Zennor Quoit

Zennor Quoit Chambered Tomb / Burial Chamber / Dolmen

Zennor Quoit
Zennor Quoit
Located about a mile south of Zennor on the high, flat Amalveor Downs is the substantial Zennor Quoit, a fine example of a portal dolmen. The sketch below was made by the renown antiquarian William Borlase in 1769 an the massive capstone is still in place. You can also make out the stones of the surrounding barrow piled up against the quoit.

The chamber inside the quoit must have been a fairly considerable space. There is also a small antechamber at the front of the quoit between 2 sizeable portal slabs and the door-stone.

Around the stones various Neolithic / early Bronze Age traces have been found including pottery, flints and some signs of ritual cremation.

Zennor Quoit before its collapse
Zennor Quoit before its collapse
The demise of the tomb began sometime between Borlase’s sketch and the mid 1800s. It is thought that one of the supporting stones was dislodged and soon after the enormous weight of the capstone (9-12 tons) broke the rock and slid to the ground leaving it at the angle we see today.

In 1861 the quoit was almost completely destroyed by a local farmer who fancied the stone to break up and build a cow shed. It was only the intervention of the vicar (and subsequent bribe of 5 shillings) that saved the site.
The 5 upright stones adjacent to the site are not standing stones as often suggested but the remains of the cow shed. There are also visible drill marks on some of the stones of the quoit

Photos of Zennor Quoit »