A visit to Boscawen-un stone circle


Boscawen- un a bronze age stone circle just off of the Penzance to Lands end road quite near to St Buryan

Boscawen- un a bronze age stone circle just off of the Penzance to Lands end road quite near to St Buryan

We visited Boscawen-un stone circle again this week mainly because Charles love to photograph the ancient Cornish landmarks and at one point he had built up a fairly good collection but it was sadly lost down a crack of the computer never to be seen again. The years have gone by and a return visit to Boscawen –un, a well preserved stone circle came to the top of our to-do list at last and the other afternoon we had a couple of hours to spare and so we set off!

We drove along the Penzance to Land’s End road, peering to our left for a small footpath entrance and small lay-by to park in just prior to Crows-an-Wra . Bingo!! We spotted a kissing gate with Boscawen-un carved into one of the posts! Lucy Landrover was left to look after herself all alone except for the traffic speeding towards Land’s End and we set off in the autumn sunshine along a broad, grassy, path

kissing gate leading to stone circle

Look out for the the little kissing gate from the road

With the bracken beside us already turning the bronze of autumn and with the glossy black berries of late summer flanking the path, it was a pleasant walk along the well trimmed track to find the Bronze Age circle again. A fork in the path brought a moment of indecision but Charles had already spotted the circle ahead of us and so the choice was an easy one. This route brings you to a wall with projecting traditional granite steps set within it and an arch of trees framing the first glimpse of ancient site. The stones of this circle are much chunkier and have a more powerful feeling than the previous circles we had visited and Charles was intrigued after recently reading of a newly discovered carving on one of the stones, in the north east corner of (perhaps) two feet.


About Boscawen-un Stone Circle

Boscawen- un is an early Bronze Age stone circle of nineteen stones, arranged in a slight ovoid with a wider westward facing entrance, set around a central stone. Eighteen of the stones are hewn from granite and the nineteenth stone is interestingly made of Quartz and it is this stone that is thought particularly to represent the female within the again feminine ring, surrounding the single male standing stone. It is thought that the quartz stone is aligned to the full moon at solstice and the male stone is aligned to the rising sun.

Boscawnen-un stone cicle

Boscawen-un A bronze age stone circle near St Buryan in West Cornwall

Look out for two fallen stones on the north eastern corner, one of which bears an axe petroglyph similar to those found at Stonehenge.


Boscowen-un – The Megalithic arrangement

This circle is part of a “megalithic arrangement” extending over part of the Land’s End peninsula with a number of standing stones and circles nearby – the Merry Maidens the Blind Fiddler and the Piper are the most well known surviving examples.

We didn’t discover the carvings of course but we did visit a very special place of ancient spirituality and had the privilege of wandering amongst the stones, erected so very long ago and you know when we wandered back to the road Lucy Land Rover had found two friends to join her in the lay-by in this little backwater as the traffic roared passed towards Lands End!

If you’ve enjoyed this blog take a look at my blog Ancient sites to visit in west Cornwall and travels with Lucy Land Rover

A translation of the name with thanks to the Craig Weatherhill*

Boscawen-Un is a Cornish name, from the words bos (farmstead) and scawen (elder or elderberry tree). The suffix Un denotes an adjacent pasture. Therefore, the name translates as the pasture of the farmstead at the elderberry tree.

*Bard of Gorsedh Kernow who lives in Newbridge and is a member of the Cornish Place Names Panel



About Christine Taylor

Christine has written a weekly blog about life at Ednovean Farm and interesting places to visit in West Cornwall for over ten years now, concentrating on those off the beaten track places that only the locals find. Charles and Christine Taylor have hosted Luxury Bed and Breakfast at Ednovean Farm Nr Penzance in West Cornwall since 1991 and live there with three cats and five horses, including a Spanish Stallion called Danni. Ednovean Farm has been awarded AA five star gold for Bed and breakfast and is included in The Michelin Guide and The Alastair Sawday Guide . The Farmhouse and gardens has been featured in BBC Homes and Antiques, Homes and Gardens. Period Living and 25 Beautiful Homes as well as being used as a film and photo shoot location.

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