Hengeston Down or Hingston Down, Cornwall

Historical Description

Hengeston Down or Hingston Down (anciently ffen-gistdune), a hill-range on the E border of Cornwall, extending 4 miles eastward from the northern vicinity of Callington to the river Tamar. It culminates near the W end in Rit Hill summit, and has there an altitude of 1067 feet above sea-level. It was, prior to the time of Henry IIL, the meeting-place every seventh or eighth year of the Cornish and the Devonshire tinners, and in 835 the scene of a defeat of the Danes and the Britons by Egbert, and it not improbably got its name from some victory of the Saxons under Hengist and Horsa. The Rit Hill summit commands one of the grandest views in Cornwall, and was formerly crowned by the ruin of a windmill which was erected for the working of a mine and destroyed by stormy winds. The locality was anciently so rich in veins of tin as to give rise to the rhyming proverb- " Hengsten Down well y wrought Is worth London town dear ybought."

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5