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

Devil's Quoit

Burial Chamber


As if this land was originally inhabited by the cast of Monty Python's Bruce sketch, the Devil's Quoit is another name like Carreg Samson and Castell Coch that's used for several different things in the same area. Surely it defeats the point of things having names if they all have the same one.

We cycled hard into the late afternoon sun, the wind shredding our faces for mile after mile to get here, making it feel like we'd just run off the end of the world eventually. The farmhouses become fewer as you approach the point of the peninsula, the dunes appear in front of you, how much longer can there be?

Like Kammer, we found this to be in the midst of crop behind an electric fence. However, unlike him we have a history of aggravated trespass and a higher general degree of naughtiness, so we bunked in. That overlooking house can't be the farmhouse – too small neat and modern with no yard, no other obvious place to ask permission.

This big mutha of a cromlech is made from the most alarmingly rich deep burgundy coloured sandstone and commands an amazing view of the fertile lands to the east and the wild Atlantic crashing in from the West.

I thought it'd feel massively oppressed by the unholy industrial megalopolis of the oil refineries to the north-east, glowering as Sellafield does over Greycroft stone circle. But up here it feels amazingly open and clear, the gargantuan breadth of the open ocean dwarfing even the refineries, so somehow Milford Haven doesn't eat any of it away for me.

The capstone is a classic D-shape, the flat end on the ground at the western end. As Kammer says, the assertion that it's earth-fast by GE Daniel (and others such as Children & Nash) seems improbable. There is a northern stone that was clearly an upright which the capstone no longer rests on. If it were put back on that upright, it wouldn't be earth-fast.

Furthermore, the side that touches the ground rests on a flat stone about 5ft long, seemingly another fallen upright. There's no trace of a covering mound, but the field is likely to have had an increase in ground level over the centuries (all that sand blowing in), and the field has clearly been ploughed right up to the stones countless times. As I site here, rye is planted right up to it on all sides.

The area of dunes to the south-east, Broomhill Burrows and Kilpaison Burrows, is thought to perhaps be comparatively recent and during the Neolithic it may well have been a sea inlet, giving this cromlech a dramatic peninsula position. Children & Nash (1997) say it's not oriented towards the sea but to Milford Haven Sound, but it appears to me to be clearly sited at a point where you can see both.

visited 25 Aug 04
Posted by Merrick
7th September 2004ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment