rosewall hill


rosewall hill sits just west of st ives and has three impressive groups of granite rock tors which are situated along its long crest in an east-west orientation. the eastern tor lies on its north eastern slope and deliniates its western skyline. when travelling west out from st ives or viewed from carn stabba, trink or trencrom hill its ‘eye hole’ can seen by seen against the setting sun. which appears on its eastern flank. this phenomena has been formed by of one of its larger stones separating into two parts and forming a window slot letting the sun’s rays through. its stacked stones seen from the northern approach form an impressive wall forcing the visitor along its western flank and its ‘entrance’ onto a flat inner plateau which sits between  the slot window and two large stacked rock outcrops. this plateau forms a vantage point from which to ‘address’ the surrounding landscape and could have formed the site for early mesolithic/neolithc ceremonies. this formation with its high northern and eastern faces, its framed window view looking towards carn brea to the east and its plateaued inner sanctum also has two impressive ‘solutions basins’ situated on either side of this plateau. these hold the slightly acidic rain waters and were subject of much interest and speculation by the early antiquarian reverend w bolase who suggested they might have been used in ceremonial rituals; they might have been conceived as a direct gift from the heavans by the gods. borlase remarked on the fantastic forms of particular tors and argued that they would have been sites of worship and places where druidic orators would make their pronouncements. although the druidic origins have been discounted chris tilley has argued that the way super-natural assignments were given to these naturally formed landscapes was one of the distinguishing features of the mesolithic/early neolithic periods. they ‘are highly likely to have regarded the entire landscape and all of its features as an ancestral creation. the hills, tors, and solution basins could have been … the petrified shapes of ancestral beings’ … or that the ancestors ‘sculpted the rocks, created the chambers in them, perhaps as their resting or burial places, and carv[ed] out the solution basins’. they and’ the caves and fissures in the rocks, … may have been regarded as places where the ancestral beings who created the world entered and left [them].’ there is much evidence from other parts of cornwall that these tors have been ‘enhanced’ to form tor enclosures, ‘fortified’ ritual sites and incorporated into burial burrows and cairns.