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Boscawen-Un Stone Circle

near Lands End, close to St Buryan, Cornwall

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Boscawen-Un is a Bronze age stone circle close to St Buryan in Cornwall.

It consists of 19 upright stones in an ellipse with diameters 24.9m and 21.9m, (82x73 feet) with another, leaning, stone just south of the centre. There is a west-facing gap in the circle, which may have formed an entrance.

The stone in the centre is 8 feet long (2.5m), standing 6ft 2 inches, research suggests it was installed initially at this angle. Other stones range from 0.9m to 1.5 metres (5 feet) with the smooth sides facing the interior of the ring. The nineteen stones are rather evenly spaced, and the wide gap at the west suggests an astronomical alignment similar to the nearby Merry Maidens.

During the summer months, the circle is at some times nearly concealed by high bracken, at others well cut and maintained.

It is popular with various new age religions and some older.

Leaning central pillar and circle - See here for Picture Details

Some have seen light balls, and others such features when there in the dark, but most see them unexpectedly, clearly when sober and not on anything, and see them only once, even if they return many times.

The leaning stone aligns exactly with the centre stone at the MÍn-an-Tol and the church at nearby St Buryan, which may have been the site of an earlier stone circle,. While this may conceivably be coincidental, the precision of the alignment suggests an intentional positioning of the three structures in relation to each other.

D Dafoe 'A Tour through Great Britain' 1724  says "Between this town (Penzance) and St Burien, a town midway between it and Land's End, stands a circle of great stones, not unlike those at Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, with one bigger than the rest in the middle. They stand about 12 feet asunder, but have no inscription; neither does tradition offer to leave any of their history upon record, as to whether it was a trophy or a monument of burial, or an alter for worship, or what else; so that all that can be learned from them is that here they are. The parish where they stand is called Boscawone, from whence the ancient and honourable family of Boscawen derive their name."

It has been featured since in many books.

Boskawen-Un is Late Cornish meaning  "The dwelling by the elder tree on the down".

Click on Images to see a larger version

See also

Our section on stone circles

The discussion on the purpose of stone circles

Planning Grid


Boscawen-Un Stone Circle near Lands End, close to St Buryan, Cornwall

Grid Reference


Map Link:


Google Maps aerial photograph

Getting there:

A few hundred metres south of the A30, 1.5km north of St Buryan.




Lay-by on main road or lay-by down farm road.



Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Circle, but specifically central stone.

What to take:

Wide angle lens, you may want to wear items suitable for walking though gorse, etc and if it has recently rained suitable for walking through some mud.

Nature highlights:

One quotation says "Looking over Boscawen Un from the western field hedge late afternoon in (late) May, with the site a riot of colour - not just Bluebells, but white May blossom and pink Champions and many others."

Best Times to Visit:












Opening times:

Open at all times



Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions: none
Special Needs Access: Footpath may be unsuitable for those with wheelchairs.
Special Needs Facilities: none
Children Facilities: As it appears that the hedges and undergrowth at times is overgrown, you may be lucky or unlucky.
Dogs Allowed: No information, suggest they are on leads if taken, and not taken into the circle, which some groups use for ceremonial use.

Other useful websites:

Used for first inaugural of - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorseth_Kernow


CIN Page Ref:


Date Updated:02/08

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