Tregeseal Holed Stones

These stones are something of an enigma. It is presumed that they are contemporary (late Neolithic-early Bronze Age) with all the other monuments in the area, such as the stone circle(s) and barrows, but their function and purpose is not clear. There have been re-erected within living memory and may not now be in their original positions, nor have they all been re-erected the correct way round. They are all about 0.8m (21⁄2ft) to 1.2m (4ft) high, and all have holes of varying diameters, but mostly quite small. There are three of them standing (plus a fragment of one fallen) in a line, marked as nos. 2, 3 & 4 on the above plan. No.2 (photo right above) has the largest hole, being 9cm (31⁄2in) in diameter, large enough to pass a hand through. No.3 has fallen, and no.4 (photo right below) has been put back up at right angles. About 20 yds to the NW is another one (no.5 on the plan) which has been fractured horizontally, and is not in a very stable situation in the ground. Finally, about 100 yds up the hillside to the NE is another one, which has fallen. It may not belong to the same sequence as the others, though its proximity to them is curi- ous to say the least.

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference

SW 3895 3255


North of the stone circle there are a number of round barrows, which can be found by taking the path from the stone circle towards Carn Kenidjack and after about 100 yards bearing right (NE) along a smaller path. The barrows will be visible ahead, and the path runs between two of the best preserved of them.


Continue along this minor path past the barrows and after a few yards you will come to the Tregeseal Holed Stones.

Purpose and Meaning

One may speculate as to their meaning: perhaps they were originally aligned to view a significant feature (e.g barrow or tor) on the horizon, or perhaps to view the moon at a significant phase of its rising or setting. Within recorded times stone number 2 has been used for ‘handfasting’ ceremonies (betrothals).