the name is derived from the Cornish for
cave. Fogous are only found in Cornwall
and in particular only the south west tip
of the county. Fogous are underground structures
whose construction varies. The design varies
but they all have a long passage. A number
of them have chambers leading off the passage,
like that at Carn Euny.
fogous were used for is not known. Fogou
construction obviously took immense effort,
so its function must have been of extreme
importance to the builders.
could have been a defensive structures,
as to access the fogou one had first to
enter through a low passage (under a metre
in height ). Attackers would have to crawl
through (difficult to swing their weapons)
to meet defenders who had no such restriction.
Fogous with a chamber and their own low
passage entrance, provided a fall back position
into the chamber, again with the same advantage.
may have been easily defended positions,
however the defenders would be stuck underground
with nowhere to go. Another function could
be ritual. Whatever ever the purpose it
is doubtful whether it will ever be discovered,
instead lead to continual discussion.
where built as far back as 500 BC and some
like the one at Carn Euny may have been
used up to when the Romans left Britain
around 400 AD.