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Devil's Quoit

Burial Chamber

<b>Devil's Quoit</b>Posted by paulmanorbierImage © paulmanorbier
Also known as:
  • Newton Cromlech
  • Broomhill Burrows

Nearest Town:Milford Haven (7km N)
OS Ref (GB):   SM886008 / Sheets: 157, 158
Latitude:51° 39' 56.25" N
Longitude:   5° 3' 26.18" W

Added by Chris Collyer

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<b>Devil's Quoit</b>Posted by postman <b>Devil's Quoit</b>Posted by postman <b>Devil's Quoit</b>Posted by postman <b>Devil's Quoit</b>Posted by postman <b>Devil's Quoit</b>Posted by postman <b>Devil's Quoit</b>Posted by Merrick <b>Devil's Quoit</b>Posted by Kammer <b>Devil's Quoit</b>Posted by Kammer <b>Devil's Quoit</b>Posted by paulmanorbier <b>Devil's Quoit</b>Posted by Chris Collyer

Fieldnotes

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Visited 7.6.14

Directions:
From Pembroke take the B4320 west. The burial chamber can be seen in the middle of a field to your left just before the road takes a sharp turn south towards Castlemartin.


As Kammer has said, there is no public access to the chamber and it is two fields over. I couldn’t see the unfriendly message or barbed wire on the field gate but you are sure to be seen if planning a ‘sneak’ visit.

Best bet is to either ask for permission (from whom I don’t know) or do what I did and have a look from the road. Even without the aid of binoculars the fallen/slanting capstone was easy enough to see.

Worth a look when in the area.
Posted by CARL
9th June 2014ce
Edited 9th June 2014ce

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

Visited 17th April 2003: I might be able to shed some light on why Chris couldn't get close up to the tomb. There's a sign on the gate with an unfriendly message on it (I can't remember the exact wording) plus a barbed wire fence and an electric fence in the field where the chamber lies. The farmhouse is relatively close by, so you get the distinct impression you're being watched.

None of this was too much of a deterrent to me until I realised that the field was full of crops I decided to go no further (aggravated trespass is a crime, and I'm a good boy at heart) and took some photos from the edge of the field. It's a shame that access to the site is so poor.

According to G.E. Daniel (in The Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of England and Wales) this site is of the 'earthfast' type, but this is contested by others because the level of the ground where the capstone rests may not be original. Apparently the tomb not oriented towards the sea, but towards Milford Haven Sound (not that I could really tell from the distance I was viewing from).
Kammer Posted by Kammer
19th May 2003ce
Edited 27th October 2003ce

Not a lot to see at this one, the stones are in the middle of a field, I can't remember the reason why I couldn't get over the fence that surrounds the area - maybe it was barbed or electrified or something. Nice area though. Chris Collyer Posted by Chris Collyer
31st March 2002ce

Miscellaneous

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Not to be confused with the standing stone called The Devil's Quoit 9km to the east (near the tiny village of Sampson) or the standing stone 11km to the east called The Devil's Quoit (near Stackpole Warren). Kammer Posted by Kammer
14th May 2003ce
Edited 25th May 2004ce