Stone circles Hurlers in Cornwall near the village of Minions

The Hurlers are north of Liskeard near the village of Minions on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor in east Cornwall. This is a unique monument of the Bronze Age (about 1500 BC), consisting of three standing stone circles․ Minions Village is rich in history, heritage and legends․

The Hurlers comprises three stone circles that lie on a line from southwest to northeast, and have diameters of 35 metres, 42 metres and 33 metres (108 ft). The two outer stone circles are circular. The middle circle, the largest is slightly elliptical.

The survival of the southern stone circle, which now contains nine stones, has been most precarious: only two of the remaining stones are upright and the other seven are partially covered with soil. In the middle circle 14 stones survive out of 28.

The northern stone circle contained around 30 standing stones, from which 15 are still visible. The stones show clear traces of being hammered smooth. The axis through the centres of the two northern circles aligns directly on the massive Rillaton Barrow, visible on the skyline to the north-east, while the axis of the southern pair of circles in turn aligns directly with a prehistoric round cairn to the south-west.

Another line at right angles to this axis through the central circle takes in another stone circle, an embanked avenue and a stone row. Such circles are likely to have had considerable ritual importance for the societies that used them. Two other monoliths, the Pipers, are 100 metres southwest of the middle circle and may be entrance stones to the Hurlers.

One legend says, that some of the local men played a Cornish game known as Saturday Throwing and were turned to stone as punishment. Hurlers attract visitors from all over the world who come to the stone circles and feel the energy that is said to radiate from them.

According to another legend, it is impossible to accurately count the number of standing stones.
To the west of the circles there are two standing stones known as the Pipers. Nearby are the Rillaton Barrow and Trethevy Quoit, Neolithic tombs. The “Pipers” are supposed to be the figures of two men who played tunes on a Sunday and suffered the same fate.

Rillaton Barrow is a Bronze Age round barrow located 200 m northeast of the Hurlers. The mound is approximately 30 meters in diameter and is clearly visible from the main road through Minions․
Cheesewring is a stone structure on the edge of the Cheesewring quarry.

Directions of alignment․

In 1967 Scottish engineer Alexander Thom suggested borderline case alignments at the Hurlers. He suggested two solar alignments of four stones with far uprights. He suggested two stone-to-site alignments with Vega and Arcturus and two other site-to-site alignments with Arcturus. Each stellar alignment was given with tabulated declinations at a date some time in between the range of 2100 to 1500 BC.

Research by the Cornwall Archaeological Department in 2009 indicated that there may also be a fourth circle and two rows of stones.

About 150 prehistoric stone circles have been discovered in England, 16 of which are located in the Bodmin Moor, the largest of the granite uplands of Cornwall. Of these, The Hurlers are the most enthralling.

by Nana Herouni




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