Two new books are to be released this month by the Cornwall Historic Enviroment team. One looks at the landscape and archaeology of the West Penwith moors whilst the other may raise a few eyebrows here..its about managing the landscape in the far west. Cows and stones...do they mix?
College playing field surrenders its Iron Age treasures
From the Western Morning News, Tuesday June 7th:
The playing fields of Truro College have been excavated to reveal two Iron Age settlements. Finds include fragments of South Western decorated ware dating from 200 - 100 BCE and a "La Tene" Celtic brooch of similar age:
A group of young people on an archaeological holiday in Cornwall with the Young Archaeologists' Club (YAC)(1) have discovered two previously unrecorded oblong, grave-shaped stone mounds (2) on Minions Moor, part of Bodmin Moor... continues...
The village herbalists and rural advisers have not entirely fallen into disrepute. Many are the remedies, some no doubt beneficial, recommended by them. The use of some, however, are equivocal. Thus rheumatism is attempted to be cured by a "boiled thunderbolt;" in other words, a boiled celt, supposed to be a thunderbolt. This is boiled for hours, and the water then dispensed to rheumatic patients. I know not whether it be a libel that one old woman, who employed this remedy, used to express her astonishment that, keep the saucepan on the fire as long as she would, none of the celt would ever boil away.
.. the celebrated stone circle called the Dawns Men, the Dance Stones, or, popularly, the Merry Maidens. This is a very perfect circle of nineteen stones which average about three feet and a-half in height above the ground, the circle itself being nearly seventy feet in diameter.
There are various country traditions which account for the existence of these stones. Some say that they were maidens who were transformed into stones for dancing on the Lord's Day. Others assert that a man is buried under each stone. All, however, agree that the stones are placed there by supernatural agency, and that it is impossible to remove them.
An old man at Boleigh, who informed us that a farmer, having removed two or three of the stones on one occasion, was astonished to see them in their old places the next morning, was evidently displeased at the account being inconsiderately received with a smile of incredulity.
Another story respecting them is, that an attempt to drag them out of their places, although a vast horse or oxen power was engaged, utterly failed, and that the cattle employed in the task fell down, and shortly after died.
The Dawns Men were no doubt so called by the country people because the stones are placed in the order in which persons arranged themselves for an ancient dance, termed Trematheeves, which continued in vogue in Cornwall as late as the last century. Hence also probably originated the legend above mentioned; although it is to be observed that similar tales are current elsewhere to account for such-like circles of stones in Wales and other countries.
There is a tradition respecting the large top of a cromlech, in Cornwall, that was removed to a brook at a distance, and converted into a bridge; it is said that this stone possessed the power of speech, and answered questions put to it, until on a certain time, it cracked in an effort to speak, and has been silent ever since. This vague tradition must have originated in the oracular use made of the cromlech from whence the stone was taken.
Vague indeed. Unless someone can enlighten us..
From p279 of The Graphic and Historical Illustrator
Edward Wedlake Brayley (1834) - which can be perused on Google Books.
Whilst scouring my lil' collection of Cornish literature for any interesting references to visits, folklore &c, I found the following in William Bottrell's "Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall (2nd series)". referencing a tradition of meeting stones, known as Garrack Zans: it doesn't have any proveable prehistory but looks damn likely to be a really late survivor of megalithic tradition, and thus very much of interest; brackets are mine.
"Within the memory of many persons now living, there was to be seen, in the town-places of many western villages, an unhewn table like stone called the Garrack Zans. This stone was the usual meeting place of the villagers, and regarded by them as public property. Old residents in Escols (Escalls, near Sennen) have often told me of one which stood near the centre of that hamlet on an open space...(this) they described as nearly round, about three feet high, and nine in diameter, with a level top. A bonfire was made on it and danced around at Mid-summer. When petty offences were committed by unknown persons, those who wished to prove their innocence, and to discover the guilty, were accustomed to light a furse-fire on the Garrick Zans: each person who assisted took a stick of fire from the pile, and those could extinguish the fire in their sticks, by spitting on them, were deemed innocent; if the injured handed a fire-stick to any persons, who failed to do so, they were declared guilty.
Most evening young persons, linked hand in hand, danced around the Garrack Zans, and many old folks passed around it nine times daily from some notion that it was lucky and good against withcraft.
The stone now known as Table-men was called the Garrack Zans by old people of Sennen.
If our traditions may be relied on, there was also in Treen a large one, around which a market was held in days of yore...
There was a Garrack Zans in Sowah (Ardensawah near St.Buryan) only a few years since, and one may still be seen in Roskestal, St. Levan.
Nothing seems to be known respecting their original use; yet the significant name, and a belief - that it is unlucky to remove them, denote that they were once regarded as sacred objects."
Bottrell's work first appeared in 1873, from tales collected by him in the quarter century preceding; thus the Garrack Zans was a central feature up until at least about 1800.
1 - the etymology of the name? (Obviously Careg, Carrick in the first instance - but Zans?)
2 - Is the Table-men still extant in Sennen? I would imagine it to be in Churchtown rather than Cove...and indeed that in Roskestal, a small farmstead?
I own, I was thunderstruck* at the report of this singular instance of superstition, and suspended my belief of its existence till I was at length convinced by the testimony of my senses. The old lady, who possesses this miraculous thunderbolt, lives, at this moment, in the parish of St. Keverne, adjoining to Manaccan. She informed me that it was found, many years ago, at no great distance from her house, just after a thunderstorm, half buried in the ground, and was taken up hot and smoking; and that its virtue was accidentally discovered by one of the family, "who lost the rheumatism" merely by handling it. On asking her what was her method of applying her thunderbolt to her patients, her answer was, that "She boil'd 'en for about three hours, and gave the water to her patients, with directions to bathe the part affected; and that she had cured hundreds. - "Boil'd dunderbolt was a vine thing for the rheumatis," said an old man present. - - It is a perfect celt.
p28 of 'The Old English Gentleman: A Poem, by Mr. Polwhele' by Richard Polwhele, published 1797. Online at Google Books.
*yes very good.
And some further axehead folklore:
A celt (commonly called in this neighbourhood a thunderbolt) was some years ago found on [West Looe] Down. The common people believe these celts to be produced by thunder, and thrown down from the clouds; and that they shew what weather will ensue by changing their colour.
p32 of 'The Parochial History of Cornwall' by Davies Gilbert (v4) 1838. Also on Google Books.
From "Churches of West Cornwall with Notes on the Antiquities of the District" - J.T. Blight, from the preface to the second edition (published 1884 after Blight's death):
"By Mr. Blight's death Archaeology has lost not only an enthusiastic student, but a hard worker, and it is much to be feared that his too eager devotion to his favourite pursuit amidst his daily toil brought on the illness which had so sad a termination."
The new Cornwall Heritage Trust website is now up and running -
"Cornwall Heritage Trust was founded in 1985 to help preserve important sites in Cornwall and to protect and promote the Duchy’s rich heritage. We own or manage some of the most iconic and important historic places in Cornwall."
"If you ever find yourself in West Penwith (Cornwall) with 3 hours or so to spare, this walk should satisfy the Megalithic cravings of most people as it takes in half a dozen or more sites of different types."
The Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network is a charitable partnership formed to look after the ancient sites and monuments of Cornwall.
They work closely with local communities and official organisations to protect and promote the ancient heritage landscape through research, education and outreach activities.
Flyingpast.org is the culmination of a twelve year project mapping archaeological and historical sites visible on aerial photos in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The project was commissioned and paid for by English Heritage and the mapping was carried out by the Historic Environment Service of Cornwall County Council. That's their words...my words...brilliant site!
An absolutely wonderful website, packed full of ancient photographs and illustrations of the prehistoric monuments of Cornwall.
My current favourite is the 1860's photograph of Lanyon Quoit and a bloke in a stove pipe hat.
Archaeologists from Cornwall County Council's Historic Environment Service are uncovering the early history of Scarcewater, near St.Stephen-in-Brannel, where work on a much needed tip for the china clay industry is to begin shortly.
Cornwall has the reputation of being a magical, mystical and spiritual place. We went to see Arch Druid Ed Prynn to discuss the Merlin, angels and marrying for a year and day...
"Being the Arch Druid of Cornwall is a special, unusual job. I didn't get elected it fell out of the heavens for me."
The healing stone is a replica of the Men-an-tol holed stone.
Ed refuses to have his faith bound by other people's ideas: "I was born locked into both faiths - Christian and Druid.
"Being a Druid you are a free spirit. The door is open to explore all the magic - the angels, the little people, the ley lines. Druids can experiment with all the things which are forbidden by the Bible.
"I go to chapel but everything's from the one book. People ask me how can I be in both camps but spiritual camps are not like political or military camps. It's all about loving one another. It's all about trying to be one."
Prynn had his first mystic encounter at the age of 9 and became drawn by the power of standing stones.
He started to put the stones in his garden in 1982 and the last stone was put in 1999 to celebrate the total eclipse.
"The stones here have made new spiritual history. Thousands of people have touched the stones and left some of their magic aura. Being a Christian you are supposed to follow the teaching of the Bible.
"The stones are important because the energy gets drawn into them. You can feel this type of energy, you feel a bit wobbly on your feet."
"Cornwall is a special place - we're not like a big city, we have a different way of life completely. Cornwall has all these old stones, cultures and ways. The ways have never died out and the people around who know how to make the magic work."
The showpiece of Ed's stones is the Angel's runway: "The rocking stone provides a seal so that a spell would work. It's used for swearing in of priests and priestesses, healing, fertility - people even write their lottery tickets on it.
"The Rocking Stone has magic energy lines around it. The site can be magic or people can be magic. I believe both are here and that the Godly mystique has come to this place."
Ed is happy to accept visitors to his home in St Merryn to see the stones. You can't miss it...
MEYN MAMVRO is the magazine of ancient stones and sacred sites in Cornwall. It has been published regularly 3 times a year since 1986, and, taken together, all the editions contain a wealth of original material about the prehistory and ancient customs of Cornwall.
I am a tourist guide operating in the Bodmin Moor/ southeast Cornwall area. Don't let that put you off! I am also a big Cope fan and love nothing better than heading of accross the open moors in search of whatever is out there. You don't even have to come on one of my organised walks, just email me quoting the Modern Antiquarian and I will sort something out. I gotta walk.....
Archaeologists to reconstruct 5000 year old monument near Camborne
Archaelogists are to finally start work on reconstructing Giant’s Quoit, a Stonehenge-like structure built 5,000 years ago by early man living near Camborne.
Following three years of fundraising the ancient scheduled monument is being restored with final excavations taking place between October 21 and 31 with an open day scheduled for the 27th.
“Weather permitting we anticipate the erection of the first support stone, or orthostat, during the morning of 31st October,” said Pip Richards, director of the Sustainable Trust.
The Sustainable Trust, which owns the field, known as Cromlech Parc or Frying Pan Field, has £55,000 funding to carry out the work, which has been approved byEnglish Heritage.
Ms Richards added: “Restoration to the second and third orthostats (standing stone) will be in spring with the capstone placed near midsummers day in 2014.”
There will also be educational and outreach events taking place throughout this period.
She added: “We are delighted with this long awaited news and are looking forward to fulfilling our ambition to restore this unusual iconic monument.
“Bringing Neolithic history into focus through what was once considered just a pile of old stones, and giving the local community something to be proud of, makes us happy to undertake the work. So much good feeling and encouragement was engendered during the last phase of the project, it makes it all worthwhile.
“We can only guess the original uses prehistoric man had for these monuments. Burials and ancestor worship are thought to have occurred here.
“This is the only such monument in the area, as most of the existing quoits are on the moorlands of west Penwith.”
Volunteers have also pledged to carry on the work after taking part in the first phase of archaeological investigations last year.
A film, depicting the site’s history and archaeological significance is being made, and a bi-lingual ballad is also being commissioned along with the creation of a special App to help guide visitors around the site.
Several exhibitions and talks will be held along with education days for schools once the work has been completed.
The Sita Cornwall Trust is funding the excavations and restoration, and the Heritage Lottery Fund are funding the education and outreach side of the project.
The Sustainable Trust also thanked the re also grateful to the Tanner Trust, Cornwall Heritage Trust, The Council of British Archaeology and Cornwall Archaeological Society, for making the project possible.
Ms Richards added: “Support has also come from the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies & Camborne Old Cornwall Society. Without this diverse interest, the larger bids would not have been forthcoming.”
STANNON STONE CIRCLE...a return visit.
5th October 2013.
This was my second visit to Stannon stone circle, the first being in May 2012 when it was a dull, over-cast and windy day.
I’d come back for one main reason if truth be told, and that was to see if the negativity I felt there the first time around would still be with me, but this time it was a reasonably sunny day with a light wind so I was hoping for better things.
This circle, in common with Louden circle to the south-east and Fernacre circle directly to the east nestling beneath the southern slopes of Roughtor, has been termed a ‘ceremonial’ circle. This appears to be mainly because of their size, being the three largest circles in Cornwall (aside from the Stripple Stones which is a henge site) and not based on any actual tangible evidence that they were used for this purpose.
Stannon Circle, although not strictly circular, being a mixture of curves and a selection of short straighter segments, is officially 139’-8” x 132’-10” (PastScape) in diameter but that depends entirely on where exactly you take the measurements from, and has between 70-80 stones in its setting in various shapes and sizes and either standing or fallen, but mainly on the smaller size and gives the circle an almost unimpressive look to it for one so large. There is a flattened, well bedded stone, lying off-centre within the circle which may or may not be part of the original build. The locally sourced granite stones to the south-west sector would appear to be the tallest at about a metre high with the remaining standing stones around 0.5 metres with the exception of a large magnificent leaning triangular stone directly west. Those in the north-west quadrant seem to be the most regular in height, type and spacing, with the north and south-east quadrants being rather flattened, small and unevenly spaced. I got the impression that a lot of the stones in these last named areas have suffered the most over the years and possibly been damaged/moved by farm vehicles and replaced randomly closing up many of the more regular spacing’s.
Because of my principal interest in them, the magnificent triangular stone within the setting was the first stone I concentrated on as both Louden and Fernacre circles boast the same such singular flagship stone. I carefully, as best I could taking into consideration that the circle is not truly circular, calculated the exact centre of the monument and took a compass reading. The stone is exactly due west and not slightly NW as I had previously poorly recorded due to me not marking out the centre of the circle more accurately, another reason I felt the need to return.
What hadn’t changed however from my previous field-notes or my thoughts, was the ‘ceremonial’ label that had been bestowed upon this circle and it troubles me.
The term ceremonial to my mind indicates a circle that was built and used for special occasions and because of this on my previous visit was expecting a beautifully crafted true circle with specially selected or even dressed larger stones similar to those at the Hurlers for its setting…not a mish-mash of unregulated rough stones of all differing shapes and predominantly small literally thrown together in a poor attempt at forming a true circle! Working northwards from the triangular stone it started well, but midway along the west to east northern sectors it sort of fell apart! Why? What happened to the grandeur that one would (today) normally expect of a ceremonial monument?
It wasn’t like there was a shortage of larger stones on the moor as they lie everywhere. The transportation of heavy and bulky stones doesn’t appear to have been much of a hindrance to our Late Neolithic/Early Bronze-Age ancestors as seen elsewhere, so why the totally unimpressive array of random small stones instead of those that would have made a statement of the importance of the monument? It is this that puzzles me the most.
Looking around the circle I was drawn to a section to the south-west where the setting looked somewhat different to the rest with those previously mentioned taller stones seemingly purposely erected closer together and more ‘group’ like with some smaller random stones lying around the base of them. My first thought was that ‘something’ took place in this area which seemed to be at the juncture of two straighter sections...but what?
In common with most Bodmin Moor circles, although on this occasion somewhat masked due to the build-up of the china clay banking, Roughtor is in the background overseeing all before it and I won’t be alone in thinking that it was likely to have once been revered by our great ancestors who built these circles.
As for the negativity I felt here last time, well it was more of a bereft feeling this time, but there was more. I still felt that whatever the circle had once stood for was now gone along with its builders and that saddened me, but I still felt that this circle was not understood and it was erected as part of something else and not as a ‘stand alone’ circle.
It was only when I got back home and reflected on what I’d seen and thought at the time that I began to look at things differently. Prior to my initial visit to Stannon, I’d never before left a stone circle behind feeling unsatisfied with what I’d seen and never have again since. One of my reasons for returning, as I have already mentioned, was to check out the triangular stone and it was this that set me thinking again. What special significance could the triangular stones have held to be featured so prominently in the three large circles on this part of Bodmin Moor and what could their separate positions within each circle reveal? Stannon’s triangular stone is due west in its setting, Fernacre’s due east and Louden’s due south. Oddly enough, Stannon circle itself is to the west, Fernacre is to the east and Louden to the south on this section of the moor, so their triangular stones are all on their outermost perimeters of West/East/South…and linked up, the three circles form a triangle themselves! Could this be significant or pure speculation?
The similarities the three circles share could well tell a story. Similar in size, all irregular circles, all built of mainly small stones, all having an impressive singular triangular stone and all within close sight of Roughtor. This suggests to me that they were built by the same people and part of a much greater plan and all at the same time. Were they built to interact with each other and not so important as individual circles after all? In fact why would you require three ‘Ceremonial’ circles within a short distance of each other? Why was one not enough to serve such a small area or community?
Is that why I felt the negativity with Stannon circle because it really was built for a different reason and was not a ‘stand-alone’ circle with a separate function after all? That could possibly explain the three circles apparent lack of quality construction and only roughly circular shapes, but I think I ought to stop there as I’m in danger of over-speculating again…something I can get very good at, but will nevertheless no doubt try to expand on in time! Questions, questions!
Revisiting the Past. A guest feature by Roy Goutté.
"Standing on the edge of open moorland to the south of the Stannon china clay works, Stannon circle is easily accessed by the road that leads to the clay works from Harpur’s Downs to the west. Two other stone circles lie close by: Louden is some 800m to the south-east, while Fernacre is 2km away, due east of Stannon and south of the Roughtor summit. Stannon appears to have much in common with these other two circles which are all very large by Cornish standards and all are surprisingly made up of a large number of small upright stones. Stannon has around 70 stones laid out in an irregular ring but originally there may have been as many as 82+. Fernacre also has a large number of stones in its make-up, Louden fewer, yet the three circles are the largest in Cornwall and could have been amongst the first to be built possibly from the late Neolithic where many of the other smaller circles are regarded to be more likely to have been early Bronze-Age, although a lack of dating evidence in Cornish circles is a problem. All three are irregular in shape and may have been laid out by eye rather than using a central peg and rope to mark out an accurate circle."
The original plan was to drive to Middle Moor Cross by Camperdown Farm, park up and walk to Fernacre stone circle via Louden circle, a round trip of about 3 miles, as the road/track from the cross is private. Well that was the plan, but it changed when a friend suggested we take her 4x4 and drive beyond the cross and continue along the private track to both circles. We set out on the A30 and took the turning right signposted St Breward opposite the second turning for Temple on the left. It comes at the end of a section of dual carriageway after passing the Jamaica Inn on your left 4 miles prior to this.
This moorland road takes you passed the Trippet Stones on your right at the crossroad signposted Treswigga to the left and St Breward straight on. Turn right here if visiting the Trippets which can be seen from this point.
Continue on the St Breward road by following the signposts and you’ll pass over Delford Bridge then passed East Rose holiday park/fishing on the right. Straight through the next crossroad which in turn brings you to another to the northern end of St Breward at Churchtown. Church Hay Down is on your right at this crossroad and you turn right here signposted Candra. Follow this road which bears around to the right after half a mile and after another bend, over a cattle grid. You’ll then pass the road to Candra Hill on the right and part of the Treswallock Downs which is littered with huge boulders. No shortage of building materials here! The road then sweeps around to the left but as it does there is a short ‘link’ road to the right that you take and then right again on meeting the ‘main’ road which takes you directly to Middle Moor Cross.
Now it was decision time, because you hit a PRIVATE road which is clearly signed. After consideration we decided to take a chance and go for it. We continued and soon met another private road sign at Camperdown Farm, so now had been warned twice. Rightly or wrongly we again decided to continue because there wasn’t a soul about as far as the eye could see. Within five minutes I spotted on the horizon of the slightly rising ground a dark shape on the moor on the right-hand size of the track. Yep, it was the leaning triangular stone of the Louden circle our first port of call. I loved it and gave me a much nicer feel than I got at Stannon stone circle just over the way by the dreadful china clay quarry next to it! These are big circles in this area of Bodmin Moor but surprisingly the majority of the stones are really quite small in comparison to other Cornish circles and it remains a mystery to me why that should be so. Louden, Stannon and Fernacre all have a major triangular stone and this must surely signify something of significance, but what? No common point on the compass as far as I could tell, but have no knowledge of any celestial alignments that may come into play as that is not my thing!
I counted 36 stones in total at Louden but three were just under the turf. The triangular stone was due south from the centre of the circle. Most of the stones are virtually at surface level but not broken, so it surely indicates a build-up of soil over the years as the stones have sunk into the peaty soil. In the gapped areas I probed the turf with a dowsing rod which my friend carried and discovered three more stones where they should have been in the ring setting just covered with an inch or two of turf. I didn’t count those that were lying immediately to the sides of a couple of stones as they were quite small and possibly broken off the main stone. I would imagine that later in the summer (this was the 4th May) that other than the triangular stone, Louden could be difficult to find due to increased grass length, but once you have found it there is no mistaking it. One clue is that just yards to the east of the circle on the edge of the track on the southern side is a stainless steel ‘box’ nearly at ground level with the letters PO on it.
As at most circles on the moor there are always other stones lying around and it is a hopeless task even considering whether they are part of the site or not. Not shown on my OS map but just across the track from the circle and slightly to the east is what appears to be a lovely stone ring cairn. Close inspection showed it to have been constructed in three stages I thought with three separate rings of edging stones forming it away from the burial area. It was all a bit ‘interfered’ with but that’s what I gathered by close inspection and one is led to believing it may have had a connection with the circle in some way.
Link to photos here:- https://picasaweb.google.com/100525707086862773355/LoudenStoneCircle?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ3b5YqlqK6vBA#5739140100505851778
Note; do check both photos, as one shows the 'crystal' pavement found in 1935...
Bronze Age crystal pavement described as "unique" by archaeologists is to be uncovered for the first time since the 1930s.
The monument, at the Hurlers stone circle on Bodmin Moor, is believed to be the only one of its kind in the British Isles. Scientists and historians hope that by studying it they will gain a better understanding of early civilisations.
Organised by the Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project, "Mapping the Sun" will be led by a team from Cornwall Council's Historic Environment department. Archaeologists will be setting up at the site close to the village of Minions this weekend and the excavation will be open to the public between Tuesday and Saturday.
Described as a community archaeology project, a range of activities will take place throughout the week. These will include astronomy workshops with Brian Sheen from Roseland Observatory, a sunrise equinox walk, a geophysical survey, a display of Bronze Age artefacts and an exhibition of archive photographs. There will also be opportunities to actually lend a hand in the delicate task of excavating the pavement.
The only time the 4,000-year-old causeway is thought to have been uncovered since it was originally laid took place 75 years ago, when workmen stabilised the site and re-erected a number of stones.
The existence of the quartz pavement only came to light again when Cornwall archaeologist Jacky Nowakowski was undertaking unrelated research at an English Heritage store in Gloucestershire. As she looked through files, Jacky came across an unpublished report and photographs from the Ministry of Works' excavation of the Hurlers in 1938.
"I couldn't believe it," she said. "I'd certainly not seen anything like it before. A feature such as this, which suggests a possible linking of the circles, is very unusual. The pavement is nationally unique as far as I know."
Internationally renowned for its line of three impressive stone circles, the Hurlers' original use has long been the subject of speculation and argument. Some believe its alignment mirrors the celestial bodies that make up Orion's Belt, while others claim it was used for religious purposes. Whatever the truth, there is no doubt that it was of major importance to the people who inhabited the moor 4,000 years ago.
The entire area around the Hurlers is peppered with archaeology. From a burial barrow, which contained the Rillaton Gold Cup, to Stowes Pound hill fort, Minions Mound to Long Tom, medieval streamworks to 19th century engine houses, the landscape is of enormous interest to historians. Jacky Nowakowski will explain many of the features when she leads a two-hour walk around the ancient monuments next Monday and Friday.
"I really hope the entire project and the series of linked events at this multi-faceted site will excite people," she said. "Our role will be to inform people about the site and to learn more about why it was built. Our other role is to help safeguard it for the future."
One important aspect of the dig will be to attempt to accurately date both the circle and pavement.
Jacky and her team have been given permission to excavate a portion of the original layer beneath the pavement in order to gauge whether it is contemporary with the circles. She said the discovery of pollen or other material will assist in dating the monument.
Mapping the Sun has been organised by Iain Rowe, of Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project. Iain, who had to obtain special permission from the Secretary of State for the Environment, said he was grateful to everyone involved in bringing it to fruition.
"We've had great support from the Duchy, which owns the site, English Heritage, which leases it, and Cornwall Heritage Trust, which manages it," he said. "We've also had a lot of help from commoners, graziers and local people.
"It promises to be a very interesting week because no-one is sure what will be revealed and what we may learn about the pavement's origins."
The site would be backfilled and the ground fully restored following next week's excavation. "There will be no sign we have been there," he added.
For full details of the week's events, visit caradonhill.org.uk