Friday, April 26

The Granite Dinosaur And Turtle Guarding Helman Tor Cornwall

The Cornwall dinosaur at Helman Tor

The granite dinosaur of  Cornwall casts his grey eye over Bodmin Moor as he silently watches and observes from his high vantage point on Helman Tor. The views stretch for miles across Cornwall from the south to the north coastlines.

View from Helman Tor Cornwall

Also looking on patiently is the turtle or maybe it is a tortoise, silent and mysterious.

The Helman Tor Turtle or Tortoise Cornwall

Okay, maybe a little literary licence but the natural granite boulders on Helman Tor in Cornwall have been viewed my man since Neolithic times, some 4000 years ago. A settlement was created and homes erected from the stones and rocks.  Some of the later boundary walls can still be seen - not clearly, but they are there to touch and imagine.

The prominence of the Tor in the landscape may have given the settlement strategic ceremonial and economic functions - and a place to meet for worship and trading.

Boundary walls of a settlement on Helman Tor Cornwall

The boulders and rocks have created strange shapes and patterns on the landscape.


Some of the boulders seem to be balanced precariously.

Helman Tor granite boulders

The photo below shows the Helman Tor Logan Stone, or Men Omborth in the Cornish Language.

Logan Stones are balanced stones - they can sometimes be moved by hand despite their great weight. Some say that the Druids used these for their rites and rituals. Uneducated people would believe priests and the like had magical powers as they were able to move these huge granite boulders.

Logan Stone on Helman Tor

The weather can change quickly on the moors as can be seen by the photos - from blue to drab skies as the winds change. It's the contrasting weather that creates the strange shapes of the granite over thousands of years. Many have unusual markings.

Strange markings on granite boulders Helman Tor

Granite Cornwall

But then from some angles there seem to be faces looking out to some distant place ...

... perhaps wondering how the scenery has changed over thousands of years, with some of the landscape now becoming cultivated farm land.

View from Helman Tor Cornwall over farm land

Helman Tor is away from Cornwall's normal tourist trail and is reached by driving or walking down narrow roads which are often single tracks - so you need to keep fingers crossed that nothing is coming in the opposite direction.

Click on photos to make them larger.

Helman Tor Map

Other Cornwall Posts:
10 Mystery Posts About Cornwall
The Holy Well Of St Sampson At Golant In Cornwall
The Magic Of Fowey Cornwall

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  1. A good start to the day by imagining I'm in Cornwall, instead of sitting at a desk about to start a busy day.

  2. Nice walk.
    Rock on Mike.-)

  3. Gorgeous countryside! That tortoise is majestic and reminds me of some of the photos I've seen of stone structures in Markawasi, Peru.

  4. I hate to be envious, yet I am. Such a lovely, captivating place; I could get lost there for days... and literally too. Worthy of a bucket list item; thank you Mike. :)