Isle of Albion
Photographed: Monday 12th July 2004
Site rating:

The Nine Maidens is a stone row consisting of nine quartz-rich stones, one of which is fallen. The row is around 100 metres in length and the stones average around 1.5 metres in height.

The entrance to this site can be easy to miss, so keep a sharp eye out as you're driving. One word of caution: in order to reach the style, it's necessary to drop a couple of feet into a ditch. Whilst the drop isn't problematic in itself, the lack of steps or handholds makes it a rapid descent - straight into nettles and brambles. It's not something I'd fancy making in the summer wearing only shorts.

I'm somewhat ambiguous about this site. Whilst visiting, I found the place a bit drab and depressing. But after returning home and studying the day's pictures, I decided I'd been a little hard on the place. The backdrop is quite dramatic (despite the road), and the stones that remain are quite striking.

When wandering around the vicinity of the site, I was struck by how many broken stones lie around the hedge, ditch and field. I strongly suspect that many of these are megalithic remnants, and I wonder whether these standing stones were once part of a much larger Neolithic complex. Whether or not that's the case, this is still the finest stone row in Cornwall. Visit at the tail-end of the day when the setting sun illuminates the quartz stones with a beautiful light.