditch has now been largely infilled.
Caervallack Hill Fort
Iron Age Hill Fort, Mawgan-in-Meneage
Grid reference SW726246
Excavated by Channel 4's Time Team archaeologists in 2001 and situated near the southern bank of the Helford River, Caervallack is an Iron Age Hill Fort. The fort stans on the side of a hill and is approximately 100 metres in diameter. Its 4.1 metre high rampart is surrounded by an external ditch up to 2.5 metres deep in places. An entrance lies to the northeast.
Iron Age Settlement, Four Lanes
Grid reference SW690355
This settlement of round houses lies just under a mile south of the Nine Maidens near Four Lanes. Little now remains of this Iron Age site, and what does remain lies hidden in the undergrowth. Nearby lies a Bronze Age stone cist.
Roman Round, Mawnan Smith
Grid reference SW782293
Carlidnack Round lies on private property near Carlidnack Road, Mawnan Smith. The almost circular enclosure overlooks a deep valley that leads down to Maenporth Beach. With dimensions of 120 metres by 110 metres the Round is bounded by a single rampart 4 metres high in some places. It is thought to date from the First Century AD and has a modern house set at its centre.
Carn Brea Neolithic Enclosure
Neolithic Enclosure, Redruth
Grid reference SW686407
Possibly the most important archaeological site in Cornwall, Carn Brea still has traces of Early Neolithic massive stone walls built to enclose the central and eastern tors of the hill and also a double set of ramparts. Actually termed as a 'Tor Enclosure' by Roger Mercer following his teams excvations in the early 1970's. The massive ramparts, which formerly stood over 2 metres high and 2 metres wide, were constructed with granite facings infilled with granite rubble. The face of the ramparts exhibit regularly spaced uprights linked by sections of horizontal dry-stone walling. In some places the walls peter out to make use of the natural granite outcrops. Parts of the ramparts are still visible today as low rock walls, best seen where the vegetation has been cut back, such as along some of the footpaths.
Carn Euny Settlement
Iron Age Settlement, Sancreed
Grid reference SW403288
Carn Euny is the site of an ancient Iron Age village. The nearby Bronze Age fogou is quite spacious unlike many others found in Cornwall. The entrance passageway rapidly increases from 3 to almost 6 feet high in places. A metal grille has been placed in the ceiling of the underground corbelled chamber allowing light to illuminate the interior. It is thought that the underground chamber was built first with the west and east entrances being added later. The settlement is in very good condition - possibly due to its remote location. It lies mid-way between Sancreed and Land's End Aerodrome near the hamlet of Grumbla. In the stewardship of English Heritage.
Carn Kenidjack Tor Enclosure
Neolithic Enclosure, St. Just
Grid reference SW388330
Carn Kenidjack Tor Enclosure surrounds Carn Kenidjack near St. Just. Like other tor enclosures, it is thought to date from the Neolithic.
Carnsew Inscribed Stone
Post Roman Inscribed Stone, Hayle
Grid reference SW557372
One of Cornwall's earliest Inscribed Stones, Carnsew Inscribed Stone dates from between 460 and 500AD. The inscription, now difficult to read originally read 'HIC PACE NUP(ER) REQUIEUIT CUNAIDE HIC IN TUMUL(O) IACIT VIXIT ANNOS XXX III' - which translates as 'Here in peace lately went to rest Cunaide. Here in the tomb she lies. She lived years 33'. The stone is thought to have originally stood 1.8 metres high.
Neolithic Quoit, Troon
Grid reference SW650372
Known locally as the 'Giant's Frying Pan' or 'The Giant's Quoit', this Neolithic Quoit lies in a field just east of the hamlet of Carwynnen southwest of Troon. The quoit lies collapsed on the ground. It initially collapsed in 1834 and was rebuilt, but toppled over again in 1967 during an earth tremor, since when attempts have been made to secure the surrounding land in an effort to save and ultimately rebuild this important monument. The uprights measure about 2.7 metres long and formerly supported the 3.3 x 2.5 metre long capstone.
Castle Kayle Enclosure
Iron Age Enclosure, Fraddam
Grid reference SW584357
The little known Castle Kayle lies at Fraddam between Hayle and Leedstown. This Iron Age 'Round' has a circular shape and is approximately 100 metres in diameter. Its single rampart is best preserved on the western section and attains a height of 3 metres.
Castle Pencaire Hill Fort
Iron Age Hill Fort, Germoe
Grid reference SW59943000
Castle Pencaire Hill Fort lies on the summit of Tregonning Hill, near Balwest, Germoe. The site has been much disturbed by mining activity and prospecting but enough still remains on its western side to make it worth a visit. Surrounded by twin ramparts, the fort is oval measuring 125 metres by 109 metres, with the outer rampart attaining a height of 2.7 metres. The whole area is dotted with ancient monuments with traces of two Iron Age 'Rounds' as well as over 20 round houses making up a settlement.
Castle-an-Dinas Hill Fort
Iron Age Hill Fort, Ludgvan
Grid reference SW485350
Castle-an-Dinas Iron Age Hill Fort lies about a mile east of Chysauster. The fort some 133 metres in diameter was made up from four lines of defensive walls. Ranging from indistinct to over 2 metres in height the ramparts are cut by the 18th century folly known as Rogers Tower.
Chûn Castle Hill Fort
Iron Age Hill Fort, Morvah
Grid reference SW405340
Pronounced 'Choon', Chûn Castle Hill Fort lies near Trehyllys Farm on the high ground above Chûn Downs. The hillfort has excellent views of the surrounding countryside as is thought to have controlled one of eight distinct areas of the Lands End Peninsula. The site, 85 metres in diameter, is defended by two massive stone ramparts, ranging from 4.6 metres to 7 metres thick on the western side. The original gate posts still in position. A stone lined well is present in the northern section of the interior.
Neolithic Quoit, Morvah
Grid reference SW402339
Along with the excellently preserved Iron Age hillfort, the Quoit stands on Chûn Downs about a mile south of Morvah near Pendeen. It lies amongst the highest concentration of ancient monuments in north Penwith. Just to the northeast lies the Iron Age Bosullow Trehyllys village, while less than a mile to the southwest lies Carn Kenidjack and the Tregeseal Dancing Stones at Grid Ref. SW386324. Five miles away to the east lies Castle-an-Dinas Hillfort (Grid ref. SW485350) while 3 miles south lies Caer Bran Hillfort at Grid ref. SW407290. This Quoit is the only structure in the whole Penwith District to retain its original capstone unmoved. It can be reached by footpaths off the Morvah to Madron road or by parking just off the B3318 near the junctions to Pendeen and Trewellard. Technical Information: Height 1.7m.
Chapel Carn Brea
Bronze Age Cairn, Crows-an-Wra
Grid reference SW386280
The 'most westerly hill in Britain'. It is an outstanding landmark dominating the surrounding countryside. From its summit, some 657 feet above sea level it is possible to overlook St. Just to the north, Sennen and Lands End to the west and Mounts Bay to the southeast. There is a ruined Bronze Age Chambered Cairn at the summit as well as the former site of a medieval chapel. A fire beacon is lit here every Midsummer's eve. The hill lies at the western end of Bartinney Downs near the Land's End Aerodrome just northwest of the hamlet of Crows-an-Wra. Do not confuse with Carn Brea hill overlooking the Camborne-Redruth area. In the stewardship of the National Trust since May 1971. There is a reasonable sized car park here from which to explore all nearby monuments.
Bronze Age Menhir, Drift
Grid reference SW451275
Chyenhal Menhir lies southwest of Chyenhal Farm itself southwest of Newlyn. The Bronze Age standing stone is 2.4 metres tall and lies in an area rich in ancient sites, with Kerris and Sheffield Menhirs, Kerris Settlement and Tresvennack Pillar all within easy walking distance.
Chynalls Point Cliff Castle
Iron Age Cliff Castle, Coverack
Grid reference SW785174
Chynalls Point Cliff Castle lies on a very prominent southeast facing headland to the south of Coverack. Dating from the Iron Age like its near neighbour Lankidden, this cliff castle is defended by two ramparts across its neck. The outer stands just over a metre high whilst the inner reaches heights of 2.7 metres. Chynhalls is best reached via the coastpath from Coverack.
Iron Age Settlement, Newmill
Grid reference SW473350
This Iron Age Village lies just west of Castle-an-Dinas - Grid ref. SW485350 and is reached by taking the left fork (minor road) off the B3311 at Badger's Cross. It is a good place to start for the beginner. The houses have been well excavated and the enclosed area makes it relatively safe for young children. There is also an (infilled) fogou on the site. It is maintained by English Heritage.
Crane Castle Cliff Castle
Iron Age Cliff Castle, Portreath
Grid reference SW774196
Crane Iron Age Cliff Castle lies on the clifftop about 1.5 miles west of Portreath. Cliff erosion has removed most of the interior so much so that only the two ramparts remain on the cliff edge. The outer rampart is 85 metres long and attains a height of 2.7 metres. The inner rampart, closest the sea stands 2.2 metres high and has an accompany ditch 1.8 metres wide. Please take extreme care if visiting this monument!
Crousa Common Mênhirs
Bronze Age Menhir, St. Keverne
Grid reference SW775201
A pair of Bronze Age long stones located on Crousa Common, southwest of St. Keverne. One stone remains upright and measures 1.9 metres tall, its fallen partner is of a similar length.
Crousa Common Round Barrow
Bronze Age Barrow, St. Keverne
Grid reference SW774196
This Round Barrow is located on Crousa Common, about 1.5 miles southwest of St. Keverne on the Lizard Peninsula. It is an excellent example measuring 12 metres in diameter by about 1.2 metres high. It dates fom the Bronze Age.
Dry Tree Mênhir
Bronze Age Menhir, Goonhilly
Grid reference SW726212
Dry Tree Menhir or Long Stone, lies on Goonhilly Downs just outside the perimeter fence of the Goonhilly Downs satellite tracking station. It stands 3.2 metres above ground level with a further 1.3 metres buried in the ground in its last erection in 1928. The stone consists of Gabbro, not found in this area implying that its builders must have transported this massive stone at least two miles from its outcrop on Crousa Downs. Dating from the Bronze Age, the stone is accompanied by three Bronze Age barrows.
Bronze Age Menhir, Constantine
Grid reference SW746313
This Bronze Age long stone or menhir lies in a field beside the B3291. It stands 2.4 metres high.
Faugan Round Hill Fort
Iron Age Hill Fort, Drift
Grid reference SW452282
Little remains of this Iron Age Hill Fort near Rose Farm, Chyenhal. Two widely spaced circular ramparts with a diameter of about 120 metres.
Gûn Rith Mênhir
Neolithic Menhir, Lamorna
Grid reference SW429245
This rather impressive 3.2 metre standing stone stands just across the road from Tregiffian Barrow and the Merry Maidens Stone Circle at Boleigh, near Lamorna. Thought to date from the Neolithic, the stone has fallen several times in its history. It has now been re-erected with its base set in granite and concrete.
Iron Age Settlement, Mawgan-in-Meneage
Grid reference SW721248
Excavated by Channel 4's Time Team archaeologists in 2001 and situated near the southern bank of the Helford River, Gear Settlement Enclosure is located near to Caervallack Iron Age Hill Fort. The settlement covers approximately 15 acres and dates from the Iron Age.
Gurnard's Head Cliff Castle
Iron Age Cliff Castle, Porthmeor
Grid reference SW433385
Gurnard's Head Cliff Castle lies on the fish-shaped Gurnard's Head near Zennor. Dating from the Iron Age, the headland is protected by two ruinous ramparts at its narrowest point. The 60 metre long banks are between 1.2 metres and 1.8 metres high, with the inner rampart some 3 metres thick. The area enclosed by the defences is almost 8 acres (3 ha.) and previous excavation has discovered 16 round houses in the interior with artifacts dating to the 2nd cntury BC.
Iron Age Fogou, Garras
Grid reference SW877254
Halliggye Fogou, or underground dwelling, lies on the Trelowarren Estate near Garras, outside Helston. It consists of a long narrow tunnel leading to three sectioned chambers. Cornwall's largest fogou, Halliggye dates from the Iron Age and has over 39 metres of passageways. [Image copyright of Jim Champion]
Bronze Age Barrow, Four Lanes
Grid reference SW673367
Hangman's Barrow is a large Bronze Age cairn some 20 metres in diameter by 3 metres high. The barrow lies on the B3280 about 200 metres southwest of the Troon turning.
Higher Drift Mênhirs
Bronze Age Menhir, Drift
Grid reference SW437283
Higher Drift Menhirs are a pair of longstones or standing stones otherwise known as 'The Sisters' or the 'Triganeeris Stones'. They are located near the village of Drift, northwest of Penzance. The stones stand 2.7 metres and 2.3 metres in height, and are 5.5 metres apart. The larger of the two stones, which is also the farthest from the road, is said to resemble a lady wearing a cloak. They date from the Bronze Age. Access: The Sisters can be seen from the A30. There is a handy lay-by and easy access through the field, where they stand less than 100 yards from the gate.
Kenidjack Cliff Castle
Iron Age Cliff Castle, St Just
Grid reference SW355326
Kenidjack Cliff Castle lies on a rocky headland and is best approached from the coastpath. The headland is divided by a central spine. The southern area offers little area for settlement but also makes the site easily defendable. The northern section has a little more space, with the site of two round houses. The interior also defended by three ramparts ranging between 2.1 metres and 3.3 metres high. The site of this Iron Age Castle is thought to have been pre-dated by a Neolithic Axe Factory.
Kenidjack Holed Stones
Neolithic Holed Stone, St. Just
Grid reference SW390326
Situated near to Truthwall Common Cairns at St. Just, lies a row of holed stones. Four of the stones are standing, while a fifth is fallen and broken. Another holed stone lies to the north-west. There purpose and alignment is not known as over the centuries they have been moved a number of times. They are thought to date from the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age.
Kynance Gate Round Houses
Bronze Age Settlement, Kynance Cove
Grid reference SW688139
The settlement at Kynance Gate lies about half a mile up the valley from Kynance Cove. Two groups of Bronze Age Round Houses lie about 60 metres apart. The northern group consists of five houses each with a diameter of about 9 metres. The southern group consists of 8 huts.
Lankidden Cliff Castle
Iron Age Cliff Castle, Coverack
Grid reference SW755166
Lankidden Iron Age cliff castle lies on a south-facing headland approximately a mile east of Kennack Sands. The interior is defended by a single rampart some 4 metres high and an external ditch, now largely infilled, of about 60cm in depth. The area is best accessed via the coastpath from Kennack Sands or Coverack.
Neolithic Quoit, Madron
Grid reference SW430337
One of the oldest and probably most photographed ancient sites in West Cornwall. Dating from about Over 10000 BC to 2000 BC, this Quoit or Cromlech was constructed during the Late Mesolithic to Early Neolithic period. It is situated beside the Morvah-Madron road just northwest of Madron Well at Grid ref. SW446328 and lies about Over 1000 metres from the now collapsed West Lanyon Quoit - Grid ref. SW423338. It was reconstructed by a Lieutenant Goldsmith after the capstone, weighing about 13½ tons toppled in the great storm of Autumn 1812. Technical Information: Height 1.8-2.1m
Lesingey Round Hill Fort
Iron Age Hill Fort, Penzance
Grid reference SW453304
Lesingey Hill Fort lies on the eastern fringes of Penzance near Castle Horneck. Dating from the Iron Age, this hill fort has a diameter of just under 80 metres and is defended by a single rampart 3.7 metres high. The site is surrounded by a modern circular stone wall.
Lower Boscaswell Fogou
Iron Age Fogou, Pendeen
Grid reference SW37673484
Located just 900 metres northeast of Pendeen Fogou, Boscaswell is an above ground fogou in a poor state. It is covered by a large overgrown earth and stone bank. All that remains of the main passage is a stretch just over 2 metres long with height and width each about 1.8 metres. The passage opens to the west and the chamber is still covered by two large capstones. A roofed 1.48 metre long creep passage opens off to the south-west. Known locally as Giants Hole, the site is rather hard to find as it lies in the corner of a field and initially just looks like a hole in a hedge. It is thought to have been in this state for at least the last 50 years.
Post Roman Inscribed Stone, Morvah
Grid reference SW427353
Mên Scryfa or the 'Inscribed stone' is situated on level ground near to Mên-an-Tol (Grid ref. SW426349). It is possibly the site of a burial of a prominent Romano-Celtic chieftain. Its inscription reads 'Rialobran Cunovali Fili' - or 'here lies Rialvran (Royal Raven) son of Cunoval'....although the words at the base of the stone now lie below ground level. Approaching from the trackway there appears to be an alignment to a groove in Carn Galver a kilometre further north. It is thought that the inscription may have been made on a far old Neolithic menhir, but this is yet to be proven.
Neolithic Holed Stone, Morvah
Grid reference SW426349
Also known as the 'Crick Stone' or 'The holed stone'. Situated on Burnt Downs near the Morvah-Madron road. It was at one time thought to have magical powers - a child with rickets might be cured if it was passed through the centre three times. Unfortunately its layout was altered sometime in the last few centuries so that any alignment with Sun or stars is no longer possible.
Maen Cliff Castle
Iron Age Cliff Castle, Land's End
Grid reference SW34762576
Maen Cliff Castle lies on a small rocky headland at Mayon Cliff between Sennen Cove and Land's End. It is one of the oldest cliff castles in Cornwall and is defended by a substantial stone wall, ditch and bank. The ditch is best preserved on the northern side of the headland, where the bank is revetted with large granite blocks. The posts marking the narrow entrance still stand. The headland's rocky interior means that there was little room for occupation however. The site is a short walk up from the car park at Sennen Cove and is best accessed along the coast path, keeping to marked paths to reduce erosion. The land is owned by the National Trust and the usual metal NT omega indicates the site.
Mawgan Cross Inscribed Stone
Post Roman Inscribed Stone, Mawgan-in-Meneage
Grid reference SW707249
Mawgan Cross Inscribed Stone stands 1.9 metres tall and lies in the middle of Mawgan-in-Meneage village on a small green. It dates from the sixth century and is inscribed with the following text: CNEGUMI GILI GENAIUS - Cunegumus son of Genaius.
Menheer Farm Roman Milestone
Roman Roman Milestone, St. Day
Grid reference SW719421
The Roman Milestone at Menheer Farm near Redruth records the making, or much more likely, the repair of a section of military road. This was an official job, done in the name of Emperor Gordian III (AD 238 – 244). It was discovered during ploughing in 1942 and dates from about 240AD, making it one of the earliest Roman milestones in Cornwall.
Merry Maidens Stone Circle
Neolithic Stone Circle, Lamorna
Grid reference SW433245
Probably one of the best known stone circles of the Land's End Peninsula, due largely to its proximity to the resorts of Mousehole and Porthcurno. Dates from the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age - about 2500 BC to 1000 BC. The 19 stone circle offers a quick introduction to ancient Cornwall with little effort from the curious visitor. Two small car parks offer easy access to the site - no yomping across moorland here! Technical Information: Circle Diameter 23m; Height of Stones: 1.2m average
Neolithic Quoit, Newmill
Grid reference SW452354
Mulfra Quoit, a quoit with its capstone lying against the three uprights. Dates from the Late Mesolithic to Neolithic Era, about Over 10000 BC to 2000 BC some thousand years earlier than Ballowall Barrow. Set high on a hill near the hamlet of Newmill, overlooking the patchwork fields below. Grid ref. SW452354. Technical Information: Height 1.7m.
Just to the south of the Quoit lie the ruined remains of a group of Iron Age Courtyard Houses at Grid ref. SW453349
Nance Hill Fort
Iron Age Hill Fort, Portreath
Grid reference SW664450
Nance Hill Fort lies on a hillside at the junction of two valleys above Portreath. This Iron Age hill fort is oval in shape and has a diameter of 116 metres by 104 metres. It is protected by a single rampart some 1.8 metres high with a partial 2 metre high bank protecting its southwest section.
Nine Maidens, Wendron
Bronze Age Stone Circle, Wendron
Grid reference SW681365
One of a number of sites in Cornwall named Nine Maidens, the stone circle at Wendron, near Helston dates from the Bronze Age. The remnants of two former stone circles, only nine stones remain, from an unknown original number. The site lies in a field on the east of the minor B3267 road about threequarters of a mile south of its junction with the B3280.
Bronze Age Fogou, Pendeen
Grid reference SW384355
Pendeen Vau or Fogou is a Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age structure dating from about 1000 BC to 400 BC. The fogou is set in a hedge in the farmyard of Pendeen Manor Farm and may be visited if permission has been granted by the farm owners. It is thought possibly to be part of a larger settlement. Some historians think that formerly there was a cliff castle near the present day Pendeen Watch Lighthouse, which is situated nearby. To back up this hypothesis, the translation of Pendeen or Pen-Dyn is 'Headland of the Castle'
Pennance Chambered Cairn
Neolithic Cairn, Zennor
Grid reference SW448376
Note: This tomb lies on private land - permission should be sought from Pennance Farm before visiting.
Although permission is needed to get to visit the Giant's Craw at close quarters, it can be seen from the B3306 near Zennor.
Pennance Chambered Cairn is of the Scillonian entrance grave type and is located in a field on the eastern slopes of the Penwith moors, between Zennor and Treen. It is in a remarkably good condition. The mound has a diameter of 8 metres and stands almost 2 metres high. It is bounded by large granite kerbstones. The internal chamber is 4 metres long, still covered with 4 slabs, and faces outwards towards the southeast. Thought to date from the Neolithic.
Phillack Inscribed Stone
Post Roman Inscribed Stone, Hayle
Grid reference SW565385
Located by the vestry within Phillack Church, Phillack Inscribed Stone dates from the 6th century. Its inscription reads: CLOTUALLI MOBRATTI - meaning something along the lines of 'Clotualos, great in judgement'.
Piskey Hall Fogou
Iron Age Fogou, Constantine
Grid reference SW728300
Locate in a field opposite Trewardreva House, Constantine, about half a mile north of Constantine. This feature lies partially underground and was formerly linked to an Iron Age settlement. Its curved passageway is covered for over 8 metres of its length. Easily missed it is however well worth a visit.
Iron Age Fogou, Zennor
Grid reference SW43413703
Porthmeor Iron Age Fogou lies beside the round room of a courtyard house part of the Porthmeor Iron Age settlement comprising at least 8 houses and 4 courtyard houses. It is now open to the sky but was originally roofed with lintels and corbelling. The fogou has a drain two-thirds of the way along the passage and is unusual in that it apparently has no creep passage but instead is curved so preventing the whole passage from being seen at any one point. However, both ends of the passage display sharp breaks in the walling suggesting that the passage was formerly significantly longer so allowing the possibility that it did once have a creep passage. The passage is just over 13 metres long and 2 metres wide. The remaining walls are 1.36 metres high and the maximum corbelled overhang just over 60 cms.
Porthmeor Round House Settlement
Iron Age Settlement, Zennor
Grid reference SW434371
Note: This site lies on private land so permission should be gained from Porthmeor Farm before visiting.
This late Iron Age settlement or village lies near Porthmeor Cove, roughly midway between Boswednack and Bosigran near Zennor. Excavated in the 1930's, the site also includes an above ground fogou, also dating from the Iron Age. The surrounding area is rich in ancient remains with Treen Barrows and Entrance Grave, Bosporthennis Quoit and Well, Carn Galver Cairn and Porthmeor Stone Circle all within a kilometer of this site. Dating from the Iron Age, the settlement consists of both courtyard houses also scattered hut circles.
Bronze Age Menhir, Helston
Grid reference SW659316
Prospidnick Menhir lies near the summit of Prospidnick Hill near Crowntown, Helston. This long stone stands 3 metres tall and is best accessed from a lane leading from the B3303.
Iron Age Hill Fort, Feock
Grid reference SW837404
Roundwood Castle is best described as an Iron Age promontory fort as it lies in woodland between two creeks of the River Fal. Situated on a point between Cowlands Creek and Roundwood Creek. The interior of the fort is protected by twin ramparts with associated ditches.
Post Roman Inscribed Stone, St. Just
Grid reference SW372315
The Selus inscribed stone stands in the north aisle of St. Just church. Standing 1.6 metres high it dates from the sixth century and is inscribed with: SELUS IC IACIT - 'Selus lies here'. On its side a Chi-Rho symbol is inscribed.
Sperris Croft Settlement
Bronze Age Settlement, Zennor
Grid reference SW473384
The Sperris Croft Settlement lies to the northeast of Sperris Quoit roughly midway between Towednack and Zennor and visible from Zennor and Trendrine Hills. The group of seven Bronze Age roundhouses are aligned west to east along the ridge top.
Neolithic Quoit, Zennor
Grid reference SW471382
This Quoit retains only one upright 1.5 metre stone from the original structure, although there are several others located nearby. It dates from the late Mesolithic or Neolithic period, some 4000-7000 years ago The quoit lies just to the NE of Zennor Quoit - Grid ref. SW468380 on the 230m contour between Zennor and Trendrine Hills. Technical Information: Height 1.5m
St. Hilary Inscribed Stone
Post Roman Inscribed Stone, St. Hilary
Grid reference SW551313
Situated in St. Hilary Churchyard this seventh century inscribed stone bears what looks like an alpha and omega symbol as well as the word 'NOTI' and the single letter 'M'.
St. Hilary Roman Milestone
Roman Roman Milestone, St. Hilary
Grid reference SW551313
Situated within St. Hilary Church, this ractangular pillar stands almost 1.3 metres high and is inscribed with: IMP CAES FLAV CONSTANTINO PIO NOB CAES DIVI CONSTANTI PII AUG FILIO, which translates as 'In the reign of the Emperor Flavius Valerius Constantinus, pious noble Caesar, son of the divine Constantius Pius Augustus'. The stone dates from between 306 and 308 AD
St. Michael's Mount Cliff Castle
Iron Age Cliff Castle, Marazion
Grid reference SW515299
Far better known for its medieval church and overall tourist attraction, St Michael's Mount also has a far more ancient side.
Artifacts found indicate occupation prior to Roman times, adding weight to the argument that this was the island of Ictis as recorded by Diodorus Siculus in the first century BC. More recent 5th and 6th Century AD finds of amphorae from the Mediterranean indicate that the island was an important trading port too.
The Iron Age cliff castle is made up by two now rather indistinct ramparts atop the Mackerel Bank on the north of the island. Six accompanying Round House sites have also been discovered to the east.
It should also be remembered that sea levels have altered over the past 4500 years as indicated by the Cornish name for the Mount 'Carrek Lûz en Cos - The Grey Rock in the Wood', indicating that this used to be a hill amongst a forest - traces of which can be seen at very low tides even today.
The Blind Fiddler
Bronze Age Menhir, Sancreed
Grid reference SW425282
Also known as the Tregonebris Stone, this standing stone dates from the Bronze Age and is over three metres high. It lies to the north of the A30 near Catchall, Sancreed.
Bronze Age Menhir, Lamorna
Grid reference SW435248
The Pipers are a pair of Bronze Age mênhirs (long stones) standing 4m and 4.5m tall in farmland just to the north-east of the Merry Maidens Stone Circle at Boleigh. Despite their size they are largely overlooked by the casual visitor. They form part of the Boleigh group of ancient sites. There is a definite alignment of these Bronze Age sites, leading from Boleigh Fogou at one end through the Pipers and Merry Maidens to Tregiffian Barrow and Gûn Rith, Grid ref. SW437252 to Grid ref. SW429245 at the other. The modern landscape however makes sighting this interaction almost impossible.
Three Brothers of Grugwith
Neolithic Cairn, St. Keverne
Grid reference SW761198
Located just to the west of Crousa Common, the 'Three Brothers' lie behind Zoar Garage. Hard to find, this late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age burial chamber or dolmen lies amongst bracken and scrubland. The 2.4 metre long capstone sits on top of two uprights forming a chamber with dimensions of 2.4m x 0.9m x 0.9m.
Bronze Age Holed Stone, Gweek
Grid reference SW706283
Note: The Tolvan holed stone lies in the back garen of Tolvan Cross Cottage near Gweek. Permission to view must be obtained from the owners.
This roughly triangular Bronze Age stone stands 2.3 metres tall and has a base of 2.2 metres. The hole, just off centre, has a diameter of 44cm.
Trebowland Round Enclosure
Iron Age Enclosure, Gwennap
Grid reference SW729387
Trebowland Round Enclosure lies near Trebowland Farm at Comford, near Gwennap. The enclosure is almost circular with a diameter of 90 metres surrounded by a single rampart 2.3 metres high, surrounded by an external ditch 1.5 metres high.
Treen Chambered Cairns
Neolithic Cairn, Treen
Grid reference SW438371
Treen Chambered Cairns lie just to the south of Treen, near Gurnard's Head west of Zennor. The pair of Scillonian type entrance graves dating from the Neolithic lie near to two other barrows. The best preserved cairn lies to the southeast and is a mound almost 8 metres across and 1.3 metres high with a 4 metres long, chamber, 1 metre high and 1.2 metres wide on its northern side. The chamber is orientated to mark the midwinter sun over Carn Galva. The northwestern entrance grave is the smaller of the two surviving tombs located about 55 metres from its neighbour. Its 1.1 metre high mound measures 6.1 metres across and the small surviving inner end of its chamber faces south-west. Only one capstone survives. Access is relatively easy as there is room to park near to the field gate, and a public footpath runs from the road, over the stone hedge and up the field adjacent to the barrows.
Treen Common Enclosure
Iron Age Enclosure, Treen
Grid reference SW444366
Roughly oval in shape, Treen Common Enclosure is a mixture of erect and fallen stones resembling a ruined stone circle. It lies to the west of the Penzance to Gurnard's Head about one mile south of Treen.
Bronze Age Cairn, St. Just
Grid reference SW380322
Tregeseal Chambered Cairn is of the 'Scillonian Entrance Grave' type and dates from the late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age. It is located in a field, to the northeast of Tregeseal, St. Just. Surrounded by a large oval mound measuring 12.5 metres by 9.4 metres. It stands 1.4 metres high. The chamber measures 3.3 metres by 1.2 metres. Only two of the original capstones remain in place.
Tregeseal Stone Circle
Neolithic Stone Circle, St Just
Grid reference SW387324
Lying below the hill of Carn Kenidjack midway between Pendeen and St. Just. This site exhibits two relatively small stone circles. Unfortunately only the eastern one is almost complete. Once again they have 19 upright stones but have been restored in places. Technical Information: Circle Diameters 21m (Eastern) and 23m (Western)
Neolithic Barrow, Lamorna
Grid reference SW430244
A Neolithic Chamber Tomb or barrow of the Scillonian type. It is situated adjacent to the Merry Maidens stone circle at Boleigh, north-west of Lamorna village. Discovered during road widening in the mid nineteenth century, it is overlooked by many visitors who speed past this 4,500 year old site.Technical Information: Width 1.8m, Height 1.0m.
Tregonning Hill Rounds
Iron Age Round, Germoe
Grid reference SW602303
Tregonning Hill Rounds lie to the northeast and east of Castle Pencaire atop Tregonning Hill near Germoe. The settlement rounds date from the Iron Age and are almost circular, with diameters of 90 x 80 metres. Their single ramparts attain a maximum height of 2.6 metres.
Neolithic Menhir, St Keverne
Grid reference SW7776921044
Otherwise known as 'The Longstone', this standing stone is situated in the middle of a field about 200 metres northeast of the settlement of Tremenheere, near St. Keverne. Indeed, the name of the hamlet comes from the stone in that 'Tremenheere' means 'farm or homestead of the long stone (menhir)' in Cornish. The 3 metre tall Standing Stone consists of the local gabbro rock rather than the more common granite and is best accessed via the public footpath between Tremenheere and Trevallack.
Trencrom Castle Hill Fort
Neolithic Hill Fort, Lelant
Grid reference SW518362
Trencrom Castle Hill Fort stands upon Trencrom Hill, between Lelant and Nancledra. Otherwise known as Trecobben, the hill fort has marvellous views all around and could quite easily control the land around its flanks. Artifacts such as Neolithic axes have been found here indicating that the hill has been occupied from the earliest times. The fort makes use of the natural geology and has a rather unusual shape in that it resembles a pear. It is approximately 137 metres by 91 metres, and is aligned north-south. In the Iron Age a 2.5 metre high wall was erected to enclose the hilltop.
Trendrine Hill Barrows
Bronze Age Barrow, Zennor
Grid reference SW479387
Trendrine Hill Barrows sit atop the 247 metre high Trendrine Hill. The three barrows date from the The southernmost barrows is a mound 14 metres in diameter and 2 metres high kerbed by very large stones. At the centre of the mound are the remains of a large cist including a displaced capstone. The largest and northermost barrow is a large cairn of stones 20 metres across and 3 metres high now topped by an Ordnance Survey pillar. All that can be seen of the third barrow is a slight mound between the other two.
Iron Age Cliff Castle, Porthcurno
Grid reference SW397222
Not to be confused with Trereen Dinas near Gurnard's Head, Treryn Dinas is an Iron Age Cliff Castle to the west of Porthcurno on the south coast of the Land's End Peninsula. Claimed by many to be Cornwall's best Cliff Castle the site is truly spectacular. The headland is defended by three ramparts with external ditches. The landward rampart stands 6.5 metres tall and runs for over 270 metres from west to east. Inside of this lie two other incomplete ramparts, standing 2 metres high, again with external ditches. To seaward lies the mystical 70 tonne rocking stone known as Logan Rock [Logan or Loggan being Cornish for 'Rocking Stone'].
Tresvennack Pillar Mênhir
Bronze Age Menhir, Drift
Grid reference SW442279
Tresvennack Menhir Pillar stands alone in a field just to the southwest of Tresvennack Farm, to the west of Newlyn. Marked on the OS maps as Tresvennack Pillar this 3.6 metre tall long stone dates from the Bronze Age and can be reached by footpath from the Newlyn to Drift minor road. On excavation in the 1840's a large urn complete with human bones was discovered at its base. The urn is on display at Penlee House Museum in Penzance. several other sites lie nearby including Chyenhal Menhir, Faugan Round Hill Fort and the Kerris Standing Stone and Settlement.
Truthwall Common Cairns
Bronze Age Cairn, St. Just
Grid reference SW389326
Truthwall Common Cairns lie between the holed stones on Kenidjack Common and Tregeseal Stone Cicle at St. Just. These cairns are in a poor state of repair with many of their stones 'robbed out'. They formerly stood about 1.8 metres high.
Bronze Age Menhir, Newmill
Grid reference SW460350
Little known, Trye Menhir lies in a field at Trye Farm near Newmill on the Penzance to Gurnard's Head road. Dating from the Early Bronze Age, this longstone stands 2.7 metres tall and has a triangular cross section.
Upper Treen Settlement
Iron Age Settlement, Treen
Grid reference SW438372
Situated about 100 metres northwest of the Treen Chambered Cairns, this group of four Iron Age courtyard houses lie closely packed together. The best preserved walls stand 1.5 metres high.
West Lanyon Quoit
Neolithic Quoit, Morvah
Grid reference SW423338
West Lanyon Quoit lies 800 metres to the west of the better known Lanyon Quoit. Sadly fallen, West Lanyon Quoit stands on a southwest facing slope with only two of its stones remaining. The largest stone is a substantial slab over 2m long. The site is on private farmland and was formerly buried by soil. It was rediscovered in the 1790's by the owner of the Lanyon Estate. Whilst sheltering from a rain shower, he noticed that the soil seemed very rich. He instructed his servants to remove the soil. On digging they discovered the fallen cromlech. The owner instructed his servants to continue digging and in so doing discovered a broken urn containing ashes; a skull and the upper bones of a human body. Experts consider this to be a Bronze Age burial inserted into a Neolithic monument.
Wicca Round Houses
Bronze Age Settlement, Zennor
Grid reference SW473384
The three round houses at Wicca, lie just to the northwest of Sperris Croft and are grouped closely together. they are thought to at from the Late Bronze Age
Mesolithic Quoit, Town
Grid reference SW469380
Set as it is near the summit of the imposing Zennor Hill, the Quoit must have been quite an awesome sight when intact but is now a shadow of its former self. Some time ago a farmer tried to demolish it and only succeeded in toppling the huge 5 metre capstone (weighing in excess of 9 tons) so now it lies partly toppled on its uprights. It dates from the time of the Quoit or Cromlech builders during the Late Mesolithic or Neolithic period. Technical Information: Height 2.4m