Warbstow Bury (Barrow)

warbstow bury

Sited on a hill, 807 feet above the sea level, Warbstow Barrows is one of the largest and best preserved earthworks in the County.

It has two ramparts, each with two entrances, the inner area being 370 by 450 feet. The outer rampart averages 15 feet in height, with an external ditch 15 feet wide.

In the middle is a barrow, called the ‘Giants’ grave, and sometimes ‘King Arthur’s grave’.

Extract from Heritage Calling web site

Warbstow Bury, a multivallate hillfort

in north Cornwall, is  one of the largest and best preserved hillforts in the county. Perhaps not the most well known of Cornwall’s ancient monuments, being ’off the beaten track’ in a countryside parish, but it remains popular with local dog walkers and is easily accessible to passing visitors.

WARBSTOW BURY – ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY REPORT – Zoe Edwards

Folklore

(1) “We saw that an effort had been made to open this barrow at one of the ends; but an old woman, whom we found at a cottage not far off, assured us ‘that they that tried it were soon forced to give up their digging and flee for the thunders came to em and the lightenings also’ We en-devoured to sound out the local mind of our informant as to the history of the place and the origin of the grave, but all we could drag out of her, after questions again and again, was ‘ great warriors, supposing, in old times’ Such was the dirge of the mighty dead, and their requiem, at Warbstow Barrow.

Rev Hawker, as quoted in ‘Days in Cornwall’ by C Lewis Hind 1907

(2) Said to be the home of a giant who was killed when the giant of Launceston Castle threw a tool at him. In the centre of the fort there is a long mound, 22 m long, 10m high and 6m high, flanked by indistinct ditches in the manner of a Neolithic Long Barrow. This is variously known as ‘Arthur’s Grave’, ‘King Arthur’s Tomb, and ‘The Giant’s Grave’ but there is no evidence to link King Arthur with the site and there are lots of Arthur’s Graves in Britain. Experts say it is more likely to be a medieval rabbit warren.