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of Central
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Samuel Lewis lives and works in Central Brittany, where he first developed an interest in megaliths. He is the author of the Central Brittany Journal’s popular ‘Megalith Diary’, and also contributes to the Journal's Gardening and Nature sections.

About the Author

and other
to the


of Central

Samuel Lewis







. Mary-Ellen Webb: page 42 top. 22160 Duault. Alain Goutal for information about menhirs in the Forest of Duault. Thanks to: Readers of the CBJ for information supplied to ‘Megalith Diary’. page 10. other drawings by the author. Z. Thierry Boderhat: page 48. 29834 Carhaix. Special thanks to the residents of Brittany who care for the ancient megaliths and who provide free access to them across their land. Tom Keen: page 28. le Vieux-Bourg. necklace. Alan Kirton: page 45. Photographs: Wendy Lewis: pages 1 / 14 / 15 / 17 / 33 top / 34 / 35 / 38 / 41 bottom / 42 bottom / 43 / 44 / 46 / 51 / 67. Inside front cover: Cailouan Menhir. BP 231. Cover: The Kergadiou Menhir. 13: Menhir near Pasquiou.First Published July 2009 Nezert Books Le Nezert. France ISBN: 952 270 595 2 ©Nezert Books 2009 Printed by Le Fur Imprimerie. Plésidy P. Artwork: Bethan Lewis. all other photos by the author.A de la Villeneuve. Gareth Lewis: pages 41 top / 68 / 69. Plourin.

1 2 3 4 5 Menez Arez Wedding Party Alignment Menhir at le Cloître Kerampeulven Menhir Mougau-Bihan Ty ar Boudiged 6 7 8 9 10 Menez DU Trimen Menhir Croaz-an-Teurec Alignment Castel-Rufel St-Jean Menhir 11 12 13 14 GUinGAMP AreA Kerguezennec Menhir Pédernec Menhir Pergat Menhir 15 16 17 FOrest OF DUAULt Kercoutois Menhir Les Jumeaux La Dent de St-Servais Covered Alley Toul an Urz Paotr Saout 18 19 20 21 22 ArGOAt Covered Alley at Kernescop Roc’h Toul Dolmen 23 24 .CONTENTS Contents Western Finistere Kerloas Menhir Kergadiou Menhirs Cairn at Barnenez Lagatjar Alignments Alignment at Lostmarc’h no.

DOL-DE-BRETAGNE Roche-aux-Fées. ESSE 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 Map Centre PAGes Menhir sizes p.CONTENTS Glomel Menhirs Cailouan Menhir Rossil Menhir Kergornec Menhir 25 26 27 28 VieUX-BOUrG MenHirs Menhirs of the Croix de Pasquiou Menhir near Pasquiou Porzic Menhir Menhirs near Botudo Pont-aux-Prêtres Menhir La Roche-Longue 29 30 31 32 33 34 DAOULAs & POULAnCre Covered Alleys of Liscuis Covered Alley at Coët-Correc Porz Guillo Menhir Menhir du Bourg Mein al Has and the Tombeau du Gaulois Roc’h ar Lein Menhir Bot-er-Mohed 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 FOrest OF LAnVAUX Jean Babouin Loge aux Loups 42 43 CArnAC stOnes Kerzerho Alignments Lost Stones of Kerzerho Mané Braz & Mané Groh Dolmen of Crucuno The Great Alignments Champ-Dolent.english p. 70 GLOssAry Breton . 71 .

it is now agreed that they long pre-date the arrival of Celtic people. which. For instance. but more importantly. menhir means tall stone (men = stone. it is designed to provide information about a selection of stones. and it is words from the language of Brittany . when taken together.that are universally used to describe different sorts of megaliths. with regards to the stones themselves. men = stone). Brittany is home to many of the world’s most spectacular megaliths: the world’s tallest menhir is to be found in Brittany. as a natural consequence of this. it is from this time that the once widespread belief comes that the dolmens were used for human sacrifice. the world’s largest alignments of megalithic stones occur round Carnac. but none of the explanations have been able to withstand the test of time. on the south coast of Brittany. but the truth is that no one can say who erected Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany Who Built the Stones? 5 . theories relating to the stones were based upon what little was known of the druidic religion.INTRODUCTION Brittany has a greater concentration of megalithic stones than any other part of the world. This book is not a complete guide to every single megalithic stone in Brittany – such a work would probably be impossible – rather. of all shapes and sizes. This would date them alongside the ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia and the Indus valley. the world’s biggest dolmen is to be found not far from Rennes. many people have attempted to answer these questions. and the world’s largest megalithic cairn is sited on the north coast of Brittany. in Brittany. hir = tall) and dolmen means stone table (dol = table. Brittany’s capital city. In Breton. will give the visitor a genuine insight into the mysterious world of Brittany’s megalithic heritage. There is also a host of lesser-known megalithic stones. Current thinking is that most of Brittany’s megalithic stones were set in place around 7000 years ago. It is now thought to be highly unlikely that the druids were involved in such practices.Breton . and the druids. each with its own history and folklore. Over the years. Introduction The two questions that everyone asks when they see their first megalith is: ‘Who put it there?’ and ‘Why did they put it there?’. it was almost universally assumed that the stones were druidic in origin. In the nineteenth century. and. scattered across the Breton countryside.

The ancient civilisations of the Middle East. makes it difficult to know why they did it. India and Egypt have left records in the form of clay tablets. and to make up their own ideas about their original purpose. but most of the art appears inside dolmens. Not knowing who put up the stones. This is perhaps one of the greatest fascinations of the megaliths. Gavrinis. them or when. intricate stone carvings. we do not know who they were. Nevertheless.perhaps the work of a prehistoric Michelangelo. for example. Here. nearly all of the 29 stones which form the walls have been covered with snaking lines and spiralling circles . an island in the Gulf of Morbihan.all of which combine to give us a picture of the lives led by the people of those times. The most spectacular example of this is at the cairn on Gavrinis.. as mysterious today as the megaliths themselves. every one who sees them is free to speculate. Carving found in the Petit-Mont cairn. Arzon. Megalithic art Carving. and oral histories passed from generation to generation .INTRODUCTION Etched on the walls of some stone chambers are patterns and motifs. Up until recently. There is still a possibility that they could be far older than this. One of the carved stones from Gavrinis. it was assumed 6 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany What were the stones for? . No such records exist to tell us about the people who put Brittany’s stones in place. There are also several carved menhirs.. how they lived. theories abound as to what the original purpose of the various stones might have been. or why they wanted to build such monumental structures.

tend to contradict the idea that they were originally built as closed burial chambers. and alignments. and it is hard to understand why so much time and energy should have been expended on a task for which we can see no obvious use. England. even more difficult to explain than the dolmens. They are also common in the Netherlands. tumuli and ‘covered alleys’ were all different sorts of tombs or burial chambers. including places as far afield as Korea. Wales. which to all intents and purposes seem to be megaliths. There are arrangements of stones in many other parts of the world. Northern Spain. no firm evidence that even this theory is correct. Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 7 . No civilisation of recent times has felt compelled to build these sorts of structures. Ireland and Scotland. so far. but no one can say for certain whether or not they date back to the same era as the European stones. The menhirs and dolmens of Western Europe. Portugal. and the west of France. or close to. Northern Germany.INTRODUCTION that dolmens. certain megaliths but. recent observations of how the sun or the moon shine into tumuli to strike a certain point at a certain time of the year. are. if anything. West Africa. Human remains have been found in. Everyone agrees that they are widespread in Brittany. Denmark. there is a certain amount of disagreement as to which parts of the world megalithic stones are to be found. it has not been possible to prove that any of them date back to the time when the stones were set in place. The menhirs. Megaliths around the world As with all aspects of this subject. and India. however. Sweden. or whether the people who built them had any contact with the megalith builders of Europe. There is.

and the number of megaliths that might once have existed. the most distinctive of all the megaliths. and it is therefore possible that when they were built. where there are thousands of stones carefully arranged in rows. perhaps. and many of them are relatively unvisited and in remarkably unspoilt settings. usually covering one or more dolmens or covered alleys. Types of Stone It is not known why there should be so many more megaliths in Brittany than anywhere else. If this is indeed the case. then it is a civilisation about which we know virtually nothing. The world’s most famous alignments are in Carnac. Alignment is the name given to a series of stones arranged in lines. There are also many smaller menhirs dotted around the countryside. Why Brittany? 8 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . Covered alleys (once known as ‘passage graves’) are essentially a series of dolmens built in a row. Brittany has both the tallest and the largest menhirs in the world. Brittany was a significant centre of early civilisation perhaps on a par with Egypt or China. Dolmen is the term applied to an arrangement of stones resembling a table i.INTRODUCTION There are several different types of megaliths to be found in Brittany: Menhir is the name given to the tall standing-stones which are. series of menhirs are in line with each other. whilst others are much more complex.which raises all sorts of interesting questions about the surveying techniques available to their original builders. two parallel stones set in the ground. Some alignments consist of a few stones in a straight line. with a large. even though they are several miles apart . A Tumulus is a mound of earth. Sometimes. Perhaps the whole of Europe was once covered with megaliths. some of them virtually unknown outside their particular locality.e. flat ‘table stone’ balanced on top. but it seems unlikely that they should have disappeared in significantly greater quantities in every other part of Europe. Cairns are mounds of stones covering dolmens or covered alleys.

korrigans (pixies) and other fairy folk living alongside human beings. or was it perhaps the deliberate act of subsequent generations. who wished to reuse the stone…? Plans were underway to transport the stone to Paris for the Great Exhibition of 1900. are not in the correct order. and larger than any single stone put up before or since. ‘house of the korrigans’ etc. making it the crowning centrepiece of the megalithic world. however. local folklore and any stories associated with the stones have to be treated with the greatest respect. Many of the stones were believed to have healing properties or to aid fertility. an indisputable testimony to a vanished civilisation. and a certain amount of the old folklore has now been made a matter of public record. Greeks or Romans succeeded in transporting such a weight. Was the stone ever successfully raised? Did it break during its erection? Was it lightning or even an earthquake which brought it down. brought an end to the idea. Local indignation. Unfortunately. stones were often referred to as ‘house of the fairies’. things have improved over recent years. Locally. and there seem to be strong links between the stones and the traditional Breton fairy stories which feature giants. Wherever Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany Folklore 9 . magicians. and there has also been a long history of religious intolerance towards local customs associated with particular stones. Not even the Egyptians. This has given rise to a series of speculations as to why and how the menhir could have fallen. the grand Menhir BrisÉ In the absence of other information. where it would have been reerected beside the Eiffel tower.INTRODUCTION The menhir which now lies in four huge fragments at the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan on the Locmariaquer peninsula would once have been 18 metres tall. even until relatively recently. The great menhir remains today. people in authority have tried to suppress local traditions concerning the megaliths. which seem to lie where they have fallen. Thankfully. Studies have shown that the menhir was transported from 4 km away. and that the stones.

the megaliths. Carnac. and may even date back to the origin of the stones themselves .INTRODUCTION possible. and beautiful. survived a revolution in agricultural practices that has swept away almost every other aspect of the traditional Breton countryside. very popular with the ancient crafstmen. a green jadeite stone. Consequently. and the reverence in which they were held. when archaeologists began excavating. This necklace was found inside the Kergalat Dolmen. The beauty and precision of these items point to a highly-civilised race. or churches built beside (or even One of the oldest beliefs associated with the megaliths is that they conceal buried treasure. with a great tradition of art and craftsmanship. including jewellery made from precious stones. In spite of this. The cairns and dolmens around Carnac unearthed the richest finds. many interesting things were discovered. Crosses were placed on top of them.they have. In times gone by. most sites were extensively searched many years ago. finely-worked axe heads. for example. and even today the stones are looked after with exceptional care . No one knows for certain how old these stories are: some are fairly modern – invoking Christian mythology or recent historical events – but some of them seem very ancient. so enraged the clergy that they sometimes tried to ‘Christianize’ the stones.who knows? Many of the old customs still live on. Megalithic treasures Finely-polished axe head Perhaps the loveliest thing unearthed is the jewellery made from calais. this folklore is included in the text describing each megalith. and is now in the Musée de Préhistoire. 10 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany .

however. A compromise was reached. have been more cautious about building fences around stones without proper consultation with local people. all of Brittany’s megaliths were freely accessible to both local residents and visitors. There are surprisingly few written references to Brittany’s megaliths in any books prior to the beginning of the twentieth century. In almost all cases this ancient right of access is respected by Brittany’s current landowners: in most cases the landowner maintains a path to a stone at his or her own expense and often takes pride in landscaping the area around it. even the stones Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany Historical Records 11 . Kermario Alignments. and an argument could be made that until a specific law is passed to the contrary. the megaliths legally belong to the people of the region and that everyone has a right to visit them. In 2002 there were large-scale demonstrations in Carnac.INTRODUCTION The concept of land ownership was only introduced to Brittany after the French Revolution. survived. In this tradition. There are a few instances where access is restricted. The Breton tradition was that most of the country was in common ownership . since then. A hundred years ago. and. etc. tourist boards. when local protestors sought to enforce their ancient right of access to the Carnac alignments which the authorities were in the process of fencing in.belonging to the people as a whole . and. unfortunately. and visitors to the stones were threatened with hell and damnation.and individuals only had rights over the parcels of land that they farmed. And yet the stones. Carnac Who oWns the Megaliths? over) them. some of the worst offenders in this regard have been ‘official’ bodies who have sought to make money by charging for access to the stones. and the folklore associated with them.

and megaliths. amongst other things. place names. they tended to see only what they expected . and only by chance became interested by the large. literature and academic research. Since then. The majority of the megaliths in Brittany are in areas in which. The glossary on page 71 gives an insight into the links between folklore. French scholars rarely visited Brittany. Typically. their true significance still seems to have escaped the attention of the academic community at large. the original Breton place names are still the ones most often associated with the local megalith. explored. During the first half of the Twentieth Century. but there were no local scholars to bring them to the attention of the world at large. but came from the British Isles. up until very recently. documented. where the new French names were never adopted . they were certainly not in a frame of mind to discover in Brittany the remains of Europe’s most ancient civilisation. the French government was committed to a campaign to suppress the Breton language. and many of the early ‘megalith hunters’ were neither French nor Breton. 12 Place naMes Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . were effectively excluded from the French establishment. and sometimes even reconstructed. For many years. this guide gives both French and Breton names for the communes in which megaliths are sited. As a result. Brittany’s megaliths remained more or less unknown to the outside world until the end of the nineteenth century. tend to be in remote areas. The stones were obviously well known to local people. hidden away in woods and forests or on remote heath land. unexplained stones that they came across unexpectedly. science. they have been excavated. however. The surviving menhirs. This peculiar state of affairs is due to the uneasy relationship that has long existed between Brittany and France. Breton. For this reason.downtrodden peasants in need of ‘civilizing’. this establishment encompassed not only the world of government and administration.INTRODUCTION of Carnac were almost unknown outside the immediate locality. and when they did. not French. mapped.because no one living in them spoke French. particularly Bretonspeakers. but even so. was the indigenous language. For this reason. Bretons. but also education. this involved giving French names to all the major towns and villages. they were people who originally came to Brittany on walking holidays or fishing trips.

and in completely rural that more than one can be visited on an outing. If. in the course of your travels. or if you can update any facts that this guide contains. quieter. Using the Guide Happy megalith hunting! Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 13 .This book concentrates upon the megaliths of Central Brittany. the megaliths have been grouped together according to their geographic location . but they have a special mystery of their own: more remote. As far as possible. Its main purpose is to encourage people to visit Brittany’s ancient stones . you discover a stone not listed in this guide. and more detailed maps and directions are included on the pages that cover each megalith (see inside back cover for a key to the classification system). The map in the centre of the book shows where they are in relation to each other. Many of the stones are situated in spectacular settings. then please send us the information.both for their own pleasure and because this is the best way of ensuring that the stones continue to be left undisturbed by land owners and local authorities. and all of them are well worth a visit – especially the less well-known ones. They tend to be less famous than some of the sites near the coast. which will be included in future editions.


which makes it two millennia older than the pyramids. It is thought to have been erected between six and seven thousand years ago. The stone appears to have been brought a distance of at least two and a half kilometres. There is a hollow towards the top and two lumps at the bottom directly opposite each other. but the top two metres were struck off by lightning. Couples traditionally came here and rubbed their stomachs against the lumps: men did so in hope of having a son. Two hundred years ago it was even taller. Like other menhirs of the region. Brélès Plouarzel D5 Bois de Kervéatouz P MENHIR D5 Kerloas St-Renan Brest Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 15 .WESTERN FINISTERE 1 Kerloas Menhir Saint-Renan Lokournan The Kerloas Menhir measures 9. a journey that would have meant dragging it uphill! The menhir is on the top of a ridge of land and is said to be visible from the city of Brest. and is believed to be the world’s tallest menhir. thirty kilometres away. the stone is very smooth and elegantly shaped. and it tapers as it goes upwards. and women in hope of becoming head of the house.5m (31 ft). very wide. and from the other. From one side it looks thin.

considering that it came all the way from England . and creating the second. leaving the menhir unharmed.however.75m (28 ft) is one of the world’s tallest menhirs. The menhirs are nonetheless very well visited by both Porspoder Plourin locals and tourists from all D6 8 over Europe. It can easily be climbed. There is a story of how the Kergadiou Menhir once belonged to an English sorceress. The throw was a powerful one. so it may be necessary to negotiate a fence or even cows. Kergadiou D2 8 D6 8 D28 St-Renan Brèles 16 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . The sorceress was furious. and at 8. A few metres away is an eleven-metre long. giving visitors a spectacular. ‘menhir couché’ (recumbent menhir). It has also been described as the most perfectly shaped. and the aim excellent. panoramic view over both land and sea. fallen menhir. The field belongs to a farmer. and picking up a great block of stone.2 Plourin WESTERN FINISTERE Kergadiou Menhirs Plourin-Gwitalmeze Not far from Kerloas is the great Menhir of Kergadiou. it missed by just a few feet. It stands between Brèles and Plourin. where it was set up at Kergadiou. It was stolen and carried off to Brittany. hurled it in the direction of the menhir.

The cairn is open to visitors every day except Mondays.WESTERN FINISTERE 19 3 Cairn at Barnenez Plouezoc’h The Cairn at Barnenez is situated just north of Morlaix in one of the Breton coast's most spectacular settings. In the 1950s it was thought to simply be a back at least 6000 years. stony mound covered with grass and earth. The first Sunday of each month from November to May is free. There is a charge to enter this site. When excavated. Tel: 02 98 67 24 73 Carantec Barnenez Cairn P Kernéléhen Rade de Morlaix D7 D7 Locquénolé Morlaix 3 Plouézoc’h Morlaix Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 6 17 . What we see today is the result of restoration work carried out in the 1960s. but when a local building contractor started to use it as a stone quarry it became apparent that it was. in fact. but it is known that local people had dug into the mound at some time during the 1800s. Europe’s largest known megalithic cairn . the cairn was found to be quite empty.

and although there have been doubts as to how accurately this was done. They were stood back up in 1928. are the Lagatjar alignments . by the early 1900s they had fallen over. tumbled by an unknown cause.well over 100 in number are carved from white stone and stand on a plain beside the sea. These stones . Alignments Lagatjar D8 18 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany D8 Crozon a Camaretsur-Mer . it seems probable that they are in a very similar state now to how they were in Ancient times. just outside the busy port of Camaret-surMer. Although still standing in the mid-1800s.some of the most celebrated menhirs in the world. and lay prostrate on the ground.4 WESTERN FINISTERE Lagatjar Alignments Camaret-sur-Mer Kameled At the tip of the Crozon peninsular.

D2 55 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 19 . and seem to belong to a timeless era. these stones are in an incomparable setting. but time and human activity have all but obliterated their traces. Pointe de Surrounded by gorse and Lostmarc’h heather. Some way below there are the traces of a remarkable pre-Roman coastal stronghold. with the original ditch and earthworks cutting across the headland. also on the Crozon peninsular. It has been suggested that maybe this isolated outcrop of land once had some special religious significance. There were once many more stone rows on the Crozon peninsular.WESTERN FINISTERE 5 Crozon Kraozon Alignment at Lostmarc’h Crozon D2 55 At Lostmarc’h. there is Morgat a stone alignment of sevAlignment eral menhirs perched on the Kerlouantec Lostmarc’h clifftop overlooking the sea.

It has been said that these stones Alignment Menez were once a large and boisterous la Noce de Pierres Mikael wedding party. heaths. the alignCommana Plounéour-Ménez ment is on fairly wet ground. and can easily be climbed. the area has largely escaped the intensive farming methods which caused the destruction of many ancient megaliths during the last century. when Chasse .the stone wedding party (‘An Eured Ven’ in Breton) . St-Michel Yeun Elez but the largest are about as tall as a peat bog person.6 MENEZ AREZ The Wedding Party Alignment Brasparts Brasparzh The Menez Arez (French. Half-buried in the gorse. D7 8 5 20 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . known as La Noce de Pierres . finishing off the ‘Centre de Formation last dance of the festivities.makes its way across the peat bogs at the foot of the Menez Mikael (Mont-St-Michel de Brasparts). Characterized by peat bogs. Monts d’Arée) are Brittany’s tallest range of hills. A remarkable alignment of up to 77 stones. culminating in the Roc’h ar Trevazel (384m) between Commana and La Feuillée.Nature’ they were turned to stone for their Brasparts impolite treatment of a traveller. windswept crags and forests. Some Morlaix stones are barely more than ankle Réservoir de high and many have tipped over. one of the region’s tallest hills.

Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 21 .

Turn off on a small road. on the edge of the Monts d’Arée.7 Huelgoat MENEZ AREZ Menhir at Le Cloître An Uhelgoad The Menhir at Le Cloître is close to the D767 just outside the name ‘le Cloître’ (the Carhaix cloister) would imply. and there are Pontauban tales of a lost abbey Brennilis D7 64 in the vicinity . direction ‘Pontauban’. and keep on for the hamlets of Le Cloître and St-Vinec. slightly obscured by a hedge but quite visible from the road. Visitors are very welcome. It is in a private garden. close to a house built in 1978 before the significance of the stone was recognised. St-Vinec Huelgoat le Cloître Gorse and woodMENHIR land lie close to the la Feuillée menhir. D14 22 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . The menhir is some way before Le Cloître.

The stone has always drawn many visitors.MENEZ AREZ 8 Kerampeulven Menhir Berrien The Kerampeulven Menhir is probably the most famous in the Monts d’Arée. Below: The tea shop in Huelgoat makes a welcome stop for a weary megalith hunter. the menhir is Kerampeulven actually in the commune of Kervao Berrien. women who could not have children would come to rub their stomachs against it.30pm every day except Sun. It is well signposted and the site is very welcoming. it stands in a small field. Open 7am-7. and at one time there was a spring here with curative properties. surrounded by trees and a few houses. Although just north of Berrien the town of Quinimilin Huelgoat. Tall and slender. and Wed. Huelgoat la Feuillée D76 4 D1 4 Carhaix D14 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 23 .

Landivisiau D764 D1 1 Commana ME NE Z EZ AR Sizun le Mongo Braz Huelgoat D764 Mougau Bihan P 24 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . including one that is supposed to be an axe in relief. Surrounding the covered alley is an old plum and apple orchard. with a marked path for walkers. Inside. It has been recounted that giants lived in Mougau-Bihan. The stones do not seem to have suffered much disturbance.9 MENEZ AREZ Mougau-Bihan Commana Kommanna Mougau means cavern. there are several carvings. and are in very good condition. In the distance can be seen the craggy hills of the Menez Arez. and that they were constantly warring with the korrigans who inhabited the nearby Ty-ar Boudiged (opposite page). and across the road is an area of protected peat bog. and this large and cavernous ‘allée couverte’ (covered alley). and another which is perhaps a guardian ‘Mother Goddess’. is justifiably one of Brittany’s most famous megalithic sites.

it still retains its original mound of earth. although it is a covered alley. and it is great fun to scramble in and out of the cave made by the stones. It is owned by the Finistère Archaeology Society. As its name implies. is on the edge of the town of Brennilis. D36 La Feuillée D7 64 Brennilis Brenniliz Huelgoat Carhaix Bellevue P Brennilis Ty ar Boudiged Loqueffret Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 25 . the Ty ar Boudiged was once thought to have been inhabited by fairy-folk. It is one of the most unusual megaliths in Central Brittany because. House of the Fairies). but this is one of the few that have withstood the test of time.MENEZ AREZ 10 Ty ar Boudiged La Maison des Fées The Ty ar Boudiged (Maison des Fées. It is thought that all dolmens and covered alleys were once buried in this way. This is an exceptionally pleasant site. which excavated the site in 1991 (but found nothing of interest).

Châteauneuf-du-Faou St-Goazec Croaz an Teurec Trimen D6 D41 Castel Ruphel Roc’h Toull Scaër Roudouallec 26 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . and at the beginning of the last century. Situated in the middle of a field. three menhirs once stood by the little hamlet of Trimen. remains. and tallest. Two have fallen.11 MENEZ DU St-Goazec Trimen Menhir Sant-Goazeg Trimen means three stones. it is clearly visible from the road. whereas from the side it is hardly noticeable. Its front and back sides are flat and very wide. but the last.

and today it is still home to a variety of interesting stones. many of the smaller alignments have disappeared. and also beside the Châteauneuf-du-Faou road. but the rest have fallen and been removed. is another menhir St-Goazec of the same height. not so much for its size. The small alignment of three stones at Croaz-an-Teurec is remarkable. The stones are not hard to find as they actually stretch across the road. but for the fact that it exists at all. The area has always been known for its megaliths. there were once many more menhirs in this alignment. two on one side and one on the other. Croaz an Teurec Trimen D6 D41 Castel Ruphel Roc’h Toull alignment Gourin Scaër Roudouallec D1 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 27 . Over the millennia. but at Croaz-an-Teurec there are three stones still standing. is the name given to the hills which stretch south-east from around Châteaulin to Gourin and Plouray. According to tradition.MENEZ DU 12 Sant-Goazeg Croaz-an-Teurec Alignment St-Goazec The Montagnes Noires (Breton: Menez Du). Close by.

like a card house. In his wrath the giant laid his hands on any stones he could find.e. i. and hurled them in quick succession after the retreating pair. together with the guardsman. and by the time Rufel noticed their absence. A popular story tells how it was once the home of the Giant Rufel. These are the menhirs which abound in the area.13 St-Goazec MENEZ DU Castel-Rufel Sant-Goazeg The interesting covered alley of Castel-Rufel (Menez an Duc in Breton) is in the heart of the Montagnes Noires. Luckily the giant’s daughter. There is an abandoned quarry at the foot of the hill. One day one of the guardsmen ran away with the giant’s daughter. known as Châteauneuf-du-Faou St-Goazec the St-Jean Menhir (facing page). the couple had got as far as Scaër. and the area around the covered alley is uncultivated. with the stones leaning against each other for support. but one of the largest. but the stones which Rufel had thrown. is still standing today. Trimen D6 Croaz an Teurec D41 Castel Ruphel Gourin Scaër Roudouallec D1 28 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . lay scattered across the whole length of the Menez Du. which is also the site of an ancient hill fort. Many have been removed. who was chief of the area and occupied the hill fort. including some from his own house (explaining the alley’s dilapidated condition). It is at the top of one of the highest hills in the area. It is quite different from most of the other covered alleys in Brittany in that it is built in the arc-boutée style. where he lived with his daughter and a band of soldiers. succeeded in escaping.

This Christian festival is the successor to the ancient Summer Solstice celebration. large enough for a person to sit on quite comfortably! Unusually.MENEZ DU 14 Skaer Saint-Jean Menhir Scaër The St-Jean Menhir stands near the town of Scaër. see story opposite. between the hamlets of St-Jean and MinéSt-Jean. St-Thurien Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 29 . and it is probable that this has been a holy site for thousands of years. Coray Chateauneufdu-Faou D4 le Faouët Gourin D78 2 Scaër D78 2 D6 St-Jean Menhir Miné St-Jean St-Jean Menhir. It does not possess the spherical perfection of many menhirs. on the D6 to St-Thurien. and has numerous lumps and cracks on its surface. and very characterfully shaped. The menhir stands near the St-Jean chapel and hamlet. where the festival of St-Jean was celebrated annually. and there is a tree-lined path leading up to it. It is a famous landmark in the area. there is even a ledge one-third of the way up. the stone is surrounded by a low stone wall.

D 76 7 D1 5 Guénézan Guingamp 30 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . from the front and back it appears enormous. but a glance from the side reveals it to be remarkably thin. It is close to the small hamlet of Keguezennec. forded by an ancient stone bridge. This menhir. The menhir is in a field. It is a curiously-shaped stone. in the heart of the countryside. a pretty little river. near the town of Bégard. although they are separated Brélidy by quite large distances.15 GUINGAMP AREA Kerguezennec Menhir Bégard Bear The Keguezennec Menhir is north-west of Guingamp. however. and is not particularly easy to find. seem to be in line with each other. Once you are on the right road. Lannion Menhir A few metres down the road a sunken pathway leads off to Bégard Kerguezennec the ruisseau de Kerogan. it becomes visible from a good distance away. but access on foot is quite easy. together with those at Pédernec and Louargat (see next two pages).

A small iron bar at the Guénézan Lannion Bégard top of the menhir is all that D7 67 Parc Lan Bihan remains of a statue of Saint Menhir Kergillouard Braz Min Hir Peter. RAILWAY Pédernec D1 5 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 31 . one of the region’s highest hills. Guingamp Beside the stone is a la Gare crooked sweet chestnut tree. this menhir is not well signposted. which was fixed there Louargat in 1878. In spite of its fame. It is situated in the hilly countryside west of Guingamp and has a fine view over the Menez Bré.GUINGAMP AREA 16 Pédernec Menhir Pédernec Pederneg The massive menhir near Pédernec is one of Brittany’s largest. It is down a track off the D15 from Bégard to Louargat: look out for a lane between two houses in the hamlet of Parc Lan Bihan.

17 GUINGAMP AREA Pergat Menhir Louargat Louergad A visit to the Pergat Menhir is an unforgettable experience. must once have formed a small alignment. together with the other stones. and it is a breathtaking sight when the stone first comes into view. and between these is a larger.50 metres (25 ft). small menhir is situated some metres away. surrounded by trees. The Pergat Menhir is believed to be 7000 years old. at Kerguezennec. recumbent menhir. appear to be in line with BEGARD each other. and measures approximately 7. A short path leads to it from the road. Another. Menhir D31 P Pluzunet D1 5 Menez Bré Pedernec menhir Kerguezennec menhir Louargat Morlaix N12 Guingamp PEDERNEC Pergat menhir LOUARGAT Directions: 32 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . Pédernec Bégard Pergat Braz and Pergat. The site is well visited and famous in the area. la Gare RAILWAY It is interesting to note that the three menhirs. The menhir stands in a wet glade. which.

with at least 12 menhirs and dolmens within its borders or close by. it is one of the richest megalithic sites in Central Brittany. St-Servais Callac Kerroux Izellan Milin Kerroux Moulin de le Bourg-Neuf le Bourg-Neuf Clojou les Jumeaux forest menhir Maël-Pestivien Kerroux Kerbernes Kercoutois Kerpinson Duault Kerangle Toul-an-Urz Dent de St-Servais Convenant Bercot St-Nicodème Linglay Kercam Kerparquic Kerivoal Convenant Picaign Convenant Guernoquin Tilting menhir. At around 4 metres (12 ft) tall. which are often hidden by trees.FOREST OF DUAULT 18 Kercoutois Menhir St-Servais Sant-Servez The Forest of Duault lies between the villages of Duault and Saint-Servais. it is a fairsized stone. None of these are signposted. however. Kerroux P Ivy-covered menhir Kehamon Convenant Hoat Roudou-Laerez menhir P Gorges du Corong Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 33 . close to the hamlets of Kercutois and Kerpinson. and it takes a little ingenuity and perseverance to locate all the stones. Occupying a series of rocky hills. The forest menhir is situated in the middle of a fire break.

and in Summer may be closely planted with crops. and there was once a third.) Les Jumeax 34 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . even smaller.19 FOREST OF DUAULT The Twin Menhirs Saint-Servais Sant-Servez The twin menhirs near Milin-Kerroux have truly stood side by side for countless centuries. in line with the first two. One is markedly taller than the other. The menhirs are in a farmer’s field. (See map on page 33 for their specific location.



La Dent de Saint-Servais
This is the tallest menhir of the forest, and the most impressive in the area. Although well-visited, it gives the impression of being quite lost among the trees. A small forest path leads to the stone from the road which runs to Convenat Bercot. Dent de St-Servais literally means ‘The tooth of St-Servais’, and a story tells how a giant once lost his teeth in the forest. The menhir’s shape is definitely reminiscent of a tooth. There are several stones nearby which could well be fallen menhirs. (See map page 33.)

Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany




D10 D10

St-Pol-de-Léon Carantec
8 D5




D7 86



Lesneven le Folgoët Landivisiau








D3 0






D7 69



1 D1



le Conquet


PlougastelDaoulas Daoulas
N1 65

El Sizun or n






D10 7








D7 65

11 12 13
O t de


D 76


Menez Du





Brittany's Major Megalithic Sites
1 3 48 49 50 Kerloas Menhir - Tallest Menhir Bénodet Pont-l’Abbé Barnenez - Largest Megalithic Cairn Carnac - Largest concentration of Megaliths Champ-Dolent - World's second-highest Menhir Roche-aux-Fées - World's largest Dolmen
85 D7

D76 Bannalec 5

D78 3



Rosporden D765






3 1







Camaret-s.-Mer Crozon




re z A n e Brennilis




7 10
D7 64


Berrien D42










The coloured numbers on the map correspond to the colour and number at the top of each page.

Perros-Guirec Trégastel Lannion
D7 86

Tréguier la RocheDerrien



D7 67



7 D78



Trieu x







Plouha Etables-sur-Mer


Louargat Belle-Isle-en-Terre
2 Bourbriac






D7 87

D7 69



D D4 ao4 u




N16 4 Rostrenen








D79 0

le Faouët D782
o rff


D7 64

D1 7





40 St-Mayeux Uzel COTES D'ARMOR 37 39 38 Gouarec 35 Caurel 36 Mûr-de-Bretagne re nc 41 Poula Loudéac







19 18 24 20 21 Locarn 22 St-Nicolasdu-Pélem Plussulien
D2 3









MaëlStPestivien Servais

32 26 31 33 34 St Gilles 30 Pligeaux Quintin 29 le VieuxBourg Plœuc-s.-Lié 28 27 Corlay





N12 Lamballe
























D76 8



Bla ve t

D78 3
D6 2









VANNES Auray 45 Musée 46 Crach d'Histoire et 44 d'Archéologie LarmorPlouharnel 47 48
D7 68
N1 65

D1 7


Musée de la Préhistoire



Menhir Brisé

Sarzeau Damgan








D1 7

N an tes

D778 D8

st re

D7 64



al an


N24 Josselin

6 D2






St-JeanBrévelay Plumelec

D7 79

va Lan





which harks back to the days when wolves and bears roamed the forest. and shortly before the road finishes. near the hamlet of Kerangle. It is not surrounded by trees.21 FOREST OF DUAULT Covered Alley Toul an Urz Duault Duaod The Toul an Urz covered alley sits on a hillside right on the edge of the Forest of Duault. which makes it easier to find than the other stones in the forest. Unusually. See map p. is the covered alley. Toul an Urz ('le trou de l’ours' in French) means ‘bear hole’. It is hard to tell whether the alley is half in ruins. Alternatively. and is thinner and much larger than the others. girls wanting to find a husband would slide down a sloping stone such as this one. 33. for ‘Kerangle’. or purposely built that way. in a field on the right. one of the three capstones slopes right down to the ground. turn down a small track in the hamlet of Bourg-Neuf. Directions: On the road from St-Servais to Duault. Near the top of the hill. 38 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . Traditionally. there is a splendid sunken pathway which leads to Kerangle from Linglay.

is the fine menhir called Paotr St-Servais Saout. This picturesque. It is known locally as Duault the ‘Guardian of Locarn’. with magnificent views and interesting rocky outcrops to explore. Near the hamlet of le Guellec. including a curiP ously-shaped stone (above). D31 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 39 . Landes de Locarn Locarn menhir on the path to the Gorges du Corong. and Forest of Duault is featured on all the signGorges du posts in the commune. and just by the carpark which gives access to the heath and the ‘Gorges du Corong’. natural heathland is a haven for wildlife and Nature. There P Corong are several other menhirs in menhir le Guellec St-Nicodème the vicinity.FOREST OF DUAULT 22 Paotr Saout Locarn Lokarn To the south of the Forest of Duault is the more open terrain known as the ‘Landes de Locarn’.

Kernescop le Moulin Quélén Lohuec Calanhel 1 D1 Plourac’h D2 8 Callac 40 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . The alley itself is somewhat in disrepair. It is in the corner of a field and there is an exceptionally pleasant path leading up to it.23 ARGOAT Covered Alley at Kernescop Lohuec Lohueg The ancient ‘allée couverte’ at Kernescop is close to the Forest of Beffou. and makes a rewarding visit.

The dolmen is on a bank between two fields. Close by is another. They fill people’s gardens. Maël-Pestivien D28 D2 St-Servais 8 Ker Laurent Kerien Coat Hamon St-Nicodème D20 Kerrolland Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 41 . The two stones are in excellent condition and make for a very satisfactory visit. rise up in the middle of fields. and in some places line the roadway. squat stone known as a stele. and there is a short path which leads to it from the road. The Roc’h Toul Dolmen is on a hill a few kilometres outside Maël Pestivien. It is signposted from the centre of the village and can be found without too much difficulty.ARGOAT 24 Maël-Pestivien Roc’h Toul Dolmen Mêl-Pestiven The area around the village of Maël-Pestivien is littered with standing stones and granite boulders.

There is also another.25 Glomel ARGOAT Glomel Menhirs Groñvel Glomel is home to one of the region’s most impressive menhirs . smaller menhir in the wood next to the Château of Coat-Couraval (left). at present. The stone is surrounded by trees.perhaps the third largest in Brittany (below). and there are picnic benches nearby. Rostrenen Ker-Sioul menhir Glomel D5 le Menhir D8 5 Nantes à Brest Canal Étang du Coronc Ste-Christine Château de Coat-Couraval menhir Kerblouz 42 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . not possible. due to the presence of barbed wire fencing. Unfortunately. in the aptly-named hamlet ‘le Menhir’. It is within walking distance of the village. direct access to the menhir itself is.

it is one D22 of Brittany’s tallest menhirs. just south of the village of Plésidy. The menhir is set in a secluded. It is well signposted and well maintained. menhir D5 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 43 .ARGOAT 26 Plijidi Cailouan Menhir Plésidy The Cailouan menhir is situated in the heart of Central Brittany. St-Nicolasdu-Pélem Quintin although some sources have Magoar mistakenly claimed it to be Trolan Cailouan much larger. There is also Plésidy 67 Bourbriac D7 a spring close by. grassy area protected from the surrounding farmland by Guingamp banks and trees. on the D5. At around 8 metres (26 ft) high.

near St-Nicolas-duPlésidy / Bourbriac Rossil Pélem. D5 St-Nicolas-du-Pélem Rossil Menhir 44 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . St-Nicolas-duIt is over 7 metres (23 ft) tall Pélem 90 D7 and is said to be the fourth most Corlay / substantial standing stone in Rostrenen Quintin Brittany. It is in an unspoilt setting amongst oak trees on the edge menhir of the Bois des Tourelles.27 ARGOAT Sant-Nikolaz-ar-Pelem Also known as the Menhir of Coat-Castel. this spectacular stone can be reached by a short walk along a well-trodden path from Rossil.

and D28 commands splendid views over le Vieux-Bourg / Quintin the surrounding countryside. St-GillesThe stone is close to a farm in Pligeaux the hamlet of Kergornec. D767 Kergornec Menhir menhir Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 45 . It is one of the la Clarté tallest menhirs in the region. A weathered oak tree is growing close to Corlay the stone. and there are several Kergornec rocky boulders of unknown origin.ARGOAT 28 St-Gilles-Pligeaux Sant-Jili-Plijo The Kergornec Menhir stands at the top of a hill 280 metres above sea level. and is at the end of a steep track.

The second of the two is at present topped with a very large stone cross. near the hamlet of Pasqiou. but due to time and weathering. abruptly narrowing to a point. are just beside the road which leads from SaintGilles to le Vieux-Bourg (formerly the main road from Quintin to Callac). the neolithic monuments are once again regaining their original form. There are numerous examples in Brittany of such ‘Christianized’ menhirs.29 VIEUX-BOURG MENHIRS le Vieux-Bourg Menhirs of the Croix de Pasquiou Bourc’h-Kintin The two ‘Croix de Pasquiou’ menhirs. St-GillesPligeaux D2 8 Jarnay Pasquiou le Vieux-Bourg / Quintin Penfel 46 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . Both the stones are large and rounded.

menhir Pasquiou Porzic St-GillesPligeaux D2 8 le VieuxBourg Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 47 . Nearby. and particularly menhirs. and can become obscured near harvest time. Both sites are often closely planted with crops. It is in the middle of a large field and is not much taller than a person. down a farm track. There is a very picturesque menhir near to the hamlet of Pasquiou. It is some way off the road. there is a little dolmen. on the other side of the road. The town is proud of its prehistoric past and all of the sites are accessible.VIEUX-BOURG MENHIRS 30 Menhir near Pasquiou le Vieux-Bourg Bourc’h-Kintin The commune of le Vieux-Bourg is home to many megaliths.

Directly below the St-Gildas menhir is Pasquiou the hamlet Kerdalmez of Porzic. there is a fine view over the hilly country surrounding le Vieux-Bourg. The setting is very striking. and is on top of a steep hill.31 VIEUX-BOURG MENHIRS le Vieux-Bourg Porzic Menhir Bourc’h-Kintin Just a little further down the road from the Pasquiou Menhir. Porzic menhir le VieuxSt-GillesPligeaux D2 8 Bourg 48 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . and behind the stone is a remarkable collection of enormous granite boulders. is the imposing Porzic Menhir. It is difficult to know whether or not these stones are of natural origin or whether they reflect some megalith-related activity. The stone is set back a little way from the road.

there is another. and sits in the middle of an open field. slightly smaller menhir. is a small tumulus. and in line with the menhirs. A little further on. but on the other side of the road.VIEUX-BOURG MENHIRS 32 Menhirs near Botudo le Vieux-Bourg Bourc’h-Kintin The collection of megaliths around the village of Botudo is quite intriguing: the largest of the menhirs is extremely squat. Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 49 . A stone cross has been erected between the two stones at Botudo. adding another element to the ‘sacred line’. which is covered over with bracken. A glance at the map shows that the even-larger menhir at the Ville-Juhel is in the same line. Within a short distance of this.

and then Pont-aux-Prêtres menhir the tumulus: it is impossible to know for certain what the St-Gilles. and the Connan three taken together go from Botudo largest (Pont-aux-Prêtres).D28 significance of this arrangePligeaux D28 ment might have been. The stone is similar to the other menhirs in the region. Keramel la Ville Juhel medium. measuring at least 5 metres (16 ft). smallest . is the Pont-au-Prêtres Menhir. le VieuxQuintin D6 3 Bourg 50 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . It seems to be in some Kernanouët sort of sequence with the two Tumulus St-Gildas menhirs Stmenhirs near Botudo. It is in a field but clearly visible from the road. but taller.33 VIEUX-BOURG MENHIRS Pont-au-Prêtres Menhir le Vieux-Bourg Bourc’h-Kintin Between le Vieux-Bourg and the hamlet of La Ville Juhel.

Cohiniac / N12 D7 Quintin D28 le VieuxBourg park D790 / Corlay menhir Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 51 . There is a track which leads to the stone from the lake and small park just beside Quintin. The menhir has a peculiar shape: although tall it is not very wide.VIEUX-BOURG MENHIRS 34 La Roche Longue Quintin Kintin The Roche Longue stands on a hill outside the picturesque medieval town of Quintin. and at its base it becomes so narrow that it is hard to imagine how the great weight above is being supported. This menhir is one of the best known and most visited in Brittany. It is in very attractive surroundings.

where the river Daoulas cuts through a precipitous.35 DAOULAS & POULANCRE Covered Alleys of Liscuis Laniscat Lanniskad The countryside between Gouarec and Mûr-de-Bretagne is characterized by steep hills. Probably the most spectacular spot in the area is the Daoulas Gorge. and used to create the spectacular monuments which are known today as the covered alleys of Liscuis. This area has been quarried for its stone throughout recorded history. rocky slopes and fast-flowing rivers. 52 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany Liscuis I . and in Neolithic times enormous slabs of the local schist were hauled to the top of the heights. gorse-clad rock formation.

it is in excellent Gouarec D44 condition. along the ridge and round the three monuments. Together. and visitors can covered alleys climb inside and over it Liscuis Daoulas with ease. They are in close proximity to each other and arranged in a triangle formation. Liscuis III Liscuis II Liscuis I Liscuis III Liscuis II Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 53 . with a covered alley at each point. There is a spectacular path which leads up the side of the Gorge. all standing in natural heathland. Liscuis II and Liscuis III).DAOULAS & POULANCRE 35 Liscuis II There are three alleys in total (Liscuis I. Although it is almost completely buried beneath the Laniscat D76 ground. Archaeologists Gorge N164 Caurel have suggested that the Bon Repos Nantes/Brest Canal Abbey three covered alleys were built at different times. they make up one of Brittany’s most spectacular sites. Liscuis II is the largest. and that the Neolithic people added to the site over many centuries.

It is built from the local schist and situated on the side of a rocky hill overlooking the Lac de Guerlédan. early 1900s Caurel Botminy Mûr-deBretagne Lac de Guerlédan 54 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . and perhaps gives a clue to the size of the people who built these monuments. just large enough for a person to climb through. Corn Coat Corn er Hoet Gouarec N21 64 Coat Correc N16 4 Coet-Correc. dry-stone arch which covers one end of the alley. It was built at the end of the 1800s by a religious farmer. and it still remains today. about half its original size. carved in the stones on one side of the structure. Access is gained by a path leading through a wood and across a field. The megalith itself is half-buried in the ground. and originally supported a cross. At the time of its construction. but it was renovated in 1987.) Another peculiar feature of this site is a large. this hole must have been the only entrance and exit. The arch collapsed during the site’s excavation. There are a few things which make this site unusual: there is a hole.36 DAOULAS & POULANCRE Covered Alley at Coët-Correc Caurel Kaorel The Coët-Correc covered alley is similar to those at Liscuis. (It is now quite easy to scramble in and out because many of the stones have gone.

DAOULAS & POULANCRE 37 Caurel Porz Guillo Menhir Kaorel Bodenhours St-Mayeux The fine menhir of Porz Guillo overlooks the hamlet after which it is named. Porz Guillo Ty Min Toull Du menhir Corn Coat Gouarec N21 64 N16 4 Mûr-deBretagne Caurel Botminy Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 55 . The menhir is on top of a steep hill. called the Menhir of Ty Min. It is tilting to one side. and a little further on is a second stone. but has not moved in living memory.

Corlay D767 la Croix Laniscat / Gouarecc SaintMayeux menhir D6 9 St-GillesVieux-Marché Mur-deBretagne D7 67 church & yew at St-Mayeux 56 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . but is attractively situated in a mown field.the Menhir du Bourg .38 DAOULAS & POULANCRE Menhir du Bourg St-Mayeux Sant-Vaeg St-Mayeux is a small town in the rocky heathland between the Poulancre and Daoulas rivers. There is one menhir within the limits of the town itself . The menhir is made from rough schist. It is not particularly large. and there are several megaliths in the area.on the rue du Menhir which leads out to St-Gilles-Vieux-Marché. close to the famous prehistoric axe factory at Quelfennec. The village is very proud of its heritage. and is close to the road.

(For directions. a large. A small path leads from the road into a thicket. Further on is the ‘Mein al Has’ (Rock of the Cat) (below).) Mein al Has and Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 57 .a high point close to St-Mayeux (and now topped with a radio antenna). and past the tumulus ‘Tombeau du Gaulois’ (above). irregular menhir. which is worth a visit in its own right.DAOULAS & POULANCRE 39 the Tombeau du Gaulois St-Mayeux Sant-Vaeg There are several megaliths in the area around the Roc’h ar Lein . see map overleaf.

The menhir is easy to find. and stands today in a conifer plantation. St-Mayeux Kertanguy Corlay le Rohanno Mein al Has tumulus D7 67 Roc'h ar Lein la Croix Mur-deBretagne SaintMayeux 58 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . ‘Roc’h ar Lein’ (Rock of the Summit). It is surrounded by large rocks. as it is in the very middle of the path leading up the hillside.40 DAOULAS & POULANCRE Roc’h ar Lein Sant-Vaeg The most famous menhir of the StMayeux area is named after the hill upon which it stands.

One end is ruined. ‘Bot er Mohed’ means Fairy Grotto in Breton . and is made from huge stones. The site affords a fine view over the surrounding area. The monument is in a beautiful setting. but the other is still in excellent condition. and close to Breuil du Chêne (above).a common theme in local names for dolmens and covered alleys. in a grassy field.CLEGUEREC 41 Bot-erMohed Cléguérec Klegereg ‘Bot er Mohed’ lies on the edge of the forest of Quénécan. and must once have been a place of some importance: the covered alley is over 18 metres in length. Breuil du la Madeleine Chêne Bot er Mohed P Quénécan Forest Kerdréan Silfiac D15 St-Aignan D18 Cléguérec D15 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 59 . the highest point of the forest.

has a peculiar resident: Jean Babouin (below). This unique figure has always been counted as a megalith . near Trédion. north of Vannes. The stone upon which the figure is carved does resemble a menhir. (Directions opposite page) 60 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . but no one can say for sure to what period the carving itself belongs.even though there are no similar megalithic remains elsewhere. There is another stone a few metres away which is known as Jeanne Babouine (above).42 FOREST OF LANVAUX Jean Babouin Trédion The forest of Lanvaux.

to create an interesting underground cave.FOREST OF LANVAUX 43 Loge aux Loups Trédion The semi-ruined covered alley. Plumelec D1 Trédion D1 33 Babouin & Babouine Bois de Kerfily D1 Lerman La Loge aux Loups Bois de Lanvaux Elven P Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 61 . perhaps once inhabited by wolves. between the forests of Lanvaux and Kerfily. The Lanvaux area is home to many other megaliths. scattered all over with fallen menhirs’. which combine a classic table ‘dolmen’. with a row of stones propped up against one another underneath. a traveller in the early 1800s described it as ‘a vast heathland. the ‘Loge aux Loups’ (House of the Wolves) is one of the most unusual megaliths in Brittany. It is set in beautiful woodland.. Archaeologists are intrigued by its mixture of styles..

allowing visitors to walk amongst the stones at any time of the day or night. There is an impressive collection of menhirs on either side of the road. contains by far the greatest concentration of megalithic remains in Brittany. which actually cuts through the Alignment at one end. and some enormous cairns . and the surrounding countryside. The top of one of these has been strangely smashed by repeated strokes of lightning. The menhirs can be accessed from the ErdévenPlouharnel road. are another group of much larger stones. The path continues and leads on to several other megalithic sites in the area. The region has over half of Brittany’s individual menhirs. page 64) 62 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . down a path. countless dolmens. the world. and a little further on. and are not fenced off.but it is the remarkable rows of standing stones that have made it famous.44 CARNAC STONES Kerzerho Alignments Erdéven An Ardeven Carnac. or. in the commune of Erdéven. The Kerzerho alignments. (Directions. known as the ‘Géants de Kerzerho’. They are less well known than the alignments in Carnac itself. indeed. are one of the most rewarding sites to visit in the area.

(see map overleaf). They are the vestiges of much larger alignements .but still well worth seeing. both in the commune of Plouharnel. and the Vieux Moulin. A specially-made path passes close to the stones in several places. and on to the dolmen at Mané-Groh. These are the alignments of SteBarbe. through a land of woods and heath.CARNAC STONES 45 Lost Stones of Kerzerho An Ardeven The Kerzerho alignments continue for another two kilometres. There are two other important concentrations of menhirs between Erdéven and Carnac. affording visitors an excellent opportunity to explore them. Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany D7 81 Vieux-Moulin D7 68 Plouharnel Petit Kerlescan Ménec Kermario D781 Carnac 63 . (Directions page 64) Erdeven Kerzerho D105 Erdéven Ploemel Ste-Barbe le Ménec D1 19 Map of menhir alignments in the Carnac region. The path leads past the dolmen at Mané Braz.

near the village of Kerbernès. Mané Groh (also known as Mané Croch) is near the village of Crucuno. Its name means ‘The Sorceress’ Hill’. in 1923. It was excavated by the famous Carnacborn archaeologist. occupies a high hill. as its name implies (large hill). Zacharie le Rouzic. who found pottery and a few tools. and stands beside the road.46 CARNAC STONES Mané Braz & Mané Groh Erdéven An Ardeven The dolmens of Mané Braz (above) and Mané Groh (below) are both well worth a visit. Erdeven Kerzerho Kerzerho alignment for D105 Keredo St-Sauveur P est sto nes Mané Braz D7 81 Kerbernès Mané Groh P Crucuno Plouharnel / Carnac 64 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . Mané Braz. It is surrounded by trees and is still in good condition.

CARNAC STONES 47 Dolmen of Crucuno Erdéven An Ardeven The dolmen of Crucuno is another very wellknown Breton megalith. presumably to meet the need for building stone in the village. and its distinctive shape features on many brochures and books about Brittany. Much of this has been dismantled over the past few centuries.) Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 65 . the monument was much more extensive and there was a long covered alley leading to the main dolmen. covered with one massive capstone – high enough for a person to stand without stooping. What remains today is a snug enclosure. This megalith. The dolmen is in the centre of the Crucuno hamlet. which seems strangely unworldly in its modern setting. see facing page. At one time. pressed up against the gable of an old farm building. it is amongst the most photographed in the region. (For directions. has been incorporated into village life in various ways over the past 200 years.

there is free access to the stones.Tel: 02 97 55 86 34 66 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . In general. and many are larger at the top than at the base. The first three groups are now surrounded by a fence. There are four separate groups of stones. call: 02 97 52 29 81 A welcome rest can be found at one of the ‘P Chevillard’ tea shops in the Carnac vicinity: CARNAC VILLE 2 rue du Tumulus . finally.Tel: 02 97 52 01 27 LA TRINITE-SUR-MER Cours des Quais . Thirdly. Next is that of Kermario: here the stones are larger.100 metres. see map on page 63. they are less well-shaped than single menhirs. which are probably just an extension of the Kerlescan rows. which wind across the countryside. For directions.Tel: 02 97 52 05 56 CARNAC PLAGE Avenue Miln . and extend over a length of 1.000 stones. In all cases the menhirs tend to be larger on the higher ground to the west. there are the Kerlescan Alignments. and contains well over 1.48 CARNAC STONES The Great Alignments Carnac Karnag The alignments situated to the north of Carnac attract many more visitors than any other megalithic site in Brittany. The most westerly is at Ménec. but in the tourist season access is very limited. those at Petit-Ménec. For more information. and access is limited. and become smaller as the ground slopes away. and. The stones are found in nine to eleven parallel rows. During wintertime. which comprise around 380 menhirs.

The menhir is within sight of Dol-de-Bretagne. N176 Dol-deBretagne D Avranches 4 le Champ-Dolent Combourg Menhir P Epiniac Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 67 . page 15. which is made of pink granite. the armies ceased fighting and made peace. At nearly 10m (32 ft) it is close to being the tallest standing stone in the world. (It is generally agreed that this stone is fractionally smaller than the menhir at Kerloas. At one time it was surmounted by an iron cross .CHAMP-DOLENT 49 Champ-Dolent Menhir Dol-de-Bretagne Dol The menhir at Champ-Dolent is another world-famous Breton megalith.but all trace of this has now disappeared. polished stone at its base has been a companion of the great menhir for as long as anyone can remember.) The stone. One tells how a battle was once fought here between Dinan two feuding brothers. There are many legends D 4 surrounding this stone. and amazed by the miracle. was brought from a quarry 4km away. The small. the city founded by Saint Samson and the spiritual capital of Brittany. When the fighting was at its height the menhir sprang up between the two sides.

It is built from enormous pieces of red Cambrian schist. and high enough to walk in with ease. The stone passage is 20 metres long. and if the numbers they obtained were within two of each other. Janzé Rennes D99 Essé 41 D3 D9 Roche aux Fées 9 1 D4 la Couyere D92 la Roche P Theil-de-Bretagne 68 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . giving it an historical significance on a par with Stonehenge or the pyramids of Egypt. their marriage would be a happy one. and proceed round the monument in opposite directions. lovers would come here at twilight. they would count the stones. The Roche-aux-Fées is set in well-kept parkland. is the largest and most well-preserved dolmen structure in the world today. and surrounded by the last trees of the ancient forest of Rouvray.50 ROCHE AUX FÉES Roche-aux-Fées Essé Ezieg The Roche aux Fées. originally excavated from a rock formation 4km from the current site. just south of the city of Rennes. Traditionally.

DOLMEN OF ROC’H TOUL 36 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 69 .

les (St-Servais) 4. it en lie hi s r’ w sh o at ul te d re d 70 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany .MENHIR SIZES MENHIR SIZES It is hard to ever give an exact size for a menhir.5m Mein al Has (St-Mayeux) 3.5m Pont-aux-Prêtres (Vieux-Bourg) 5.35m Paotr Saout (Locarn) 4.75m Kergornec (St-Gilles) 7m Kerguezennec (Bégard) 6m Kerloas (St-Renan) 9.3m & 3m Kerampeulven (Berrien) 5. te Do n. Babouin (Trédion) 1. m ir ta e os a lle -B M tG ts st re en ub lo m tag Be hi en n st me f r an l hi e. an ur od r. in ela sto ton e n d ta d A nhir ne lle sto Co d’s ne e ho o ar st n .8m Croix de Pasquiou (Vieux Bourg) 4m Dent de St-Servais 7m Kercoutois Menhir.5m Pergat (Louargat) 7. The ground around the stone can change so dramatically even over the course of a few years. The following heights are mainly based on sizes given by the archaeologist PierreRoland Giot. It th i . and from individual reports on the Internet.1m Wedding Party. tia is a et li e re gh rlo ls m s tn a to on ta in s. tallest (St-Goazec) 2.42m Botudo. (St-Servais) 3. day n M 9.2m Porzic (Vieux-Bourg) 6m Roc’h ar Lein (St-Mayeux) 4. tallest (Brasparts) 1. s ll.35m Roche Longue (Quintin) 7m Rossil (St-Nicolas-du-Pelem) 7m St-Jean (Scaër) 7m Trimen (St-Goazec) 4. tallest (Vieux Bourg) 4m Caillouan (Plésidy) 8m Champ-Dolent (Dol) 9m Cloître (le) (Huelgoat) 6m Croas an Teurec. that it would be impossible to give a precise figure. ro ke ee To p.5m Pedernec 7.7m Pasquiou (Vieux-Bourg) 3. es ta t B .7m Glomel (hameau du Menhir) 9m Jumeaux. st s Th fo le Ea an e r t nt st ds ta gr he n Yo in lle ea w ear st t rk a or D m sh an e ld o ire d nh 's l-d . Br st d itt Lo ru ay an ck ’s c y’s ha ma of tal ve ria f i le ts st in s q ue to st fo to p. t tc fC Br m mo Kild alle an ha idl en n s ing hir oli are t di m da pto . it di hu ov Th w ng ge er e ‘ as s pi 18 Gre 12 ton ec m a e. Otherwise they have been obtained from measurements quoted by Gwenc’hlan Le Scouezec in Bretagne Megalithique. in the book Bretagne des Megalithes. ne g ll. nch ong ey ain e i Ir e s M ar ’s Ru r.6m 19m 18m 17m 16m 15m 14m 13m 12m 11m 10m 9m 8m 7m 6m 5m 4m 3m 2m 1m T G of he m re Pu L gr B av rit Th enh at. g To s.1m Kergadiou (Plourin) 8. m ore of K r.

com Musée d’Histoire et d’Archéologie de Vannes.hir (menhir) long stone mane (mané) hill.GLOSSARY Modern Breton words associated with traditional names for megaliths.nezertbooks. tumulus kastell (kastel) castle kazh (has) cat kêr (ker) village koad (c’ Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany WEBSITES: BOOKS: 71 .megalithic. coat. Tel: 02 97 52 22 La Bretagne des Mégalithes. www. 10 Place de la Chapelle.English leskiñ (lescan) burning lok (loc) hermitage maen. www. and artifacts. whose finds and research form the core of the museum’s exhibits. in French. Excellent French guide to almost every one of Brittany’s menhirs and dolmens. A collection of twenty-seven traditional Breton fairy stories. and southern Brittany. www. goat. mound marv (mario) dead meineg (menec) stony place menez montain meur great mor sea paotr-saout cowherd park (parc) field penn (pen) headland peulvan (peulven) stone. Bethan Lewis. koat) forest korrigan pixie kroaz (croaz) cross lein height MuSEuMS: More Information Musée de Préhistoire.montcocher. Glossary Breton . Traditional Fairy Stories of Brittany.James Miln and Zacharie Le Rouzic. Unfortunately. menhir plou parish porzh (pors) farmyard roc’h rock taol (dol) The megalithic portal . www. Éditions Ouest France. The first English guide to Brittany’s megalithic stones. A unique collection of megalithic jewellery. coet. The museum is dedicated to the two great archaeologists . London. Closed Tuesdays. Published 2007. A selection has been included A photographic guide to the megaliths of Ireland and elsewhere. A fascinating collection of exhibits mainly from the Morbihan megalithic monuments. Thames and Hudson.museedecarnac. tools. Rue Noé 56000 VANNES.with more coming on-line all the time. flat taol-maen (dolmen) table stone ti (ty) house toull (toul) hole tri three an the ar the arzh (urz) bear bihan little bras (braz) big du black enez island eured wedding gavr (gavre) goat gwazh (goaz) stream gwrac’h (groh) sorceress hent road hir long karn cairn. CARNAC. www.megalithes-breton. now out of print. www.shadowsandstone. Aubrey Breton megalith This site features some of the stones near Carnac.information and maps for Europe’s megaliths. Megalithic Brittany. mein stone(s) maen . Pierre-Roland Giot. There are numerous websites about Brittany’s stones . Tel: 02 97 01 63 00 The Internet makes an ideal forum for people to exchange photos and information about otherwise little-known megalithic sites. 2.

Toul an urz 38. CoëtCorrec 54. Liscuis 52-53. Kernescop 40. forest 33-35.INDEX Index alignments 8. 70 Kernescop. 34. 24. 70 Dolmen 8. la 51 Roche-aux-Fées 68-69 Rossil Menhir 44 Saint-Gilles-Pligeaux 45 Saint-Goazec 26. Roc’h Toul 41. 19 Crucuno. Toul an urz 38. 23 Finistère 14 . Crucuno 65. 67 Cléguérec 59 Coat-Couraval. 32 Kerloas Menhir 14-15. 46. Summer 29 tallest menhir 15. peninsular 18. 35 Scaër 29 sea 16. dolmen 65 Daoulas and Poulancre 52-59 Daoulas Gorge 52-53 Dent de Saint-Servais 35 Dol-de-Bretagne 67. 28 Saint-Jean Menhir 28. Bot-er-Mohed 59. 28. Menez Du 26-29. forest 40 Bégard 30 Berrien 23 Botudo. Barnenez 17 Camaret-sur-Mer 18 Carnac 10. Menez Arez 20-25. Guingamp area 32. 63. Lostmarc’h 19. MougauBihan 24. 23 Jean Babouin 60 jewellery 10 Jumeaux. 38-39 Forest of Lanvaux 60-61 Gavrinis 6 giants 9. Vieux-Bourg 49. Wedding Party 20. 18. Loge aux Loups 61. 25 fertility rites 9.19 folklore 9 Forest of Beffou 40 Forest of Duault 33-35. Guingamp Area 30-32. covered alley 40 Kerzerho Alignments 62. Mané Braz 64. Forest of Duault 33-39. 50. Lagatjar 18. menhir 58 Roc’h Toul Dolmen 41 Roche Longue. 24 Castel-Rufel 28 Caurel 54. glossary 71 Breuil du Chêne 59 Cailouan Menhir 43 Cairn 8. Liscuis 52-53. Carnac 66 allée couvert see covered alleys Argoat 40-45 Babouin 60 Barnenez. CoëtCorrec 54. 19 Solstice. 64. 27. 32 Pergat Menhir 32 Plésidy 43 Plouezoc’h 17 Plourin 16 Pont-aux-Prêtres Menhir 50 Porz Guillo Menhir 55 Poulancre 56 Quénécan Forest 59 Quintin 51 Rennes 68 Roc’h ar Lein 57. Castel-Rufel 28. Chateau 42 Coët-Correc. Castel-Rufel 28. 29 Saint-Mayeux 56-58 Saint-Nicolas-du-Pélem 44 Saint-Renan 15 Saint-Servais 33. 70 Trimen Menhir 26 tumulus 8. Roche-aux-Fées 68-69 Croaz an Teurec Alignment 27 Croix de Pasquiou Menhirs 46 Crozon 19. Kernescop 40. around the world 7 Mein al Has Menhir 57 Menez Arez 20-25 Menez Bré 31 Menez Du 26-29 menhirs 8. Ty ar Boudiged 25. Pasquiou 47. Daoulas & Poulancre 52-59. Argoat 40-45. 65 Essé 68 fairies 9. 15. Forest of Lanvaux 60-61. Mané Groh 64. place names 12. 62-66 Carnac Alignments 66 carvings 6. forest 60-61 Le Cloître. Brittany 36-37 megaliths. 39 Gouarec 52 Grand Menhir Brisé 9 Guardian of Locarn 39 Guingamp area 30-32 Huelgoat 22. 70 Gorges du Corong 33. covered alley 54 Commana 24 covered alleys 7. 11. Loge aux Loups 61. 38-39 Erdéven 62. Rocheaux-Fées 68-69 Duault 38 Duault. menhir 47 passage grave see covered alleys Pedernec Menhir 31. Mané Braz 64. alignment 19 Louargat 32 Maël-Pestivien 41 Mané Braz 64 Mané Groh 64 map. 70 Tombeau du Gaulois 57 Toul an urz 38 Trédion 60. Botudo 49. les 34 Kerampeulven Menhir 23 Kercoutois forest Menhir 33 Kergadiou Menhirs 15 Kergornec Menhir 45 Kerguezennec Menhir 30. 11. 55 Champ-Dolent Menhir 67 Christianized menhirs 10. menhir 22 Les Jumeax 34 Liscuis. 54. St-Mayeux 57 Twin Menhirs 34 Ty ar Boudiged 25 Ty Min Menhir 55 Vieux-Bourg Menhirs 46-51 Wedding Party Alignment 20 Western Finistère 14-19 72 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . Western Finistère 14-19. 8. covered alleys 52 Locarn 39 Locmariaquer 9 Loge aux Loups 61 Lohuec 40 Lostmarc’h. Carnac Stones 62-66 Menhir du Bourg. Bot-er-Mohed 59. Mougau-Bihan 24. 64 Lagatjar Alignments 18 Landes de Locarn 39 Laniscat 52-53 Lanvaux. menhirs 49. St-Mayeux 56 Montagnes Noires 26-29 Monts d’Arée 20-25 Morgat 19 Morlaix 17 Mougau-Bihan 24 Noce de Pierres 20 Paotr Saout 39 Pasquiou. 35 Glomel menhirs 42. Mané Groh 64. 63. VieuxBourg 46-51. Ty ar Boudiged 25. 17. 50 Bot-er-Mohed 59 Brasparts 20 Brennilis 25 Brest 15 Breton. Kerzerho 62-64. cairn 17 bears 38 Beffou. Croaz-an-Teurec 27. 58.

28 VieUX-BOUrG MenHirs A small commune in which an unusual number of menhirs have survived. Menhir: Single stone.10 Many smaller stones and unusual alignments have survived in this area. sometimes exceptionally tall. centre pages.41 Vannes is one of the ancient centres of Breton culture. Covered Alley: Series of dolmens arranged to form a covered passageway. Table of Contents.14 The rich farmland around Guingamp is home to three unusually-tall menhirs. 42 .34 The high ground between these two rivers is home to some of the most important megalithic sites in Brittany. 11 . cairns. many of which are virtually unknown to the outside world. often tapering towards the top.Brittany’s Megaliths Classified by Region Western Finistere well-formed menhirs. 1 . comprising thousands of standing stones in intricate alignments. 15 . huge stones arranged in a ‘table’ shape. Dolmen: ‘Table stone’. 23 . dolmens.5 Map. the traditional name for Central Brittany. and single menhirs. . Cairn: Stones piled up over dolmens or covered alleys. 18 . and the megaliths in the forest to the north of the city have been well documented over the centuries. aligned with each other though several miles apart. is dotted with stones.48 Types of Megalith Alignment: Standing stones arranged in lines. 44 .22 ‘The Land of Woods’. 29 . perhaps because of its relative remoteness in historical times.43 DAOULAs & POULAnCre FOrest OF LAnVAUX CArnAC stOnes Carnac is home to the most extensive collection of megaliths in the world. covered alleys.17 GUinGAMP AreA FOrest OF DUAULt ArGOAt The largest collection of menhirs in Central Brittany is clustered around the Forest of Duault. 6 . page 5 Famous for its exceptionally tall and Menez Arez Menez DU A wild area of heath and moorland containing many unspoilt megalithic sites. 35 .

7000 BC 31 feet Cailouan Menhir Lagatjar Alignments 26 feet Champ-Dolent Menhir 30 feet St-Jean Menhir Liscuis 23 feet Roche-aux-Fées The Great Alignments. the world’s largest collection of standing stones.Brittany is home to the majority of the world’s most significant megalithic sites . This full-colour guide includes: • detailed information on over 50 megalithic sites • easy-to-use maps and directions • history and folklore associated with the megaliths • a summary of what is known about the megalithic civilisation Cairn at Barnenez Kerloas Menhir c. never to be forgotten. A once-in-a-lifetime experience. the world’s largest dolmen.50 . Carnac A tour of Brittany’s megaliths gives a unique insight into an ancient civilisation about which we know virtually nothing.including the world’s tallest menhirs. 5€ ₤4. and the world’s largest cairn.