Porthmeor fogou

881c5-porthmeor01Porthmeor is one of the destroyed fogous; the main passage has lost both its corbelled and lintelled roofs. It is worth visiting, nonetheless. It has magnificent views northwards out over the north coast and is surrounded by some of the best ancient field boundaries and ‘Celtic’ fields in Cornwall. It is also close to the Gurnard’s Head Inn.

This first photograph is not, as an experienced fogou hunter might think, the entrance to a creep, but is a very small drain on one side of the passage. We visited on a bright October day and the photographs were washed out by the bright sunshine. This, however, gives you a flavour of the stonework.

f4e1c-porthmeorplanThe fogou is about 100m from the road just south of Porthmeor farm. It is easy to reach and the best advice is ‘look for a large, overgrown patch of bracken and brambles with some very impressive ‘Celtic’ field boundaries or Cornish hedges. Inside this, you will find a series of courtyard houses. We approached the settlement across a well-kept field where the word ‘fogou’ is written on the plan.

For once, we argued with the illustration of the village in Belerion, Craig Weatherhill’s excellent book as we think he understates the number of houses. We think the fogou is a bit further from the main SE cluster than it looks.

Once found, the fogou is instantly recognisable to the experienced hunter. It is an above-ground and of the same style as Boscaswell, a few miles away. Its entrance is unusual. There appears to be a centre-post folllowed by a sharp right turn into the main passage. This then curves away to the north-east as shown in the plan. There is no obvious low doorway, constriction point or trip hazard but all may have been lost over the years.

The entrance post is obvious. The main passage is in the left foreground.
The main passage is outlined sharply by the October sun

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A journey through the landscape and history of Cornwall