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: