The Megalithic Inheritance - Shining Land

Shining Land
The ancient sites of West Penwith, Cornwall
Palden Jenkins
Shining Land
Site nearly complete - organically growing
and what they tell us about megalithic civilisation
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The Megalithic Inheritance

Prehistory > The Bronze Age
Age of the Longstone Builders | The Bronze Age 2300-800 BCE

The Megalithic Inheritance
Extracted from the book Shining Land, by Palden Jenkins, chapters 17-20.


Trevean 2 menhir, near Carn Barra
Around 3700-3500 BCE the system of backbone alignments between major base sites had been established. Anchored in the tors and cliff sanctuaries, it formed a geomantic foundation that was subsequently bequeathed to the Bronze Age. Menhirs, barrows, stones and enclosures were then erected to extrapolate the system, all plugged into the network and installed for a variety of terrestrial, astronomical and geomantic purposes.

They were located where they were for intricate reasons, using a megalithic science that was both intellectual and intuitive in method. Geomancy was a core subject: megalithic feng shui. Another was astronomy-astrology, studying the nature and passage of time, its interpretation and its effects on land, sea, wildlife and the welfare of tribes. Another was mathematics and geometry, embodied in the design, proportions and position of ancient sites. The physical and the metaphysical were interdependent, co-engineered.

In designing megalithic structures with astronomical orientations and sophisticated geometry, their builders sought to lock time and change into space, embodying the periodicities of the sun, moon and movement of the planets. They used a coherent terrestrial framework – the backbone alignments – to create an integrated system of sacred sites.

The Neolithics had intuitively located their sites on top of energy vortices generated by upwelling blind springs and at intersections of underground water lines, using astronomical, landscape and other factors too. Astronomical and geomantic knowledge was well developed by the mid-3000s and, despite the seven-century gap when seemingly no new sites were built in Penwith, somehow this knowledge survived. How it survived is an open question – some thinkers posit a small group of knowledge-holders who persisted through time. The main evidence for this is that the knowledge did survive.

Arguably such knowledge was rediscovered by studying the design of Neolithic ancient sites, but this would have encountered deciphering problems not dissimilar to those we face – we can deduce many things, but we don’t know the actual thinking-processes and beliefs the megalith-builders had. The knowhow could also have been preserved elsewhere, in Brittany, Ireland or Scotland, however, later to be re-seeded in Cornwall.

As sacred site location and design turned into a science, in the Bronze Age Penwith morphed into a kind of megalithic national park, a scaled-up geoengineering project that eventually covered the entire peninsula. It reached into the earth by being plugged into underground water and subtle earth energy, into the heavens with its astronomical orientations, across the land through alignments and subtle energy-lines, and beyond it through alignments stretching through Cornwall and Devon and further. Whatever Bronze Age people were seeking to achieve, this was big. But the thinking behind it had started at least a thousand years before.

Shining Land
A book by Palden Jenkins about the ancient sites of West Penwith in Cornwall
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