Archaeology & Spirituality
Many believe the West Penwith peninsula is a spiritual place. Its remoteness, its stark beauty, its presence of nature, and the many archaeological treasures that are present in the landscape, connect us with this place and with the people who have previously lived and worked this land.
A patchwork of small fields and granite Cornish hedges reflect the prehistoric field patterns bordering the Penwith Moors and provide a unique insight into an agricultural landscape which is between two and three thousand years old.
There is a wealth of archaeology to be explored on foot: the outcrops along the coast with remnants of cliff castles, the raised beach of Porth Nanven (Cot Valley – it shows climate change in geological times), Neolithic and bronze age cairns, tumuli and barrows (Ballowal Barrow), Men-an-tol, Carn Euny, Chun Castle & Quoit, stone circles such as at Tregeseal, standing stones, fogous (pronounced “foo-goos”), celtic crosses, and holy wells.
There are numerous granite churches that are so characteristic for the Tin Coast and surrounding area, for example in St Just, Pendeen, Morvah, Zennor, Paul, St Buryan, and Madron, where people have worshipped to this day.
The St Just Miner’s Chapel is one of the best examples of Wesleyan Methodist Heritage in Cornwall. Its graveyard reflects the life of the characters who inhabited this mining town, and are part of people’s family history. In its heyday, the ‘miner’s cathedral’ would have been filled to the brim with people and song, but recently the congregation has been dwindling. The local community is keen to ‘re-purpose’ the building, so it once again becomes the centre of the community.