The Cornish Statue Menhir – a Scilly Oddity

In 1944 the Reverend Henry Ardern Lewis arrived on St Martin’s, Isles of Scilly and alongside his duties for his new congregation, like so many clergymen of that time, he began dabbling in archaeology. And he was certainly spoilt for choice, St Martin’s is peppered with prehistoric remains, from standing stones to chambered cairns. During […]

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The Trelan Bahow Mirror & Trelanvean Cross

There are many objects that have been found in Cornwall lurking in vaults and display cases inside the British Museum. Treasures that I would just love to see with my own eyes . . . or better still, hold in my hands. The intricate Anglo-Saxon silver from the Trewhiddle hoard for example, or the huge […]

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Neolithic Greenstone Axe ‘Factory’, Polstrong Valley, Camborne

Much of prehistory is a complete mystery to us. There are so many unanswered questions. Practically everything we know about the Neolithic comes from the few objects that have survived the intervening centuries, and how we have subsequently interpreted those finds. But if we had to choose just one object to be the iconic symbol […]

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Nine Sisters Stone Circle & the Legend of Calvanick Barrow, Wendron

nine stones

With so many well known prehistoric sites on Bodmin Moor and Penwith it is easy to imagine that the central region in between, around Falmouth, Redruth and Truro, is devoid of ancient monuments. However, they are there if you know where to look. Rather than standing alone with a backdrop of dramatic moorland, these relics […]

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The Three Brothers of Grugwith

Not far from the village of Coverack is an open stretch of moorland called Crousa Downs. This rough ground is a home to adders, thick with knee-deep undergrowth and dotted with large boulders. But hidden amongst these natural stones is an ancient man-made structure called the Three Brothers of Grugwith (sometimes Grugith). In an area […]

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Colvannick Stone Row, Bodmin Moor

The landscape of Bodmin Moor is full of reminders of our ancient ancestors. This now wild, rocky upland was once their home, their hunting ground and a source of grazing for their animals but it also held a profound spiritual importance for them. Bodmin Moor, it could be argued, was a place of worship. Alongside […]

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Carburrow Tor, Bodmin Moor

“The parish of Warleggan . . . is surrounded on the west, south and east by deep, wild woods whilst on the north it is closed in by the sentinel-like Carburrow tor.” J. W. Malim, 1936 The Warleggan river rises high on Bodmin Moor not far from Hawks Tor. As it tumbles towards the sea […]

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Trewavas Head Chambered Cairn

trewavas chambered cairn

The headlands of Cornwall often have that ‘edge of the world’ feeling about them, and sometimes they can give the impression of being a bridge between worlds, between land and sea or earth and sky. Trewavas means ‘farm at a winter dwelling‘ and for me this translation really captures that feeling of being on the […]

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Mulfra Quoit

mulfra quoit

You can find Mulfra Quoit in ‘the land of granite and gorse’, high up on a hill overlooking the wide sweep of Mounts Bay. On a clear, bright day a finer location would be hard to imagine. Of the quoits found in Penwith this is one of the smallest but what it lacks in size […]

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Bosiliack Chambered Cairn


Having so many prehistoric monuments in such a relatively small area as the Penwith can mean that sometimes something rather special gets overlooked. I was sitting beside Bosiliack Cairn recently, eating my picnic and enjoying the last bit of sun. In the distance Lanyon Quoit was attracting a steady stream of visitors, as was Men […]

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