A Correspondent writes:--In Volume 1 of the Journal of the Ethnological Society of London (1869-70).
"Immediately beneath the Main (or Mean) rock, is an extensive and valuable quarry of superior granite, which has been worked to a depth of about forty feet, and close up to the bed on which the Main rock rested. This quarry has been worked by a man named Dunstan, who appears to have had a great desire to get at the valuable bed of granite on which the rock rested; and unknown to Mr. W. Hosken, the proprietor of the land, we are informed, has been working after dark, boring holes and blasting underneath the rock. He appears to have failed in his first attempt, but on Tuesday he bored a hole on the other side, and put in a charge, which, when fired, threw the Tolmen off its pivot, when it gradually, and as if reluctantly, rolled into the quarry beneath, where it now lies forty feet below the place it has occupied for centuries, to the wonder and admiration of thousands. Soon after it fell into the quarry these greedy Goths fell on it like crows on carrion, and commenced boring holes in it, intending with their rippers and wedges to split it in pieces; but, fortunately, the proprietor was informed of what had taken place, and he immediately gave orders that it should remain as it is, as it was contrary to his wish that it should have been disturbed."
To the Editor of the Times.
Sir, - You recorded last week the destruction of the great Tolmaen, in Constantine parish, near Penrhyn, which was blown up a few days ago for the sake of the granite by a man named Dunstan. Having been informed some weeks ago by the Rev. Mr. Winwood that the Tolmaen was in danger, I put myself in communication with the proprietor, Mr. Haskin, intending to offer some compensation for, or, if possible, to acquire it permanently for the nation; but I was assured that there was no reason for any anxiety on the subject.
The mischief done is of course irreparable: but every right-minded man must condemn the wanton barbarism of him who has thus destroyed, for the mere sake of the granite on which it stood, a monument which old Borlase called the 'most astonishing of its kind.'
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
In consequence of a communication from Sir John Lubbock in reference to the destruction of the great Tolmaen in Cornwall, the Council of the Ethnological Society has named a committee to ascertain the present state of prehistoric monuments in these islands, and the best means for their preservation. The committee comprises Sir John Lubbock, Professor Huxley, Colonel Lane Fox, Mr. Hyde Clark, Mr. Blackmore, Mr. John Evans, Mr. A.W. Franks, Mr. T. Wright, Mr. H.G. Bohn, and Mr. Samuel Laing, Vice-President.
Posted by Rhiannon
7th June 2013ce