Lanyon Quoit is situated northwest of Penzance on the road between Madron and Morvah and is clearly visible from the road. It is part of a vast Neolithic complex located in the area that also includes the Mên-an-Tol stones and Nine Maidens stone circle.
Lanyon Quoit is in fact an ancient tomb dating back thousands of years. It may also have played a role as a mausoleum or ancient cenotaph. What appears to be a table of stones with a massive slab across the top has an unusual story behind it. There was a time when Lanyon Quoit’s original structure had four supporting stones and was believed to be high enough for a horse and rider to pass underneath but in 1815 it was damaged in a storm and fell down. This most likely occurred due to the earth beneath the structure being affected by weather conditions over the centuries.
It was rebuilt nine years later with money raised by locals under the guidance of Captain Giddy of the Royal Navy. One of the upright stones was too badly damaged to be put back in place thus changing the look and position of the original formation.
It is difficult to overstate the original engineering skills involved in building such a structure that archaeologists believe dates back to 2500 BC. It is fair to say that it was truly amazing achievement for people with no modern construction equipment other than rope and wooden beams. To put this into perspective – the capstone alone is 2.7 x 5.25m (9ft x 17.5ft) and weighs 13.5 tons the same as the giant bell of Big Ben in London
Just over half a mile away there is another similar structure known as ‘West Lanyon Quoit’ and half a mile to the north east of Lanyon Quoit is the unusually named – Ding Dong Mine.
There is a legend surrounding the quoit that at one time the bones of a giant man were found buried next to the structure and this is why Lanyon Quoit is sometimes referred to as the ‘Giant’s Table.’
A popular local legend has it that King Arthur ate a meal on the top of the stones, using it as his table before his last battle at Camlann and it is said that he will return with his Knights to this place to fight the last apocalyptic battle that will mark the end of the world.
Lanyon Quoit in Cornwall is regularly visited by spiritual and religious groups as it is considered to have the same mysterious energy as the megaliths of Stonehenge. The monument is now owned by the National Trust.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
B3306 (Rd), Penzance
Cornwall, England, TR19 6JB
+44 (0)1736 871 588
- Address: Morvah Rd, Bosullow, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, TR20 8NY
- GPS: 50.14735278,-5.599036111
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: TR20 8NY
- Entrance Fees: Free Access
- Disabled Access: Poor for mobility impaired - rough track across farmer's field
- Visibility from Road: Good
- Image Credits: Header Image: Ian Woolcock