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| Carn Euny Fogou |
[563 x 358 jpg]
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|Description ||The 'Beehive Hut' in Carn Euny's Fogou. The patch of sunshine through a grille (see Jim Champion's excellent arty picture of 1.1.05) is visible far right. This gives some daylight to what would otherwise be quite an eerie place. It is believed to have been the first structure built on this site, and the fogou was created later. Because of this, it is thought that the SE-facing doorway of this chamber once allowed the midwinter rising sun to shine through it an hour or so after dawn, thus illuminating the recess shown here. It is possible that something special might have been placed in that recess/'altar ?' (it is not a fireplace) to catch those early rays on the Winter Solstice. (The eastern wall of the fogou passage wasn't built until later.) The 'Beehive Hut' was built using the method known as corbelling, the overlapping stones gradually sloping inwards, creating a domed ceiling, capped either with huge stones or possibly timber and thatch or turf. However, the outside walls were found to have been built vertically. (One of the first recorded findings at this site in the 1840's was of an 'artificial cave', but later that century a local miner used explosives to blow apart large stones covering the floor of that chamber. He told a visitor to the area that that part of the floor was "well paved with large granite blocks, beneath which, in the centre, ran a narrow gutter." A man called Copeland Borlase later used more explosives to break up large stones, so it is possible that, after two blasts, these might have once covered the roof.) I have written this using information from Ian McNeil Cooke's book, "Mermaid to Merrymaid - Journey to the Stones" - absolutely invaluable if exploring that area.|
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