Dry Tree - Standing Stone
Set on the southern edge of the Goonhilly Satellite Tracking Station is the Dry Tree menhir. This 3 metre tall standing stone forms a peculiar juxtaposition with the huge satellite dishes of Goonhilly beyond, reflecting the ancient and modern history of the Lizard Peninsula. Even in mediaeval times this site had some significance as it is where the boundaries for six parishes met.
The Dry Tree stone dates back around 3,500 years to the Bronze Age. What is of particular interest concerning this site is that the stone is gabbro meaning the nearest it could have come from is St Keverne parish 2 miles away.
Goonhilly Downs has several archaeologically significant sites including a barrow at the foot of Dry Tree. This is also the highest point on the downs so must have been clearly visible for miles around in ancient times.
Dry Tree suffered the fate of many ancient stones many years ago. The legend was that there was a pot of gold buried under every standing stone. As a result stones were often dug out and toppled in the search for treasure. Fortunately, in 1927 Colonel Serecold and Colonel Sir Courtney Vyvyan of Trelowarren took it upon themselves to have the stone righted. This was carried out by quarrymen from nearby Porthoustock.
This is not the only indignity the Dry Tree stone suffered. Back in World War I soldiers removed a 1 metre section from the top of the stone to use in building a road.