Men an Tol - Snippets - Ancient Penwith | Cornwall

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Men an Tol

Ancient West Penwith | Cornwall
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Tags: MenanTol
I have a question ...have the Men-an -tol stones been realigned ,in the past ? 

  • Carl Thorpe Yup, and probably on several occasions... also they appear to be part of a stone circle.. smile emoticon
    7 September at 21:17 · Like · 2
  • Stuart Dow thanx Carl for that ..any idea when ?
    7 September at 21:18 · Like
  • Carl Thorpe No.. never been excavated, so scientific dating unavailable for early re-alignments.. I do believe though that the stones were put in their present setting in the 19th century.. but not entirely certain without checking.. Craig Weatherhill may be able to chip in on this smile emoticon
    7 September at 21:20 · Like · 1
  • Ian McNeil Cooke Drawing from Dr W Borlase 1769 but may not have been totally accurate. Destabilised stones have been set in concrete twice since WW2


  • 7 September at 21:42 · Like · 3
  • Matt Blewett The current alignment seems to have taken place after Borlase recorded them in the eighteenth century. His description shows the holed stone out of alignment with the two uprights, and not at 90 degrees to them, whereas now the holed stone is now at 90 degrees to the remaining uprights of the circle and aligned with them as well. Small excavations were carried out by Cornwall Archaeology in the early 1990s around the central holed stone and around the eastern orthostat during restoration/remedial work. The 1993 report indicated small stones were buried around the uprights and tentatively suggested they might be unrecorded drainage attempts. In light of discoveries at Carwynnen Quoit and the Hurlers, the discovery of small buried stones around the Men-an-Tol need to be reassessed, and while they might indeed be drainage attempts, some of them might also be contemporary with the original monument. At the hurlers, there is a buried "pavement", and at Carwynnen Quoit there was also a "path" of buried stones originally forming a circle around the northernmost stone setting.
  • 7 September at 21:49 · Like · 2
  • Matt Blewett I think the Borlase drawing is probably accurate, as it looks like it follows the curve of the stone circle found in the 1990s.
  • 7 September at 21:55 · Like
  • Stuart Dow so .........its true then .they were part of a circle ?
    7 September at 21:56 · Like
  • Matt Blewett Oh yes, the 1993 report includes the survey which found a recumbent stone as well as the four orthostats, and a further five stones "hidden by turf". The holed stone is just the south east part of the whole monument.
    7 September at 22:00 · Like · 1
  • Matt Blewett The whole thing was about 15m diameter, not huge as stone circles go.
    7 September at 22:01 · Like · 1
  • Stuart Dow yeah that is small ...like Duloe ......
    7 September at 22:07 · Like · 1
  • Matt Blewett But perfectly formed ;P
    7 September at 22:09 · Like · 1
  • Craig Weatherhill I think it's only the holed stone itself that has been moved, from being on the arc of the stone circle, to a new position close by, but to line up with the two flanking stones. It's been turned about 90 degrees. I think the hole may have lined up with the centre of the circle.
    7 September at 22:31 · Edited · Like · 1
  • Cheryl Straffon There were probably 19 stones in the original circle, the same number as other stone circles in West Penwith. If the holed stone was originally at right angles to where it now stands (as the Report suggests), then the hole (as viewed from the centre of the circle) would have aligned to the rising moon (which would have been framed by the holed stone) at the major southern standstill moonrise - a wonderful piece of megalithic magic!
  • 7 September at 23:08 · Like · 4
  • Stuart Dow wow !! thats wonderful Cheryl !! thanx .....makes perfect sense too smile emoticon
    8 September at 01:01 · Like
  • Ian McNeil Cooke The stones recorded by Rev Cotton in 1826 in similar alignment as today but with the holed stone at an angle to the uprights

    Men an Tol
    8 September at 09:34 · Edited · Like · 1
  • Ian McNeil Cooke Whoever re-erected the holed stone – if indeed it was ever moved (fell down?) as implied by Borlase’s drawing – then it is interesting to note that the rising mid-summer sun casts a shadow right across the centre of the holed stone. Have a look next summer solstice!
    Men an Tol. Photo: Iain MacNeil Cooke
    8 September at 09:40 · Like · 1
  • Penny Champion The holed stone is set in concrete so it could well have been realigned. Ask the Cornwall Archaelogical unit?
    8 September at 21:00 · Like · 2
  • Carl Thorpe Penny.. as a member of the Cornwall Archaeological Unit I can say that Craig has summarised pretty well what we know about the site.. smile emoticon
    8 September at 21:11 · Like · 2


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