Today we finally managed to find the layby near to the Lanyon Quoit (Neolithic Period) along the Morvah to Madron road in West Penwith. Having driven past many times it is a relief to finally find the right spot! Just a short leap over a stile and you are on the north end of a long barrow, which is not easily seen as it is covered in bracken and grass.

The dolmen* collapsed in a storm in 1815 and was re-erected 9 years later, and as a result the dolmen is now very different from its original appearance.

In the background is a more recent building, the Ding Dong mine.Β The mines themselves are believed to be the oldest in the UK, going back as far as the prehistoric period.

Near the mine ruins can be found the Bronze Age Nine Maidens Stone Circle, the Men-an-Tol as well as Lanyon Quoit. I do have photos of the Men-an-Tol, but need to go back and get some better ones. And also try to get closer to Ding Dong.

*A dolmen is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of two or more vertical megaliths supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (“table”), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic (4000–3000 BC).

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32 thoughts on “Neolithic Cornwall

    1. I do have a photo of that one! Note to self: Must write about my Welsh trips. We raced there on the one sunny day we had in Pembrokeshire (Christmas) before the sun set. Marvellous setting.

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  1. Ding Dong the witch is dead! Which old witch, the wicked witch? Sorry, can’t help myself. The image of you gaily leaping over the stile has gone to my head. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ On a more serious note… whatever possessed people to go digging and then be able to utilise the stone? Amazing, in’ it? πŸ™‚

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    1. Wikipedia: “According to a 1936 book by Henry R. Jenkins, the name may refer to the ‘head of the lode’ or the outcrop of tin on the hill. He also notes that in Madron church there is a ‘Ding Dong Bell’ that was rung to mark the end of the last shift of the miners.”

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      1. Well, thank you for that! Ask and ye shall receive!
        I am a mineral collector and have a fondness for cassiterite, which is the ore of tin. So your Ding Dong Mine has double appeal for me.

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    1. My eye was taken by the later mine building in the background, such an odd juxtaposition, but later I discovered that it was mined long before the 18th century mine was opened.

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  2. Cornwall keeps giving in unexpected ways and lovely sharp photos – you’ve captured every blade of grass. I love the composition of the second photo. It seems that rearranging the dolmen is a kind of sacrilege. And maybe the cow was under the cap for the same reason as you? (I didn’t laugh, but it was hard work!)

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  3. I was into the seriousness of this post and its reaches far back into history.

    Then you tossed the Ding Dong in there. Sorry. I’m only going to remember the Ding Dong πŸ˜‰

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