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The Trippet Stones can be easily reached from the A30 west of Jamaica Inn. Heading west from Bolventor, after three and a half miles or so, the dual carriageway reduces to a single carriageway. there is a turning on the right, signposted St Breward. Take this turning, and head north for three quarters of a mile across the moor. At the crossroads, turn right onto the farm track for a quarter mile and the stones are visible about 130 yards away on the left.

The Trippet Stones. © AlanS

The circle is some 100 feet across, and almost perfectly circular. A central stone is not original, but a much later boundary stone. Of some 26 or so original stones, only 11 or 12 survive and only two thirds of those remain standing. The stones’ location on the open moor meant that they were a target for cattle and sheep to rub against, and the ground around some of the stones was quite badly eroded, leaving the stones as individual islands in pools of mud or water after wet weather.

Erosion by livestock. © AlanS

The stones that are standing are all of approximately the same height, none more than 5 feet. A 2007 detailed report (PDF), of restoration works conducted on the circle since 1999 to alleviate the situation is available for download, and the circle today is much improved.

The Trippet Stones. © AlanS

Once again, as with so many Cornish circles, the name alludes to the common petrification legend, Trippet referring to ‘tripping’ or dancing on the Sabbath. In clear weather there are excellent views towards Carbilly and Hawks Tors, with Rough Tor and Brown Willy on the horizon in the north. Several important astronomical alignments have been observed from within the circle. The Stripple Stones are approximately half a mile away across boggy ground, on the south slope of Hawk’s Tor to the east.


November 2011

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