The Hurlers – Minions, England - Atlas Obscura

The Hurlers

Minions, England

Cornish legend says these ancient circles were people turned to stone for playing hurling on a Sunday. 


Among a scattering of derelict tin mines and the wilds of Bodmin Moor stand a set of three ancient stone circles, whose name comes from a Cornish legend of people turned to stone.

The Hurlers are a group of standing stones just outside the quaint village of Minions in Cornwall. Dating back at least to the Bronze Age, the unusual circles are comprised of three separate rings of varying completeness, plus a pair of outlying stones known as the Pipers. 

The stones get their name from a local legend, which says some men were playing the traditional game of Cornish hurling on a Sunday when they were magically transformed into stones as punishment for playing on the Lord’s Day. The pair of outlying stones nearby are called the Pipers due to a similar legend, only this time it was two musicians playing their pipes on a Sunday.

These tales may have originated with early Christians hoping to turn locales away from paganism and to the Christian faith. Similar legends aren’t uncommon in Cornwall, especially at prehistoric sites such as this that may have been used for pagan rituals.

Know Before You Go

There is a free car park just to the south of the village of Minions. The stone circles are a quarter of a mile away down a rough track and boggy ground that can be difficult to traverse after heavy rain. 

The stone circles can be seen from a distance on the track and access is possible at any time. 

Sheep and ponies are often grazing the area. Dogs must be kept on leads.

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