Lanyon Quoit is one of a group of structures known as "Chambered Tombs", the oldest stone monuments to remain in Cornwall, having been built long before the pyramids in Egypt. They belong to the early part of the New Stone Age (Neolithic) period some five to six thousand years ago and predate the introduction of metal tools by some two thousand years. 

Believed to be 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 theory suggests 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.

The location of Lanyon Quoit makes it one of the best known Cornish quoits. Situated on the road from Madron to Morvah, its visibility from the road makes it an easy site to visit. Lanyon Quoit collapsed during a storm in 1815 damaging one of the upright stones. Local residents rebuilt the site in 1824 using the remaining three of the original four uprights. The capstone was re-erected (after being rotated ninety degrees), on the remaining three uprights, these having first been shortened and squared off. The capstone's dimensions are 2.7 x 5.25m (9ft x 17ft) and it weighs 13 tons.

Click on the thumbnails below in order to see pictures of Lanyon Quoit.  Use your browser's back button to return to this page.

Quoit from the NWLanyon Quoit from the NW. Quoit from the NNELanyon Quoit from the NNE.
Grisel & Lanyon QuoitA measure of the height reduction caused by the reconstruction in 1824 is illustrated by an account by William Borlase in 1796, describing how a horse and rider could pass beneath the capstone at that time. Not so any longer...

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