Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance
The artistic heart of West Cornwall's history

Archaeological sites 

Photo: Vince Bevan

Chun Quoit, Morvah. NG 402340

Just west of, and visible from, the Iron Age fort of Chun Castle, this magnificent tomb is the only one of its type in perfect preservation. The remains of the Quoit's covering barrow are still clearly visible.

Lanyon Quoit, Madron. NG 430337

On the north east side of the Penzance to Morvah road, 2.5 miles Northwest of Madron. This is perhaps the best known and most photographed of all Cornwall's prehistoric monument. Unfortunately it is not in its original from as it was re-built in 1824 after the capstone had been dislodged by a violent storm 9 years earlier.

Chun Castle Hill Fort, Morvah. NG 405339

This large structure, some 85 metres in diameter, consisted of two concentric granite walls with rock cut ditches. From around the time of Christ Chun Castle fell into comparative disuse until the 6th Century AD when it was reoccupied. A number of Iron Age fortresses in the South West were similarly reoccupied and modified . The castle was probably built to protect the precious tin which was being mined locally and it stands astride the route of the prehistoric trackway known as the Old St. Ives Road.

The Merry Maidens Stone Circle, St. Buryan. NG 433245

The circle can be found in a field adjoining the south side of the B3315, 3/4 of a mile Southwest of the Lamorna Valley. It is probably the most well known stone circle in Cornwall and is one of the best preserved. The name given to the site is steeped in mythology and folklore and it is said that the stones are the bodies of maidens who were turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath.

Men-an-Tol, Morvah. NG 426349

Reached by a signposted track off the Northeast side of the Penzance to Morvah road at Bosullow Common, this strange and mysterious monument consists of 4 stones, 2 uprights, 1 fallen stone and a wheel shaped slab. Men-an-Tol itself is pure Cornish and means simple stone of the hole. The Men-an-Tol is sometimes called the Crick Stone because of the belief that crawling through the stone 9 times would actually cure Rickets.

Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society at Men an Tol

Chysauster Village, New Mill. NG 472350

This site is well signposted and reached by the back road to New Mill which leaves the B3311 at Badgers Cross. This classic site, the largest of the courtyard house villages, and one of the finest prehistoric villages to be found anywhere in Britain is, operated by English Heritage.

Please note the above sites may be on private land and therefore permission should gained prior to visiting the site if applicable.

We recommend the book 'Belerion - Ancient Sites of Land's End' by Craig Weatherhill as a source of further information.