How easy to visit a site can it be?
As described elsewhere this is right next to the road and you can park in a layby only 20 metres away. There is an information board set into a wall. Stooping inside I noticed a large metal beam had been inserted to help keep the roof up. There is also what appears to be a heavily cup marked stone at the entrance to the barrow. Crawling out of the barrow I nearly gave a chap a heart attack as he was stood on the roof at the time and didn't know I was inside!!
I really should learn to look at the OS maps before I visit sites, you know.
On our way to the Merry Maidens we drove past this and I said "oh, wonder what that was" (Mark was doing his usual 60mph on country roads whilst I try to spot the stones as we whizz by!) and then spotted the Maidens in the field ahead.
We parked in the layby at the top of the road, walked down to the circle, across to Rith Menhir and then back along the road, via Tregiffian. I got all excited when I realised what we were approaching and, even though the road dissects the chamber, it is just great to see it within the context of the other sites. This muts've been the most amazing landscape at one time, littered with stones and fogous and chambers.
A mighty tomb with big stones and a big chamber now cruelly amputated by a main road. Yet despite the loss of its legs this is still a very powerful place, sandwiched in clear line of sight between the pretty dancing Merry Maidens stone circle and Gun Rith menhir which lurks in a hedgerow in the opposite field.
If you're heading out to see the Merry Maidens, then don't overlook Tregiffian, its well worth a look-see.
In my beer dazed state I stumbled on it, taking a few minutes to focus. Had the 17th century navies really drove this road straight through this structure. You wouldn't want a big bend around it though, it might slow up the speeding horse and cart. I can only believe that they were the ancestors of MT! Fab place though.
Despite being merely marked on our OS map as 'tumulous', this site was a superb long barrow, at the foot of the hill that has Merry Maidens circle on one side and the Pipers menhirs on the other, with the Gun Rith menhir just metres away to the north.
Quite incredibly, the construction of the road in 1840 decided not to go straight through this long chambered barrow nor to leave it intact, but to bend so as to obliterate half of it!
Covered in turf before 1840, the remaining half stands as bare stones. The largest of the capstones is thought to be a displaced menhir, and the others to have been moved from other parts of the monument.
There are madly large and deep cup marks on one of the entrance stones which appears to be made of very unusual rock. Which is indeed true, it's concrete as the original stone is in Truro County Museum.
Inside, an Iron girder supports the rear stone. And all the while traffic zooms by at speed.
And yet despite all of this, and the total loss of the northern half of the barrow, it still has strong presence and it is a very small task to imagine it in its original splendour.
Uniquely on this landscape, the monument has an explanatory plaque.
I strongly recommend Ian Cooke's 'Merry Maidens Stone Circle and other nearby ancient sites' pamphlet, available from local tourist info places, which provides a map, a suggest walking route and loads of history on this rich megalithic landscape.
It's a real shame that this site is partially submerged beneath the road, as I reckon it would have been another 'perfect' site had it not been (see the Merry Maidens for a definition of 'perfect'). Like Holy says, not a great place for meditation, though on a very busy day, from within the chamber perhaps the traffic noise above could give the same feeling as listening to Sunn O))), who knows? Traffic meditation, now there's a new idea! :-)
This really shocked me because it really is ON the B3315 road! It's such a beautiful burial chamber as well and would be even more well known if it hadn't been partially devastated by the road.
Considering how close it is to the Merry Maidens it's wise to park at the Merry Maidens and explore the stone circle, Tregiffian, and Gun Rith menhir all in one cracking visit.
There is a steel girder towards the back of the chamber, presumably to help hold up the stone from the pressures of modern life. The amazing cup-marked stone at the front right of the outside is actually an exact copy of the original, which is now in the County Museum in Truro.
September 2000 – wasn't tooo happy seeing this chambered-cairn, which has been f**ked over by road builders. Still it has faired alot better than similiar examples in Ireland.
Got some weird looks from folks wondering why I was looking around what they thought was a pile of useless stones, considering that The Merry Maidens were sooo nearby. Well, I thought the entrance was impressive & there's still plenty of room to get inside.
This barrow is in surprisingly good order, considering its unfortunate roadside position. It's almost ON the road itself, and that makes me wonder about the motives of the road - it's totally insensitive and something you'd expect the Romans to have done. Maybe there's just a general lack of interest in ancient sites down here, it seems that way. Having said that, there's the remains of an information board here, with the information ripped off (there seems to be some kind of Pro-Kernow group going round removing all references to English Heritage and blacking out English Roses on all signs, quite sinister but I don't know enough about it to understand where they're coming from).
But, despite its road-side position, this little barrow is a treat. Definitely not suitable for meditational use in the day time (unless you can trip out under traffic) it might be quiet enough at night to be of some use. Whatever, it's beautiful and we're lucky it hasn't been completely trashed by a vehicle or removed because of the danger it presents to drivers.
In answer to Holy McGrail, if in Ireland or Scotland you found English Heritage signs over all your ancient sites you would probably do something similar. The Cornish are not English but a Brythonic race related to the Welsh and Bretons. There has been a response to this and there is now a Cornish Heritage trust.