Lanyon Quoit (Explored)



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Description The imposing monument known as 'Lanyon Quoit' is perhaps one of the best-known and most-photographed of Cornwall's ancient monuments, dating from the Neolithic period (3500-2500BC). This gigantic capstone originally stood atop four upright stone columns, but it crashed to the ground, smashing some of the stone supports during a storm in 1815. The quoit was subsequently re-erected, at right-angles to its original position, on top of what remained of the uprights - one of them broke so it now only has three legs. Originally tall enough for a horse and rider to pass beneath(!), it nevertheless still stands a little over a metre tall. If you feel at ease sitting underneath several tons of stone then this is the parasol for you.

It is believed that Lanyon and other quoits in the area were used as ritual funeral sites. It is perfectly plausible that bodies were laid on top of the capstone to be eaten by carrion birds; similar sites show evidence of bones from several individuals, and it is thought that bones were moved to sites such as Lanyon and used in rituals, perhaps involving attempts to communicate with ancestors and the spirit world. Other theories contend that it was the burial chamber of a long mound, Lanyon Quoit is unusual in many ways and may have been more of a mausoleum or cenotaph than a grave. Recent theories suggest that these megalithic monuments were never completely covered by mounds but that their granite capstone and front portal stones were left uncovered to form a dramatic background to the ceremonies performed there.

Lanyon Quoit is situated in a field by the side of the Morvah to Madron road, by a layby with space for a couple of cars and a small National Trust sign on the hedge. You walk up a path between a couple of fields and you'll find it. Beware though, despite its imposing presence, it is surprisingly easy to miss - useless as I am with directions it took a few backtracks before I found the layby.

# 151 In Explore on 2010-03-18 - Thank you!
Date 11 August 2009(2009-08-11), 12:34
Source Lanyon Quoit (Explored)
Author Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel from Holmbury St.Mary, UK


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Checked copyright icon.svg This image was originally posted to Flickr by Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel at http://flickr.com/photos/43147325@N08/4444200070. It was reviewed on 21 July 2010(2010-07-21) by the FlickreviewR robot and confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.

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