The Trippet Stones

trippet_stones

The Trippet stones
Blisland
North Cornwall
NGR: SX 13108 75014

The stone circle known as the Trippet Stones is an impressive site in open moorland on the lonely expanses of Manor Common in Blisland. Like many other stone circles, its name implies dancing and this may be a ‘folk memory’ of one of the original functions of such sites. This fine stone circle originally consisted of 26 or 27 uprights but now only 11 remain, eight of which are still standing and three fallen. This is one of the few truly circular stone circles in Cornwall; the remaining uprights are all approximately the same height and the site would originally have appeared very regular and symmetrical. The small central stone is a modern boundary post.

It is now accepted as commonplace for stone circles to be sited within extensive ceremonial landscapes incorporating relationships with other broadly contemporary megalithic sites and imposing natural features. From this stone circle there are fine views towards Carbilly and Hawks Tors, with Rough Tor and Brown Willy on the skyline to the north. The Bronze Age cairn on the summit of Carbilly Tor is approximately contemporary with the circle and the sightline from the circle to the Tor marks the direction of the Midsummer sunset. About three quarters of a mile to the east, on the shoulder of Hawks Tor are the remains of a complex site known as the Stripple Stones. This is an unusual henge monument comprising a roughly circular earth and stone bank with an internal ditch surrounding a poorly preserved stone circle.

A programme of restoration and conservation has been running since 1999 as many of the stones have suffered from the effects of erosion caused by stock sheltering at the foot of the stones and wearing away the ground. A small pointed flint blade was found in one of the stone holes during restoration work; this was made from a flint pebble collected from a nearby beach and probably dates to the late Neolithic. Its surface showed traces of burning but it was impossible to determine whether this had happened as part of a Neolithic ‘foundation’ ritual or to be due to later events.

The monument stands in open ground and can be easily accessed from a track that leads from the road crossing Manor Common from the A30 towards Bradford.

Sources

Barnatt, J, 1982. Prehistoric Cornwall: The Ceremonial Monuments. Turnstone Press Limited. ISBN 0 85500 129 1

Preston-Jones, A, and Atwell, D, 2003. The Trippet Stones Stone Circle. Historic Environment Service, Cornwall County Council.