WALKING THE NORTHERN WALL

Barbara Bender

adapted for the internet by Paul Basu

Close to the top of the hill is the quoit. In prehistoric times people lifted one stone on top of the other, and then levered up the top stone and propped it so that a peep-hole was created. On the evening of the Summer Solstice, if you stand to the south of the quoit, the sun goes down behind the peep-hole.

Just south of the quoit we found the remains of a small stone circle. Very ruined. But from it runs a line of stones, and this line is directly aligned on the quoit.

Below the quoit, again to the south and downslope, you can see the large pyramid stone. It lies at the top of the corridor that runs up the hill between the southern and western settlements.

There is a wall, a strange wall, that runs north and south and west of the quoit. It runs south from the quoit to the north-east corner of the western compound, it runs north from the quoit to an important tabular stone outcrop and then circles west down to the Fowey valley. There is also a short remnant of wall to the west of the quoit which comes up against the compound behind the shaman’s house (house 3). This wall is not big enough or compact enough to keep out animals. Its purpose, we think, is to ‘contain’ the western settlement. It marks the edge of the everyday world and links that world to the high places where more formal rituals took place.

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