Lanyon Quoit

Megalithic Tomb - Cornwall

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SW 42979 33689 (GPS 37min)
Visited June 2000 No magnetic anomalies

Also known as the Giant's Table, the Lanyon Quoit is most probably the remains of the burial chamber of a long mound or barrow. The uncertainty is due to the rather rough handling that the monument has suffered at the the hands of the elements, and the many "excavators" of  the 18th and 19th centuries. The original surviving structure of the Quoit collapsed during a storm in 1815, it was then re-erected in 1824 following a local campaign for funds. During the "restoration" one of the uprights was broken and the capstone was re-erected (after being rotated ninety degrees!), on the remaining three uprights, these having first been shortened and squared off. A measure of the height reduction caused by this process is illustrated by an account by William Borlase in 1796, describing how a horse and rider could pass beneath the capstone at that time.
Even after all its rough treatment, the Quoit is still an impressive sight today, the massive capstone measures 5.3 x 2.7m, and weighs in at an estimated 13.5 tons. The remains of the long mound are still visible today, and can be seen in our panoramas from the top of the capstone. The mound seems to have been about 27m long and runs away SSW from the Quoit, at its southern end are the remains of several stone cists. It is unclear if these cists were contemporary with the Quoit, or were later additions, a pattern of re-use of sites over time has been observed at several other long mounds which have survived in better condition.

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