On a section of flat moorland on the northern edge of Madron parish are the eleven standing stones that make up the Nine Maidens or Boskednan Circle.
Possibly dating from the Early Bronze Age (2500-1500 BCE), this is a fine example of a stone circle. It was first officially recorded in 1754 when nineteen stones were present, thirteen of which were still standing, along with a cairn or barrow close by. It may have once had up to twenty-three stone. Excavation has shown remains of a cist at the site, in which an urn and other pottery were found, along with several other barrows nearby.
The circle has had many names over the years. The first is ‘dancing stones’ or ‘dans maen’, a potential reference to its use as a place of festivity or its likeness to a circle of dancing people. The name Nine Maidens is very common in Cornish folklore and can be attributed to several sites around the county. Finally, Boskednan is the closest settlement, so it would have simply taken its name from here.
The stone circle is free to visit, although the terrain may not be suitable for those with mobility issues. Over the years the circle has suffered from erosion due cause by visitors, so take care when getting close to the stones.
The closest parking is near Men-an-Tol, on the road between Madron and Morvah. It is a fair walk from here, definitely welly boot territory in bad weather.
Boskednan stone circle (2018). Available at: https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/strategic-historic-environment-service/cornwall-and-scilly-historic-environment-record/access-to-monuments/find-by-name/find-monuments-by-name/a-e/boskednan-stone-circle/.
Cornish Ancient Sites (2020) Boskednan Nine Maidens. Available at: https://www.cornishancientsites.com/ancient-sites/boskednan-nine-maidens/.
Preston-Jones, A. (2008) The Nine Maidens, Madron, Cornwall: Restoration. Available at: https://map.cornwall.gov.uk/reports_event_record/2008/2008R048.pdf.