Yet there’s still no word on whether it can’t or how it came about.


It has been suggested that the HS2 explanation is unlikely


By Myghal Map Serpren

Two crosses stand guard over the entrance path to the Anglican Christ Church at Lanner near Redruth. Found in Rough Street between Church Row and Bell Vean, this church building dates from 1845CE but both granite crosses are from a much earlier period and have ended their journey on this site having ‘travelled’ from elsewhere.

Lanner was first recorded as ‘Lanergh’ in 1305CE. This is derived from the Cornish language ‘lanergh’ meaning ‘clearing’ or ‘glade’.

Now one of Cornwall’s largest villages and indeed a parish, Lanner emerged as such in 1844CE as, before that time, it was part of Gwennap Parish. On 15th July, 1845CE, Saint Swithin’s Day, the new church was consecrated, later to undergo refurbishment during 1883CE.

At that time though, the two Medieval crosses now found in the church grounds were not there. They were situated elsewhere albeit not far from the Lanner or Lannarth Church.

The cross to the left of the approach is actually the remaining head of a round-headed monument which was damaged during its long history and which was fixed onto a later granite upright.

Believed to date from the Mediaeval Period – 1066CE to 1539CE – the cross head measures some 18 inches in diameter with a segment missing.

It was rediscovered in the early 20th Century in a hedge at Tredeage Farm around a mile distant and relocated to the churchyard.

It is believed unique of its type as a figure of Christ is to be found on both sides with outstretched arms, with the legs together contained within a bead.

Standing on a later upright, the whole structure stands around 5 feet 9 inches in height.

Just across the entrance path and a few feet from the first cross, stands a second wheel-headed former wayside cross, again probably dating from the Mediaeval Period.

This bears a Latin Cross on both sides of the head which measures some 15 inches in diameter.

Rediscovered from the nearby Tresavean side of Bell Farm by a Mr. Shepherd at the beginning of the 20th Century, it had been buried head down and was in use as a gate post, a common enough fate for many of these crosses.

This stands some 4 feet six inches in height of which around 2 feet is below ground level.

In his book, ‘A History of the Parish of Gwennap in Cornwall’ (1949), C.C. James, then Vice President of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall and a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd (Bardic name: Map Penseghnans,) postulates that both crosses originally came from an old chapel which was situated in Chapel Hill, Lanner.

This chapel may well have been used by pilgrims on their way from the shrine at Saint Day heading for Saint Michael’s Mount but nothing of it is left, it now being remembered only in the name of the road.

This means that both crosses are now situated in their third locations since creation having ‘wandered’ the area, as has been the case with so many other relics of their type.


  • Placenames in Cornwall and Scilly – Craig Weatherhill, Wessex Books in association with Westcountry Books, Launceston, Cornwall 2005   
  • A Guide to Cornish Place-Names – R. Morton Nance, The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies 1956
  • Cornish Church Guide and Parochial History of Cornwall – Charles Henderson M.A., D. Bradford Barton Ltd, Truro, Cornwall 1925
  • A History of the Parish of Gwennap in Cornwall – C.C. James, published by the author 1949

All images obtained by author.

NB: The Dunmow Rally is run by the Rotary Club purely for charitable causes.” It’s a false claim though, isn’t it? Unless the charity gets all the finds, which they don’t.

Why hasn’t PAS written to Rotary International and told them what they think of large detecting rallies? (i.e. they won’t attend them as they “can result in the loss of much archaeological information“). Beats us.

Especially as Rotary run far more rallies than anyone else so must be responsible for the loss of more archaeological information than anyone else. Not a good look.



More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting



An HS2 spokesperson said: “We are aware of a small area of ground movement within a field above the Chiltern tunnels. Investigations are ongoing, but this is likely to be linked to pre-existing ground conditions above the tunnels. The site has been sealed off and there is no risk to the public.”

So it’s not the tunnel’s fault. It’s likely to be due to pre-existing ground conditions, i.e. the fractured chalk through which the tunnel was driven (ground similar to what exists under the Stonehenge World Heritage Site).

Reassurance from National Highways that it won’t (and can’t possibly) happen in Wiltshire is awaited.

By Myghal Map Serpren

Mirrose Well, on the North Cliffs between Portreath and Godrevy in Cornwall, is a spring contained by a semi-circular wall which can be found at a pretty spot near Basset’s Cove, which is also known and recorded as Spratting Cove.

Mirrose Spring despoiled by modern waste

Water emerges from the spring, crosses the cliff path and courses through a shallow valley to the cliff where it emerges as a waterfall tumbling into Mirrose Well Cove below.

Mirrose water course to the cliff edge

It has been claimed that this natural spring has no historical significance nor any traditions of being a so-called holy well. It is further claimed that its source is the nearby and similarly named Merrose Farm.

This is entirely possible but this all said, there are records of ancient enclosures to be found in the immediate vicinity of the well, set at a location some quarter of a mile East of Crane Castle promontory castle and just where Reskajeage Downs merges into Carvannel Downs.

Reskajeage Downs was recorded as  Roscadaek in 1317, Reskaseak Downs in 1673, Riskejeake Downs in 1723 and finally Reskajeage Downs in 1888. The name translates from the Cornish ‘ros Cajek’ as ‘Cadoc’s hillspur’. The downs themselves are named after the settlement of Ruschedek recorded in 1235.

Carvannel was recorded in 1302 as ‘Kaervanathel’ translating from the Cornish ‘ker’ or ‘cayr vanadhel’ as ‘broom (plants) fort’.

In 1880, the Ordnance Survey recorded the existence of an earthen enclosure on the steep slope behind the well which was comprised of a bank some three feet high in places with a further ditch of steeper slope contained within. This was partially destroyed by a much later quarry constructed nearby which was recorded in 1887.

The second enclosure just to the West, takes the form of what is known as a ‘lynchet’, with an embankment estimated at around six feet high on the cliff side and decreasing towards the upper area.

Lynchets or linchets are earthen hillside terraces on the side of a hill often part of ancient field systems. They are common in Southern regions of the British Isles. Current thinking has it that these were constructed to grow land use for agricultural purposes but as they occur in most cases close to barrows of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages and to forts of the Iron Age, it is entirely possible they served other purposes, which may have been ceremonial.

The latter, Western enclosure has been infilled, doubtless during quarrying operations of the 19th century and subsequent work to allow for motor vehicular access.

In an article published in 1851 and now in the care of Kresen Kernow, the Cornish Library and Archive Centre in Redruth, Richard Thomas, antiquary of that period recorded, “About 1/4 mile east of (Crane Castle) are two rectangular mounds or barrows in a hollow, each is encompassed by a bank. One is 65ft long by 55 ft broad, and the other 45 ft by 45ft.”

The structures are of an indeterminate date with some believing they served an agricultural purpose. However, they remain barely extant in an area rich in cliffside heritage and with several identified historic sites as well as one having many Prehistoric implement find spots.


  • Report written by Richard Thomas in 1851, Kresen Kernow, Redruth

All images obtained by author.

Found by a metal detectorist in 2019, the “near Pulborough” torc was declared Treasure late last year and valued at £16,000. Most of the money has been obtained through various grants but now a final £2,200 is needed in order for the detectorist and/or the farmer to be paid their full entitlement. Only then can it be acquired by the Barbican House Museum in Lewes and publicly displayed near where it was found.


Who should pay the final £2200? School kids out of their pocket money? Old ladies out of their pensions? Both will be willing. But wouldn’t it be better to ask someone who has recently been enriched by £16,000 for doing no more than delivering to the public what’s owned by the public in accordance with the law?

Here’s our confident prediction: most landowners would see the justice of that and comply whereas most detectorists would explode in fury and threaten to go on “reporting strike” as they have so many times before. Draw your own conclusions.



More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


By Myghal Map Serpren

A very hot day during June, 2014 saw crowds flock to the ‘Frying Pan Field’ at Carwynnen near Camborne in West Cornwall to witness the archaeologically supervised return of the original ten-ton capstone to the three upright monolithic stones forming part of the Neolithic chambered tomb.

To loud applause, the portal dolmen was that day restored to its full glory by modern heavy lifting equipment following a history of collapses and years of voluntary and expert archaeological work.

The place name ‘Carwynnen’ is Cornish of course, and is derived from the Cornish language ‘ker’ or ‘cayr’ and ‘wenen’ meaning ‘fort of trees’ and a number of other historic sites or possible sites are recorded in the vicinity of the quoit.

In 1834 the structure collapsed and was re-erected by Lady Pendarves, it then being part of the Pendarves Estate. A further collapse occurred in 1967 and there the remains lay for many years.

The stones at Carwynnen, May 2012.

During the Spring of 2002 and under the leadership of the inspirational Pip Richards, the Sustainable Trust, later renamed as the ‘Sustrust’ was founded and acquired 75 acres of the former estate including the woodland and the ‘Frying Pan Field’ with the collapsed cromlech.

An educational trust made available to schools was established and as a result of a genuinely engaging community campaign and many activities, the Giant’s Quoit was accurately and sympathetically restored.

Dating from the Neolithic period, 4000BCE to 2501BCE, the ‘Giant’s Quoit’ is a  chambered tomb.

It was first recorded in 1700CE and was marked simply as ‘Cromlech’ on the Ordnance Survey map of 1839CE.

The length of chamber contained within the three upright stones is just short of seven feet, the width around five feet and the height around five feet. The capstone measures 12-feet by 9-feet and is up to a foot thick.

As a result of the archaeological examinations of the site, a Neolithic flint arrowhead, Neolithic pottery, a fragment of a polished flint knife, a hammer-stone, Bronze Age pot fragments, clay pipes, granite balls, a pestle, a Polcrebo cobble of igneous rock, a painted slate disc and even a stone musket ball have been recovered, the latter of which is believed to have been fired at the cromlech during the late Middle Ages.

The Giant’s Quoit is a much-loved local landmark and it appears on the heraldic badges of Camborne Rugby Club and Troon Cricket Club.

The large ‘Frying Pan Field’ where it is situated has undergone another name change and is now called ‘Pip’s Field’ in memory of Pip Richards who inspired the quoit’s restoration and who lived to see that day happen. Pip’s remains lay buried nearby overlooking this most ancient of sites.


Images obtained by author.


“Near permanent traffic jam” is a lie. “Immediately next to them” is a lie.

But the biggest lie is the visual one: look at that image at the top left. It’s nowhere near the stones, it’s up the hill and probably over the brow, it’s not taken from the stones and may not even be visible from them.

If that’s not yowling moggy No. 43 we don’t know what is!

We read this lovely prose by archaeologist and author Jlm Leary:

“The rhythm of the changing seasons beats through our landscape like a heart: days extend and shorten, light grows and fades in strength. And this rhythm pulses through us, too. Or at least it did once…. But for those who listen carefully, that rhythmic beat is still there, tapping out its tempo… This spring I will be heading to Castlerigg and Long Meg and Her Daughters again, and I will take care to listen for this cadence that will connect me to them, and them to the land and the sky.”

And we thought of this by Pencil Museum @pencilmuseum: “Today’s the first day of spring! This inquisitive lamb is hiding behind the historic stones at @EnglishHeritage Castlerigg Stone Circle


May 2023

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