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Pastscape describes Castilly Henge in Cornwall thus:

An oval earthwork enclosure 70 metres by 60 metres featuring a bank with internal ditch, and opposed entrances to the north and south. Excavations in 1962 recovered very little artefactual material (some flint flakes and a few Medieval potsherds), but suggested that while the northern entrance was an original feature, the southern was not. It was suggested that the site had originated as a henge, and had been remodelled in the Medieval period as a plain-an-gwarry. Further possible use as a Civil War gun emplacement was also suggested.

You would think that a site with such a vast range of history, encompassing the Neolithic, Medieval and Civil War periods would be of some importance, but the site today is overgrown and seemingly forgotten. It can be seen from the A30 as a clump of greenery just southwest of the junction with the A391.

The henge from the north
 © Alan S

Looking closer, the bank and ditch are still very much in evidence, and the northern causeway is still traversable – though the bracken is quickly sprouting and will doubtless be impassable in high summer. The ditch is still quite substantial but completely overgrown, even in springtime when I visited. I suspect it will be completely hidden from view later in the year.

 The NW ditch
© Alan S

It would be nice to think that the landowner could find the time (and local volunteer labour?) to perform a bit of land clearance so that this heritage site could be seen in all it’s glory, rather than, as at present, a shabby piece of scrub ground.

Looking in from the N causeway
© Alan S


May 2011

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