Who We Are: main contributors - Ancient Penwith | Cornwall

West Penwith, Cornwall
Ancient Penwith
The prehistoric landscape of the Land's End peninsula
Ancient Penwith
Ancient Penwith
The prehistoric landscape of the Land's End Peninsula
Go to content

Who We Are: main contributors

Many are those who have contributed snippets, advice, information and input into the MAP project, though the three main contributors thus far are:

Palden Jenkins

I live on an organic farm at the centre of West Penwith, formerly resident and doing similar work in Glastonbury, Somerset until 2008. History, geomancy and archaeology have been core part of my work throughout my adult life. This started when, as a student in 1969, I rather naively slept at the centre of the Ring of Brogar stone circle in the Orkney Isles, having a vivid dream of dancing, chanting ancients who invited me to join them - which, for better or worse, I did! I've been smitten with issues of our ancient past and also our future ever since, and privileged to know and work with such antiquarian luminaries as Tom Graves, Michael Green, Sig Lonegren, John Michell, Hamish Miller and Ronald Hutton.

I'm a book editor, webmaster, photographer, author, humanitarian worker (Middle East and Africa), and a counsellor, adviser and peacemaker. The Kingfisher Encyclopaedia of World History, which I wrote in 1999, received a Smithsonian award. I studied geography and social sciences at LSE 1968-71 and, since then, I've been absorbed in history, geopolitics, psychotherapy and alternative knowledge (such as astrology, cereology and geomancy), speaking, writing and teaching on these.

I'm known for the seminal book The Only Planet of Choice (1993). My latest is Possibilities 2050, about the future of the world, and the book before that was Power Points in Time (2014), about the astrology of cycles of time. Pictures of Palestine (2012) is the story of my exploits out there. I've built and run interesting websites since 1995 - my own voluminous site and online archive is at palden.co.uk. I seem to be a sucker for big projects such as Ancient Penwith, for such things as the three holistic educational projects I founded in the 1980s-90s, and for tasks bordering on the impossible (well, at least, until I came along).

"It's not what you get, it's what you become by doing it" (Jefferson). My core belief: it's okay in the end, and if it's not okay, it's not the end.

I'm the mainstay of the Ancient Penwith project, working in collaboration with Maen Mamvro and with others. Also known for making a good cup of tea.

Cheryl Straffon

I spent my childhood in Cornwall and became interested in ancient sites  and earth mysteries in the 1960s, when I knew many of the early  researchers into leys and alignments, such as John Michell and Paul  Devereux. After university in London and Cambridge, I lived in the far  north of Scotland for a few years before returning to the south, and  working in teaching, bookselling, training and librarianship.

In 1986 I  returned to my native Cornwall, and have lived here ever since. Upon my  return, I started the Cornish Earth Mysteries and alternative  archaeology magazine Meyn Mamvro which has  been produced continuously since then, and is now approaching its 30th  year of publication. From that came the Earth Mysteries guides to  ancient sites in West Penwith, Bodmin Moor and North Cornwall,  Mid-Cornwall, the Lizard and the Isles of Scilly.

I have written  extensively about the sacred and mythic landscape of the prehistoric  peoples, and our relationship to it nowadays, in particular in books  such as Pagan Cornwall, Fentynow Kernow: in search of Cornwall's holy  wells, Megalithic Mysteries of Cornwall and Between the Realms:  Cornish myth and magic. A parallel and interwoven interest has been  Goddess spirituality, which I have explored in the magazine Goddess  Alive! that I edit, and in books such as The  Earth Goddess: Celtic and pagan legacy of the landscape, Daughters of  the Earth, The Goddess in Crete and (forthcoming) The Goddess in  Ireland.

Together with my partner, we run Goddess Tours International, whereby we take small groups of  people to places such as Crete, Ireland and Malta, and we also have a  home in Crete as well as Cornwall. I am passionate about Cornwall and  her sacred sites and, although now 'retired', I continue to work for my  ancestral land, and am Chair of the environmental group CASPN (Cornish  Ancient Sites Protection Network).

I live  with my partner (and our cat!) in West Penwith in a house overlooking  the sea and close to the moors of this very special and sacred land.

Raymond Cox

2015  is the 50th year of my visits to West Penwith. It's the beauty of the  coast and valleys and the deep old granite paths, and the flowering  hedges, combined with a feeling of the presence of the past and the  concentrated atmosphere of the ancient sites that draw me here. One result of it all has  been the compilation of the alignments list that acts as the basis of the MAP project, a particular fascination -  and the writing of articles for the Meyn Mamvro journal.

My  other interests have been wider, and these include a study of both the  UFO and Crop Circles phenomena over many years, the latter with an  administrative role in the CCCS (Centre for Crop Circle Studies). In an  associated, but more esoteric, sphere, I am a member of the  Anthroposophical Society.

Down  to earth, I have a wide-ranging interest in classical music. For nearly twenty years I have helped run a music journal  specifically devoted to Anton Bruckner. My  many musical devotions include the music of Gustav Mahler, Franz  Schubert and, in the 20th century, Carl Nielsen and Nicolai Myaskovsky.

Another  interest is the American West. I am currently secretary of the English  Westerners' Society, an educational organisation of people who have a  special interest in the preservation of the historical, ethnological and  cultural background and evolution of the West. Book reviews take up  some time here.

In addition to all that a love of literature is paramount.


Appreciation is extended to Craig Weatherhill and John Moss for their advice and expertise, to the late Hamish Miller and John Michell for the work they did locally, to members of the volunteer group carrying out field research, and to archaeologists and geomancers past and present for their input into the pool of knowledge and understanding of the ancient sites of West Penwith.

Back to content