41.—Constantine Tolman, Cornwalldetails

[Picture: 41.—Constantine Tolman, Cornwall]
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41.—Constantine Tolman, Cornwall

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I believe this Tolman was destroyed in 1869, although I found no reference to it at the Constantine Village Web site.

“There are remains of the more ancient times of Britain whose uses no antiquarian writers have attempted, by the aid of tradition or imagination, satisfactorily to explain. They are, to a certain extent, works of art; they exhibit evidences of design; but it would appear as if the art worked as an adjunct to nature. The object of the great Druidical monuments, speaking generally, without reference to their superstitious uses, was to impress the mind with something like a feeling of the infinite, by the erection of works of such large proportions that in these after ages we still feel that they are sublime, without paying respect to the associations which once surrounded them. So it would appear that those who once governed the popular mind sought to impart a more than natural grandeur to some grand work of nature, by connecting it with some effort of ingenuity which was under the direction of their rude science. Such are the remains which have been called Tolmen; a Tolman being explained to be an immense mass of rock placed aloft on two subjacent rocks which admit of a free passage between them. Such is the remarkable remain in the parish of Constantine in Cornwall. “It is one vast egg-like stone thirty-three feet in length, eighteen feet in width, and fourteen feet and a half in thickness, placed on the points of two natural rocks, so that a man may creep under it.” (Fig. 41.) There appears to be little doubt that this is a work of art, as far as regards the placing of the huge mass (which is held to weigh seven hundred and fifty tons), upon the points of its natural supporters. If the Constantine Tolman be a work of art, it furnishes a most remarkable example of the skill which the early inhabitants of England had attained in the application of some great power, such as the lever, to the aid of man’s co-operative strength.” (p. 11)

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