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HER Number:17337
Name:TRETHEVY QUOIT - Neolithic chambered tomb

Summary

Trethevy Quoit portal dolmen, measuring 2.13m by 1.52m and almost 2.74m high, set into low stony oval mound.

Grid Reference:SX 2593 6881
Parish:St Cleer, Caradon, Cornwall
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument 15003: TRETHEVY QUOIT

Other References/Statuses

  • Heritage at Risk (National)
  • National Mapping Programme (Morph No.): 1065.18
  • OS No. (OS Quarter-sheet and OS No.): SX26NE 1
  • Primary Record No. (1985-2009): 17337
  • SMR No. (OS Quarter-sheet and SMR No.): SX26NE 2

Monument Types

Full description

Trethevy Quoit, is perhaps the best preserved portal dolmen in Cornwall and one of the most impressive in Britain (b3). Norden, writing in 1584, described it as "A little howse raised of mightie stones, standing on a little hill within a fielde. The cover being all one stone is 16 foote in length, the bredth is 10 foote, the thickness is 2 foote; an artificial holl 8 inches in diameter made through the roof very round, which served as it semmeth to putt out staffe, where of the house it selfe was not capable" (b1). Lukis and Borlase surveyed the site in 1879 and found the structure to be standing on an ovate mound, 7.2m long, 6.3m wide and 0.8m high; elevation drawings give measurements of the stones (b8). A plan of the site appears in the Victoria County History (b9). Daniel described the structure as a closed rectangular burial chamber 2.13m by 1.52m and almost 2.74m high orientated east-west with the south and north walls projecting beyond the east orthostat to form an ante-chamber. The west orthostat forming the back of the main chamber slopes steeply inwards and may be fallen, though it would appear to be too tall to have ever stood erect supporting the capstone. The north bottom corner of the east orthostat is cut away allowing passage between the chambers. There are now only slight traces of the stony mound and its original shape is uncertain. The OS surveyor commented that the small mound that surrounds the chamber is probably the result of field clearance (h1). There have been no finds to give a definite date. The hole in the north-east corner of the capstone has not been explained. Barnatt likens Trethevy Quoit to that at Zennor and provides a conjectural reconstruction of the quoit and its mound, as well as a ground plan (b13). The monument is included in the Schedule and the scheduling was revised in February 1992. The quoit is visible on aerial photographs taken by the NMR in 1999 (p1).

--------------------------------
Site history:
1: 1973. OS
2: 1980. GRAY, VK/DOE
3: 1986. SHEPPARD, PA/HBMC
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<1> Norden, J, 1584, Topographical and Historical Description of Cornwall, 60 (Bibliographic reference). SCO4002.

NMR, 1999, SX2568/1, 4 (Photographic Record). SCO18831.

<2> Lysons, D & S, 1814, Magna Britannia, VOL III, CORNWALL, CCXIX (Bibliographic reference). SCO3885.

<3> Tithe Award, 1840s, St Cleer (Bibliographic reference). SCO4866.

<4> Pattison, SR, 1850, Trethevy Cromlech, JRIC 1850, 31 (Article in serial). SCO6050.

<5> PEDLAR, EH, 1850, UNKNOWN TITLE, 435 (Unedited Source). SCO6041.

<6> Polsue, J (Editor), 1867-72, Lake's Parochial History of Cornwall, VOL 1, 205 (Bibliographic reference). SCO4139.

<7> Borlase, WC, 1872, Naenia Cornubiae, 45 (Bibliographic reference). SCO2892.

<8> Lukis, WC & Borlase, WC, 1885, Prehistoric Stone Monuments: Cornwall, PLATE 27, 11 (Bibliographic reference). SCO3881.

<9> Page, W (Editor), 1906, Victoria History of the County of Cornwall, VOL I, PLAN OPP 364 (Bibliographic reference). SCO4068.

<10> Daniel, GE, 1950, The Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of England and Wales, 239 (Bibliographic reference). SCO3204.

<11> Betjeman, J, 1964, Cornwall: A Shell Guide (Bibliographic reference). SCO2850.

<12> Ordnance Survey, 1970s, 1:10,000 OS Map (Cartographic materials). SCO4045.

<13> Barnatt, J, 1982, Prehistoric Cornwall: The Ceremonial Monuments (Bibliographic reference). SCO2777.

<14> Cornwall Council, 2017, Distinctiveness Assessment and Evaluation (Report). SCO27790.

Sources / Further Reading

[p1]SCO18831 - Photographic Record: NMR. 1999. SX2568/1, 4. ACP.
[1]SCO4002 - Bibliographic reference: Norden, J. 1584. Topographical and Historical Description of Cornwall. 60.
[2]SCO3885 - Bibliographic reference: Lysons, D & S. 1814. Magna Britannia. VOL III, CORNWALL, CCXIX.
[3]SCO4866 - Bibliographic reference: Tithe Award. 1840s. St Cleer.
[4]SCO6050 - Article in serial: Pattison, SR. 1850. Trethevy Cromlech. JRIC. JRIC 1850, 31.
[5]SCO6041 - Unedited Source: PEDLAR, EH. 1850. UNKNOWN TITLE. TRANS PENZANCE NAT HIST AND ANTIQ SOC. 435.
[6]SCO4139 - Bibliographic reference: Polsue, J (Editor). 1867-72. Lake's Parochial History of Cornwall. VOL 1, 205.
[7]SCO2892 - Bibliographic reference: Borlase, WC. 1872. Naenia Cornubiae. 45.
[8]SCO3881 - Bibliographic reference: Lukis, WC & Borlase, WC. 1885. Prehistoric Stone Monuments: Cornwall. PLATE 27, 11.
[9]SCO4068 - Bibliographic reference: Page, W (Editor). 1906. Victoria History of the County of Cornwall. Page, W. VOL I, PLAN OPP 364.
[10]SCO3204 - Bibliographic reference: Daniel, GE. 1950. The Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of England and Wales. 239.
[11]SCO2850 - Bibliographic reference: Betjeman, J. 1964. Cornwall: A Shell Guide.
[12]SCO4045 - Cartographic materials: Ordnance Survey. 1970s. 1:10,000 OS Map.
[13]SCO2777 - Bibliographic reference: Barnatt, J. 1982. Prehistoric Cornwall: The Ceremonial Monuments.
[14]SCO27790 - Report: Cornwall Council. 2017. Distinctiveness Assessment and Evaluation. Devon and Cornwall.

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Related records: none recorded