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Sunday, 09 December 2012 16:58

Recorded History

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Carwynnen Quoit was first noted in 1700 by the Welsh antiquarian Edward Lhuyd on his travels around Cornwall. It was first illustrated in 1750 by William Borlase. An engraving by John Grieg made from a drawing by William Couling shows it to be an impressive monument. Sketches by Blight? have recently been discovered.

A mid-18th century sketch by William Borlase shows a Lanyon Quoit-style, table-like monument, its flat granite top supported by three uprights. The 19th century reconstruction was along similar lines, although a section of the capstone had broken off when the monument fell, one of the supporting stones was reduced in height and the arrangement of all the uprights changed. Portal dolmens are usually distinguished by massive capstones upheld by slender uprights creating the impression of a “floating” roof (cf Lanyon Quoit, Madron or Pentre-Ifan in south-west Wales) over an open chamber, but the question of whether these apparently “open” chambers were originally embedded within a mound remains unresolved .

There are numerous references in local guidebooks to the mystery that is Krommlegh Garwinnon, or, as it is otherwise locally known, the Giant’s Quoit. We know from photographs we have collected that in the twentieth century, local groups visited this local landmark: the Camborne Old Cornwall Societyin 1925 and the Cornish Gorsedd in 1948.

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Paula Johnson

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