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Tregeseal stone circle

Tregeseal _circle _1

Introduction to site

The stone circle at Tregeseal now stands alone on the gentle slopes of Truthwall Common to the south of Carn Kenidjack but originally it was part of a ritual complex comprising two and possibly three circles in a roughly east-west alignment. Alternative names for the complex are “The Dancing Stones” and “The Nine Maidens”, in common with many of the Cornish stone circles and possibly suggestive of their original function. The most westerly of the three circles is only detectable now through aerial photos and the middle circle has undergone consistent deterioration and field clearance to the extent that today only one visible upright remains within the Cornish stone hedge surrounding the field in which it once stood. Originally this circle is thought to have been larger than the surviving easterly circle which probably consisted of about 21 stone uprights initially. These have undergone substantial restoration and rebuilding over many years so that whilst nineteen uprights are present today, only the stones in the eastern half of the circle are likely to be in their original position.

Access and Facilities

Tregeseal _circle _3The monument stands in open ground on Kenidjack Common, over which there is open access and can be reached via a number of footpaths to the north of the circle. Visit the Cornwall Council mapping site to view the areas of open access land and footpaths.

The site is free to visit, and is open any reasonable time in daylight hours.

There are refreshment facilities in the village of Botallack, approximately 1.8km to the west of the site.

There are bus services to Nancherrow (approximately 1.65km to the west-south-west of the site) and Trevaylor Caravan Park, Truthwall (approximately 1.75km from the site). Visit the Traveline website for customised sustainable transport options.

Location

View our interactive Access to Monuments map to find this and other nearby sites.

More information

The western side of the circle has been disturbed probably by streamworking. The shape of the circle is hard to determine but the stones were probably regularly spaced to begin with and the overall circle a slightly flattened ovoid. Surviving original uprights in the western half are higher than the others, suggesting that the stones might originally have been graded in height.

There is a possibility that the east-west alignment of the circles suggests deliberate positioning to mark sunrise at the equinoxes and certainly the circle is popularly used for rituals and gatherings by modern pagan groups. The circle stands within a complex ritual landscape. The remains of a Bronze Age barrow cemetery stands between the circle and Carn Kenidjack and to the east in rough alignment to the circle are four, possibly five, holed stones that may be part of a stone row. The contemporary ritual complex may also include a solitary menhir further to the east on Boswens Common. The circle itself is likely to be late Neolithic or early Bronze Age in date. 

Illustrations and Plans

Tregeseal _circle _2

Tregeseal stone circle by Rosemarie Lewsey (in Payne & Lewsey 1999, 92)

Sources/Further Reading