Halliggye Fogou

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Main chamber of Halliggye Fogou

Halliggye Fogou is a fogou, a prehistoric subterranean passage of uncertain purpose, to be found at Mawgan-in-Meneage in Cornwall. It is one of many such fogous in the county.

The site is under the guardianship of English Heritage, and managed by The Trelowarren Estate. Entry to the fogou is free but there is a charge to enter the rest of the Trelowarren Estate.[1]


Located in Trelowarren estate,[2] near Helston, it consists of a long narrow tunnel leading to three sectioned chambers, and a window-like entrance which was dug in Victorian times by supposed treasure hunters (this has since been filled in).


The complex of passages has a roof and walls of stone, and is the largest and best-preserved of several mysterious underground tunnels associated with Cornish Iron Age settlements.[3]

The site was described by Sir Richard Vyvyan in his "Account of the ‘fogou’ or cave at Halligey, Trelowarren", in the Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall (1885, viii. 256-58) In 1861, J. T. Blight wrote a comprehensive description and drafted plans of the fogou in conjunction with Sir Richard Vyvyan, the landowner who listed finds as a vase containing ashes and a roughly made cup, both of Celtic manufacture, and animal bones possibly from a deer.[4]

In the 1980s, a series of small excavations were carried out by English Heritage mainly to clear debris from the passage to aid examination and repair work after routine ploughing of the field, when the blade of the plough breached the roof of the main chamber: this hole has since been turned into an entrance stairway for visitors. Pottery found during excavations has included local Iron Age cordoned wares and some sherds of Roman Samian ware from southern Gaul.[5]

The passage was used during the Second World War by the Manaccan Auxiliary Unit as an explosives and ammunition store.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Halliggye Fogou)


  1. Halliggye Fogou - English Heritage
  2. Cornwall's Archaeological Heritage: Halliggye
  3. Craig Weatherhill Cornovia: Ancient Sites of Cornwall & Scilly (Alison Hodge 1985; Halsgrove 1997, 2000)
  4. PastScape: Halliggye Fogou
  5. "Higher Boden Fogou". The Modern Antiquarian.com. http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/20763/news/higher_boden_fogou.html.