Survival Guide to the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

Yes I am aware that Stonehenge is not in Cornwall. However firstly I had such a wonderful experience that I wanted to share it and secondly I could find out very little information about the proceedings before I went so I thought that anyone thinking of going another year might like to read my top tips!

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So this is it – the season has rolled round again and we are now heading towards Autumn and ultimately Winter. Not the best thought when we are all just getting used to the sun on our shoulders and the sand between our Cornish toes. Continue reading

To the Stripple Stones

Whatever the time of year I love the moors. Whether it is in the depths of winter when the air is sharp with cold, one of those days the wind tugs at you and takes your breath away or at the height of a bright blue-skied summers day. Then its a very different place, you can hear the heat coming from the stones and the grass cracks under your feet.

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Watching the cloud shadows moving across those wide empty spaces, that is where I feel really at peace.  But of course these are not really empty spaces and each time I visit I find another new reason to go back.

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The Propped Stone of Leskernick Hill

The connections between ancient man, the stones structures they built and the natural rulers of the skies – the sun and the moon – are overwhelming.  It seems to me impossible to understand what mattered to our ancestors without taking into account the struggle they faced with the elements and their battle to understand their often hostile world.

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On the top of Leskernick hill hidden in a little visited part of Bodmin Moor lies a simple yet wonderfully intriguing pile of stones.  This stone construction pre-dates all the others that surrounded it and there are many!   Close by you can find the remains of numerous hut circles, a stone row and 2 stone circles. Continue reading

Three Forgotten Crosses

I guess you could say that I am nosy by nature.  I would prefer to be called curious or inquisitive but really I just like to know stuff.  As a child I drove my parents up the wall with endless questions – why this? and how that?  But you see if you don’t ask you can’t know.  And sometimes there is the joy of the unexpected discovery!

There is a rather grand gateway that I have driven passed numerous times and always silently wondered where it leads?  What are those smart gateposts for?  The other day I had the opportunity to take a little peek and found something quite unexpected!

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The driveway beyond those fancy gateposts leads to the Bosvathick estate, a family owned house and gardens with a quiet history tucked away near the small rural village of Constantine.  The house has been in the hands of one family since 1760 and has recently starting opening it’s doors to the public during the summer months.  It was something beside the driveway however that caught my attention before I even arrived at the house.

A group of 3 ancient crosses huddled together in a kind of rockery.  As someone who has spent many years wandering around her local area looking at ancient pieces of granite how did I know nothing about these? And what were they doing here? You see. . . too many questions!

I went away and looked into their story and found that there was very little information available and a good deal of confusion! According to my ‘go-to’ author for insight into Cornish Crosses, Andrew Langdon, no one seems very sure where they came from.

The stones themselves it appears all date from the medieval period.  Many stone crosses such as these were used as way-markers, guiding the traveller from one church to another through what would have been un-signposted and lonely countryside.

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It seems that these 3 little crosses ended up here because they were “gathered together” by the land owner of the estate in the 19th century.  Thomas Moor Horsford was the owner in around 1860 and Lakes Parochial Guide to Cornwall says that he “considerably improved the mansion and the grounds” adding a pair of splendid stone lions to the gardens. I wonder if the crosses were his addition also.

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The records that I have been able to dig up suggested that the crosses were brought to their present location from other sites nearby. Two are thought to be from Trewoon, in Budock Parish, an ancient hamlet which appears in the Doomsday book and one from Boswarren (or Bosvarron) close to Constantine.  Charles Henderson, another fantastic source of local history, first recorded the crosses in their present position in about 1870 and there they have stood ever since, hidden and pretty much forgotten about for nearly 150 years.

But there are still so many questions, don’t you think?!

Access to the crosses is restricted, please bear that in mind and go to Bosvathick’s website (link above) to see when they are open for a visit!  It was well worth the wait!

For more forgotten places try: William Tresidder’s Grave or Cornwall’s Oldest Road