Trethevy Quoit: Cornwall’s Megalithic Masterpiece
Roy Goutté

This excellent and thoughtful book gives a somewhat different explanation of the construction and subsequent history of the prehistoric Trethevy Quoit burial chamber in Cornwall. The author, Roy Goutté, has spent many hours studying the chamber first hand and has come to his own fascinating conclusion as to how the cromlech arrived in its present form. The reader is introduced, step-by-step, to the author’s observations and theories through historical references, photographs, diagrams and several model reconstructions of this Cornish ‘Jewel in the Crown’ structure from the Neolithic (and how it may have originally looked). His findings are thorough and convincing with certain aspects truly ground-breaking; it would take an even more thorough investigation to successfully argue against the possibilities he advances.

Roy Goutté has gone very much against popular belief which considers that the fallen stone was the backstone to the burial chamber and has an alternative use/place for it. He believes that four of the current eight stones are out of position and supplies convincing evidence to support his observations.

There is also a dire warning at the end of the book regarding the present threat to the monument. Such threats to our scheduled monuments should not be ignored and the author’s analysis of how the chamber now stands shows not only its inherent vulnerability but also the ever-present threat it faces from the agricultural machinery and livestock encroaching upon it; this threat is most vividly shown in the accumulative erosion of the Quoit’s protecting and supporting bank.

A thoroughly enjoyable read and a theory to set the mind working. Trethevy Quoit: Cornwall’s Megalithic Masterpiece is a thoughtful, well-analysed and down-to-earth exploration into one of the most stunning structures from our prehistoric past.

Paperback, 50 pages with over 30 photographs and diagrams.
Available from for £8.70 (which includes postage and packing within the UK). Australia: £11.40 inc p&p. Europe: £10.43 inc p&p. USA: £11.36 inc p&p.

In the June edition of the Cornish Archaeological Society’s News Letter, Adrian Rodda of the Society reviews the book as follows –
This is a well illustrated book which challenges accepted wisdom about the building of Trethevy Quoit. Roy takes it apart like a jigsaw and suggests that it was originally put together differently, fell, and was rebuilt. It is a thoughtful book and I am looking forward to taking it to the site and looking for myself. In the final section he highlights the damage to its surrounding mound from animals and humans, advocating the erection of a protecting fence. Now that should start some debate among our members!