trethevy quoit. portal dolmen burial chamber

trethevy quoit. the monument is a burial chamber of the portal dolmen class, and its surrounding cairn, dating to the neolithic period. it comprises a chamber of large stone slabs, with a massive capstone, set in a low mound. the sub-rectangular chamber has two overlapped side-stones to each side, a back- stone, and a frontal slab set across the centre of the foremost side-stones leaving an antechamber at the front. a single free-standing stone flanks the south side of the frontal slab. the large rectangular capstone rests on the side-stones and has a small rectangular hole cut behind its e corner. all of the chamber slabs are in their original position and upright except the backstone which fell inwards before 1850. it has five cup-mark like hollows carved into its upper surface, whilst the capstone is pierced at its highest point by what appears to be a natural hole. its function is unclear. it has been suggested that its purpose may have been astronomical, although this has not been demonstrated.

the chamber is surrounded by clear remains of a low sub-circular cairn on all sides except the area immediately in front of the frontal slab. the cairn extends to a maximum visible distance of 2.5m from the chamber and has an overall diameter of c.6.5m. the monument stands near the corner of a pasture field on a gentle se facing slope, near the summit of a low hill overlooking the upper tributaries of the river seaton. the monument lies in the much-dissected landscape bordering the s edge of the bodmin moor granite. this monument has been described in antiquarian and archaeological literature since 1584 and is one of the most frequently mentioned archaeological monuments of cornwall.

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