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Cornwall: PreHistory
Cornish Cottages: LanyonquoitStone circles and ancient sites. Because it has been sparsely populated in modern times, Cornwall retains a huge amount and traces of early prehistoric sites, such as the famous Lanyon Quoit (shown), built following the so-called 'Neolithic Revolution' that began in 8000 BC.
Land of the Celts. As with most of the British Isles, Cornwall was populated by ethnic groups which have since become known as the Celts. Roman influence in the peninsula was not as extensive west of Exeter (Isca). The difficulties of reaching Cornwall, other than by sea, was also important to the survival of Celtic culture following the spread of the Angles and Saxons. The kingdom of Dumnonia (and its sub-canton, Cornubia) was eventually overrun by the Saxons of Wessex. The slow procession westward meant that Cornwall remained distinct from the rest of England. Below right : Men-An-Tol

Cornish Cottages: Men an TolWhat you can see today
If the name is in blue, click on it to go to a dedicated site.

Zennor Quoit High up on the Penwith moor this structure with large, flat slabs stands. The capstone leans at an angle from the ground due to the collapse or removal of a support. Grid Ref: SW469380, Latitude: 50.187221, Longitude: -5.546141
Lanyon Quoit (photo at the top of this page) Chamber tomb. Before 1815, a man on horseback could pass under the capstone. Adjacent east side of Penzance-Madron-Morvah road.
Men-An-Tol Holed stone. Along a track on east side of Penzance-Madron-Morvah road. Grid Ref: SW426349, Latitude: 50.157540, Longitude: -5.604165
Cornish Cottages: ChunquoitChun Castle Iron Age hill fort. Double embanked ramparts, well and Chun Quoit (photo right) nearby, a Neolithic antiquity on the moors above Morvah. West of Penzance-Madron-Morvah road. Excellent scenic view point. Grid Ref: SW402340, Latitude: 50.148415, Longitude: -5.637086.
Trencrom Hill Second century BC rampart. Hut circles and well. 'Giant' legends. Excellent scenic viewpoint. North-east of Penzance, off B3311 St.Ives-Penzance road.
Gurnard's Head Cliff Castle (marked as Trereen Dinas). Path from Gurnard's Head coastguard station near hotel on B3306.
Carn Euny Hut circles and splendid fougou. Signposted from Drift on A30 west of Penzance.
Merry Maidens Circle of nineteen standing stones just south of B3315 about one mile west of Lamorna valley. Nearest town: Penzance Nearest village: Trewoofe OS Sheet: 203 OS Map reference: SW433245
Madron Baptistry Wishing well, roofless Norman chapel, baptistry and altar slab. The well is accredited with curative powers. Signposted on the Penzance-Madron-Morvah road.
Carn Euny Ancient Village. Sancreed, near Land's End (SW 403288). English Heritage. There is fine preservation of stone house foundations and an underground passage, or fogou. The finds are at the Royal Cornwall Museum.
Cornish Cottages: ChysausterChysauster Ancient Village. Madron, near Land's End (SW 472350). Courtyard houses, a fougou and field system. Footpath from Badger's Cross to Newmill road. The finds are at the Royal Cornwall Museum.
Photo left shows Chysauster Ancient Village

Cornish Crosses Cornwall has the highest concentration of Celtic crosses in the country, most easily accessible. In Cornwall, the style of cross tends to be freestanding. Part of the simplicity of the Cornish crosses is due to the difficulty of carving granite.

Carn Brae Occupied from 3,900BC, and was protected from attack by stone ramparts. Archaeological evidence shows the settlement was attacked and burned down at some point in its history. Hoards of Celtic coins have also been found on the hill during excavation. According to folklore, a giant called John of Gaunt lived on this ancient site. The giant had a rivalry with another local giant called Bolster. The two would often engage in battle and throw boulders at each other. The many large erratics found in this area are supposed to be remnants of their battles. Map ref: SW 683 407. Directions: Carn Brae is to the South West of Redruth. A footpath from Churchtown leads up the hill.

MEYN MAMVRO Magazine of ancient stones and sacred sites in Cornwall.
Antiquities in West Cornwall | A Guide To Ancient Monuments in the UK | Stones of England

Cornish Cottages: Truro MuseumRoyal Cornwall Museum River Street, Truro. Some fine Iron Age exhibits, including some fromthe tin industry that flourished in Cornwall from the Stone Age to the present day. Also, the natural history of Cornwall, a world famous collection of minerals, a pre-eminent collection of ceramics, collections of ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities, and a changing display of fine and decorative art.  The museum has a diverse range of temporary exhibitions, from photographs to textiles, Old Master drawings to natural history, many of which have free admission.

Some early dates relevant to Cornwall
Evidence of the spread of Celtic customs and artefacts across Britain; more and varied types of pottery in use, more characteristic decoration of jewelry. There was no known invasion of Britain by the Celts; they probably gradually infiltrated into British society through trade and other contact over a period of several hundred years; Druids, the intellectual class of the Celts (their own word for themselves, meaning "the hidden people"), begin a thousand year floruit.
c.150 Metal coinage comes into use; widespread contact with continent.
c.100 Flourishing of Carn Euny (Cornwall), an iron age village with interlocking stone court-yard houses; community features a "fogou," an underground chamber used, possibly, for storage or defense
184 Lucius Artorius Castus, commander of a detachment of Sarmatian conscripts stationed in Britain, led his troops to Gaul to quell a rebellion. This is the first appearance of the name, Artorius, in history and some believe that this Roman military man is the original, or basis, for the Arthurian legend. The theory says that Castus' exploits in Gaul, at the head of a contingent of mounted troops, are the basis for later, similar traditions about "King Arthur," and, further, that the name "Artorius" became a title, or honorific, which was ascribed to a famous warrior in the fifth century.
937 Battle of Brunanburh: Athelstan defeats alliance of Scots, Celts, Danes, and Vikings, and takes the title of "King of all Britain"

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| Charis Cottage | Tigh-na-Mara | Cornwall | What to do | Festivals & events | History | Prehistory | Present Day | Cornish Language | St Piran & the Cornish Flag |

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