Friday 20 April 2018

Circles & Quoits in West Penwith

11th September 2014
It's a lovely sunny morning as we leave our B&B in St Just for another day of stones, birds and some lovely West Cornwall countryside.
Heading North out of St Just, we go through Botallack, then Trewellard,where we take a right turn on the B3318, until we come to the Parking spot below Woon Gumpas Common (Opp the T Junction).

The Common is a riot of colours - yellow of the Gorse, various purples of the Heather and the green of the Bracken are a feast for the eyes. High on the hill above, you can just about make out Chun Quoit and various tracks lead in all directions. It's a bit soggy at the start, but improves as I make my way up. The small tracks up, come and go, some end abruptly, some are very narrow through the gorse. Cornish Gorse seems particularly sharp and prickly on the legs !

Chun Quoit gets ever nearer and I am soon standing at the familiar mushroom shaped quoit. This is one of the iconic ancient sites in West Penwith. Four uprights support the large capstone, which is the only one in West Cornwall in it's original position. The views from here are amazing as well, with West Penwith stretched out before you.

Carrying on West will bring you to Chun Castle, the settlement that crowns Chun Downs.

I make my way back down to the car park and set off over the road and down a track on the left, passing a cairn hidden in the bracken. A male Whinchat perched on the gorse looks magnificent as he watches me pass by.

Further down this track in the inscribed stone at Boslow. The inscription is unreadable now. The stone weathered and covered in lichen. Craig Weatherhill, in his book Belerion, says that the inscription reads jac-t vena (prob - hic jacit vena - "here lies Vena), though pastscape note it as TAET UERA. There is also a cross inscribed on it's Southern face.

From here there is a track out on to the common and up to Carn Kenidjack - "The Hooting Carn". Again the area is ablaze with the yellow, purple and green. Atrack will lead you in a more or less Southerly direction until the stone circle at Tregeseal appears.

This circle is the only one left, of an original three circles, which sat here in an East - West line, The Western circle has long vanished. The middle one was destroyed in 1961, though a few of the stones are still in the field hedge.
The circle has nineteen stones, some of which have been re erected over the years. It's a lovely secluded spot and one of my favourite circles to visit.

There are a line of five holed stones on the common, They are not always easy to find and on this occasion I somehow miss them as I head back up one of the tracks to Carn Kenidjack and back to the car.
The next stop is just a little way along the road, There is a cross roads of sorts. A trackway leads either side of the B3318 at SW395330 and there is just enough space to pull in. I take the track which leads to Chun Downs and Trehyllys but turn off right after just a few yards and follow the track towards the air traffic control station. After a while, there is a gate leading out onto Boswens Common and Boswens Menhir is visible a short distance away.
This is another fantastic stone. From certain angles it looks as though it is twisted as it points skywards. It stands at around 2.4 metres and is situated in the centre of a ruined Barrow.
I take an alternaative route back, following a track down North West to rejoin the Chun Down/Trehyllys track and back to the car.

Time for a spot of lunch, so we head off to Penlee House  Gallery and cafe to enjoy lunch and admire the ancient market cross which sits among the exotic plants of Morrab Gardens

A quick visit to Marazion Marsh to catch up with a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper that had been reported. Luckily the bird is still there and good views are had. Before we drive up to the hamlet of Boskednan and park near Greenburrow Mine (Ding Dong mine). There are various tracks leading past the engine houses and over the common and eventually to the Boskednan Nine Maidens stone circle.

I haven't been here for a good number of years - the last time, I walked from the Men an Tol. Since my last visit, there has been some restoration work. Three stones have been re erected and several stones that were leaning, have been straightened. A lot of the scrub has been cleared too.
So now there are eleven stones standing out of an unknown original number.Though there were nineteen recorded in 1754 by Borlase (thirteen standing and six fallen). The restoration looks really impressive. Once again the views are far reaching and amazing.

It's getting late now, so we nip down to Sennen Cove to catch the sunset, before returning to our B&B for the evening.

No comments:

Post a Comment