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Carn Euny ancient village.
Carn Euny ancient village.
The interior of the Carn Euny fogou

Carn Euny is an archaeological site near Sancreed, on the Penwith peninsula in Cornwall, United Kingdom with considerable evidence of both Iron Age and post-Iron Age settlement.[1] Excavations on this site have shown that there was activity at Carn Euny as early as the Neolithic period. There is evidence that shows that the first timber huts in this site were built around 200 BC, but by the first century before Christ, these timber huts had been replaced by stone huts. The remains of these stone huts are still visible today.

Carn Euny is best known for the well-preserved state of the large fogou, an underground passageway, which is more than 65 feet (20 metres) long. This fogou runs just below the surface of the ground and is roofed with massive stone slabs. Although the exact purpose of these fogous is still a mystery, possibilities include storage, habitation, or ritual. The site was abandoned late in the Roman period.


Signage controversy

In 1999 there was some controversy regarding this site and others under the care of the English Heritage organisation. Members of a pressure group, the Revived Cornish Stannary Parliament, confiscated several signs bearing the English Heritage name.[2][3][4] Since this action several of the smaller sites such as Dupath Well, The Hurlers (stone circles), Tregiffian Burial Chamber, St Breock Downs Monolith, King Doniert's Stone, Trethevy Quoit and Carn Euny have been transferred to the care of the Cornwall Heritage Trust.[5]


Chapel Euny Well
West of the settlement are a pair of ancient wells. One is mentioned in The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England[6] of 1893 where Dr. Borlase[7] states (writing in the 1750s):

"I happened luckily to be at this well upon the last day of the year, on which, according to vulgar opinion, it exerts its principal and most salutary powers. Two women were here, who came from a neighbouring parish, and were busily employed in bathing a child. They both assured me that people who had a mind to receive any benefit from St. Euny's Well must come and wash upon the three first Wednesdays in May. Children suffering from mesenteric disease[8] should be dipped three times in Chapel Uny widderschynnes, and widderschynnes dragged three times round the well."

It is also referred to as St. Eurinus' or Uny's Well and may be confused with Saint Euny's Well at Carn Brea.


  1. ^ Craig Weatherhill Cornovia: Ancient Sites of Cornwall & Scilly (Alison Hodge 1985; Halsgrove 1997, 2000)
  2. ^ Cornish Stannary Parliament tackles English cultural aggression in Cornwall.
  3. ^ BBC News: Historic signs case trio bound over
  4. ^ How three Cornish men and a raid on King Arthur's castle rocked English Heritage
  5. ^ Sites Managed and Cared for by Cornwall Heritage Trust for English Heritage
  6. ^ Hope, Robert (1893). The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England including Rivers, Lakes, Fountains and Springs.. Elliot Stock.  
  7. ^ Dr. Borlase was the author of "The Natural History and Antiquities of Cornwall, and Observations of the Scilly Islands" and the vicar of Ludgvan. He died 31 August 1772 aged 77
  8. ^ Mesenteric disease is tuberculosis of lymph glands inside the abdomen. An illness of children caused by drinking milk from cows infected with tuberculosis. Now uncommon as milk is pasteurised

See also

External links

Coordinates: 50°06′08″N 5°38′04″W / 50.10234°N 5.63448°W / 50.10234; -5.63448



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