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Chambered Tomb
Tor Enclosure
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4000 to 2500 BC
Chambered Tomb   Chambered Tomb
A chambered tomb is a megalithic structure used for communal burial during the Neolithic period. Megalithic means ‘made from large stones’ and these sites consist of a number of large stones set upright supporting a massive horizontal capstone to form a small chamber which was used to house the remains of the dead. Some may originally have been set within a stony mound or cairn. In Celtic areas they are known as quoits or dolmens.
Tor Enclosure   Tor Enclosure
Only recently recognised as a site type, tor enclosures are formed by a series of massive walls linking natural outcrops to enclose an imposing, usually granite, hilltop. Dating from the early Neolithic period, they are particular to south western Britain and are comparable to the causewayed enclosures found elsewhere in the British Isles.
Neolithic (New Stone Age)

Farming is introduced between 4,000 BC and 3,500 BC with the cultivation and harvesting of cereals and possibly other food plants. Animals such as sheep, pigs and goats are domesticated.
Seasonally-nomadic bands of gatherers and hunters are gradually replaced by small scale sedentary farming communities, and once heavily wooded landscapes are being cleared and enclosed to support a steadily growing population. Round-based pottery vessels for storage and food preparation begin to be made.

The farmer’s sense of attachment to the land is reflected in the building of the first monuments, especially major ceremonial and ritual monuments such as tor enclosures, henges and communal burial sites known as quoits.

Extensive trade networks, extend across southern England, involving the export of prestigious objects such as polished stone axes made from greenstone and gabbroic potting clay originating from the Lizard peninsula.


supported by HLF and compiled by the Historic Environment Service of Cornwall County Council  
last updated: 14/09/2007