St Breock Downs Monolith

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St Breock Downs Monolith
Men Gurta
Standing-stone on St Breock Downs
St Breock Downs Monolith
Alternate name St Breock Longstone
Location near St Breock
Region Cornwall, England
Coordinates 50°28′45.54″N 4°51′56.28″W / 50.4793167°N 4.8656333°W / 50.4793167; -4.8656333Coordinates: 50°28′45.54″N 4°51′56.28″W / 50.4793167°N 4.8656333°W / 50.4793167; -4.8656333
Type Standing stone (megalith)
History
Material Shale
Periods Late Neolithic / Early Bronze Age
Site notes
Public access Yes

St Breock Downs Monolith (or St Breock Longstone; Cornish: Men Gurta[1]) is the largest and heaviest prehistoric standing stone in Cornwall, England.[2] It stands on the summit of St Breock Downs.

Description[edit]

The stone is made from the local Devonian shale which has extensive feldspar veining,[3] and it is estimated to weigh around 16.5 tonnes.[1] It is 4.92 metres long[1] and stands to a height of just over 3 metres above ground level.[3] It stands on a low stone mound or cairn with a diameter of around 10 metres.[3] It is believed to be Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age (around 2500-1500 BC).[1]

It fell over in 1945, and was re-erected in 1956 after a small excavation had been carried out.[3] The excavation showed that the stone stood in a setting of quartz pebbles below which were two small hollows.[1] Similar hollows at other sites have been found to contain human bone or ashes.[1]

The stone may have been associated with other Bronze Age ritual monuments in the area, including one other standing stone,[4] and a series of barrows that extend up to 4 miles (7 km) to the west.[3]

The stone is mentioned in antiquarian records as early as 1613, and was later adopted as a St Breock parish boundary marker.[3] The site is now in the care of the Cornwall Heritage Trust on behalf of English Heritage.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Historic England. "St Breock Downs Monolith (430282)". PastScape. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  2. ^ St Breock Downs Monolith, English Heritage, retrieved 12 April 2012
  3. ^ a b c d e f History and Research: St Breock Downs Monolith, English Heritage, retrieved 12 April 2012
  4. ^ Historic England. "St Breock Downs Standing Stone (430297)". PastScape. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Sites Managed and Cared for by Cornwall Heritage Trust for English Heritage Archived 2012-06-13 at the Wayback Machine., retrieved 12 April 2012

External links[edit]

Media related to St Breock Downs Monolith at Wikimedia Commons