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Portal dolmen known as 'The Three Brothers of Grugith'

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: Portal dolmen known as 'The Three Brothers of Grugith'

List entry Number: 1006746

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: St. Keverne

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 10-Aug-1923

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 4

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

Portal dolmens are funerary and ceremonial monuments of the Early and Middle Neolithic period, the dated examples showing construction in the period 3500- 2600 BC. As burial monuments of Britain's early farming communities, they are among the oldest visible field monuments to survive in the present landscape. Where sufficiently well-preserved, they comprise a small closed rectangular chamber built from large stone slabs, with free-standing stones flanking the frontal slab of the chamber. A capstone, often massive, covers the chamber, and some examples show traces of a low cairn or platform around the chamber. Some sites have traces of a kerb around the cairn and certain sites show a forecourt area, edged by a facade of upright stones in a few examples. Little is yet known about the form of the primary burial rites. At the few excavated sites, pits and postholes have been recorded within and in front of the chamber, containing charcoal and cremated bone; some chamber contents of soil and stones may be original blocking deposits. Many portal dolmens were re-used for urned cremations, especially during the Middle Bronze Age. Only about 20 portal dolmens are known nationally, concentrated in west Penwith, Cornwall, and in the north-west Oxfordshire Cotswolds, with a scatter between these. As one of the few surviving field monument types of the Neolithic period, and due to their rarity, considerable age and longevity of construction and use, all portal dolmens are considered to be nationally important. Despite partial early excavation and the limited preservation of the enclosing mound, the portal dolmen known as 'The Three Brothers of Grugith' survives comparatively well, especially considering its great age and fairly prominent location. It is one of a nationally rare group of monuments. It will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, funerary practices, ritual and social significance and its overall landscape context

History

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Details

The monument includes a portal dolmen called 'The Three Brothers of Grugith' or 'Grugwith' situated close to the summit of a prominent hill overlooking Goonhilly Downs. The dolmen survives as two upright parallel orthostats supporting a large capstone enclosing an area measuring approximately 4m long, 2m wide and 1m high. Shallow depressions on the surface of the capstone have been interpreted as either cup-marks (early prehistoric rock art) or natural features. The chamber was excavated by Borlase in 1872, and he discovered a pit approximately 1m deep and a single flint flake. There is debate as to whether one of the upright stones is natural. There is little surface evidence for an enclosing mound.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-426455

Selected Sources

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

National Grid Reference: SW 76168 19788

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2017 at 03:19:27.

End of official listing