The Giants Quoit Writing Project was formed in September 2012. An important part of the Carwynnen Quoit Project, it will commemorate the raising of the Quoit and celebrate the local area in all its many aspects - archaeological, historical, geographical, cultural and literary.
One of the most exciting thing about archaeology is the finds. Holding an artifact that has been buried for 5000 years is unique. Click here to see some of the treasures we have come across so far.
John Welham, Education Officer for the Cornwall Heritage Trust, prepared a pack to be used in schools in 2009. It can be downloaded as a PDF.
We are working on an Oral History project.
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.
Portal dolmens are funerary and ceremonial monuments of the Early and Middle Neolithic period, the dated examples showing construction in the period 3500- 2600 BC. As burial monuments of Britain's early farming communities, they are among the oldest visible field monuments to survive in the present landscape. A massive capstone covers the chamber, and some examples show traces of a low cairn or platform around the chamber. Some sites have traces of a kerb around the cairn and certain sites show a forecourt area often edged by a facade of upright stones. Little is yet known about the form of the primary burial rites. At the few excavated sites, pits and postholes have been recorded within and in front of the chamber, containing charcoal and cremated bone; some chamber contents of soil and stones may be original blocking deposits. Many portal dolmens were re-used for urned cremations, especially during the Middle Bronze Age. Only about 20 are known nationally, mainly concentrated in Penwith, West Cornwall. Despite having collapsed and some disturbance by cultivation, the portal dolmen called The Giant's Quoit at Carwynnen is still one of an extremely ancient and rare group of monuments. It will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, longevity, funerary and ritual practices, social organisation, territorial significance, collapse, reconstruction and overall landscape context.
A Historical Tale
“The Cromlech fell down about the year 1842, the late EWW Pendarves re-erected it. They levered up the top stone with some batons and blocked it up with blocks of wood until it was high enough to slide it in place. The tomb beneath the cromlech does not seem to have been excavated, perhaps due to the dangerous state of the capstone, which must weigh at least 10-15 tons. The late Mr. Tripp, a farmhand, discovered a long narrow pit sunk by the cromlech in the early hours of the morning. It was supposed that someone had a dream or vision of buried treasure.”
Johnny Arthur (1860-1940)
Its collapse came in 1842 and the monument was re-erected “by workers on the Pendarves Estate and local people, galvanised by Mrs Pendarves”. The monument features in plans, photographs and drawings made in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but in 1966 it fell down again, during an alleged earth tremor.
3 small polished pieces of Amethyst, possibly a modern offering, were found by Paul and Alexandra.