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The Hurlers

August 13th 2014
  • Of all the mysteries that pervade the ancient and untamed wilds of Bodmin Moor, the one involving a set of old stones probably isn’t the most likely to keep you awake at night. For all the talk of great beasts that surround this Cornish corner of the world, it is likely that you have never heard of this set of mysterious Bronze Age built circles that sit a little way outside the delightfully named village of Minions.

    But The Hurlers, as they have been known for hundreds of years, remain largely unchanged in an ever shifting landscape of beautifully unrestrained terrain. Fortunately, when you’re pushing four millennia, a little wear and tear only adds to your appeal.

    Tales passed down from parent to child throughout the centuries tell the legend of local men who dared to participate in a game of hurling on a Sunday, and were punished by an angry deity for daring to seek entertainment on the Sabbath. So explains the name given to this impressive display of menhirs – one of the rarest and most well-preserved examples of its kind in the whole country.

    Though excavations and historically astute studies would name the place as a site of major ceremonial importance to those on the later side of the Neolithic period, questions still remain over the real purpose of the stones’ position. Whether ritualistically used by bloodthirsty tribes during sacrifice, or aligned so accurately with the stars so as to create an astronomical calendar (way before Galileo was even a twinkle in his mother’s eye) will keep a question mark over the rocks for many eras to come. Though grander and more iconic cases of cryptic monolith ensembles, such as Stone Henge, may gain more attention, a trip to The Hurlers will grant you a much more hands on historical experience. There are no barriers to be found here; simply the chance to walk amongst these primal monuments, shaped by both man and moor, and immerse yourself in the ever-lasting elements.

Image Credit: Olaf Tausch