Ancient Monuments

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Two standing stones known as 'The Pipers', 130m and 230m south west of Boleigh Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Buryan, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.0674 / 50°4'2"N

Longitude: -5.5859 / 5°35'9"W

OS Eastings: 143483.2568

OS Northings: 24751.456

OS Grid: SW434247

Mapcode National: GBR DXLH.N44

Mapcode Global: VH05P.4K9N

Entry Name: Two standing stones known as 'The Pipers', 130m and 230m south west of Boleigh Farm

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1926

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006732

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 44

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Buryan

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Buryan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes two standing stones situated on an upland plateau to the west of the Lamorna Valley. The standing stones survive as tall upright earthfast monoliths which stand in separate fields. The south western stone is 4.7m high and 0.9m square at the base. The north east stone measures 4.2m high, 1.4m wide and 0.6m thick at the base and leans to the north west. Both stones were first recorded by Borlase in 1754 and were excavated by WC Borlase in 1871 with no specific finds being made. Lewis in 1905 noted that an old stone breaker said he knew a man who found a pot of ashes by one of the Pipers.
Traditionally the two stones were set up following a battle against the Danes in the 9th century to commemorate the two slain leaders Howel and Athelstane. A further tradition claims they were in fact two pipers who were turned to stone for playing music on the Sabbath for the nearby dancing 'Merry Maidens' (a stone circle, scheduled separately).
There is a significant cluster of ritual monuments in the vicinity, many of which are scheduled separately.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-422944

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few excavated examples. They comprise single or paired upright orthostatic slabs, ranging from under lm to over 6m high where still erect. They are often conspicuously sited and close to other contemporary monument classes. They can be accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round barrows, and where excavated, associated subsurface features have included stone cists, stone settings, and various pits and hollows filled in with earth containing human bone, cremations, charcoal, flints, pots and pot sherds. Similar deposits have been found in excavated sockets for standing stones, which range considerably in depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and ring marks. Standing stones may have functioned as markers for routeways, territories, graves, or meeting points, but their accompanying features show they also bore a ritual function and that they form one of several ritual monument classes of their period that often contain a deposit of cremation and domestic debris as an integral component. No national survey of standing stones has been undertaken, and estimates range from 50 to 250 extant examples, widely distributed throughout England but with concentrations in Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds. Standing stones are important as nationally rare monuments, with a high longevity and demonstrating the diversity of ritual practices in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. Despite partial early excavation the two standing stones known as 'The Pipers', 130m and 230m south west of Boleigh Farm survive well, are largest surviving standing stones in Cornwall and probably the best known. They will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their erection, function, longevity, ritual, territorial and social significance and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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