We visited Boscawen-un stone circle again this week mainly because Charles loves to photograph the ancient Cornish landmarks! 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.
Spotting the Boscawen-un sign
We drove along the Penzance to Land’s End road, peering to our left for a 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! We parked as the traffic sped passed towards Land’s End and we set off in the autumn sunshine along a broad, grassy, path
The bracken was already turning to autumn bronze and the glossy black berries of 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 the circle could be glimpsed 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 (There is a gateway a little further on the right though)
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. This stone is thought to represent the female within the feminine ring, tht surounds the single male standing stone.
It is thought that the female quartz stone is aligned to the full moon at solstice and the male stone is aligned to the rising sun.
Look out for two fallen stones on the north eastern corner. One 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. There are a number of standing stones and circles nearby – the Merry Maidens the Blind Fiddler and the Piper are the most well known surviving examples.
Codasil to our visit
We didn’t discover the carvings of course but we did visit a very special place of ancient spirituality.
We had the privilege of wandering amongst the stones, erected so very long ago and you know when we reached the road Lucy Land Rover had found two friends to join her in the lay-by. A layby that is a quiet eddie in this little backwater, as the traffic roars passed towards Lands End!
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