Three stone circles lie in a line
on the plain of Bodmin Moor
Near the moorland village of Minions, once prosperous from copper mining but now reduced to a scattering of houses, lies a
Bronze Age stone temple known as The Hurlers. This unusual site consists of three large aligned stone circles,
running from NNE to SSW, built in a pass, between the River Fowey and the River Lynher, the sides of Stowe's Hill and
Caradon rising to north and south. Multiple or associated circles are not unusual in the south-west of England and they often
lie between rivers at suitable positions for converging people and traders.
The southern circle is the smallest (32.9m/108ft across) and it has only nine stones left; the largest is
the central circle, slightly egg shaped, with a diameter of 41.8 x 40.5m (137 x 132ft) and 14 stones, while the
northern circle is 34.7 (113ft) across: 15 stones are here, of which four have fallen, and there were probably a
further nine. The central and the northern rings were once linked by a granite pathway along their axis.
All the stones in the circles have been carefully erected so that they all appear the same height.
Some are diamond-shaped, others round, and one has been shaped so that its uppermost edge is cloven. A spread of quartz
crystals in the central circle may have come from shaping the stones with hammers. The northern circle was crossed by a boundary bank, and two stones 120m (393ft) to the WSW from the central
site could be boundary posts, although astronomical purposes have been assigned them.
The name The Hurlers refers to an old tradition that the circles are men or women turned to stone, like
The Pipers, The Merry Maidens, Stanton Drew, The
King Stone and The Rollright Stones. As the historian William Camden wrote in
1610: The neighbouring inhabitants terme them Hurlers, as being by devout and godly error perswaded that they had been men
sometime transformed into stones, for profaning the Lord's Day with hurling the ball. According to another legend, it is
difficult to count the number of the Hurlers at Minions, but should you do so correctly, a misfortune will befall you.
Less than 0.8km (0.5mi) away from this circle lies the Rillaton round barrow and
Trethevy Quoit, a fine portal dolmen, is 3.2km (2mi) south.