This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Stone setting and holed stone known as the Men-an-Tol, 315m south east of Coronation Farm

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Stone setting and holed stone known as the Men-an-Tol, 315m south east of Coronation Farm

List entry Number: 1004641

Location

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Madron

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 14-Dec-1926

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: CO 56

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

The stone setting and holed stone known as the Men-an-Tol, 315m south east of Coronation Farm are undoubtedly one of the most famous and mysterious monuments in Cornwall, steeped in myth and local legend and possibly one of the most distinctive in appearance in the whole of England. The exact purpose and function is unknown but in common with other similar types of monument, most notably those of nearby Exmoor, it is thought to date from the Late Neolithic period to the Middle Bronze Age (c. 2500 - 1000 BC). As such it can be expected to provide rare evidence of ceremonial and ritual practices during these periods. The continuation of ritual and belief into the more recent past makes it a extremely rare and long lived monument. One of the upright stones is thought to have been moved in the last few hundred years to make the setting more of an alignment, but despite this, and necessary consolidation work from visitor pressure, it remains one of Cornwall's most famous and intriguing archaeological sites.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a stone setting and holed stone situated on the lower south eastern slopes of White Downs. The stone setting and holed stone survive as a central circular holed stone with two flanking upright stones, a further upright to the north west, and a recumbent stone. The holed stone is set on its edge and measures up to 1.3m in diameter and 0.3m thick, with a central circular hole of 0.5m in diameter. The three upright stones measure between 0.9m and 1.3m high; the recumbent stone lies at the foot of the western flanking upright. The stones were recorded in their current location in 1825 by Cotton. WC Borlase excavated a trench between the stones and found only a single flint flake. More recent survey and excavation work by Cornwall Archaeological Unit in 1992, prior to consolidation of the monument, revealed a nearby pit and spoil heap beside the stones to be a mineral prospecting pit. The survey also revealed some other recumbent stones nearby. This enigmatic stone group has been the subject of numerous discussions regarding its function with suggestions including: an astronomical observatory; part of a burial chamber; and part of a stone circle. The Men-an-Tol has attracted considerable folk belief. Traditionally children were passed through the hole as a cure for rickets. People with 'ague' would crawl through the hole nine times against the sun as a cure, and it was said that if two brass pins were placed on the top of the stones, their movements could be used for assessing the future.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-424271

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: SW 42644 34942

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1004641 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Oct-2017 at 08:05:40.

End of official listing