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Lanyon Quoit

Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech

<b>Lanyon Quoit</b>Posted by GLADMANImage © Robert Gladstone
Also known as:
  • The Giant's Quoit
  • The Giant's Table

Nearest Town:Penzance (5km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   SW429338 / Sheet: 203
Latitude:50° 8' 51.98" N
Longitude:   5° 35' 57.25" W


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Fieldnotes

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I visited Lanyon Quoit on 7th December 2013 (apologies this isn't a recent visit) as part of a look around the Penwith area with my Father.

This was the first site we took a look at and I was blown away, all the pictures I had seen of it previously had left me expecting a site roughly as high as a kitchen table (why?)

It was a grey morning and the mist had not long lifted. Access to the site is very easy indeed and we spent a good bit of time hanging around this one checking it out from different angles, speculating on how it would have looked before being 'repaired' all those years ago.
Posted by Beebon
16th September 2014ce

Along with Merry Maidens and Men-an-Tol, Lanyon Quoit is the most visited and most picture postcard perfect of West Penwith's many ancient sites, despite being the least authentic of the four upstanding Quoits that the area boasts. Not much remains of its original mound and the capstone's supports are rather shorter than they used to be. But so what? This is still a great spot and what's not to like about a giant stone table?

At the western end of the mound, a cluster of stones may mark the position of a cist or small chamber that was built into the mound. But there's too little left to really get any sense of what there might have been.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
14th July 2011ce

Visited 11.4.10.
Very easy to access. There is a small layby about 10 metres from the stone stile which gives access to the field in which the quoit sits. The quoit is only about 30 metres into the field - and a cracking thing it is too!!
Posted by CARL
20th April 2010ce

Witnessing the sun set over Carn Gluze, I was aware that tonight the moon would be full. Moth suggested we witness the moon rise at Lanyon Quoit, as its so easy to get to.

En route, as we drove past Porthmeor standing stone, the moon jumped out at us, dazzling and low, and we knew we were in for a special treat. We were not to be disappointed.

Clouds scudded past the moon in the east illuminating the quoit with an eery light, and the last vestiges of the sunset silhouetted the site in the west. What a light show! What a quoit!

We returned here in the daylight twice, but neither time was the weather kind enough for me to paint it.
Jane Posted by Jane
24th March 2004ce

A great first call, apart from the pub, on an epic trip round the Lands End peninsula. No-one there at all, it was early morning and myself and my brother had hang-overs after 1 too many Scrumpies at the Newbridge Inn. Great shade and great setting as we watched the storm gathering a pace over Lands End. Although not a area of country where you want to be caught in a storm to see black clouds on one side of you and sunshine on the other is quite dramatic. daveyravey Posted by daveyravey
22nd July 2003ce

A wonderful site, worthy of the attention it gets. The re-positioning of the stones is quite obvious, but doesn't in any way spoil it. We sat here for a while as the midday sun burnt away what was left of the cloud cover, and the day took a lighter turn. IronMan Posted by IronMan
11th May 2003ce
Edited 11th May 2003ce

Lanyon Quoit ? 27.12.2002

As this is right next to the main road and in the care of the National Trust I expected a huge neon signs above it and a pay and display car park. But actually it is very subtle and very low key (and very fitting), with just a make shift lay-by next to it and small plaque set in the field wall near a stone stile that leads into the field. The plaque reads "Lanyon Quoit - Given to the National Trust by Sir Edward Bolitho of Tiengwainion in 1952". After the enormity of Trethevy Quoit this looks positively tiny, like it?s from the model village at Polperro, or Legoland in Windsor. Strange.
pure joy Posted by pure joy
17th January 2003ce
Edited 24th April 2003ce

What a great place to visit.

I'm going back soon and I'll post some more. Chill out here look at the tin mine in the distance and dance around for a bit.

Fantastic.
Big Al Posted by Big Al
2nd September 2002ce

Lanyon Quoit

Another vist from our September 2000 Cornwal trip. It is a bloody cartoon Cromlech...yer right Julian ya know!! Not much more to say about such a famous MEGAlith.

Loads of tourist there at the time...including Herr & soon to be Frau Schlager. Gonna make sure i’am there for early morning next time.
Posted by Schlager Man
6th February 2002ce

Is this not one of the coolest places? Had such a top morning sat staring at this last summer.

Frosty morning, no one around - kind of misty too in that Cornish fashion.

Great to clamber under the top stone too and sit under it's huge mass - thinking...
Posted by Emma
9th November 2001ce

Visited the quoit in an autumn gale, the capstone poised ready to launch itself onto the surf of swelling grass.
Felt like I could ride that board to Men an Tol and out into the Atlantic!
Posted by Serenissima
26th September 2001ce

Driving north from Penzance the quoite became visible on the skyline to the left after a number of bends we parked and had to ask an American for directions. It was over the fence on the right hand side of the road about 30 yards away. Took the postcard photos and on to Men-an-Tol dickie Posted by dickie
3rd September 2000ce

I travelled to Lanyon on a horrible,
rainy day to take away the dullness
of staying in Camborne for a week.
When i got there the whole place was shrouded in mist and i couldn't see the quoit at all. After stepping in some horrible puddles i finally arrived - what a place, the atmosphere was amazing! After that i tried to find Men-an-tol, but as
i carried on up the path i heard a wild animal or something so i shit myself and ran back to the car!

wahwah
Posted by wahwah
19th June 2000ce

watch out for the ocean-like puddle! take your wellies if you're going to go Quoit-squatting

that's crouching under Quoit's, like a little troll ...
Posted by RiotGibbon
20th April 2000ce

Folklore

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The dimensions of the cap-stone are thus given by Borlase: - "This quoit is more than forty-seven feet in girt, and nineteen feet long; its thickness in the middle on the eastern edge is sixteen inches, at each end not so much, but at the western edge it is two feet thick."
The cromlech is sometimes called by the country people the Giant's Quoit, and occasionally the Giant's Table. My measurement made the covering-stone forty-six feet in circumference, with a thickness varying from ten to eighteen inches. It is not improbable that the stone has been chipped off at one or two of the corners since the time of Borlase. Between the cromlech and the road are the remains of a stone and earth circular barrow about eighteen feet in diameter.

There is an odd tradition that the first battle fought in England was decided in the locality of Lanyon Quoit.
From Rambles in Western Cornwall by the Footsteps of the Giants by J O Halliwell-Phillips (1861).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th August 2013ce
Edited 6th August 2013ce

Many Cornish tourist sites on the internet point out that the quoit was where King Arthur stopped for a bite to eat before his last battle. Perhaps he was in his larger-than-life giant guise and used it as a table. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
23rd September 2004ce

Miscellaneous

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Much reconstructed and abused by treasure hunters and mineral prospectors, the capstone was recorded as becoming dislodged during a violent thunderstorm in the early 19th century, when one of the supporting stones was broken. (Must've been one HELLUVA lightening strike!) The whole structure had already been weakened by soil removal during successive 'explorations'.

The capstone was replaced in 1824, but a piece broke apparently broke off during reconstruction. The capstone was replaced upon repositioned uprights, buried to a deeper level for more stability.

Prior to the reconstruction, it is said that a man on horseback could pass with ease beneath the capstone.

Taken from Ian Cooke's 'Antiquities of West Cornwall', 1990
Jane Posted by Jane
15th December 2003ce