Lanyon Quoit is probably one of the best-known of Cornwall's ancient monuments, dating from the Neolithic period 3500-2500BC. It is believed that Lanyon and other quoits in the area were used as ritual funeral sites. It's possible that bodies were laid on top of the capstone to be eaten by carrion birds.
Lanyon Quoit is situated in a field by the side of the Morvah to Madron road. It lies at the north end of a long barrow 26 metres long and 12 metres wide. At the south end of the barrow are some more large stones which may be the remains of one or more cists.
In the 18th century the quoit had four supporting stones and the structure was tall enough for a person on horse back to ride under. On 19 October 1815, Lanyon Quoit fell down in a storm. Nine years later enough money was raised by local inhabitants to re-erect the structure, under the guidance of Captain Giddy of the Royal Navy.
One of the original stones was considered too badly damaged to put back in place, thus there are only three uprights today and the structure does not stand as high as it once did. The reconstruction also placed the structure at right angles to its original position.