Pendarvis Quoit - John Greig, 1808




THIS venerable relic of remote antiquity is situated about three miles from Clowance, the seat of sir John St. Aubin, in a field belonging to John Stackhouse, esq. whose residence, Pendarvis House, is seen in the annexed Plate. This house, which is modern, is large and handsome: two of its fronts are built with squared granite. The mansion being erected upon an eminence commands some extensive views, particularly over the western part of the county. From the south front is seen a considerable body of water, which is kept up at a great expense. From this front is likewise viewed the Cromlech, or, as it is provincially called, the Quoit. The Quoit, or flat stone, is supported by three upright ones of unequal dimensions, rather pointed at the top: its eastern extremity consi­derably overhangs the supporter nearest that end, and in size and weight appears to preponderate the opposite end; but notwithstanding this inequality, it has already stood the shock of many ages, and will probably continue in its present situation until the end of time.

There is a simple grandeur in the construction of these ancient monuments, which gives them considerable interest in the view of a contemplative observer: we are naturally led to trace back the important occurrences which have happened since the almost oblivious period of their first erection, and to reflect on the changes which revolving ages have occasioned upon every object around; —"cloud-capt towers, gorgeous palaces," and "solemn temples," have risen and been demolished; the tombs of heroes and kings have been despoiled; while these monu­mental efforts of the rudest age remain firm as the centre, bidding defiance to the potent and destructive scythe of time.

There is at present little doubt among antiquaries with respect to the original designation of the Cromlech; it is generally believed to be a sepulchral monument used by the Druids to mark the places of interment of the Druid chief, or such princes as were favourable to their order.

Extracted from The Antiquarian and Topographical Cabinet, containing a series of Elegant Views of the most interesting objects of curiosity in Great Britain. Accompanied with letter-press descriptions., by James Sargant Storer and John Greig, published by W. Clarke, J. Carpenter and H.D. Symonds, 1808.