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Trethevy Quoit, St Cleer

4.7
Trethevy Quoit is a well-preserved megalithic tomb that lies between St Cleer and Darite in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is known locally as "the giant's house". Standing 9ft high, it consists of five standing stones capped by a large slab.
Trethevy Quoit is north of Liskeard in the hamlet of Tremar Coombe. Trethevy farmhouse is a Grade II* listed building. Nearby are The Hurlers, three stone circles dating from the late Bronze Age. The site is managed by the Cornwall Heritage Trust on behalf of English Heritage.
Like other portal tombs of this type, Trethevy Quoit was originally covered by a mound. The remnants of this suggest a diameter of 6.5 metres. The remaining seven stones and the 3.7 m long and 10.5-ton cover slab were inside the mound. At the upper end of the cover slab is a natural hole, which may have been used for astronomical observation. The group of horizontal stones is composed of a fallen back wall, two side wall stones, which overlap, a front stone and a somewhat remote flanking stone. The special feature of Cornish portal graves is that by such stones sometimes a smaller partially closed area is created before the front end. Some stones have hole-like perforations as decoration. The front stone is often called an entrance stone, although in most portal graves this can not be moved. The Trevethy Quoit is a rare exception here, because a small rectangular stone moving at the bottom right of the front allows access to the grave chamber, which is now opened only very rarely. The back of the chamber has collapsed inwards and now forms a pile inside the chamber. Erected this stone would be about the height of the front stone, so that the cover slab would not have once been held-up by the side stones, but rested almost horizontal solely on the front stone and rear walls. However, there would have been between the support stones and the side walls a considerable gap, by which soil could have penetrated into the grave chamber. It is therefore likely that the collapse of the rear wall and the falling-down of the cover slab damaged the side stones.
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Trethevy Quoit Reviews
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42 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • The Trevethy Quoit is an ancient burial chamber, one of a cluster of ancient monuments near St Cleer. There is a small car park adjacent to the structure. We met a very informative local gentleman her...  more »
  • I've visit this quoit a lot over the years, always bringing friends and family to take a look. My only gripe is that it looks like its in someones back garden as there is a row of not very nice lookin...  more »
Google
  • Brilliant example of a burial chamber the sites Sign posts can be hard to find. When you do get to the site There’s a small free parking area for 4 to 6 cars. The monument is through a gate at the side of road directly opposite the car parking area. It stands in the field directly behind the house closest the parking spot. It’s really impossible to miss. Very impressive. Trethevy Quoit is a particularly well-preserved example of a portal dolmen, a type of monument once common in Cornwall and dating to the early or middle part of the Neolithic period, around 3500–2500 BC. Trethevy Quoit stands impressively in its small pasture field with rolling hills beyond Trethevy Quoit It is far from certain that these structures were tombs rather than multipurpose shrines. The presence of the dead is no guarantee of the original usage, as is shown by medieval churches: these contain tombs and are surrounded by graves, yet they were built primarily as places where the living could worship. It may be that in prehistoric times the ancestral dead were considered to be mediators between the community and its gods, and that places like this were an important interface between these two worlds. These burial monuments of Britain’s early farming communities are among the oldest visible monuments to survive to the present day. It is probable that each community once possessed at least one such ‘house of the dead’, and the time and energy they must have taken to build is an indication of the importance that must have been attached to them. The huge capstone here weighs about 20 tonnes, and manoeuvring it into position was a considerable feat of engineering.
  • A lovely feature. Our visit accidentally coincided with a school trip and although I understand small people need to see these historic places I also know supervision is required. Not everything has to be a play thing. Magic and mystery ruined. Very limited parking.
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