Wisewoman Walk After Lockdown June 2020

A client booked a Wisewoman Walk with Cassandra and I. It is one aspect of our work where we were able to see someone in person but still maintain a social distance. This current situation with Covid 19, the lockdown and social distancing has changed all of our lives, particularly within our work.
We made some alterations, as we usually invite clients to Cassandra’s cottage and discuss their preferences for sites in the area. If not, we surprise them with our choices. As the cottage is so small, it is impossible to maintain the correct distance, so we met our client at the car park of the Merry Maidens stone circle. We were blessed with sunny weather that turned out to be warmer than the forecast predicted.
Our first visit was Tregiffian Burial Chamber
These monuments are fascinating, particularly when they have an entrance leading deep into the ground. There is  also a strong feeling of being observed from the darkness beneath…

We observed two buzzards hunting for prey and these were visible from each site that we visited.

We passed the Merry Maidens stone circle to visit The Pipers standing stones.  In order to avoid the hazardous bend in the road while walking, Cassandra led us through the fields.

We emerged from the fields further down the road where Cassandra brought our attention to hawthorn and blackthorn bushes side by side in the hedgerow. The differences between the two are more obvious when adjacent to one another.

We were unable to open a gate leading to the field where the Piper’s stones stood but this did not deter Cassandra who proved that even now, at 70 years old, she can still climb it.

The standing stones have a regal presence about them, a tall and proud presence upon the land.

The second stone leans to one side and we discussed how deep the base of it would need to be within the earth to stop it from toppling. Cassandra stated there would need to be at least a third of its length there in order to keep it secure.

After this, we returned over the stile to make our way back to the Merry Maidens.

The Merry Maidens stone circle is a wondrous creation, surrounded by our local landscape and easy to find being situated close to the road.

Each stone within the circle has a unique energy (in my experience of working with them). The grass surrounding the area was rather parched due to the hot weather and lack of rainfall.
On our way back to St Buryan, we stopped at Boskenna Stone Cross. It is one of our larger stone crosses that stands proudly at the edge of a three-way crossroads near the village.

We visited Alsia Well from here, walking through a field of vibrant yellow buttercups. So many flowers this year had noticeably vivid colours and the following photograph does not do them justice!

The vegetation is seriously overgrown at Alsia Holy Well. , what with the lockdown and the area leading to the well being so small, social distancing is quite difficult. It was obvious there had been no visitors to the site for some time and we took it in turns to spend a little time visiting the well. Our client stated it was the most calm, peaceful energy she had experienced at a site.

From there we returned to our wonderful village of St Buryan. Cassandra explained the history of the Market Stone Cross that stands outside the gates of the village church.

We then escorted our client around the grounds of St Buryan Church

There are some impressive stone monuments within the graveyard, we spent some time studying those as moody black clouds crept  across the blue sky, but fortunately it did not rain.

This is where our first ‘social distance’ Wisewoman Walk came to a close, as we could not return to the cottage for a beverage and a chat as we usually would. It was a wonderful experience to venture out on the land again and work with a client in person after nearly 3 months of lockdown. It is a different way of working now but still as enjoyable! Stay healthy and safe wherever you are and we will see you soon!

Feedback: “A fabulous wise women walk on a humid day in June. Cassandra and Laetitia are very knowledgable and work very well together in what they do. A wise women walk incorporates visits to local historic sites and knowledge of the hedgerows. Highly recommended.” N.G.

Buryan Stone Cross Walk


A wonderful informative day with Andrew Langdon studying St Buryan’s stone crosses and hearing their history. Photos – Laetitia Latham Jones

Boskenna Cross:

A wheel-headed wayside cross situated on the B3315 at a junction with a minor road to St. Buryan. It was discovered in a hedge 1869 and placed in a grass triangle built specially for the purpose in the middle of the road.
Read more here:
Boskenna Cross – Megalithic

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Tregiffian Chamber Tomb

Tregiffian is a type of chambered tomb known as an entrance grave. It survives largely intact, despite the levelling of part of its mound to make a road in the 1840s. Entrance graves are funerary and ritual monuments dating to the later Neolithic, early and middle Bronze Age (around 3000–1000 BC).
Of 93 recorded examples in England, 79 are on the Isles of Scilly, and the remainder are confined to the Penwith peninsula at the western tip of Cornwall. They are also found on the Channel Islands and in Brittany.
Such tombs typically comprise a roughly circular mound of heaped rubble and earth built over a rectangular chamber, which is constructed from slabs set edge to edge, or rubble walling, and roofed with further slabs.
The few entrance graves that have been systematically excavated have revealed cremated human bone and funerary urns, usually within the chambers but occasionally within the mound.
Read more here:
Tregiffian Chamber Tomb


Cross Base found near Merry Maidens stone circle

Medieval Wayside Cross Base found near Merry Maidens stone circle

The medieval wayside cross-base 125m west of Merry Maidens stone circle survives well and is a good example of a natural boulder being utilised as a wayside cross-base. It has been suggested that it originally supported the Nun Careg Cross, 180m to the north east on the southern route around the Penwith peninsula. The cross base forms an integral member of an unusually well preserved network of crosses marking routes that linked the important and broadly contemporary ecclesiastical centre at St Buryan with its parish. The routes marked by this monument are also marked at intervals by other crosses, demonstrating the major role and disposition of wayside crosses and the longevity of many routes still in use. The monument includes a medieval wayside cross-base situated on the verge at the junction of a path leading to St Buryan with a road along the southern coastal belt of Penwith. The wayside cross-base is visible as a large, rounded, rectangular block of granite. The cross base measures 0.83m north-south by 1.22m east-west and is 0.45m high. The rectangular socket in the top measures 0.36m long by 0.27m wide and is 0.16m deep.
Read more here:
 Historic England.
Cassandra speaking to the group about C.A.S.P.N at the entrance of the Merry Maidens stone circle

Cassandra speaking to the group about C.A.S.P.N while standing at the entrance of Merry Maidens stone circle.

The Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network is a charitable partnership formed to look after the ancient sites and monuments of Cornwall. We work closely with local communities and official organisations to protect and promote our ancient heritage landscape through research, education and outreach activities. CASPN representatives come from a wide range of organisations and community groups that share an interest in Cornwall’s ancient sites,
including: National Trust, Cornwall Council’s Historic Environment Service, Cornwall Archaeological Society, English Heritage, Penwith Access and Rights of Way, Madron Community Forum, Pagan Moot and Meyn Mamvro.
Read more here:
Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network


Stone Cross near Merry Maidens stone circle

Nun Careg Cross

Nun Careg Cross stands beside the roadside between Lamorna and St Buryan Churchtown, one of a huge concentration of ancient crosses in this area.
Read more here:


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A hidden cross at Tregurnow recently uncovered

Tregurnow Cross is a stone slab with a cross in relief on front and back, although little remains of the latter. It dates from sometime in the medieval period, and is one of many stone crosses in the area.
Read more here:
 South West Coast Path.

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Gunrith Standing Stone

Gunrith Standing Stone

Gun Rith is a standing stone measuring three and a half meters tall, located across the road from the Tregiffian burial chamber, near the Merry Maidens stone circle. It is one of a high concentration of menhirs, or standing stones, in Penwith, some of which reach over five meters. 
Read more here:


Choone Stone Cross

The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, the Choone or Chyoone Cross, within a 2m protective margin, situated on the roadside verge beside a ridge-top thoroughfare running south-east from St Buryan at the junction with a track to Moor Croft farm and to Choone Farm in Penwith West Cornwall.
Read more here:
Historic England


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The monument includes a medieval churchyard cross to the south of the church at St Buryan on the Penwith peninsula in West Cornwall. The granite churchyard cross which is Grade 2 Listed survived as a round or ‘wheel’ head set on a granite base which is mounted on a massive four-step base.
Read more here:

Historic England

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Standing just outside the churchyard south gateway is an 12th century cross on a solid base of granite given to the church by Robert Edmund Tonkin, Lord of the Manor of St Buryan.  A Charter of Edward 1 (1302) “grants to the  Dean of the King’s Free Chapel of St Buryan and his successors a market every Saturday at his Manor of St Buryan and three days fair on the Vigil, Feast and Morrow of St Buryan and another on the Vigil, Feast and Morrow of St Martin in the winter.” (Patent Rolls) This cross is the Deanery Market Cross and is still held by the Rector and churchwardens.
Read more here:
St Buryan Church


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Pendrea Stone Cross

The monument includes a wayside cross, set into a roadside hedge beside the entrance to Pendrea, to the south west of the settlement of St Buryan. The cross survives as a roughly circular socket stone with a diameter of 1.1m and measuring up to 0.3m thick set into the field boundary on its edge. The socket itself is 0.3m long, 0.15m wide and 0.2m deep with rounded ends. It was found at Pendrea sometime prior to 189,6 when it was recorded by Langdon and placed in its current location by 1908.
Read more here:
Ancient Monuments.

A Stone Cross Base near a gateway on the Newlyn Road


Trevorrian Stone Cross

Trevorrian Stone Cross

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After walking for four miles throughout the day it ended with a well deserved cider at the St Buryan Inn, Cheers!

After a 4 mile walk a glass of cider in the St Buryan Inn was most welcome!