Before 1815, a man on horseback
could pass under the capstone
Lanyon Quoit is the best-known Cornish quoit, as it stands right beside the road leading from
Madron to Morvah. This dolmen collapsed during a storm in 1815 and was re-erected nine years later, with
money raised by subscription among the local inhabitants.
The reconstruction was not accurate because one of the uprights broke during the collapse and only
three were reused. As a result, the quoit is now not so high as it was in the past. In fact, until the 18th century it was possible
to sit on horseback beneath it. The capstone is 2.7 x 5.25m (9ft x 17.5ft) wheighing 13.5 tons; the
chamber height is about 2m (7ft).
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 theories suggest
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.
A number of other barrows once stood close by Lanyon Quoit in addition to a longstone about 90m (100 yards) to the
north-west. At the southern end of the mound surrounding the quoit are the remains of a number of stone
burial boxes (cists), but it is unclear whether these formed part of a single elongated mound with the quoit, or
whether they were a quite separate later addition to the site.
In the same area are many other megalithic and archaeological sites: Mên-an-Tol,
Mên Scryfa, Chûn Castle and