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Boscowan Un, Cornwall

OS Ref:  SW412274          Type: Oval, 22.3 to 25 m

Access: In summer, difficult due to overgrown path. Probably better in the winter. No official parking bur so long as numbers are small the local residents don't seem to mind. (The land is private)

Disabled: Forget it!

This is not an easy circle to find as there is no signposting from the A30. Access is via private land up a small track. Parking is minimal and, essentially, by the kindness of the landowner and tenants; if you go please respect their signs, wishes and expectations.

This is a pretty circle but, in summer at least, only for the determined. The OS map shows a track leading to the circle- forget it! In summer there is a longish walk up an overgrown bramble path and you should be prepared to have your outer clothing torn! Once you reach the circle you realise that it was well worth the effort.

I have yet to scan in photos but hope this page is OK until I do.

Tap Fido and he will walk you to (hopefully) an aerial photograph of the site from Multimap.

If this fails, go to Multimap and enter the OS reference, then you can get the photo that way.

From the path, there are two (not very obvious) ways into the circle over a ridge. The circle itself, visited in August 2002, was also overgrown but with cleared areas inside where people presumably keep undergrowth in check by merely walking there. Once inside, again, there is much foliage but the stones are clearly visible.

Boscowan Un appears to be the remains of a much larger site and in adjacent fields, as so often, are some outliers - standing stones associated with the circle. 

The circle has one centre stone which is well away from the middle and, interestingly, tilts at quite an angle. My British standard pace showed the centre of this stone's base to be about 10 paces from the nearest rear-stone and 16 to the front. (Or 9 paces from the back of the stone and 14 to the nearest front part -see sketch). 

Whether this tilt is deliberate or through the passage of time is unclear although there is archaeological evidence pointing towards a deliberate tilt. There are 19 stones in total.

Close examination of the centre stone reveals some interesting features:

  1. The tip of the (granite?) is white quartz. Although weathered and dull now, when in active use it is likely that, in a full moon, the tip would have stood out brilliantly, almost glowing and floating in the air about 2 metres high

  2. The menhir is supported by a small boulder which effectively blocks it from falling over. It is unknown whether this is original (in which case I suspect there might have been another small boulder - it is a very phallic shape) or whether the centre stone was originally upright/fallen and the boulder placed later by someone as a repair measure.

  3. There is a definite ridge running along the top with about a 90 degree angle. Again, millenia of weathering has made this less obvious, but it is there. (Could this have been used as an astronomical sight?) I did not have a compass so could not measure the stone's direction.

On the drive getting there we noticed a large number of stones which looked (to me at any rate) suspiciously like ex-structure items although there are a surplus of erratics (or even grey wethers) around there. It made me think that the circle was originally part of a large menhir complex.

One important point was a very large stone, now part of a wall, which lines up, according to my estimate of its location on the OS map of SW 417277, exactly with the circle and an outlier stone called the Blind Fiddler at SW 425282. This is not marked as a standing stone on the map, maybe as it could have been put there in the not-so-distant past. However, its alignment and size suggests to me that it is in its original position. I call it "Leanna's Stone". (What the heck?)

This site has evidence of active Pagan use and offerings were to be found. (I have a problem with some of them, but I'll let it go for now.....) Photographically challenging owing to the foliage, but the blackberries tasted nice!

At the risk of heresy, I would rather some formal parking, a cleared access path and, maybe, a small access charge to cover this work were introduced to make this more accessible; however I note the possibility that when legitimate visitors find it easier, so do the brainless morons we call vandals, too. For quiet contemplation, the difficult access reduces interference, too so maybe things are best left as they are....

 

Thats all about Boscowan Un stone circle.