October 16, 2014

Exploring Cornwall’s ancient and mysterious stones

Boscawen-un Stone Circle
Boscawen-un Stone Circle

I recently returned from Cornwall—a precinct of England known for its haunting landscapes—to tour some of the the mysterious fields of stone that have been sacred here for four thousand years. I wondered what these ancient temples had meant to the stone age people who built them?  Why, I wondered, have  people continued to continued to hold them sacred down through time?

They aren’t hard to find on the map. From single standing stones along the roadside to stone circles plots protected by the National Trust, there are over a thousand stone sites in Cornwall. But getting there requires negotiating narrow back roads defined by hedges than conceal ancient stone walls—all while driving on the “English” side of the road.

Some of the sites are near the road; others require hikes of a quarter to a half mile over bucolic countryside.

Approaching the stones felt to me like entering an outdoor cathedral. There was a power that’s hard to define—a magnetic energy that invited reflection and offered a feeling of great peace.

Here are a few of my favorites:

 

To learn more about the stones of Cornwall here are some great references:

Guidebooks:

  • A guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany by Aubrey Burl  http://amzn.to/1qEyKC0
  • Merry Maidens Stone Circle and Other Nearby Ancient Sites by Ian Cook  http://nyti.ms/1uXzK9C
  • Prehistoric Sites in Cornwall by John Michell http://amzn.to/1tyrcrl

Video:

  • Standing With Stones: A Journey Through Megalithic Britain  http://amzn.to/1nreGHl

Here are five of my favorite stone sites:

A menhir (standing stone)  near Zennor
A menhir (standing stone) near Zennor
Boscawen-un Stone Circle, a Bronze Age stone circle close to St. Buryan in Cornwall
Boscawen-un Stone Circle, a Bronze Age stone circle close to St. Buryan in Cornwall
Trethevy Quoit on Bodwin Moor, a neolithic burial site
Trethevy Quoit on Bodwin Moor, a neolithic burial site
Men-an-Tol, a Bronze Age site near Penzance
Men-an-Tol, a Bronze Age site near Penzance
Cornish cross at Fowey Parish Church is a memorial to the town's soldiers killed in three wars
Cornish cross at Fowey Parish Church is a memorial to the town’s soldiers killed in three wars

Filed under:CornwallEnglandGreat RuinsPhoto Op || Tagged under:

  • Fabiana

    Thanks for the liks! I am doing some research on the cornwal stones. I really want to go there.

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