Carn Euny, Cornwall: The baffling ruin with a tunnel dating back to the Iron Age

Annie Elwes investigates the ruins of Carn Euny.

This is a strange place, particularly when viewed from the air, because we’re so used to seeing ruins in squares or rectangles, but ancient man had no such love of angles.

Higgledy-piggledy foundations of 2nd- to 4th-century stone huts can be seen at Carn Euny, near Sancreed on the Penwith peninsula, abandoned in the late-Roman period.

Carn Euny pictured from the air by a Historic England Staff Photographer.

The settlement boasts an Iron Age underground tunnel, 65ft long, called a ‘fogou’ and particular to far-west Cornwall.

Above all, Carn Euny is a mystery. No one knows what it was for, but the care that went into its construction reveals its importance.

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