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  • Writer's pictureSteeple Woods

Granite marker stones

Boundary stones in Steeple Wood

One of the more unusual aspects of this area is the very large number of boundary stones. The parish/municipal boundary runs just to the south of Steeple Woods and where this crossed the open downs was defined by boundary stones. To both north and south, however, the fringes of enclosed land, the edges of lanes, a back alley behind cottages at Chy-an-Gweal - all were marked out by closely-set boundary stones. Such stones were used to define the edges of mine setts as well as estates, and, in some cases, commons.

The 1908 OS map records twelve stones within the eastern part of Steeple Wood with others located on Treloyan Downs. Typically, those on the southern side of Steeple Woods are of granite, measure 0.65m (height protruding above ground level) x 0.37m x 0.25, have gently curved tops and bear a number incised onto one face, these being 0.16m high and all possibly cut by the same hand, the numbers being distinctively italic (i.e. sloping) in form.

It is not easy to conclude quite what the inverted “L”-shaped area these stones enclose might have been. It seems unlikely to have been a mine sett, the area being small and cutting across lodes (though some of the stones were certainly used as fixed points in the laying out of mine setts in this area during the mid-19th century) and they are more likely to demarcate the boundaries of a smallholding, or an area which it was important to distinguish from the remainder of the surrounding downs. The lettering appears pre- 19th century in style and is carefully and consistently cut.

Parish boundary stone

The boundary between the parishes of St.Ives and Uny Lelant runs just to the south of Steeple Woods, and is cut by Steeple Lane near its southern corner. The boundary stone proved is a simple granite monolith 0.6m high, 0.3m wide and 0.2m thick bearing the letters “St. I” on its eastern faces and “L” on its western.

Worvas Hill boundary stones

The perimeter of the enclosure around Knill’s Monument is marked by simple granite monolith 0.6m high x 0.25m x 0.25m. These bear a small letter “C” on their northern faces, a small letter “V” on the their upslope (southern) faces. One survives near the south-eastern edge, next to a modern stile over the wall. The present wall follows the line marked out by the boundary stones.

Trelyon Downs boundary stones

On Treloyan Downs there are a number of boulders which have been set up on edge as boundary stones: the eastern boundary more or less follows the line of these stones. Each has a deeply-incised letter “C” with a small attached underlined hook (which may be a lower case letter “l”) on one face, the other face has a letter which appears to combine a capital “T” and a capital “F”.


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