Within 20 yards of the house, in a low mound in the garden and half hidden amongst bluebells, ferns and foxgloves, is the Boleigh Fogou, considered to be one of the best remaining monuments of its kind in Cornwall. Found to be part of an iron-age site, this man made underground cave has survived pretty well intact for 2000 years. The word ‘fogou’ is derived from the Cornish word for cave – fogou - and indeed these fantastic constructions do not occur anywhere else in England.
There is much debate about the original purpose of the fogou. Some believe they were ancient grain stores, others housing for cattle. Yet another theory purports that they were used as hiding places, and certainly there is some recorded evidence that the Boleigh Fogou may have given shelter to Royalists hiding from Cromwell’s followers in the 17th century.
However there are many good reasons why an underground cave would not really be suitable for any of these purposes, and many people believe that the fogou contributed far more to the spiritual rather than the practical life of the community it served. It is thought that birth and death rituals might have been carried out in the fogou, that it might have been used for initiation and spiritual ceremonies.
Now many people visit the fogou to experience for themselves the tremendous power it seems to hold, and feel the presence of the previous inhabitants of this ancient land.
We would like guests staying at Rosemerryn to feel free to explore the Fogou as often and whenever they wish, and ask only that people are respectful of the site and considerate of each other. Others, who are not staying at Rosemerryn, are also welcome to visit the fogou; we ask you, please, to phone in advance to arrange a convenient time.
Tel: 01736 810530