Druidical Remain on Carn Brea Hill


John Skinner was a troubled individual who sought solace in the pursuit of antiquarianism, linguistic research and diary-writing. A country parson in a rural Somerset parish, Skinner was isolated and often at odds with his parishioners. He took his own life in 1839 but in his will he bequeathed 146 manuscript volumes consisting of diaries, notes and essays to the British Library. These show him to have been an indefatigable traveller, especially in the southern counties, illustrating his tours with naïve watercolour sketches of places visited and antiquities discovered.

This view shows a stone monolith on Carn Brea hill near Redruth, Cornwall, which Skinner identifies as a ‘Druidical remain’. Skinner’s conclusions have been criticised as speculative, however, and he is better remembered as a diarist than as a scholar.

Full title:
Druidical Remain on Carn Brea Hill
about 1790-1839
John Skinner
© British Library
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Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Add. MS 33635, f.100

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