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Lanyon Quoit is probably one
of the best-known of Cornwall's ancient monuments, dating from the
Neolithic period (3500-2500BC). The huge 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.
quoit was subsequently re-erected, at right-angles to its original
position, on top of what remained of the uprights. Originally tall
enough for a horse and rider to pass beneath, it now stands a little
over a metre tall. If you feel at ease beneath several tons of stone
you can sit comfortably underneath Lanyon
is believed that Lanyon and other quoits in the area were used as
ritual funeral sites. It's possible 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's 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.
Lanyon Quoit is situated in a field by the side of the Morvah
to Madron road. It's easy to miss, there's a layby with space for a couple
of cars and a small National Trust sign on the hedge. It's just a few hundred
metres south of Men-an-tol, which is also worth
You're sitting on the ground underneath a 13 tonne slab of
stone supported on three sides by smaller stones.