Cornish archaeologists celebrate as 5,000-year-old "Devil's Frying Pan" of Carwynnen Quoit is restored

By Ben Miller | 24 June 2014

A Cornish burial chamber has been restored to its prehistoric look in a project giving modern reverence to the dolmen of The Devil's Frying Pan

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Amid a party atmosphere on a Cornish field, the capstone of Carwynnen Quoit – a 5,000-year-old burial chamber known as The Devil’s Frying Pan – was lowered into place by crane on Summer Solstice Day.

Musicians, poets and dancers were invited to perform in the culmination of a Lottery-backed project to restore a monument which crumbled in 1966.

“The focus has not just been the monument, but also the ecology of the surrounding landscape,” said Dr Kenneth Brophy, an archaeology expert from Glasgow University.

“Poetry and music have been composed and performed at the monument.

“Hundreds of people have been involved in this project in a whole range of different ways, concentrating not just on what happened in the distant past, but also the relevance and role of the dolmen for people today and into the future.

“This is a fantastic project, and one that demonstrates the potential social, ecological and even economic benefits of megalith construction.”

Local group The Sustainable Trust, which bought the Quoit in 2009, has made the five acres surrounding the site accessible to the public.

“Together we have done more than restore a Scheduled Ancient Monument in a Cornish Field,” said Pip Richard, the Director of the Trust, thanking a groundswell of supporters who have offered backing to the rebuilding plan during the past five years, including supportive neighbours, archaeologists and writers.

“We have engendered a sense of belonging and some local pride during this great time of change for the Duchy.”

The Ballad of Carwynnen was sung as part of a ceremony celebrating a project Dr Brophy called “remarkable” and “unique”.

“The ostensibly simple component parts – large boulders, essentially – come together to form something magical, a structure that has great appeal to the public imagination.

“It is a great example of how rebuilding prehistoric monuments today, in the modern landscape, can impact on social well-being.”

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What an informative article. Thank you Ben Miller from sustrust and the giants quoit
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