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“The house of the elder tree”

Ranked #19 of 66 things to do in Penzance
Attraction details
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
234 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“The house of the elder tree”
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Boscawen-un, according to Aubrey Burl, (writer of the guide to stone circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany) means "The house of the elder tree". In its early bronze age days this stunning circle of Granite stones was surely surrounded by forest, (and presumably a particular Elder tree) judging partly by the fact it still has a carpet of bluebells in May. I say granite, but there is one notable exception: The stone standing at the WSW cardinal point is of veined quartz and marks the backsite for the May day sunrise at Beltane. This strongly suggests to me that the main emphasis and reason for this circle was spring and fertility. Surely the blooming of many bluebells at this time could only have enhanced the celebration of creation of new life.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Gravesend, Kent
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Well worth the walk”
Reviewed November 23, 2012

We visited Boscawen-un stone circle in the summer, walking from St Buryan. A lovely walk and a beautiful stone circle, very atmospheric.

Visited July 2012
2 Thank PennyLloyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2012

If your into history & mystical, this is a good place to go providing you have some knowledge about it. We had a tour guide to help us which made it all the worthwhile. There is some information about it's history on a board there.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank tiger m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“beautiful and amazing place to visit”
Reviewed September 9, 2012

This is a stone circle from the Bronze age -- a quiet, ancient place that we're so glad to have seen. Cornwall is covered with ancient stones, but these are especially lovely. A spiritual place, no matter what your beliefs.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Marielander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penhayle Bay
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Wild, remote and mystical”
Reviewed June 17, 2012

The Penwith district of western Cornwall contains a huge number of antiquities many of which are in the form of stone circles, burial chambers, ancient crosses or other unusual stones. None perhaps is more distinctive than Boscawen-ûn (pronounced "Boss-car-noon) which is the only circle in the area to have a standing centre stone. Perhaps erected 4000 years ago no-one is quite sure of why but popular theories suggest it may have been a meeting place, a holy or ritual site, a trading post or simply a means to determine the seasons as the sun cast ever-changing shadows among the stones.

Today it is held sacred by the local Wiccan community and cared for by a network of local volunteers meaning it should always be clear of overgrowth and the occasional object of ritual sacrifice. You might fine either or both however at times. It is not uncommon to find the stones "dressed" with flowers and these should be left where found as a mark of respect. Some visitors report unusual sensations ranging from a tingling or raised hairs when touching the stones to uncommon peace of mind or finding each stone has a distinctly different temperature and "feel". Make of it what you will.

The location is unmarked and most local people prefer it remains so. Other reviewers have provided adequate locating information. Suffice to say it is a short walk off the main road yet is eerily quiet among the Cornish moorland.

If you visit please respect the site and its history. Take nothing but photos and memories; leave nothing but footprints. It is an experience which unaccountably moves many people.

Visited June 2012
6 Thank Rick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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