Postcard from Cornwall

Thorty Two, Going Postal

Chûn Quoit is one of the best preserved of all Neolithic quoits (also called dolmens or cromlechs) in western Cornwall, United Kingdom.

Chûn Quoit is located in open moorland near Pendeen and Morvah. Standing on a ridge, near the much later constructed Chûn Castle hill fort, it overlooks heather moorland and the open sea.

As with the other quoits, the quoit was probably covered by a round barrow (35 ft in diameter), of which much evidence abounds. It was a closed chamber and its mushroom-domed capstone measures 3.3 m (11 ft) by 3 m (10 ft), with a maximum thickness of 0.8 m (2 ft 7 in). There is a cup mark on top of the capstone. It is supported about 2 m (7 ft) from the ground by four substantial slabs. There is evidence of an entrance passage to the south-east within the mound area. The site was examined in 1871 but no significant finds were made.

In the vicinity of Chûn Quoit there are many other megalithic and archaeological sites as Lanyon Quoit, Mulfra Quoit, Mên-an-Tol and Mên Scryfa. The rocky outline of Carn Kenidjack marks the position of midwinter sunset away to the south-west.

This is the only dolmen in West Penwith to retain its capstone ‘in situ’ – others have been re-settled. It is believed to have been built around 2400 BC, two millennia before the neighbouring Chûn Castle.

© Thorty Two