Bodmin Moor
North Cornwall
Atlantic Coast
South Cornwall
The Lizard Peninsula
Roseland Peninsula
South East Cornwall
Cornish Riviera
Isles of Scilly
Legends Of Arthur
Cornish Language
Pirates, Smugglers
and Wreckers

Bollowall Barrow
Boscawen Un
Cape Cornwall
Carn Euny
Chun Quoit
Chysauster Iron Age Village
Godolphin House
Lamorna Cove
Land's End
Lanyon Quoit
Logan Rock

Men an Tol
Merry Maidens
Minack Theatre
Nine Maidens
Stone Circle

Penberth Cove
Pendeen Fogou
Pengersick Castle
Prussia Cove
Sennen Cove
St Buryan
St Hilary
St. Just
St. Levan
St. Michael's Mount
Tregiffian Burial

Treryn Dinas

Boscawen Un

OS grid ref:- SW412274

Boscawen UnBoscawen Un Stone Circle is located around 1.5 km north of the village of St. Buryan in West Penwith, an area rich in Megalithic sites and lies beneath the southern slopes of Creeg Tol.

The monument, which dates to the Bronze Age, is eliptical in shape and measures 25.2 metres by 22.3 metres, it consists of nineteen evenly placed granite stones (the same number as the nearby Merry Maidens and Tregeseal East stone circles). The wide gap at the west suggests an astronomical alignment. The stones vary from 3 feet (0.9m) to 5 feet (1.5m) in height with a distinctive leaning central stone.

The central stone, which is composed of quartz, has axe carvings or petroglyphs near its base, it measures around 8 feet (2.5m) but leans at such an angle as to render its tip only about 6 feet (1.9m) above ground level. Excavations carried out at the site have revealed evidence that the stone was installed in the leaning position. The stone points toward the midsummer sunrise in the north east. Axe petroglyphs are unusual in Britain, though they can also be observed on some of the stones at Stonehenge.

Boscawen Un is a Cornish name derived from the elements bod, "dwelling or farmstead" and scawen, "elder tree". The suffix ľun comes from goon, "downland or unenclosed pasture".

The stone circle is mentioned in the Welsh Triads which date back to around the sixth century. The Triads record "Boskawen of Dumnonia" as being one of the "Gorsedds of Poetry of the Island of Britain", one of the three main Gorsedds or meeting places of the ancient Britons, and the modern Cornish Gorsedd first met here in 1928 and it is still used by modern pagan groups.

The area around the stone circle was first studied scientifically in 1864. The excavation reports reveal that the central stone already had its inclination. A burial mound was discovered nearby, which contained urns.

The circle was restored in 1862


From Penzance, follow the A30 south, around a mile on from Catchall, before turning off for Sancreed, park on the side of the road by a footpath sign. Follow the footpath through to Boscawen Un.

Image copyright Alan Simkins

Prehistoric Sites in Cornwall