The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

St Breock Beacon Kistvaen

Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech


Only recently re-discovered near the Men gurta this "kistvaen" or entrance grave. It consists of two huge slabs of stone of a similar type to the nearby menhirs and the quoit at Pawton. I had seen it marked on some old maps but two separate books on local sites said it no longer existed!

First record by William Borlase in 1872 in his work Naenia Cornubiae.

He writes.....

"About 150 yards of the taller stone (Men Gurta) and upon equally high ground lies a flat stone of spar 9 feet 6 inches long by sis feet broad at its greatest breath resting on the ground at its northern edge and at its southern, diagonally upon a second stone 7 feet 6 inches long by 2 feet 6 inchesin breadth, and about the same in hieght above the ground. It has the appearance of an imperfectly form Kist-Vaen and therefore should pehaps have been inserted at a previous page.
A barrow of small stones from 30 to 40 feet in diameter lies around it, and a farmer mentioned the fact that an old man digging among them had once discovered something curious, but of what nature he could not remember. A small cairn also surrounded the adjacent monumentwhile barrows are scattered in abundance over the neighbouring downs."

A footnote on the page
This species of monument is sometimes called an "earth-fast Cromlech" sometimes a "demi-dolmen" - Examples are not uncommon in Brittany and at Kerland bears a strong resemblance to the above.

The site is almost unchanged compare with the sketch in Borlase's book although the area is slighty grown over. There is a trig point nearby, the site can be found slighty off the track that leads from the trig point if you walk to Men Gurta.

An exciting find and no Cornish guide book mentions it!
Posted by phil
11th May 2003ce
Edited 24th March 2013ce

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