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Pathways to the Past 2016 – 10th year
A weekend of walks & talks amongst the ancient sites of West Penwith

Saturday May 28th

10.00-12.30pm - Vounder Gogglas: an ancient traders’ track

A guided walk with Cheryl Straffon & Lana Jarvis following part of a long-distance trading route from Sancreed Beacon to Caer Bran and Chapel Euny wells.  Walk – moderate with a muddy section. Meet at Sancreed Beacon layby [SW415 294] TR20 8QT

2.00-5.00pm - Round and about the Little Lookout Tor

An unusual guided walk with archaeologist David Giddings to visit the Nine Maidens circle and cairns, Little Galva view point and propped stone, and Bosporthennis beehive hut.
Walk – rough in places. Meet at end of Bosiliack lane [SW438 341]  TR20 8NZ

8.00-10.00pm - The power of place: reconstructing Cornwall’s prehistoric environment

An illustrated talk by Paul Bonnington based on findings from environmental archaeology about the placing of sites in the landscape.   At the Count House at Botallack. TR19 7QQ

Sunday May 29th

11.00-12.30pm - Mining in Cornwall

An illustrated talk by Adam Sharpe at the Count House at Botallack. TR19 7QQ

2.00-4.30pm - In the footsteps of giants
A guided walk with archaeologist Adrian Rodda around Chûn Downs, visiting sites and hearing Adrian’s new poem about the legendary Tom the Tinker and the giant Denbras.
Walk – easy with gentle uphill climb. Meet at Morvah parking field [SW403 353] TR20 8YT

8.00-9.00pm - The geomantic network in West Penwith
To round off the weekend, Palden Jenkins shares his ideas about why the prehistoric sites are located where they are.                                            At the North Inn, Pendeen.


This 9th annual year of walks and talks was another very successful weekend. It began on Saturday May 30th with a guided walk by Cheryl Straffon & Lana Jarvis entitled Catching the light of the sun and moon. The circular walk started at the Mên-an-Tol , where the lunar standstill was explained, whereby the full moon would have shone through the holed stone. Then a walk across the bluebell-strewn moors led to the Nine Maidens stone circle, with the truncated outlier stone that marked the midsummer solstice sunset. From here the walk continued to Bosiliack Barrow, with its midwinter solstice sunrise alignment, before returning to the start. In the afternoon David Giddings took the group to Nanjulian Courtyard House settlement in a walk entitled Living on the Edge. The features of the settlement were explained, and then the walk continued down the cliff path with stunning views to Nanjulian cove and some barrows on the headland. In the evening Paul Bonnington returned for the ninth year to give this year’s illustrated talk on Hot Metal: the discoveries that changed the world. He showed how the invention of metal making had such a profound effect on Copper and Bronze Age societies, and visited many places in the Near East before bringing the story back to Cornwall.
On the Sunday morning, archaeologist Charlie Johns gave a beautiful slide presentation on Ancient sites on the Isles of Scilly, in which he was able to show not only the wide variety of sites in their context, but also the up-to-date research that has been going on over there. This was followed in the afternoon by a guided walk and poems (entitled Stories in the Stones) with Adrian Rodda, who this year took a record 56 people to sites in the Merry Maidens area, including the Pipers and Gûn Rith standing stones, holed stones as a gatepost and in a farm wall, two crosses, the stone circle, Tregiffian barrow, and a little-known outlying stone to the circle. Finally, the codicile to the weekend was a fascinating talk by John Moss at the North Inn at Pendeen on Dowsing at ancient sites. This completed a weekend of much interest and discussion of ideas, good friendships made and renewed, and some splendid weather for all the walks.
The date for the 10th anniversary weekend in 2016 is Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May. Make a note in your diaries and don’t miss this popular event!ning 07927 671612, or by e-mailing:

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Each individual event £5 but free to members of FOCAS (Friends of Cornwall’s Ancient Sites). You can join FOCAS at the beginning of the individual event, or by telephoning 07927 671612, or by e-mailing:

Photos from 2015 events


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