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Zennor Quoit query
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Edited Sep 07, 2012, 16:55
Zennor Quoit query
Sep 07, 2012, 16:23
Back in 04 Clive Williams (sorry don't know the gentleman) added this to the Fieldnotes on TMA. Sadly there were no replies.

What he says is exactly what I have returned from Zennor Quoit asking myself.
How has the quoit changed in appearance since it was built?
Are Borlase's sketch and Craig Weatherhill's drawing in Cornovia anything like the original?
Why would people with not a lot of free time on their hands find or fashion tapered stones and then balance a 10 ton capstone on what in comparison is a needle?
Why take on a huge amount of work to get an inferior end product?
Where is the back support, the stone in-situ is to short to put the capstone any where near level.
What filled the gaps between a level capstone and the tapered side stones?
Besides the capstone sinking into the ground somewhat and maybe shifting to the north I feel the quoit is as the builders wanted it.

As you may recall I have been carrying out a great deal of research on Trethevy Quoit near where I live in East Cornwall, so was very interested in seeing Zennor Quoit for the first time and observing how it had collapsed and the capstone apparently fallen. Admittedly after only a short visit and a short inspection, I am left asking the same questions as Clive asked. Before starting this thread I checked on TMA what field notes had been entered and came across Clive's contribution so I didn’t feel quite so alone in my thoughts.

I know it is not seen as being the thing to go against the claims of archaeos/antiquaries by amateurs, but does anyone know if Borlase's drawings of the quoit were fanciful and how he felt it once was, or as it really was at the time he was there? The whole thing looks ‘wrong’ to me as all the available evidence, other than Borlase’s drawing and another one, don’t match up to the claims. I make no apology for repeating Clive’s words in essence as it will mean you don’t have to keep looking back to read what he asked.

Firstly, those who have seen the quoit will need no telling that the stones are immense! I didn’t actually measure them but will be doing that when I return in a couple of week’s time as I intend to make this my next project.
The two facing side flankers appear to be around 13/14ft wide and slope down from the top front to bottom rear. It would have taken a considerable time to achieve this and was obviously done for a special purpose, but what?
Borlase claims that the whole structure was covered but how can that be if the capstone was once level and stuck up on the flimsiest looking of stones that he draws, leaving the sloping area above the side flankers wide open to the ingress of cairn material? This doesn’t ring true and makes the effort put into shaping the side stones a nonsense.
Looking inside the burial chamber which is about 4ft wide by 6ft in length you can’t help but notice the short backstone which is leaning inward somewhat. But more than that, once raised upright would marry in nicely with the capstone if slid back up into its original position because it would be equal in height to the side flankers at that point.
My first impression is that I agree with Clive that other than the capstone slipping both downward and sideways, the quoit is exactly how it should be….a box chamber sealed in by a sloping capstone that would have almost certainly rested on the ground at its lowest end. It could now be covered by a cairn, maybe just to the rear tailing off to the front for access as and when but with no ingress of cairn material because it is now a sealed unit.
I have my ideas about Thethevy and strangely enough it also concerns sloping stones that are possible not suiting their purpose either! And that is also a subject of a Borlase drawing which for some reason does not show the claimed fallen ‘backstone’ which has been omitted from the drawing even though quite plain to see. That’s why I asked if he’s drawings of Zennor that looks like the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek were fanciful? If he left something obvious out of one, could he not add something to another just as easily!https://picasaweb.google.com/100525707086862773355/ZennorQuoit#
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