Trewardreva fogou can be found in a quiet field just outside the village of Constantine. This hidden site is a long way from the Penwith where the majority of the known fogous can be found. Also known as the Piskey Hall this fogou is a little smaller than the ones at Boleigh or Halliggye, but equally beautifully constructed and mysterious.
When I visited recently I was surprised to see how much the brambles had sprung up around the entrance, hiding the first of the eight huge granite slabs that provide the roof of this covered passage. Getting inside was a little tricky but once through the entrance I found a passageway as impressive as its cousins further west, though a little more modest in dimensions.
While other fogous have passages that are 20m or more long this one is only 8.5m in length and it also has no visible side or creep passage. It is thought however that it may have extended further in the past.
It’s not clear where the origin of it’s Piskey Hall nickname is but we have all heard the tales of these mischievous little beasties causing trouble around and about the Cornish countryside. This 1911 account from Evans Wentz’s ‘Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries’ amused me, it is almost certainly about the Trewardreva fogou, which is close to the Bosahan quarry.
John Wilmet, 78 years old, began by telling me the following tale about an allee couvert: “William Murphy, who married my sister, once went to the pisky-house at Bosahan with a surveyor and the two of them heard such unearthly noises in it that they came running home in great excitement, saying they had heard the piskies.”
Standing alone in the quiet of the passage it is easy to imagine all kinds of strange goings on and heaven forbid you catch a cobweb in the face!
This fogou, like the others of its kind, was once part of an Iron Age settlement that has now been destroyed and because is isn’t as deep underground as some of the others it is still quite noticeable in the landscape as a hump of scrubby ground.
To reach the fogou you have to cross a privately owned field but the farmer said is happy for people to visit as long as they follow the rules of the countryside. The field is regularly used for grazing, so just be aware of this if you plan to visit.
You will find the fogou about half a mile north of the village of Constantine on the B3291 in the field directly opposite the drive to Trewardreva House, you will easily spot the grand granite gate posts.