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Here is a video of the damage to the site created by farm machinery and horses with no concern shown to the quoit in the slightest
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Roy Goutté

Not Before Time…

After what seems an age, East Cornwall’s Jewel in the Crown site Trethevy Quoit, a portal dolmen, has finally been placed on the Heritage At Risk Register by English Heritage.

In my book Trethevy Quoit: Cornwall’s Megalithic Masterpiece, I warned of the possibilities of the quoit collapsing sooner rather than later if it wasn’t protected more from stock eroding its supporting base coupled with the movement of the front closure stone that is being pushed out alarmingly by the massive capstone. The later placing of a leaning stone to the front of the quoit has been misunderstood for years as ‘forming a porch’ when in fact it has been vital to the structure to prevent the closure stone from moving out further. This can only go on for so long as the support is now all but done!

Trethevy Quoit from the rear showing it listing as the main supporting front closure leans perilously outward
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Roy Goutté

It makes my blood run cold when I see local children and holidaymakers climbing inside the rear of the tomb and sitting on a leaning divider that is resting against that heavily leaning closure stone putting added pressure on it. Whole families sit on the stone while a family photograph is taken and children enter the front chamber and crawl under said stone – and there is nothing to stop them. It is a disaster waiting to happen.

Fortunately, since the publication of my book, the field housing the dolman has been bought by The Cornwall Heritage Trust. When the site came up for sale Historic England helped to safeguard it by giving a £19,000 grant to the trust to purchase the field. It is now working with the trust and English Heritage to improve the site, protect the monument and ensure that it can still be enjoyed by local people and visitors. I sincerely hope that its stability is prioritised first above everything else and the monument shut down to visitors until that is complete. A simple temporary wire fence with signage surrounding the monument would suffice I’m sure and still allow the public to view it. Whatever, I’m sure the trust will do the right thing and safeguard this remarkable construct that our great ancestors bequeathed to us to marvel at and hopefully will still do for many generations to come.

 

Trethevy Quoit
©
Roy Goutté

The main supporting orthostat, the front closure stone to the right, is leaning out 56cm (22″) out of the perpendicular. Being only 3m.10cm tall (10ft 3inches) that is some lean and very close to the point of no return IMO. To the left is the added buttress with a granite block between it and the closure stone. It can only support so much. Urgent intervention is required. In my opinion the buttress stone came from a former position in the construct and is documented.

Roy Goutté

Please also see Chris Matthews’ report in CornwallLive here.

 

  

Trevethy Quoit, Cornwall, by Charles Knight (circa 1845)

At the beginning of November the [Cornwall Heritage] Trust were informed that the field in which Trethevy Quoit is located was for sale. While the quoit itself was gifted to the Government in the 1930s, the field was in separate ownership and a potential buyer was keen to use it for grazing horses. The Trust was most concerned about this as some years ago there had been many problems with the public accessing the quoit because of grazing horses.

In consultation with the Government Agencies, Historic England and English Heritage, it was decided that Cornwall Heritage Trust should bid to acquire the field thus protecting this magnificent monument. The Trust are indebted to David Attwell, the Trustee that manages the East Cornwall sites, who successfully negotiated the purchase as well as a grant from Historic England to help pay for the land.

More here. And for more of our features on Trevethy Quoit type Trevethy Quoit in the Search Box above.

 

 
Trethevy Quoit, Cornwall, photographed at the beginning of the 20th century
 
See all our other features on Trethevy Quoit by typing Trethevy Quoit into the search box above.
 

The final phase (placing the capstone) in the restoration of the Giant’s Quoit in Cornwall will take place on Saturday, 21 June (the summer solstice). Details above, and congratulations to all involved in bringing this project to completion!

 

 
 
 
Carwynnen Quoit circa 1900 after its first restoration
 
The Sustainable Trust reports this week that work has begun on the restoration of Carwynnen Quoit (Scheduled Ancient Monument) in Cornwall. The quoit dates from the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age. The structure collapsed in 1834 (possibly due to an earth tremor) was re-erected but collapsed again some 130 years later. Now, thanks to local fundraising and help from the National Lottery Fund, work has started on its long overdue restoration.
 
A Sustainable Trust spokesperson reports that –
 
Preparations for our big dig at Carwynnen Quoit went into full swing on Monday September 10th when a large crane arrived on site to dismantle the pile of stones and temporarily remove them to a safe place. This was an exciting although potentially nerve wracking exercise! The stones have lain in a disorganised pile for more than 40 years when the monument collapsed in 1966. Since then a large number of other stones have been added to the pile, many of them very large, and these had been heaped up, over and upon the ancient capstone and its companion uprights.
 
A BBC News Cornwall video on the first stage of the quoit’s restoration can be found here.
 
 

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