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The island of Lundy was the centre of a network of signal beacons covering the southwest of Britain; Devon and Cornwall and the south of Wales as from the Brecon Beacons and the Preseli mountains. 

The author of 'Lundy, the Tempestuous Isle' recorded seeing fourteen lighthouses from Tibbet's Hill on Lundy.

View from Lundy;-  "Roughtor and Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor, the Cornish coast as far as Trevose to St.Govan's Head and the Preselli mountains of Dyfed. From the Exmoor Tors beyond Bideford Bay to the grand sweep of Carmarthen Bay and the Gower Peninsula."

Trevose Head in Cornwall has a view from St.Ives to Lundy.

A beacon on Lundy could signal not only to Clovelly Dykes ( Camelot) but also to every other place in visual range. This permitted Arthur to direct his mounted warriors and his ships to wherever they were needed.

The concept of an island with a tower at each corner seems much easier to grasp if you replace tower with lighthouse.

'Commonly the beacon fires were lit in an iron framework set on the top of an angle turret.'

 

Many beacon sites only survive in placenames.  Beacon,  Brent, Braunt, Burnt, Bikking, are beacon related place names. Smoke was used for daytime signaling, fire after dark. The same beacon site can have different significance to succeeding generations. The religious fires of one generation becomes a lighthouse to later generations.

"To the early Christians the beacon fires on the hills in pagan celebration were both symbolically and physically doorways to hell. They showed the way to the fires of eternal damnation through the worship of pagan gods. From an early Christian viewpoint the solution was obvious. they built stone chapels there. 

 Beacons could continue to be lit on the hilltops to guide the travellers, but now they were under the protection of the Archangel Michael. "

 

St. Michael's, Brent Tor on Dartmoor 'A High rocky place on the top whereof stands a church, full bleak and weather beaten, all alone, as it were forgotten... This tor serves as a mark for sailors who bear into Plymouth Haven.' and also ; "was no doubt a beacon in which wood, turf and other fuel was burnt by way of signal. There was probably a line of beacons on the Dartmoor tors, and the intelligence of invasion or distress would be communicated by a rapid succession of beacon fires."   -  Hine. 

(St. Michael's Brent Tor is on the St. Michael dragon line)

 

"Carn Brea [203:385280] a clump of barrows, on top of the largest, which was once a Neolithic tomb of some splendour, a chapel was built in 1300 AD and dedicated to St.Michael. It was connected with the priory at St.Michael's Mount, which decreed that a hermit should live on this western hill and keep a beacon alight to guide travellers by land and by sea."    toulson, shirley----moors of the south - west

 

St. Agnes Beacon

"Although of no great height (628' above sea level) St. Agnes Beacon on the north coast of Cornwall commands a surprising expanse of the western part of the county. It is said that from here on a clear day it is possible to see no less than thirty church towers - those of St. Agnes, Mithian, Perranzabuloe, Newlyn East, Cubert, St. Enoder, St. Columb Minor, Colan, St. Eval, Tintagel, St. Dennis, Roche, Gerrans, St. Michael Caerhayes, Probus, St. Allen, St. Erme, Mount Hawke, Baldhu, Treleigh, Redruth, St. Day, Tuckingmill, Illogan, Camborne, Gwinear, Ludgvan, Paul, St. Ives and Truro Cathedral. "    from Stevens, G. A. ---- Do You Know Cornwall Tor Mark Press

 

related pages

St. Michael Lines

 

 

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