Bosiliack Barrow

This barrow belongs to a class of monument called Entrance Graves or Chambered Tombs, consisting of a circular kerb of stones with an entrance passage, the whole of which would originally have been covered by a mound of earth and stones. Other examples may be seen at Brane Barrow (near to Sancreed), Tregiffian Barrow (near to the Merry Maidens stone circle), and at Chapel Carn Brea and Ballowal Barrow near St.Just [all available as downloadable leaflets]. They date from the Neolithic period (approx. 3000-2500 BC). Bosiliack Barrow is 4.95m (16.5ft) in diameter with a probable original height of 1.5m (5ft). It was excavated in 1984, when a primary deposit in a pot was discovered, as well as topsoil and turf that might have been placed in the chamber as ritual deposits associated with the fertility of the land.

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Ordnance Survey Grid Reference

SW 4311 3422


This reconstructed barrow lies to the north of Lanyon Quoit.


It can be reached either by going along the road NW towards Lanyon Farm, and taking a trackway before the farm which leads up to Ding Dong mine, or by driving back towards Madron and taking a sharp left turn to Bosiliack Farm and then walking up to Ding Dong mine and turning left down the same track to the barrow. The barrow lies a few yards to the S of this track.

Purpose and Meaning

The entrance passage was positioned deliberately to face the midwinter solstice sunrise (the same as at Brane Barrow near Sancreed). This phenominum is known about from other sites, most notably at Newgrange in Ireland, where a large chambered burial mound also has its entrance similarly oriented to the midwinter solstice sunrise. It is thought that this was done in order for ceremonial rites to take place, linking the power of the rebirth of the sun God/dess with the spirits of the dead ancestors.

Site Clearances

Due to recent work done by Penwith Landscape Project this event has been postponed and our volunteers are taking a break.