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Solstice 2013 – Chun Castle and Quoit

July 18, 2013

Somehow we had missed both of the famous dolmen structures in the area around Penzance on the Summer Solstice day itself. To remedy this the next morning we decided to visit Lanyon Quoit and Chun Quoit. We nearly visited the ancient village of  Chysauster, but we couldn’t wait half an hour for it to open, and it was a bit drizzly still at that time of the morning. We hoped for better weather and headed off in the direction of Lanyon Quoit instead. As we moved away from the village the sun began to emerge. Another sunny day in prospect? It was almost too much to hope for given the weather predictions of supercomputers.

A series of precarious but beautiful lanes brought us to the moor road, and after some neck-craning we spotted the seemingly symmetrical and easy-to-access quoit. Energetically it was completely energetically dead. That is highly unusual for a sacred site, but we both felt we should move on the next place quickly, and so we didn’t waste any time there. On to Chun Quoit instead!

The energetically-redundant Lanyon Quoit
The energetically-redundant Lanyon Quoit

A Castle of More Than One Stone

We parked at the end of the track on the hill opposite Men-An-Tol, which we had visited the day before. Now we were diametrically opposite it, about two minutes drive away in the car from both Men-An-Tol and Lanyon Quoit. All this heritage in such a small space! Wonderful. The information sign suggested we follow the white rock to the top. There was a single white rock at the base of the hill. Er….helpful in fog, maybe, but we could see the top and the path was clear enough.

Kal stood at the bottom of the hill, hesitant. Why so slow? “I’m not going up that hill if this is going to be another of those ‘It may be a castle but actually it’s only one stone’ jobbies!” he muttered. I assured him that this was going to be a resplendent castle with amenities and a gift shop. What did he expect from a megalithic site? The weather began to match Kal’s mood and closed in around us threatening precipitation and causing waterproof layers to flap about. Were we causing the weather, or reflecting it, I wondered?

Approaching Chun Castle in poor weather
Approaching Chun Castle in poor weather

As it turned out Chun Castle is worth a visit. It was more than one stone for sure – it had an intact perimeter of stones and an inviting entrance leading through an inner ring of stones to a flat bare plateau inside. Sadly, the walls weren’t high enough to shelter from the rising wind. Would it be possible for Kal to bring out the sun today? Seemed unlikely. Let’s see!

I set about dowsing which way I could enter the structure. In between the outer wall and the inner wall was a gap of about ten feet wide which had just gone wild – it was all brambles, thorns and a tangle of moorland brush. Of course, the rods swung left and led me in a sinewy path left and right through the middle of the wilderness! “Gee, thanks“, I said, and picked my way through trying not to rip my clothing.

Having circumnavigated the perimeter, at the point which for most people is the immediately obvious entrance I was finally directed inwards. At last! Yet I would still not be allowed inside. Instead I had to stand in between the two entry portals. This was like standing between worlds, so I understood the symbolism of this space. Time to do some work! 

Entrance to Chun Castle
Entrance to Chun Castle


Another Faery Story 

I settled into meditation. It was difficult screening out the wind and drizzle, but eventually that became the soothing lullaby of Nature as the world began to fade into the background and my mind began to tune into the liminal space I was standing in. Connection, protection, introduction, intention, wait….

My intention, my request, was for something to come and talk to me about my latest quest – the quest to meet a Faery. I met one. A voice in my head introduced himself. He was called Lanyanois (Lan yan eesh). He was the Spirit of Place for the castle and quoit. In fact, he hinted, for the whole area around here including Lanyon Quoit. Ah…had I just made the name up because I had just come from that site? NO – was the strong and stern response from the Faery. “My name has been given to that site, but it all derives from me.” Well, not backwards in coming forwards this one!

I crossed into a palpably different world…

I descended through a tree trunk, emerging out of a door into a world which looked similar to ours, but almost cartoon-like in its prettiness. It was how I imagine our world would have looked before the last Ice Age when the land was all trees and warmth. A sort of Disney/Snow White world. I was guided to a forest glade guided by Lanyanois.  He told me that Chun Castle had been built against the will of the Faery Folk,  and the glade had been cut down to make it.

He asked that when I think of Chun Castle that I think of it as a forested glade. I said I would do just that, and then he escorted me out of the forest, back up a winding path to the tree trunk that I had arrived in. I opened a small door in the trunk and climbed back up the inside of the tree until I re-surfaced in our world.

Wow, it was back to reality with a bump! As if to represent the resentment felt by this faery the sky burst open for a few moments and a deluge of cold water rained down on us, swept into our faces by the lashing wind. I scuttled off towards the relative safety of the dolmen structure which was some hundred yards away from the castle, only to meet Kal coming back the other way!

Kal talked about making the sun come out, and I laughed at the idea, standing as we were in a cauldron of boiling thunder clouds and whipping winds. Minutes later as I approached Chun Quoit the sun came out. Damn him! He does that every time! How?

Chun Quoit

As I approached Chun Quoit from the Castle the seascape opened up before me and the sky followed suit until the two blues were counter-poised together like balancing scales. In the foreground was one of the most delightfully quaint dolmens I had come across – Chun (pronounced ‘Choon’) Quoit deserves such a setting. Summer time suits the scene too with pinpricks of foxglove purple highlighted against the swathe of blue and green.

I inspected the inside of the dolmen. Yes, I could climb in, but I’m a big lad and it’s just rained. Dowsing rods out – do I need to go in? NO. Good, then I’ll sit on this ready-made throne of turf, canopied by the huge capstone above me head, and I will watch the slow world turn in Cornish time….

Chun Quoit with background
Chun Quoit with background

As I sank into a light seance with my new friend Lanyanois I asked him about my quest to meet with Faery again. Hey, if anyone was going to know it would be this headstrong fella! He had plenty to offer me this time around too. I sat back as he spouted out the checklist of things that I needed to do to engineer a meeting with someone from Faery.

Preparations for a meeting with Faery

These are the things I need to do in order to have a meeting with a being from the Faery realms:-

  1. Know who you are meeting by name
  2. Choose the right time according to the energies of the stars suitable to both of you
  3. Choose a suitable place
  4. Exchange gifts
  5. Form a lasting bond of friendship
Chun Quoit on Summer Soltcie 2013
Chun Quoit on Summer Solstice 2013

Normal awareness returned slowly, like being lifted out of a sleep in a comfortable bed in Winter. Except it was Summer, and I began to hear the moorland and coastal bird songs merge with the buzz of insects plying their trade around the stems and buds of the heathers and flowers. A very gentle wind now mopped my fetid brow and cooled my cheeks like being fanned by a Geisha girl. I love this Summer work. It’s so pleasant to be out in the wilds in these conditions. The urge is to longer, not to hurry on. That suits Cornwall entirely, where every village has that feel about it too.

I sat a while longer. Kal would be heading back to the car. He’d be comfortable there, as I was here. I thought a bit more about some of the responses I’d just got – a lasting friendship? I’d have to choose who I met very wisely then. And what was this about an exchange of gifts? A right time and place I could find – that’s what dowsing’s for – but gifts have always been an issue with me. I don’t give or receive them well. I was about to learn that these concerns would be eclipsed by the next piece of information that Kal would deliver from Tintagel, our next destination.

I skipped merrily down the hill to the car, practising bouncing off tufts of grass on the slippery earth path. It was only a matter of time until I was sent tumbling into the bramble and scratchy heather, laughing as I hurtled headlong to cuts and scratches. Oh well, I never learn that lesson! There was one more stone circle to visit before we headed North to Tintagel. It is called Treseagel, and it would be another huge source of information about my Arthurian work.

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