Ancient Monuments

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Entrance grave known as Zennor Quoit 600m north-east of Foage Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Zennor, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.188 / 50°11'16"N

Longitude: -5.5474 / 5°32'50"W

OS Eastings: 146880.736122

OS Northings: 38017.6044

OS Grid: SW468380

Mapcode National: GBR DXP5.V34

Mapcode Global: VH053.SJPR

Entry Name: Entrance grave known as Zennor Quoit 600m north-east of Foage Farm

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1926

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004640

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 33

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Zennor

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Zennor

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes an entrance grave, situated close to the summit of a prominent ridge with coastal views overlooking Zennor Head. The entrance grave survives as seven upright massive earthfast stones, five of which define the edges of a rectangular chamber with two internal cross slabs. Two further stones form an impressive entrance fa‡ade and there is a further leaning, partially supported, capstone. All are enclosed within a low cairn measuring up to 12.8m in diameter. The chamber stands up to 2.4m high with the top of the capstone being approximately 3m high.

The entrance grave was first recorded by Borlase in about 1769. Some of the uprights were damaged before 1872 when they were cut to provide supports for a nearby cart shed; at least two of the stones still have visible drill holes, most likely dating from their attempted reuse. Before 1881 a local labourer dug out and smashed a pot and recovered a perforated Bronze Age whetstone. In 1910 R J Noall found flints, pottery and bones in a small hollow in the chamber floor, and shortly after 1918 cord impressed pottery was discovered in nearby rabbit burrows.

Other archaeological remains in the vicinity are scheduled separately.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-423294

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Entrance graves are funerary and ritual monuments dating to the later Neolithic, Early and Middle Bronze Age (c.2500-1000 BC). They were constructed with a roughly circular mound of heaped rubble and earth, up to 25m in diameter, the perimeter of which may be defined by a kerb of edge-set slabs or, occasionally, coursed stone. The mound contains a rectangular chamber built of edge-set slabs or coursed rubble walling, or a combination of both. The chamber was roofed by further slabs, called capstones, spanning the walls. The chamber was accessible via a gap in the mound's kerb or outer edge and often extends back beyond the centre of the mound. Excavations within entrance graves have revealed cremated human bone and funerary urns, usually within the chambers but on occasion within the mound. Unburnt human bone has been recovered but is only rarely preserved. Some chambers have also produced ritual deposits of domestic midden debris, including dark earth typical of the surface soil found in settlements, animal bone and artefact fragments. Entrance graves may occur as single monuments or in small or large groups often associated with other cairn types in cemeteries. Entrance graves are one of several forms of chambered tombs found in western Britain and adjacent areas to the south, including the Channel Islands and Brittany. In England, entrance graves are confined to the extreme south west, with 79 of the 93 recorded surviving examples located on the Isles of Scilly and the remaining 14 located in Penwith peninsula at the western tip of
Cornwall. Despite historic damage and several early partial excavations, the entrance grave known as Zennor Quoit 600m north-east of Foage Farm survives comparatively well and is one of a very rare type of monument. It will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, funerary and ritual practices, social organisation, longevity and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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