Lanyon Quoit - Burial Chamber (Dolmen)
- Situated in largely unpopulated and treeless Cornish landscape between Madron and Morvah, Lanyon Quoit, along with other Cornish dolmens, dates back to the Neolithic period (3500-2500BC), predating both the pyramids in Egypt and metal tools.
The original use is somewhat disputed; some believing that it was the burial chamber of a large mound and others contesting that it was never completely covered, but rather used as a mausoleum and the imposing backdrop to ritual ceremonies, especially since it is believed that in its original form the quoit was aligned with cardinal points. Another theory is that bodies were placed on the capstone to be eaten by carrion birds. Nearby lie a number of small stone burial chambers, knows as cists, with a longstone about 100 yards north-west of the quoit and evidence that there were once a number of neighbouring barrows.
- Once tall enough to allow a horse and rider to pass underneath, Lanyon Quoit is certainly one of Cornwall’s most recognisable and important megalithic sites. The mammoth capstone, weighing over 13 tonnes and measuring 9 feet by 17 feet, originally sat atop four upright stones until a thunderstorm in 1815 dislodged it. Attributed in part to soil removal from numerous treasure hunting explorations, the fall broke one of the supporting stones, hence the diminished stature achieved when re-erected by local public subscription (incidentally, the equipment used to replace the capstone was that previously used to replace the Logan Rock).