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Chûn Quoit

Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech

<b>Chûn Quoit</b>Posted by thesweetcheatImage © A. Brookes (16.6.09)
Also known as:
  • Chun Quoit
  • Chywoone Quoit

Nearest Town:Penzance (7km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   SW402340 / Sheet: 203
Latitude:50° 8' 54.2" N
Longitude:   5° 38' 13.52" W

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Visited 5th March 2014

This place has been high on my list of must see sites for ages, and I must say it didn’t disappoint. Parking up at the wonderfully named Woom Grumpus common on the B3318, the quoit is visible on the horizon from the parking spot. Wellingtons were an absolute necessity as to describe the path as ‘boggy’ would constitute a gross understatement!

Huge puddles of indeterminate depth straddled the path, but properly equipped for a change we soldier on, the walk up to the stone being just under a mile, soon though we arrive at this most perfect of dolmens. Wonderful vistas can be had from the site looking out over the sea, but skies are grey and murky today, low cloud clinging on and obscuring the horizon.

I squeeze into the chamber, but it’s a tight fit. Inside though it’s nice and sheltered, and some handy stones inside allow a perch out of the mud for me to write my fieldnotes. It’s wonderful here inside the quoit, I can hear the wind howling away around the stones, and I feel far from the mundane world, almost as if I’m about to be whisked off to the otherworld at any moment.

The four closely placed orthostats support a wonderful sloping capstone, and I can’t help but admire the economy of design, it’s a dolmen at its most streamlined. The entrance seems to be aligned south-easterly, and the granite tor of Carn Kenidjack looms away to the south in line with the quoit, and possibly the alignment continues on south to the circle of Tregeseal.

I can’t think of enough superlatives to describe Chûn Quoit, although one of West Penwith’s most iconic sites the necessity for a walk to reach it probably keeps away the casual visitor so the sense of isolation remains. A truly wonderful place, and I know I’ll be back!
Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
9th March 2014ce

Chun Quoit is another of the area's "show sites", but to see it ahead of you in its beautiful setting is still enough to cause a flutter of anticipation. Watch Croft, Penwith's highest point, rises behind and the blues of sea and sky meet over to the north. The Quoit itself needs no introduction, so we'll just sit and have a snack and enjoy the view for a little while. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
25th August 2010ce
Edited 26th August 2010ce

Visited 11.4.10.
I visited Chun quoit via Chun Castle (see Chun Castle notes for directions). This is one of the most complete dolmens I have ever visited with stones close together on all four sides. I just about managed to squeeze inside through the small gap. When sat inside, out of the ever present wind, you could easily be in another place - in another time. Magical. The quoit is visible from quite a distance in the surrounding area. Well worth a visit.

I then headed for Boswens Menhir which is visible from the quoit (if you know where to look) and from the B3318. If you want to get closer, park at the junction of the two farm tracks just off the B3318. Walk up the track until it ends (5 minutes) and the menhir is in the field on your left. However, between you and the stone are two double barbed wire fences and a sea of the dreaded gorse. I chose to view from the track!!
Posted by CARL
20th April 2010ce
Edited 20th April 2010ce

Chun Quoit is a place i visit as reguarly as possible, my first being around 10 years ago at the tender age of 7/8 years.
It is a beautiful place, peaceful and quiet.
recently i walked up over Kenijack Moor, past the Hooting Carn and crossing the road headed up the hill towards Chun Quoit.
As i approached, the top of the Comlech stood out in silhouette against the lightening sky, the sun was just beginning to slowly make its way towards the horizon.
As i drew closer, the view took my breath away, as it always does, away over fields, rough heather and gorse, down towards the sparkling sea. I stood for a moment and took in the atmosphere, the sun has sped up now and is turning the clouds pink and gold, a beautiful sunset in the making.
I took a few moments to walk around the Quoit, noticing new details from the last time i was here.
I stop again as i finish a full circle, the light is becoming more golden by the minute, i take out my sketch pad and quickly sketch in the basic tonal values for reference later, thinking all the while that i'll never be able to capture the essence and atmosphere on paper anyway!
I finish drawing and sit watching the sun finish its descent, the breeze is getting up and is getting cooler, two birds fly over, late home, calling as they go.
it is getting cold now, i turn, take one last look, and start on the long walk home.
Mirla Posted by Mirla
8th October 2007ce

Came up Saturday morning hoping to walk to the quoit....thick mist covered the hillside and Kathy decided she was not going out in it...So we drove back down the hill to Botalack and had a stunning walk along the cliffs in wonderful sunshine.
Sunday morning (21st march 2005)and the mist had lifted and we walked up from the Trewallah turning accross freshly burnt scrub. It is great to see all the old field boundrys exposed and i kept me eyes to the ground in the hope of finding something interesting....
The quoit sits in all its glory surrounded by sunshine...I am always a little unsure about entering these ancient places but in the end I squeezed my self into the quoit just because I could (and that was after a full breakfast!)

Walked over to the castle afterwards then back down to the car, Kenedjack was hooting at me but time was against me....perhaps another day?
Mr Hamhead Posted by Mr Hamhead
22nd March 2005ce

Our first site of the day and with a bunch of "stone virgins" in tow, it proved to be an amazing start to the day.

The landscape around here is just amazing and as you head up towards Chun Quiot, you pass burial mounds and are surrounded by a sense of history and scenery that is breathtakingly beautiful.

The walk up to the Quiot is (depending on weather) a fairly easy one, although we did hit a few boggy patches on route. If you park by the farm and walk straight up the hill, you will see footpaths cut through the gorse and should come across the site easily enough.

Once we spotted it, we started running towards it; Ros described it as "cute" and I have to admit that it really is! Never had the opportunity to describe a site as "cute" before and probably never will again!

From the Quiot I spotted what appeared to be a couple of stones, which we presumed must be linked to Chun Castle. Bit confused by Julian's description in the book of this site being both Bronze AND Iron Age though!!!!!

Walked up to Chun Castle and was blown away by it. Had expected it to be little more than a few scattered stones but the circular foundation of the outer wall and banks are pretty clear to see and the 2 large stones which must've formed a gateway remain upright and proud. From here, the Quiot looked even more spectacular and as we headed back down for another look at the site, I felt as if the day couldn't possibly get any better.
Vicster Posted by Vicster
5th April 2004ce

Our last site visit of this trip and not a bit disappointing. This really is a treat - every bit as good as I'd hoped for, and then some. The views from here are tremendous, and the decision to come here last worked out brilliantly, as by now I felt familiar with the surrounding landscape. We arrived in glorious sunshine and lay soaking up the warmth for a good while, before lazily strolling back to civilisation. IronMan Posted by IronMan
11th May 2003ce

I approached from Trehyllys Farm – follow the signs to Great Bosullow and Chun Castle from Bosullow Common (the Lanyon road). Were it not for the GPS, I’d have taken a wrong turn at the farm – turn right at the farm buildings then head for the top left corner of the field for the shortest route to the top via a very narrow track bordered by chest high gorse. I wouldn’t want to tackle this route in high summer!

Having reached the castle at the summit, the view was well worth the climb. I entered the castle via the gateway, and turning round, caught my first view of the quoit.
I don’t think I’ve ever fallen so completely in love with a site as I did with the quoit. It’s totally delightful, but try as I might, I couldn’t squeeze through the entrance to sit inside. The old guys were obviously much slimmer than me. Looking around, it’s difficult to imagine how harsh life must have been back then, as the site is so isolated. I couldn’t help wondering what else is waiting to be discovered under all the gorse and bracken up on the hill. I’ll definitely be back here soon.

Back at the castle, I found the cup-marked stones and what looked like a carved stone chair. I’m not certain I’d want to drink from the well though…
ocifant Posted by ocifant
16th March 2003ce

I was guided to the quoit by the "drums"... the beating of the ancients... I'd been out looking for Tregeseal circle, without any luck, it was raining hard, muddy and bloody windy! Coming to an intersection of trackways i heard the drums... calling me, to follow the track to the hilltop, I did so and came across an old friend, Chun Quoit. I'd been here several months earlier, walking from Men-an-Tol though that time, this time it was different, the area had a wonderful energy to it, it was truly alive... the sun was losing height but I didn't care as I felt at home here... I filled with emotion, tears came from my eyes... I could feel the "old ones " around me... my feelings were of that I'd come home at last! I'm sure you know that feeling. I didnt climb inside, last time I did and got wedged in the gap... standing outside was enough... such a wonderful vibrant energy... I stayed there for a good half hour... deep in thought, visions of the ancients flooding through and into me.

A visit by night seems a worthy cause.
paul1970 Posted by paul1970
28th November 2002ce
Edited 29th November 2002ce

Loved the tight entrance, made me think of Le Corbusier- only the leanest, most focused motherf***ers can gain entry. Only carry what you need.
As I affected my exit I saw lights and the ground rushing up at me...but then I had just K-RACKED my head on the capstone. Yes, I was the concussed guy hobbling aided towards Pendeen.
Also wish I'd worn trousers, the gorse is particularly hungry this time of year.
A wonderful site, only Mulfra Quoit is better situated, and odd as it may seem, the airtraffic control radar adds to the scene.
Posted by windago
9th September 2002ce

Chun Quoit offers welcome shelter (as long as you're small enough to squeeze in!) on an otherwise exposed moor. The wind was wild when we were there but sitting inside Chun I felt really cosy and protected from the elements.

The views were spectacular despite the weather. There's a great panoramic view of the sea which always does it for me!

After sitting outside for a while, tuning into my surroundings, I could almost visualise people from the past carrying out their rituals.

Definitely worth a visit and easily walkable from Morvah (where we got a reasonably priced cab to from St Ives).
Posted by Abbie
8th November 2001ce

Go into the quoit - it's a must. It's often reckoned that quoits were once covered in soil, which would make them a bit like the fogou's but with Chun it has such a wonderful vantage point to watch the sun rise and set from within (with gaps in just the right positions) that I would think that no-soil is the supossed state of affairs. So quite a stellar perspective then. kingrolo Posted by kingrolo
2nd October 2001ce

Julian describes Chun Quoit as a megalithic mushroom , and he hits the nail on the head. This is a fantastic site and well worth a visit, along with men-an-tol & the nine maidens. Access from the small farm road just before you get to men-an-tol, space to park where the road stops, then a fine walk for about 15-20 minutes up a narrow path, with little sense of getting anywhere until the Quoit is right in front of you, arising from the heather with it's rounded back like the veritable fungi it is. Such a perfect creation, compact, beautifully shaped. I had problems wiping the grin of happiness from my face when there. Walking round the stones there's a chance to marvel at the different perspectives it takes on. It's possible to creep inside, though just a little anxiety inducing if you happen to be in any way portly, and it was nice to see no defacing of the innards except for one small silver pentagram. This is Cornish heaven.
The nearby ruined hill fort/city is well worth walking up to to round off the walk.
Posted by a23
24th October 2000ce

Chun Quoit and Boswens seems connected as through some umbillical cord - you can see one from the other, and even walking to one the other is visible across Woon Gumpus common. Chun has spectacular views towards the Atlantic and all round is gorse and glorious moorland. But it's a lot smaller than it looks! walking from the layby across the 'permissive pathway' (gee, thanks a lot for access to our site !) it looms on the horizon, seeming to get bigger all the time, but really it's about 6 feet tall, compact, perfectly formed and pretty damn amazing. Boswens. on the other hand, is bigger than it seems. On a slope downhill from a strange aircraft dish-thing, it has an amazing aura. We walked to it last year through horizontal rain and, i tell no lie, just as we reached it the rain stopped as though someone turned off a tap and the sun came out. One of those wierd experiences you get when you catch megalithomania ! this year, it was like meeting an old friend - Boswens standing tall on it's hill, Chun quoit on the horizon - it was hard to leave. Again, sun blazed down whilst all around was cloud and rain. Boswens has a biosphere of it's own. Posted by Gazza
5th April 2000ce


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the eclipse

we were there
in that moment
as women danced in the old ruined dwelling above
a bottle of cider
and an alien mask
must send you the photos to prove it!
what a day?
Posted by mindweed
25th April 2002ce


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British Library

Artist pencil drawing and information including:

Chun is derived from the Cornish 'chy-an-woone', meaning house on the downs.
wysefool Posted by wysefool
6th November 2007ce
Edited 9th June 2013ce