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Tolvan Holed Stone

Holed Stone


Details of site on Pastscape

Holed stone, pit, barrow: possibly remains of a cist/burial chamber
(SW) 70632770(1) The Tolvan, the largest holed stone in Cornwall, measured 8ft 6ins high by 8ft 11ins wide at the base, and about 1ft thick. The hole s 17ins in diameter (2) (see illustration) A cottage was built on the site in 1847 and the stone was moved to its present position, built into the yard fence behind the cottage. At this time several pieces were cut off the Tolvan, to make gateposts, so that it now measures 7ft 9ins high 7ft 7ins wide at the base. (3) A few years before 1864 while digging close to the Tolvan a pit was discovered in which were fragments of pottery arranged in circular order, and the whole covered with a flat sab (2) It has been suggested that the Tolvan is the remains of a burial chamber but G Daniel thinks this unlikely. (4)
(SW) 70662772(1) About 80 yds away is the remains of a barrow 20 yards in diameter. 'A trough-like stone called the 'Cradle' on the eastern side of the barrow has long since been destroyed. (1-4)
At the original site of the stone there was a five foot diameter pit lined with spar-stones; this was the cist or grave and the stone the last surviving side-stone of a mighty Quoit or Dolmen.
It gave its name to the whole estate of Tolvean, properly Tol-vean or 'Holed-stone'. The survey of 1649 refers to a part of Tolvean called Main-toll (ie Holed-stone) Down and mentions the 'Main-toll great stone'.
The 'Tolvan Stone' at SW 70622770 can hardly be other than prehistoric. The somewhat differing accounts of finds at the original site suggest contrived evidence but it is not clear why Dr Daniel should dismiss the possibility of a burial chamber. There is no trace of the barrow noted by Blight. (5-6)

( 1) General reference CA 5 1966 80 (E Dowson)
( 2) General reference Arch Camb 3rd S 1864 293 (J T Blight)
( 3) General reference Hist Constantine 1937 8-9 illus (C Henderson)
( 4) General reference Prehist Chamb Tombs 1950 46 (G E Daniel)
( 5) General reference History of Constantine 1937 8-9 (C Henderson)
( 6) Field Investigators Comments F1 NVQ 29-OCT-71
Chance Posted by Chance
10th July 2012ce

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