Lost Ruins and Ancient Stones

Concealed in woods and covered in ivy or standing open to the elements on a remote cliff top, the South West has many ancient stone monuments, follies and industrial relics. Such places are often richly atmospheric and well worth seeking out.

The most recent ruins are the remnants of once-thriving industries, including engine houses, processing mills, railway tracks, tunnels and quarries. The tin-mining areas of the north Cornish coast have their own stark beauty and the lunar landscape of clay pits to the south, many filled with aquamarine water, is unique and extraordinary. Going further back in time, it is still possible to see the fascinating traces left by Roman lead mining, as well as the remains of an amphitheatre, in the Mendips.

This region is rich in Bronze and Iron Age remains, from hill forts to standing stones. Some of the most sacred are the ancient stone circles of West Penwith, Bodmin and Dartmoor, set in wonderfully wild locations. You can explore mysterious underground burial chambers or ‘fogous’, wander around lost village settlements, or visit ceremonial stone rows, some many miles long.