The w3w address takes you to a pull-in beside the path to Lanyon Quoit. There is room here for a couple of vehicles to park safely. There is a larger car park, for maybe seven or eight cars, close to Men-An-Tol and you could complete this walk from there (///steaming.nutty.handed)

This is a great little walk (even in the wind-driven drizzle that accompanied  us) that takes in three fascinating sites in West Penwith. This area is littered with megalithic remains, if that interests you as much as it does me.

We parked by Lanyon Quoit, which is just a few metres from the lane.  Lanyon Quoit originally dated from the early Neolithic period (3500-2500 BCE) and consisted of a large capstone on 4 upright support stones, similar to Chûn Quoit on the moors to the west. Unfortunately, in 1815 it collapsed in a storm and some stones were split. It was re-erected in 1824 (at right angles to its original position!) the capstone was placed on only 3 uprights which were shortened and squared off, so it is much lower than it was originally and does not retain the distinctive rectangular box-like appearance of other Quoits. But, sitting as it does on the moors of West Penwith, it is still very evocative and very  photogenic!

We walked on past the Quoit – the path was easy to follow – aiming in the general direction of the engine house of ‘Ding Dong’ mine. Pass in front of the engine house and a path leads northwards to Boskednan, or the Nine Maidens, stone circle. Although it is known as the Nine Maidens the circle now comprises eleven stones, two of which are fallen. The even spacing between the surviving stones suggests that the site was originally laid out as a perfect circle, just under 22 metres in diameter, comprising 22 or 23 stones, the inner faces of which would have been smooth and flat, a common feature of many Cornish stone circles. When WC Borlase visited the circle in the mid 17th century there were still nineteen stones, but over the next two hundred years the site was badly affected by the activities of stone splitters and miners. One or two of the stones bear distinctive splitting marks, indicating that their destruction was recent and deliberate.

Continue along the path and you will join a wider track. This passes the  remains of other historic sites and Men Scryfa, an early mediæval inscribed stone (in a field beside the track) before you reach the track to Men-an-Tol; an extraordinary monument and my favourite! Although it’s likely that the current configuration bears little resemblance to its original placement; it’s possible that it was on the circumference of a stone circle (some stones still lie below the turf) and was used as a siting device. It’s all guesswork! There is only one other large stone with a hole similar to Men-an-Tol in Cornwall and that  is at Gweek.

This is a short walk and easy but there is lots of interest and lots of opportunities to extend it as  you wish.

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