The following description is lifted directly from [Lysons 1814]. It must be read in the context of that date.
Of the upright stones, two of the most remarkable are standing a furlong asunder, at Bolleit in St. Buryan, the one twelve, and the other sixteen feet higha. Dr. Borlase describes two in the tenement of Dryft in Sancred, and two others in that of Trewen-Madern, which he supposes to be sepulchral monuments. …
Circles of Stones.—The circles of erect stones are very frequent in this county, where they are generally known by the name of Dawns-mênb (the stone-dance): those hereafter enumerated are particularly described and figured in Borlase’s Antiquities of Cornwall:—Four in the hundred of Penwith, viz. Boscawen-ûn, and Rosmodrevyc, in the parish of St. Burian; Boskednand in Gulval: and an oval inclosure in the tenement fo Kerris, in the parish of St. Paul, formed by rude stones, 52 paces from north to south, and 34 from east to west called the Roundago; with four rude pillars, about eight feet high, at the southern terminatione:…a cluster of circles at Botallek in St. Just, some of them intersecting others:…a small circle of stones at Tredineck, in the parish of Gulvallj: a circle in the parish of Zennor, formed by small stones thrown loosely together, having at the entrance one tall pillark …
Rounds.—There are also in Cornwall several circular inclosures, with walls of stone or earth, on the inside of which are rows of seats, having been amphitheatres, originally intended for the exhibition of sports of various kinds, and where, in later times, the Cornish plays were represented; they are known by the name of Rounds, of Plân an guare (the place of sport);… Two of the most remarkable of these works, are the Rounds of St. Just and Piran; the former is described by Dr. Borlase as being an exact circle, of 126 feet in diameter; the perpendicular height of the bank being seven feet from the area within, but the height from the bottom of the ditch without, 10 feet, formerly more. The seats of stone, consisting of six steps, were 14 inches wide, and one foot higho: it is not at present nearly so perfect as it appears to have been when thus described…
Barrows.—Tumuli or Barrows, both of earth and stones, (the latter commonly known by the British appellation of Kairns,) are found in several parts of Cornwall, most of which may be considered as the sepulchral memorials of the Britons; though no doubt some of them, especially those which have been found to contain neatly executed urns, may be referred to the Romans, or Romanised-Britons. Dr. Borlase describes a tumulus of earth in a field at Trelowarren, opened in 1751, in the middle of which was a small cell, formed of stones, including bones; and in part of the barrow were found two urns, with their mouths downward, inclosing bones and ashes. … A stone tumulus of kairn at Tredinek in Gulval is figured in Dr. Borlase’s workq. In the year 1733, a barrow of earth in the tenement of Chickarn, in the parish of St. Just in Penwith, was found to contain, near the centre, a paved square cell of stone, in which was an ornamented urn, full of human bones; and a great number of plain urns were discovered i other parts of the barrowr: three barrows about a mile distant from that last-mentioned, situated in the tenement of Bosavern-Rôs, in the same parish, were opened in the year 1748: in one of them was found the skeleton of a man, having a long stone on each side, and one at each end; in another, there were several urns, one of which was enclosed in a stone cell.
Cromlechs.—Another kind of rude stone-monument, the Cromlech, which there is every reason to suppose sepulchral, consisting of a large flat stone, in a horizontal position, supported by several other fixed upright in the ground, is frequently found in this county, where it is commonly known among the country people, by the appellation of the Quoit, or the Giant’s-Quoit. The five following are particularly described by Dr. Borlase in his Antiquities of Cornwall: Môlfra-Cromlech, in the parish of Maddern, standing on a hill, surrounded by a stone barrow or kairn; the cover-stone being nine feet eight inches, by 14 feet 3 inches, including a piece which has been broken off and lying near it: Lanyon-Quoit, also in the parish of Maddern, 19 feet in length, and raised so high that a man on horseback may fit under it: Zennor-Cromlech, standing on a hill, about half a mile to the east of Zennor church-town, surrounded by a stone barrow: Chûn-Cromlech, the covering-stone of which is 12 feet 6 inches, by 11 feet, standing on a tumulus, about 500 feet south-west of Chûn-castle … [the remaining one is in Camborne] A few years before the year 1802, a cromlech was discovered under a tumulus of earth, in the parish of Maddern; and beneath it were found the remains of a human body.u
Celts.—The instruments of mixt metal, commonly called Celts, apparently cast in imitation of the stone hatchets and chisels of the early inhabitants of our island, nearly resembling those used by the natives of the South-sear islands, and in all probability applied to the same uses, have been found in greater abundance in Cornwall, than in any other part of the kingdom; and it seems probable that there was a considerable manufactory of them in the neighbourhood of the ancient mines in the western part of the country: … I the parish of Lalant, four miles north of St. Michael’s Mount, in the year 1802, a farmer discovered, about two feet below the surface of the earth, a quantity of celts, weighing about 14 or 15 pounds, with pieces of copper swords, and heavy lumps of fine copper, evidently brought thither for fusion; at the bottom of the socket of one of the celts were some small bars of gold, none of them larger than a straww. …
Caves.—Several artificial caves, or subterraneous passages, have been discovered in Cornwall, consisting of long galleries, running in various directions, formed of upright stones, with others laid across. Three of these are particularly described by Dr. Borlase, one of them in the tenement of Bolleit, in the parish of St. Burian, about seven feet high, and 36 feet from end to end, with another branching out on one side; another called the Giants’-holt, in the tenement of Bodinar, in the parish of Sancred; and the third, called Pendeen-Vau, the most curious of them, consisting of three caves or galleriesz; these he supposes to have been places of retreat for the Britons, and for securing their valuables in times of war and danger. A more extensive work of this kind has been discovered since Dr. Borlase’s time, near Trelowarren, consisting of several galleries, one of them 60 feet long, four feet wide, and five feet six inches high, being formed of rough stones, narrowing towards the top, which is covered with large blocks of stone, the entrance-passages formed by upright stones, with others laid across; but the exact form and extent of this work cannot be at present ascertained, much of it being filled up with rubbisha. …
In 1783, one of the ancient British ornaments of gold, in the form of a crescent, with a narrow zigzag patter slightly engraved on it, and weighing two ounces, four pennyweights, and six grains, was discovered near the remains of one of the circular earth-works, in the neighbourhood of Penzance: this curious relick, which is in the possession of Rose Price, Esq., is represented in the annexed plate.
In a croft, about half a mile to the north-west on Lanyon, in the parish of Maddern, lies a large sepulchral stone, nine feet ten inches long, called by the Cornish, Mén scryfaf (the inscribed stone). Dr. Borlase gives the inscription this, in his Antiquities of Cornwallg: “Rialobran—Curnoval—fil” (Rialobranus Curnovali fillus); the first and last letters of the inscription are now obliterated.h
There is a stone seven feet nine inches in length, lying across a brook as a foot-bridge, in Barlowena bottom, between the churches of Gulval and Maddern with this inscription in letters of a rude form, a good deal corrupted from the Roman, figured in Borlase’s Antiquities, p. 391. fig 4: “Quenatau=Icdinvi filus” (Quenatavus Icdinui filius.)
b Borlase’s Antiquities, p. 194.
c MS. Collections.
d Antiq. pl. 15. figs. 2 and 3. p.198.
e Ibid. p.198. and pl. 17. fig. 2.
j Ibid. pl. 15. fig. I.
k Ibid. pl. 15. fig. 4.
q Antiquities of Cornwall, p. 219. pl. 20. fig. 4.
r Ibid. p. 234.
u Archæol. vol. xiv. p. 228. Archæol. vol. xiv. p. 228. Archæol. vol. xiv. p. 228. Archæol. vol. xiv. p. 228.
w Archæol. vol. xv. p. 118. Archæol. vol. xv. p. 118. Archæol. vol. xv. p. 118. Archæol. vol. xv. p. 118.
z A plan and section of this cave are given in Bor lase’s Antiquities, pl. 25. p. 293.
a From the information of the Rev. J. Rogers.
f See the annexed plate, fig 3. [shown]
g P. 393.
h The learned Edward Lloyd, in his letter to Mr. Tonkin, says: “The reading in British is, Rhwalhoran map Kynwal, names not uncommon in our old Welsh pedigrees; I take it to be a thousand years standing.” (Borlase’s Antiquities, p. 394.)
Cornwall has produced few Roman antiquities, except coins, which of late years have been discovered, in great abundance, in the western part of the county: spear-heads, swords, and other weapons of mixt metal, neatly executed, and evidently Roman, have also been frequently found in the ancient mines and stream-works; and from the circumstances of lumps of metal, and fragments of weapons being found with the largest quantities of them, it is most probable, that there was a considerable manufactory of them in the neighbourhood of the mines. A bowl or patera of granite, 10 inches in diameter, was found at Ludgvan, and two small pateræn of granite in the tenement of Leswyn, in the parish of St. Just, and near them a large urn. …
Lelant mentions “a brass pot full of Roman money, found at Tredine” [Treryn]. … In 1723, at Kerris, in the parish of St. Paul, a vault was discovered eight feet long, and six feet high, paged with stone; within which was a small urn of the finest red clay, full of earth, and some small brass coins. …
Carte, in a note on his History of England (vol. i. p. 104.), says, that in the beginning of the last century, some Roman coins having been accidentally discovered in a barrow, in the fields of Ludgvan, the miners opened a great number of barrows in that neighbourhood, in hopes of finding treasure; but to their disappointment, found in most of them nothing more than a little cell, inclosing one or more urns, in some of which were a few coins: he had seen coins of Claudius, Nerva, Hadrien, Antoninus Pius, L. Versus, Lucilla, and Faustina found at this time. … In 1789, and urn was found in the parish of Morvah, within three quarters of a mile of Chûn castle, filled with Roman coins, mostly of copper, with a few of lead; this urn was found at the corner of a small inclosure, surrounded by a thick uncemented stone wallt: another urn, including Roman coins, was discovered in June 1793, about a hundred yards from the sea, in the parish of Ludgvan, and a little more than half a mile north-west of St. Michael’s-Mount: the coins, as well as those in the two last mentioned urns, were chiefly of Gallienus, Victorinus, and the Trtriciu. In 1807, three hundred of small copper and plated Roman coins, were found between two flat stones, under a large projecting rock, in a field very near the Land’s-end; they were chiefly of Gallienus, Postumus, victorinus, and Tetricus.w
n Deposited by Dr. Borlase in the Museum at Oxford, and figured in his Antiquities, p. 293. pl. 25. f. 6.8.
t Borlase’s Antiquities 226.
u Ibid. 229.
w From the information of the Rev. J. Rogers.
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