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West Lanyon Quoit

Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech


Within a tumulus 3 1/2 miles (by the map) N.W. by W. of Penzance, and in the parish of Madron, a Cromleh [sic] was discovered in 1790, of which the following account, by the late Rev. Malachi Hitchins, was published in the Archaeologia:-

"The gentleman who owns the estate of Lanyon, happening to be overtaken by a shower, took shelter behind a bank of earth and stones; and remarking that the earth was rich, he sent his servants to carry it off, when having removed near one hundred cart-loads, they observed the supporters of a cromleh, from which the covering stone was slipped off on the south side, but still leaning against them."

This covering-stone is about 13 1/2 feet long by 10 1/2 broad. The south supporter, on which it still leans, is 6 feet high and 5 wide: that on the west is nearly of the same height and about 9 feet wide. The east supporter (since cleft and carried away) was 10 1/2 feet wide, and , with the other two, formed almost a triangular kistvaen with a space of about a foot, at the north end, uninclosed.

"As soon as the gentleman observed it to be a cromleh, he ordered his men to dig under it, where they soon found a broken urn with ashes; and going deeper they found half a scull, the thigh bones, and most of the other bones of a human body, lying in such a manner as fully proved that the grave had been opened before, and the flat stones which formed the grave had been all removed out of their places."
The quote comes from Archaeologia v14. The other remarks are from a piece in the 1851 Penzance Nat. Hist. and Antiq. Soc. Transactions.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
19th September 2009ce

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