The quoits – ancient burial chambers – consist of several upright stones supporting an enormous horizontal capstone. Originally, these were fancied to be altars of the Druids. Circles of standing stones, such as the Merry Maidens, are said to represent ancient ceremonial meeting places, while ominous holed stones appear to mark entrances to graves. Several holy wells also remain, some with reputed powers, such as at Madron, where users still hang strips of rags on nearby bushes hoping their dreams will come true.
Close by, on a windy hillside at Chysauster, lie the evocative remains of an ancient Romano-Cornish village with the oldest identifiable street in England. The ruins of the eight surviving houses – with their terraced gardens and even the remains of sleeping benches – offer an enduring impression of life here 2,000 years ago. Today Chysauster’s only residents are the unusual species of birds that haunt this stretch of coastline and the wild flowers that carpet the ruins.
In an area home to more than 2000 years of continuous mining activity, many more silent memorials remain. When foreign competition brought the collapse of tin and copper mining in the late 19th century, mines were abandoned almost overnight. Mining was so important here that the coolapse nearly destroyed Cornwall’s economy. Left to decay, the weathered ruins of failed mines offer a powerful and evocative image of bygone days.
WHERE TO STAY..
With over 47 years experience and over 250 hand-picked and personally inspected properties, Cornish Traditional Cottages www.corncott.com offer self catering holiday accommodation in exceptional locations throughout Cornwall.
DOZMARY POOL BARN, Bodmin, Cornwall (Sleeps 6)
An isolated, and beautifully, renovated granite barn, on the bank of the wild and remote Dozmary Pool. The house is warm and modern inside and furnished to the highest standards. It has three double bedrooms, an open plan sitting room, dining area and kitchen with woodburning stove. There are 2 terraces overlooking the lake, the perfect spot for birdwatchers and water enthusiasts, just 10 metres from the waters edge. Approached by a narrow unmade lane, the fully glazed front door leads directly into the open plan living room with slate tiled floor. There is one ground floor bedroom with a double bed, lovely views of the garden and beyond to the lake, and an en-suite. In one corner of the lounge, an oak staircase leads up to the first floor landing where there are two further bedrooms with twin beds, oak flooring and good views over the lake and the surrounding countryside. The grounds are enclosed and the banks of the lake just a few feet beyond the garden wall. It is possible to launch canoes on Dozmary Pool and there is a natural right to roam on foot over much of the surrounding moorland. Jamaica Inn at Bolventor is 1½m away, and the surrounding villages of Altarnun, Blisland, St Breward and St Cleer all have local shops and pubs. The larger towns of Bodmin and Launceston are about 20 minutes drive. There’s a FREE WEEKS HOLIDAY for anyone that recovers the historic Excalibur sword during their stay at the property…
VARLEY, Treven, Near Tintagel (Sleeps 4-6)
A spacious bungalow set in a large walled garden with extensive sea views out to Glebe Cliff, the surrounding countryside and less than a mile from the medieval village of Tintagel. A light double bedroom, looks out across wide open farmland, and a large kitchen offers panoramic views of the garden and coastline beyond. The property is set in Treven, one of the seven parishes of Tintagel where there is a wide range of shops & pubs, just a short walk to the coastal footpath, and only a few minutes drive to the beach at Trebarwith Strand.
PENDENNIS, Tintagel (Sleeps 6-8)
An Edwardian house with views across fields towards the coast and minutes from the beach at Trebarwith Strand. Set in an elevated position, it has a landscaped hillside garden with a seating area above a WWII air raid shelter. The bedrooms all have natural wood floors and views of the countryside. Downstairs the mosaic tiled hallway leads off to a light & airy sitting room with stripped wood floor, period fireplace and a large bay window looking down the valley to Trebarwith. At the rear of the house is a spacious kitchen with a slate floor, long dining table and decorative range. There is also a childrens’ playroom with table football. Trebarwith Strand is a 20 minute walk by footpath and the Mill House Inn is a stroll downhill. Tintagel boasts shops, pubs & restaurants as well as the mediaeval castle.
To plan a Cornwall holiday, find out more at www.visitcornwall.com
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