Carn Euny

Settlement and Fogou
Nearest town: Penzance
Nearest village: Sancreed
Map reference: SW 402288

Carn Euny Image The fogou, an underground passage whose purpose remains a mystery

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Excavations on this site have shown that there was activity at Carn Euny as early as the Neolithic period, but the first timber huts were built around 200 BC. By the first century before Christ, these had been replaced by stone huts, the remains of which are visible today. The people who lived at Carn Euny were farmers, stockbreeders, and possibly tin dealers.
    The most impressive structure of the site is undoubtedly the fogou (Cornish for cave), an artificial underground passage, usually running just below the surface of the ground and roofed with massive stone slabs. Fogous have been found at various places in Britain and Ireland, mainly near villages and fortifications, but their purpose remains a mystery. They could have been used for storage, habitation, or ritual.
    The Carn Euny fogou is a particularly well-preserved example. It consists of a passage about 20m (65ft) long, a side passage leading to an unusual circular stone-walled chamber (the domed roof of which has collapsed), and a tiny creep-passage, possibly the emergency exit. Another fogou, but in a much more ruined state, is near the Chysauster settlement.

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