This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
and other to the
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
Cover: The Kergadiou Menhir. necklace. Tom Keen: page 28. page 10. Inside front cover: Cailouan Menhir. France ISBN: 952 270 595 2 ©Nezert Books 2009 Printed by Le Fur Imprimerie. . Photographs: Wendy Lewis: pages 1 / 14 / 15 / 17 / 33 top / 34 / 35 / 38 / 41 bottom / 42 bottom / 43 / 44 / 46 / 51 / 67. Special thanks to the residents of Brittany who care for the ancient megaliths and who provide free access to them across their land. BP 231. Z. Alain Goutal for information about menhirs in the Forest of Duault.A de la Villeneuve. 22160 Duault. Plésidy P. Thanks to: Readers of the CBJ for information supplied to ‘Megalith Diary’. 29834 Carhaix. other drawings by the author. Plourin.First Published July 2009 Nezert Books Le Nezert. all other photos by the author. Gareth Lewis: pages 41 top / 68 / 69. Alan Kirton: page 45. le Vieux-Bourg. Thierry Boderhat: page 48. Mary-Ellen Webb: page 42 top. 13: Menhir near Pasquiou. Artwork: Bethan Lewis.
CONTENTS Contents Western Finistere Kerloas Menhir Kergadiou Menhirs Cairn at Barnenez Lagatjar Alignments Alignment at Lostmarc’h no. 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 .
DOL-DE-BRETAGNE Roche-aux-Fées. ESSE 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 Map Centre PAGes Menhir sizes p. 71 .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. 70 GLOssAry Breton .english p.
For instance. Over the years. Brittany is home to many of the world’s most spectacular megaliths: the world’s tallest menhir is to be found in Brittany. menhir means tall stone (men = stone. it was almost universally assumed that the stones were druidic in origin. in Brittany. 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?’. which. as a natural consequence of this.Breton . scattered across the Breton countryside. but none of the explanations have been able to withstand the test of time.INTRODUCTION Brittany has a greater concentration of megalithic stones than any other part of the world. and it is words from the language of Brittany . and the world’s largest megalithic cairn is sited on the north coast of Brittany. There is also a host of lesser-known megalithic stones. It is now thought to be highly unlikely that the druids were involved in such practices. In Breton. Brittany’s capital city. but more importantly. it is now agreed that they long pre-date the arrival of Celtic people.that are universally used to describe different sorts of megaliths. will give the visitor a genuine insight into the mysterious world of Brittany’s megalithic heritage. Current thinking is that most of Brittany’s megalithic stones were set in place around 7000 years ago. it is from this time that the once widespread belief comes that the dolmens were used for human sacrifice. many people have attempted to answer these questions. the world’s largest alignments of megalithic stones occur round Carnac. with regards to the stones themselves. each with its own history and folklore. men = stone). hir = tall) and dolmen means stone table (dol = table. the world’s biggest dolmen is to be found not far from Rennes. and. This would date them alongside the ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia and the Indus valley. theories relating to the stones were based upon what little was known of the druidic religion. 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. on the south coast of Brittany. In the nineteenth century. when taken together. it is designed to provide information about a selection of stones. but the truth is that no one can say who erected Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany Who Built the Stones? 5 . and the druids.
intricate stone carvings. Megalithic art Carving. Not knowing who put up the stones. an island in the Gulf of Morbihan. This is perhaps one of the greatest fascinations of the megaliths.. it was assumed 6 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany What were the stones for? . Up until recently. There are also several carved menhirs.all of which combine to give us a picture of the lives led by the people of those times. how they lived. nearly all of the 29 stones which form the walls have been covered with snaking lines and spiralling circles .. The most spectacular example of this is at the cairn on Gavrinis. for example. No such records exist to tell us about the people who put Brittany’s stones in place.INTRODUCTION Etched on the walls of some stone chambers are patterns and motifs. Arzon. makes it difficult to know why they did it. Nevertheless. Here. Carving found in the Petit-Mont cairn. them or when. we do not know who they were. as mysterious today as the megaliths themselves. and to make up their own ideas about their original purpose. theories abound as to what the original purpose of the various stones might have been.perhaps the work of a prehistoric Michelangelo. and oral histories passed from generation to generation . There is still a possibility that they could be far older than this. One of the carved stones from Gavrinis. Gavrinis. The ancient civilisations of the Middle East. but most of the art appears inside dolmens. every one who sees them is free to speculate. India and Egypt have left records in the form of clay tablets. or why they wanted to build such monumental structures.
Everyone agrees that they are widespread in Brittany. even more difficult to explain than the dolmens. 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 and dolmens of Western Europe. tend to contradict the idea that they were originally built as closed burial chambers. or whether the people who built them had any contact with the megalith builders of Europe. no firm evidence that even this theory is correct. and the west of France. tumuli and ‘covered alleys’ were all different sorts of tombs or burial chambers. Denmark.INTRODUCTION that dolmens. so far. The menhirs. but no one can say for certain whether or not they date back to the same era as the European stones. There are arrangements of stones in many other parts of the world. which to all intents and purposes seem to be megaliths. Portugal. Human remains have been found in. Sweden. or close to. are. Ireland and Scotland. 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. recent observations of how the sun or the moon shine into tumuli to strike a certain point at a certain time of the year. There is. Northern Spain. No civilisation of recent times has felt compelled to build these sorts of structures. if anything. Wales. including places as far afield as Korea. and alignments. however. Megaliths around the world As with all aspects of this subject. there is a certain amount of disagreement as to which parts of the world megalithic stones are to be found. West Africa. certain megaliths but. Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 7 . Northern Germany. England. They are also common in the Netherlands. and India.
Sometimes. flat ‘table stone’ balanced on top. Cairns are mounds of stones covering dolmens or covered alleys. then it is a civilisation about which we know virtually nothing. Brittany was a significant centre of early civilisation perhaps on a par with Egypt or China. and many of them are relatively unvisited and in remarkably unspoilt settings. The world’s most famous alignments are in Carnac. whilst others are much more complex. usually covering one or more dolmens or covered alleys. with a large. the most distinctive of all the megaliths. perhaps. series of menhirs are in line with each other. A Tumulus is a mound of earth. Some alignments consist of a few stones in a straight line. some of them virtually unknown outside their particular locality.e. and the number of megaliths that might once have existed. but it seems unlikely that they should have disappeared in significantly greater quantities in every other part of Europe.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. two parallel stones set in the ground. where there are thousands of stones carefully arranged in rows. Why Brittany? 8 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . Perhaps the whole of Europe was once covered with megaliths. Alignment is the name given to a series of stones arranged in lines. Types of Stone It is not known why there should be so many more megaliths in Brittany than anywhere else. Brittany has both the tallest and the largest menhirs in the world. Covered alleys (once known as ‘passage graves’) are essentially a series of dolmens built in a row. If this is indeed the case. Dolmen is the term applied to an arrangement of stones resembling a table i. and it is therefore possible that when they were built. There are also many smaller menhirs dotted around the countryside.which raises all sorts of interesting questions about the surveying techniques available to their original builders. even though they are several miles apart .
Locally. are not in the correct order. making it the crowning centrepiece of the megalithic world. Local indignation. Greeks or Romans succeeded in transporting such a weight. brought an end to the idea. where it would have been reerected beside the Eiffel tower. or was it perhaps the deliberate act of subsequent generations. This has given rise to a series of speculations as to why and how the menhir could have fallen. an indisputable testimony to a vanished civilisation. Studies have shown that the menhir was transported from 4 km away. and larger than any single stone put up before or since. which seem to lie where they have fallen. things have improved over recent years. Thankfully. the grand Menhir BrisÉ In the absence of other information. Was the stone ever successfully raised? Did it break during its erection? Was it lightning or even an earthquake which brought it down. local folklore and any stories associated with the stones have to be treated with the greatest respect. Not even the Egyptians.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. Unfortunately. The great menhir remains today. Many of the stones were believed to have healing properties or to aid fertility. magicians. and there has also been a long history of religious intolerance towards local customs associated with particular stones. stones were often referred to as ‘house of the fairies’. and there seem to be strong links between the stones and the traditional Breton fairy stories which feature giants. however. people in authority have tried to suppress local traditions concerning the megaliths. korrigans (pixies) and other fairy folk living alongside human beings. ‘house of the korrigans’ etc. who wished to reuse the stone…? Plans were underway to transport the stone to Paris for the Great Exhibition of 1900. and that the stones. Wherever Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany Folklore 9 . even until relatively recently. and a certain amount of the old folklore has now been made a matter of public record.
In spite of this. and the reverence in which they were held. this folklore is included in the text describing each megalith. including jewellery made from precious stones. Crosses were placed on top of them. 10 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . In times gone by. Carnac. Megalithic treasures Finely-polished axe head Perhaps the loveliest thing unearthed is the jewellery made from calais. 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. a green jadeite stone. most sites were extensively searched many years ago. many interesting things were discovered. This necklace was found inside the Kergalat Dolmen. finely-worked axe heads.who knows? Many of the old customs still live on. and may even date back to the origin of the stones themselves . The beauty and precision of these items point to a highly-civilised race. when archaeologists began excavating. survived a revolution in agricultural practices that has swept away almost every other aspect of the traditional Breton countryside.they have. and beautiful.INTRODUCTION possible. very popular with the ancient crafstmen. so enraged the clergy that they sometimes tried to ‘Christianize’ the stones. the megaliths. Consequently. for example. and even today the stones are looked after with exceptional care . and is now in the Musée de Préhistoire. 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. The cairns and dolmens around Carnac unearthed the richest finds.
tourist boards. Kermario Alignments. have been more cautious about building fences around stones without proper consultation with local people. 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. the megaliths legally belong to the people of the region and that everyone has a right to visit them. A compromise was reached. There are a few instances where access is restricted. The Breton tradition was that most of the country was in common ownership . all of Brittany’s megaliths were freely accessible to both local residents and visitors. 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. and the folklore associated with them. since then.belonging to the people as a whole . 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. In this tradition. survived.INTRODUCTION The concept of land ownership was only introduced to Brittany after the French Revolution. In 2002 there were large-scale demonstrations in Carnac. however. And yet the stones. unfortunately. even the stones Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany Historical Records 11 . and visitors to the stones were threatened with hell and damnation. and an argument could be made that until a specific law is passed to the contrary. and. There are surprisingly few written references to Brittany’s megaliths in any books prior to the beginning of the twentieth century.and individuals only had rights over the parcels of land that they farmed. etc. A hundred years ago. and.
For this reason. particularly Bretonspeakers. For many years. and megaliths. Breton.downtrodden peasants in need of ‘civilizing’. their true significance still seems to have escaped the attention of the academic community at large. Typically. this establishment encompassed not only the world of government and administration. they have been excavated. amongst other things.INTRODUCTION of Carnac were almost unknown outside the immediate locality. but also education. Bretons. Brittany’s megaliths remained more or less unknown to the outside world until the end of the nineteenth century. and many of the early ‘megalith hunters’ were neither French nor Breton. but even so. was the indigenous language. and when they did. place names. The stones were obviously well known to local people. mapped. were effectively excluded from the French establishment. however. The majority of the megaliths in Brittany are in areas in which. the original Breton place names are still the ones most often associated with the local megalith. explored. This peculiar state of affairs is due to the uneasy relationship that has long existed between Brittany and France. Since then. 12 Place naMes Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . and only by chance became interested by the large. they were certainly not in a frame of mind to discover in Brittany the remains of Europe’s most ancient civilisation. but came from the British Isles. The glossary on page 71 gives an insight into the links between folklore. tend to be in remote areas. the French government was committed to a campaign to suppress the Breton language. science. and sometimes even reconstructed. As a result. this involved giving French names to all the major towns and villages. up until very recently. unexplained stones that they came across unexpectedly. The surviving menhirs. During the first half of the Twentieth Century. hidden away in woods and forests or on remote heath land. French scholars rarely visited Brittany. literature and academic research. they tended to see only what they expected . where the new French names were never adopted . but there were no local scholars to bring them to the attention of the world at large. documented. they were people who originally came to Brittany on walking holidays or fishing trips. For this reason.because no one living in them spoke French. not French. this guide gives both French and Breton names for the communes in which megaliths are sited.
but they have a special mystery of their own: more remote. or if you can update any facts that this guide contains. As far as possible. and in completely rural settings.so that more than one can be visited on an outing.This book concentrates upon the megaliths of Central Brittany. 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).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. Many of the stones are situated in spectacular settings. 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. in the course of your travels. you discover a stone not listed in this guide. The map in the centre of the book shows where they are in relation to each other. quieter. the megaliths have been grouped together according to their geographic location . then please send us the information. Its main purpose is to encourage people to visit Brittany’s ancient stones . Using the Guide Happy megalith hunting! Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 13 . which will be included in future editions. If.
very wide.WESTERN FINISTERE 1 Kerloas Menhir Saint-Renan Lokournan The Kerloas Menhir measures 9.5m (31 ft). which makes it two millennia older than the pyramids. Couples traditionally came here and rubbed their stomachs against the lumps: men did so in hope of having a son. Brélès Plouarzel D5 Bois de Kervéatouz P MENHIR D5 Kerloas St-Renan Brest Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 15 . 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. Two hundred years ago it was even taller. and it tapers as it goes upwards. From one side it looks thin. Like other menhirs of the region. the stone is very smooth and elegantly shaped. thirty kilometres away. and from the other. and women in hope of becoming head of the house. but the top two metres were struck off by lightning. 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. It is thought to have been erected between six and seven thousand years ago.
The throw was a powerful one. leaving the menhir unharmed. The menhirs are nonetheless very well visited by both Porspoder Plourin locals and tourists from all D6 8 over Europe. A few metres away is an eleven-metre long.2 Plourin WESTERN FINISTERE Kergadiou Menhirs Plourin-Gwitalmeze Not far from Kerloas is the great Menhir of Kergadiou. considering that it came all the way from England . and creating the second. There is a story of how the Kergadiou Menhir once belonged to an English sorceress. It stands between Brèles and Plourin. it missed by just a few feet. and at 8. so it may be necessary to negotiate a fence or even cows. panoramic view over both land and sea. and picking up a great block of stone. It was stolen and carried off to Brittany. It can easily be climbed. giving visitors a spectacular. and the aim excellent. The field belongs to a farmer. ‘menhir couché’ (recumbent menhir).however.75m (28 ft) is one of the world’s tallest menhirs. where it was set up at Kergadiou. hurled it in the direction of the menhir. fallen menhir. It has also been described as the most perfectly shaped. The sorceress was furious. Kergadiou D2 8 D6 8 D28 St-Renan Brèles 16 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany .
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 . In the 1950s it was thought to simply be a large.dating back at least 6000 years. Europe’s largest known megalithic cairn . in fact. but when a local building contractor started to use it as a stone quarry it became apparent that it was. the cairn was found to be quite empty. but it is known that local people had dug into the mound at some time during the 1800s. stony mound covered with grass and earth. There is a charge to enter this site. The first Sunday of each month from November to May is free. When excavated. 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. What we see today is the result of restoration work carried out in the 1960s.
tumbled by an unknown cause. Although still standing in the mid-1800s. and although there have been doubts as to how accurately this was done. just outside the busy port of Camaret-surMer.some of the most celebrated menhirs in the world. These stones .4 WESTERN FINISTERE Lagatjar Alignments Camaret-sur-Mer Kameled At the tip of the Crozon peninsular. and lay prostrate on the ground. are the Lagatjar alignments . They were stood back up in 1928. by the early 1900s they had fallen over. it seems probable that they are in a very similar state now to how they were in Ancient times.well over 100 in number are carved from white stone and stand on a plain beside the sea. Alignments Lagatjar D8 18 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany D8 Crozon a Camaretsur-Mer .
there is Morgat a stone alignment of sevAlignment eral menhirs perched on the Kerlouantec Lostmarc’h clifftop overlooking the sea. also on the Crozon peninsular. It has been suggested that maybe this isolated outcrop of land once had some special religious significance. Pointe de Surrounded by gorse and Lostmarc’h heather. but time and human activity have all but obliterated their traces. and seem to belong to a timeless era. these stones are in an incomparable setting. with the original ditch and earthworks cutting across the headland. Some way below there are the traces of a remarkable pre-Roman coastal stronghold. 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. D2 55 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 19 .
A remarkable alignment of up to 77 stones. windswept crags and forests. Monts d’Arée) are Brittany’s tallest range of hills. one of the region’s tallest hills.6 MENEZ AREZ The Wedding Party Alignment Brasparts Brasparzh The Menez Arez (French. when Chasse . finishing off the ‘Centre de Formation last dance of the festivities.the stone wedding party (‘An Eured Ven’ in Breton) . the alignCommana Plounéour-Ménez ment is on fairly wet ground. St-Michel Yeun Elez but the largest are about as tall as a peat bog person.makes its way across the peat bogs at the foot of the Menez Mikael (Mont-St-Michel de Brasparts). Characterized by peat bogs. Half-buried in the gorse. the area has largely escaped the intensive farming methods which caused the destruction of many ancient megaliths during the last century. 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. heaths. known as La Noce de Pierres . and can easily be climbed. It has been said that these stones Alignment Menez were once a large and boisterous la Noce de Pierres Mikael wedding party. Some Morlaix stones are barely more than ankle Réservoir de high and many have tipped over. D7 8 5 20 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany .
Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 21 .
The menhir is some way before Le Cloître. It is in a private garden.7 Huelgoat MENEZ AREZ Menhir at Le Cloître An Uhelgoad The Menhir at Le Cloître is close to the D767 just outside Huelgoat. Visitors are very welcome. and keep on for the hamlets of Le Cloître and St-Vinec. 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 . on the edge of the Monts d’Arée. slightly obscured by a hedge but quite visible from the road.as the name ‘le Cloître’ (the Carhaix cloister) would imply. close to a house built in 1978 before the significance of the stone was recognised. Turn off on a small road. direction ‘Pontauban’. and there are Pontauban tales of a lost abbey Brennilis D7 64 in the vicinity .
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. The stone has always drawn many visitors. Huelgoat la Feuillée D76 4 D1 4 Carhaix D14 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 23 . and Wed. women who could not have children would come to rub their stomachs against it. surrounded by trees and a few houses. Although just north of Berrien the town of Quinimilin Huelgoat.30pm every day except Sun. it stands in a small field.MENEZ AREZ 8 Kerampeulven Menhir Berrien The Kerampeulven Menhir is probably the most famous in the Monts d’Arée. It is well signposted and the site is very welcoming. Open 7am-7. Tall and slender. and at one time there was a spring here with curative properties.
and another which is perhaps a guardian ‘Mother Goddess’. In the distance can be seen the craggy hills of the Menez Arez. with a marked path for walkers. and that they were constantly warring with the korrigans who inhabited the nearby Ty-ar Boudiged (opposite page). 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 . Inside. is justifiably one of Brittany’s most famous megalithic sites. and this large and cavernous ‘allée couverte’ (covered alley). It has been recounted that giants lived in Mougau-Bihan. there are several carvings. Surrounding the covered alley is an old plum and apple orchard.9 MENEZ AREZ Mougau-Bihan Commana Kommanna Mougau means cavern. and across the road is an area of protected peat bog. The stones do not seem to have suffered much disturbance. and are in very good condition. including one that is supposed to be an axe in relief.
As its name implies.MENEZ AREZ 10 Ty ar Boudiged La Maison des Fées The Ty ar Boudiged (Maison des Fées. it still retains its original mound of earth. 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). This is an exceptionally pleasant site. although it is a covered alley. is on the edge of the town of Brennilis. but this is one of the few that have withstood the test of time. It is thought that all dolmens and covered alleys were once buried in this way. D36 La Feuillée D7 64 Brennilis Brenniliz Huelgoat Carhaix Bellevue P Brennilis Ty ar Boudiged Loqueffret Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 25 . which excavated the site in 1991 (but found nothing of interest). It is owned by the Finistère Archaeology Society. and it is great fun to scramble in and out of the cave made by the stones.
three menhirs once stood by the little hamlet of Trimen. and at the beginning of the last century. Its front and back sides are flat and very wide. whereas from the side it is hardly noticeable. Situated in the middle of a field. remains. 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 . it is clearly visible from the road. and tallest. Two have fallen.11 MENEZ DU St-Goazec Trimen Menhir Sant-Goazeg Trimen means three stones. but the last.
The small alignment of three stones at Croaz-an-Teurec is remarkable. two on one side and one on the other. The stones are not hard to find as they actually stretch across the road. is the name given to the hills which stretch south-east from around Châteaulin to Gourin and Plouray. but the rest have fallen and been removed. many of the smaller alignments have disappeared. is another menhir St-Goazec of the same height. and also beside the Châteauneuf-du-Faou road. but for the fact that it exists at all. there were once many more menhirs in this alignment. According to tradition. and today it is still home to a variety of interesting stones. Croaz an Teurec Trimen D6 D41 Castel Ruphel Roc’h Toull alignment Gourin Scaër Roudouallec D1 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 27 . The area has always been known for its megaliths. not so much for its size. Close by. but at Croaz-an-Teurec there are three stones still standing. Over the millennia.MENEZ DU 12 Sant-Goazeg Croaz-an-Teurec Alignment St-Goazec The Montagnes Noires (Breton: Menez Du).
is still standing today.e. Trimen D6 Croaz an Teurec D41 Castel Ruphel Gourin Scaër Roudouallec D1 28 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . and the area around the covered alley is uncultivated. including some from his own house (explaining the alley’s dilapidated condition). i. Luckily the giant’s daughter. the couple had got as far as Scaër. together with the guardsman. succeeded in escaping. but the stones which Rufel had thrown. and by the time Rufel noticed their absence. and hurled them in quick succession after the retreating pair. It is at the top of one of the highest hills in the area. One day one of the guardsmen ran away with the giant’s daughter. Many have been removed. which is also the site of an ancient hill fort. A popular story tells how it was once the home of the Giant Rufel. who was chief of the area and occupied the hill fort. but one of the largest. There is an abandoned quarry at the foot of the hill. where he lived with his daughter and a band of soldiers. These are the menhirs which abound in the area. known as Châteauneuf-du-Faou St-Goazec the St-Jean Menhir (facing page). In his wrath the giant laid his hands on any stones he could find.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. lay scattered across the whole length of the Menez Du. like a card house. with the stones leaning against each other for support. It is quite different from most of the other covered alleys in Brittany in that it is built in the arc-boutée style.
there is even a ledge one-third of the way up. and it is probable that this has been a holy site for thousands of years. It is a famous landmark in the area.MENEZ DU 14 Skaer Saint-Jean Menhir Scaër The St-Jean Menhir stands near the town of Scaër. St-Thurien Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 29 . This Christian festival is the successor to the ancient Summer Solstice celebration. between the hamlets of St-Jean and MinéSt-Jean. It does not possess the spherical perfection of many menhirs. large enough for a person to sit on quite comfortably! Unusually. and has numerous lumps and cracks on its surface. and there is a tree-lined path leading up to it. the stone is surrounded by a low stone wall. see story opposite. and very characterfully shaped. where the festival of St-Jean was celebrated annually. The menhir stands near the St-Jean chapel and hamlet. on the D6 to St-Thurien. Coray Chateauneufdu-Faou D4 le Faouët Gourin D78 2 Scaër D78 2 D6 St-Jean Menhir Miné St-Jean St-Jean Menhir.
seem to be in line with each other. in the heart of the countryside. It is close to the small hamlet of Keguezennec. Lannion Menhir A few metres down the road a sunken pathway leads off to Bégard Kerguezennec the ruisseau de Kerogan. This menhir. The menhir is in a field. a pretty little river. although they are separated Brélidy by quite large distances. but access on foot is quite easy.15 GUINGAMP AREA Kerguezennec Menhir Bégard Bear The Keguezennec Menhir is north-west of Guingamp. together with those at Pédernec and Louargat (see next two pages). near the town of Bégard. forded by an ancient stone bridge. Once you are on the right road. however. from the front and back it appears enormous. and is not particularly easy to find. D 76 7 D1 5 Guénézan Guingamp 30 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . it becomes visible from a good distance away. It is a curiously-shaped stone. but a glance from the side reveals it to be remarkably thin.
In spite of its fame. 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. Guingamp Beside the stone is a la Gare crooked sweet chestnut tree. this menhir is not well signposted. 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. one of the region’s highest hills.GUINGAMP AREA 16 Pédernec Menhir Pédernec Pederneg The massive menhir near Pédernec is one of Brittany’s largest. which was fixed there Louargat in 1878. RAILWAY Pédernec D1 5 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 31 . It is situated in the hilly countryside west of Guingamp and has a fine view over the Menez Bré.
and between these is a larger. The menhir stands in a wet glade. la Gare RAILWAY It is interesting to note that the three menhirs. together with the other stones. Pédernec Bégard Pergat Braz and Pergat. which. and it is a breathtaking sight when the stone first comes into view. recumbent menhir. must once have formed a small alignment. small menhir is situated some metres away. The site is well visited and famous in the area. at Kerguezennec. Another. A short path leads to it from the road. 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 .50 metres (25 ft). The Pergat Menhir is believed to be 7000 years old. appear to be in line with BEGARD each other. and measures approximately 7.17 GUINGAMP AREA Pergat Menhir Louargat Louergad A visit to the Pergat Menhir is an unforgettable experience. surrounded 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. and it takes a little ingenuity and perseverance to locate all the stones. At around 4 metres (12 ft) tall. 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. it is a fairsized stone. it is one of the richest megalithic sites in Central Brittany. close to the hamlets of Kercutois and Kerpinson. with at least 12 menhirs and dolmens within its borders or close by. Occupying a series of rocky hills. which are often hidden by trees. The forest menhir is situated in the middle of a fire break. 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 .
in line with the first two.) Les Jumeax 34 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . (See map on page 33 for their specific location. even smaller. and there was once a third. and in Summer may be closely planted with crops. The menhirs are in a farmer’s field.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. One is markedly taller than the other.
FOREST OF DUAULT
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
WESTERN FINISTERE MENEZ AREZ MENEZ DU GUINGAMP AREA FOREST OF DUAULT
ARGOAT VIEUX-BOURG MENHIRS DAOULAS & POULANCRE FOREST OF LANVAUX CARNAC STONES
Lesneven le Folgoët Landivisiau
El Sizun or n
11 12 13
O t de
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
D76 Bannalec 5
re z A n e Brennilis
The coloured numbers on the map correspond to the colour and number at the top of each page.
Perros-Guirec Trégastel Lannion
Tréguier la RocheDerrien
D D4 ao4 u
N16 4 Rostrenen
le Faouët D782
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
32 26 31 33 34 St Gilles 30 Pligeaux Quintin 29 le VieuxBourg Plœuc-s.-Lié 28 27 Corlay
Bla ve t
VANNES Auray 45 Musée 46 Crach d'Histoire et 44 d'Archéologie LarmorPlouharnel 47 48
Musée de la Préhistoire
N an tes
See map p. and shortly before the road finishes. which makes it easier to find than the other stones in the forest. girls wanting to find a husband would slide down a sloping stone such as this one. Toul an Urz ('le trou de l’ours' in French) means ‘bear hole’. Near the top of the hill. there is a splendid sunken pathway which leads to Kerangle from Linglay. one of the three capstones slopes right down to the ground. Alternatively. It is hard to tell whether the alley is half in ruins. and is thinner and much larger than the others. Unusually. near the hamlet of Kerangle. 33. in a field on the right. which harks back to the days when wolves and bears roamed the forest. It is not surrounded by trees. is the covered alley.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. Traditionally. or purposely built that way. turn down a small track in the hamlet of Bourg-Neuf. 38 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . Directions: On the road from St-Servais to Duault. for ‘Kerangle’.
Landes de Locarn Locarn menhir on the path to the Gorges du Corong. 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. Near the hamlet of le Guellec. and Forest of Duault is featured on all the signGorges du posts in the commune. with magnificent views and interesting rocky outcrops to explore. including a curiP ously-shaped stone (above). D31 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 39 . There P Corong are several other menhirs in menhir le Guellec St-Nicodème the vicinity. It is known locally as Duault the ‘Guardian of Locarn’. This picturesque. is the fine menhir called Paotr St-Servais Saout.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’.
and makes a rewarding visit.23 ARGOAT Covered Alley at Kernescop Lohuec Lohueg The ancient ‘allée couverte’ at Kernescop is close to the Forest of Beffou. 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.
and in some places line the roadway. Maël-Pestivien D28 D2 St-Servais 8 Ker Laurent Kerien Coat Hamon St-Nicodème D20 Kerrolland Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 41 . They fill people’s gardens. The dolmen is on a bank between two fields. It is signposted from the centre of the village and can be found without too much difficulty. squat stone known as a stele. Close by is another. rise up in the middle of fields. The Roc’h Toul Dolmen is on a hill a few kilometres outside Maël Pestivien. The two stones are in excellent condition and make for a very satisfactory visit.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. and there is a short path which leads to it from the road.
It is within walking distance of the village. in the aptly-named hamlet ‘le Menhir’. at present. direct access to the menhir itself is. due to the presence of barbed wire fencing. 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 .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).perhaps the third largest in Brittany (below). The stone is surrounded by trees. There is also another. and there are picnic benches nearby. not possible. Unfortunately.
At around 8 metres (26 ft) high. it is one D22 of Brittany’s tallest menhirs. grassy area protected from the surrounding farmland by Guingamp banks and trees. menhir D5 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 43 . St-Nicolasdu-Pélem Quintin although some sources have Magoar mistakenly claimed it to be Trolan Cailouan much larger. just south of the village of Plésidy. on the D5. It is well signposted and well maintained. There is also Plésidy 67 Bourbriac D7 a spring close by.ARGOAT 26 Plijidi Cailouan Menhir Plésidy The Cailouan menhir is situated in the heart of Central Brittany. The menhir is set in a secluded.
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. this spectacular stone can be reached by a short walk along a well-trodden path from Rossil. It is in an unspoilt setting amongst oak trees on the edge menhir of the Bois des Tourelles. near St-Nicolas-duPlésidy / Bourbriac Rossil Pélem. D5 St-Nicolas-du-Pélem Rossil Menhir 44 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany .27 ARGOAT Sant-Nikolaz-ar-Pelem Also known as the Menhir of Coat-Castel.
A weathered oak tree is growing close to Corlay the stone. D767 Kergornec Menhir menhir Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 45 . and is at the end of a steep track. 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 D28 commands splendid views over le Vieux-Bourg / Quintin the surrounding countryside. It is one of the la Clarté tallest menhirs in the region. St-GillesThe stone is close to a farm in Pligeaux the hamlet of Kergornec.
are just beside the road which leads from SaintGilles to le Vieux-Bourg (formerly the main road from Quintin to Callac). There are numerous examples in Brittany of such ‘Christianized’ menhirs. The second of the two is at present topped with a very large stone cross.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. abruptly narrowing to a point. the neolithic monuments are once again regaining their original form. near the hamlet of Pasqiou. but due to time and weathering.
The town is proud of its prehistoric past and all of the sites are accessible. down a farm track. menhir Pasquiou Porzic St-GillesPligeaux D2 8 le VieuxBourg Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 47 . It is some way off the road. on the other side of the road. there is a little dolmen. It is in the middle of a large field and is not much taller than a person. Both sites are often closely planted with crops.VIEUX-BOURG MENHIRS 30 Menhir near Pasquiou le Vieux-Bourg Bourc’h-Kintin The commune of le Vieux-Bourg is home to many megaliths. Nearby. and particularly menhirs. There is a very picturesque menhir near to the hamlet of Pasquiou. and can become obscured near harvest time.
Porzic menhir le VieuxSt-GillesPligeaux D2 8 Bourg 48 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . The stone is set back a little way from the road. Directly below the St-Gildas menhir is Pasquiou the hamlet Kerdalmez of Porzic. It is difficult to know whether or not these stones are of natural origin or whether they reflect some megalith-related activity. and behind the stone is a remarkable collection of enormous granite boulders. The setting is very striking. there is a fine view over the hilly country surrounding le Vieux-Bourg.31 VIEUX-BOURG MENHIRS le Vieux-Bourg Porzic Menhir Bourc’h-Kintin Just a little further down the road from the Pasquiou Menhir. and is on top of a steep hill. is the imposing Porzic Menhir.
Within a short distance of this.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. A little further on. is a small tumulus. A glance at the map shows that the even-larger menhir at the Ville-Juhel is in the same line. there is another. and in line with the menhirs. Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 49 . and sits in the middle of an open field. but on the other side of the road. slightly smaller menhir. adding another element to the ‘sacred line’. which is covered over with bracken. A stone cross has been erected between the two stones at Botudo.
but taller. The stone is similar to the other menhirs in the region. smallest .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. and the Connan three taken together go from Botudo largest (Pont-aux-Prêtres). le VieuxQuintin D6 3 Bourg 50 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . Keramel la Ville Juhel medium.and then Pont-aux-Prêtres menhir the tumulus: it is impossible to know for certain what the St-Gilles. It is in a field but clearly visible from the road. is the Pont-au-Prêtres Menhir. measuring at least 5 metres (16 ft).D28 significance of this arrangePligeaux D28 ment might have been. It seems to be in some Kernanouët sort of sequence with the two Tumulus St-Gildas menhirs Stmenhirs near Botudo.
VIEUX-BOURG MENHIRS 34 La Roche Longue Quintin Kintin The Roche Longue stands on a hill outside the picturesque medieval town of Quintin. Cohiniac / N12 D7 Quintin D28 le VieuxBourg park D790 / Corlay menhir Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 51 . The menhir has a peculiar shape: although tall it is not very wide. It is in very attractive surroundings. 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. There is a track which leads to the stone from the lake and small park just beside Quintin.
and in Neolithic times enormous slabs of the local schist were hauled to the top of the heights. rocky slopes and fast-flowing rivers. gorse-clad rock formation. Probably the most spectacular spot in the area is the Daoulas Gorge. 52 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany Liscuis I . 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. This area has been quarried for its stone throughout recorded history. and used to create the spectacular monuments which are known today as the covered alleys of Liscuis.
and that the Neolithic people added to the site over many centuries. There is a spectacular path which leads up the side of the Gorge. Archaeologists Gorge N164 Caurel have suggested that the Bon Repos Nantes/Brest Canal Abbey three covered alleys were built at different times. 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. it is in excellent Gouarec D44 condition. Although it is almost completely buried beneath the Laniscat D76 ground.DAOULAS & POULANCRE 35 Liscuis II There are three alleys in total (Liscuis I. all standing in natural heathland. Together. They are in close proximity to each other and arranged in a triangle formation. they make up one of Brittany’s most spectacular sites. and visitors can covered alleys climb inside and over it Liscuis Daoulas with ease. Liscuis II and Liscuis III). Liscuis II is the largest. along the ridge and round the three monuments.
It is built from the local schist and situated on the side of a rocky hill overlooking the Lac de Guerlédan. just large enough for a person to climb through. Corn Coat Corn er Hoet Gouarec N21 64 Coat Correc N16 4 Coet-Correc.) Another peculiar feature of this site is a large. early 1900s Caurel Botminy Mûr-deBretagne Lac de Guerlédan 54 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . It was built at the end of the 1800s by a religious farmer. dry-stone arch which covers one end of the alley. There are a few things which make this site unusual: there is a hole. and perhaps gives a clue to the size of the people who built these monuments. (It is now quite easy to scramble in and out because many of the stones have gone. The arch collapsed during the site’s excavation.36 DAOULAS & POULANCRE Covered Alley at Coët-Correc Caurel Kaorel The Coët-Correc covered alley is similar to those at Liscuis. and originally supported a cross. The megalith itself is half-buried in the ground. but it was renovated in 1987. this hole must have been the only entrance and exit. about half its original size. carved in the stones on one side of the structure. and it still remains today. At the time of its construction. Access is gained by a path leading through a wood and across a field.
but has not moved in living memory.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. The menhir is on top of a steep hill. It is tilting to one side. and a little further on is a second stone. called the Menhir of Ty Min. 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 village is very proud of its heritage.on the rue du Menhir which leads out to St-Gilles-Vieux-Marché. It is not particularly large. but is attractively situated in a mown field. and there are several megaliths in the area.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.the Menhir du Bourg . and is close to the road. The menhir is made from rough schist. 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 . close to the famous prehistoric axe factory at Quelfennec. There is one menhir within the limits of the town itself .
DAOULAS & POULANCRE 39 the Tombeau du Gaulois St-Mayeux Sant-Vaeg There are several megaliths in the area around the Roc’h ar Lein . a large. which is worth a visit in its own right. A small path leads from the road into a thicket. and past the tumulus ‘Tombeau du Gaulois’ (above). (For directions.) Mein al Has and Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 57 . see map overleaf. irregular menhir.a high point close to St-Mayeux (and now topped with a radio antenna). Further on is the ‘Mein al Has’ (Rock of the Cat) (below).
It is surrounded by large rocks. 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). and stands today in a conifer plantation. The menhir is easy to find.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. as it is in the very middle of the path leading up the hillside.
The monument is in a beautiful setting. 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 .a common theme in local names for dolmens and covered alleys. but the other is still in excellent condition. and close to Breuil du Chêne (above).CLEGUEREC 41 Bot-erMohed Cléguérec Klegereg ‘Bot er Mohed’ lies on the edge of the forest of Quénécan. The site affords a fine view over the surrounding area. in a grassy field. the highest point of the forest. One end is ruined. and must once have been a place of some importance: the covered alley is over 18 metres in length. and is made from huge stones. ‘Bot er Mohed’ means Fairy Grotto in Breton .
north of Vannes. 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. This unique figure has always been counted as a megalith . near Trédion.even though there are no similar megalithic remains elsewhere. has a peculiar resident: Jean Babouin (below). but no one can say for sure to what period the carving itself belongs. (Directions opposite page) 60 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . The stone upon which the figure is carved does resemble a menhir.
Archaeologists are intrigued by its mixture of styles. 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 .. to create an interesting underground cave. It is set in beautiful woodland.FOREST OF LANVAUX 43 Loge aux Loups Trédion The semi-ruined covered alley. perhaps once inhabited by wolves. with a row of stones propped up against one another underneath. between the forests of Lanvaux and Kerfily. a traveller in the early 1800s described it as ‘a vast heathland.. The Lanvaux area is home to many other megaliths. the ‘Loge aux Loups’ (House of the Wolves) is one of the most unusual megaliths in Brittany. scattered all over with fallen menhirs’. which combine a classic table ‘dolmen’.
or. The Kerzerho alignments. There is an impressive collection of menhirs on either side of the road. (Directions. and are not fenced off. and some enormous cairns .44 CARNAC STONES Kerzerho Alignments Erdéven An Ardeven Carnac. The path continues and leads on to several other megalithic sites in the area. allowing visitors to walk amongst the stones at any time of the day or night. and the surrounding countryside. They are less well known than the alignments in Carnac itself. in the commune of Erdéven. the world. The region has over half of Brittany’s individual menhirs.but it is the remarkable rows of standing stones that have made it famous. countless dolmens. contains by far the greatest concentration of megalithic remains in Brittany. are one of the most rewarding sites to visit in the area. and a little further on. known as the ‘Géants de Kerzerho’. which actually cuts through the Alignment at one end. The top of one of these has been strangely smashed by repeated strokes of lightning. page 64) 62 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . are another group of much larger stones. down a path. The menhirs can be accessed from the ErdévenPlouharnel road. indeed.
Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany D7 81 Vieux-Moulin D7 68 Plouharnel Petit Kerlescan Ménec Kermario D781 Carnac 63 . They are the vestiges of much larger alignements . and the Vieux Moulin. and on to the dolmen at Mané-Groh. through a land of woods and heath. (see map overleaf).but still well worth seeing. (Directions page 64) Erdeven Kerzerho D105 Erdéven Ploemel Ste-Barbe le Ménec D1 19 Map of menhir alignments in the Carnac region. A specially-made path passes close to the stones in several places. There are two other important concentrations of menhirs between Erdéven and Carnac.CARNAC STONES 45 Lost Stones of Kerzerho An Ardeven The Kerzerho alignments continue for another two kilometres. affording visitors an excellent opportunity to explore them. These are the alignments of SteBarbe. both in the commune of Plouharnel. The path leads past the dolmen at Mané Braz.
Its name means ‘The Sorceress’ Hill’. in 1923. 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 . It is surrounded by trees and is still in good condition. occupies a high hill. and stands beside the road. who found pottery and a few tools. near the village of Kerbernès. Mané Groh (also known as Mané Croch) is near the village of Crucuno. Mané Braz.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. Zacharie le Rouzic. It was excavated by the famous Carnacborn archaeologist. as its name implies (large hill).
What remains today is a snug enclosure. At one time. see facing page.CARNAC STONES 47 Dolmen of Crucuno Erdéven An Ardeven The dolmen of Crucuno is another very wellknown Breton megalith. Much of this has been dismantled over the past few centuries. pressed up against the gable of an old farm building. and its distinctive shape features on many brochures and books about Brittany. This megalith. (For directions. which seems strangely unworldly in its modern setting.) Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 65 . The dolmen is in the centre of the Crucuno hamlet. 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. it is amongst the most photographed in the region. presumably to meet the need for building stone in the village. has been incorporated into village life in various ways over the past 200 years.
there is free access to the stones. and extend over a length of 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.Tel: 02 97 52 01 27 LA TRINITE-SUR-MER Cours des Quais . finally. and become smaller as the ground slopes away. there are the Kerlescan Alignments. but in the tourist season access is very limited. In general.Tel: 02 97 55 86 34 66 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany . those at Petit-Ménec. 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 . which are probably just an extension of the Kerlescan rows.100 metres. Next is that of Kermario: here the stones are larger. For directions. which comprise around 380 menhirs. and many are larger at the top than at the base. which wind across the countryside. The first three groups are now surrounded by a fence. For more information. they are less well-shaped than single menhirs. see map on page 63. In all cases the menhirs tend to be larger on the higher ground to the west. During wintertime. The stones are found in nine to eleven parallel rows. Thirdly. and. There are four separate groups of stones. The most westerly is at Ménec. and access is limited.000 stones.Tel: 02 97 52 05 56 CARNAC PLAGE Avenue Miln . and contains well over 1.
and amazed by the miracle. At one time it was surmounted by an iron cross . The menhir is within sight of Dol-de-Bretagne. the city founded by Saint Samson and the spiritual capital of Brittany.but all trace of this has now disappeared. One tells how a battle was once fought here between Dinan two feuding brothers. which is made of pink granite.CHAMP-DOLENT 49 Champ-Dolent Menhir Dol-de-Bretagne Dol The menhir at Champ-Dolent is another world-famous Breton megalith.) The stone. was brought from a quarry 4km away. At nearly 10m (32 ft) it is close to being the tallest standing stone in the world. There are many legends D 4 surrounding this stone. N176 Dol-deBretagne D Avranches 4 le Champ-Dolent Combourg Menhir P Epiniac Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 67 . polished stone at its base has been a companion of the great menhir for as long as anyone can remember. the armies ceased fighting and made peace. The small. page 15. (It is generally agreed that this stone is fractionally smaller than the menhir at Kerloas. When the fighting was at its height the menhir sprang up between the two sides.
and high enough to walk in with ease. 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 . they would count the stones. and if the numbers they obtained were within two of each other. The stone passage is 20 metres long. originally excavated from a rock formation 4km from the current site. giving it an historical significance on a par with Stonehenge or the pyramids of Egypt. It is built from enormous pieces of red Cambrian schist. and surrounded by the last trees of the ancient forest of Rouvray. Traditionally. lovers would come here at twilight. and proceed round the monument in opposite directions.50 ROCHE AUX FÉES Roche-aux-Fées Essé Ezieg The Roche aux Fées. just south of the city of Rennes. is the largest and most well-preserved dolmen structure in the world today. The Roche-aux-Fées is set in well-kept parkland. their marriage would be a happy one.
DOLMEN OF ROC’H TOUL 36 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany 69 .
1m Kergadiou (Plourin) 8. les (St-Servais) 4.75m Kergornec (St-Gilles) 7m Kerguezennec (Bégard) 6m Kerloas (St-Renan) 9. te Do n. 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. tallest (Brasparts) 1. Babouin (Trédion) 1.42m Botudo.5m Pergat (Louargat) 7. it en lie hi s r’ w sh o at ul te d re d 70 Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany .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 .1m Wedding Party.5m Mein al Has (St-Mayeux) 3.35m Paotr Saout (Locarn) 4.7m Pasquiou (Vieux-Bourg) 3.5m Pont-aux-Prêtres (Vieux-Bourg) 5. nch ong ey ain e i Ir e s M ar ’s Ru r. The ground around the stone can change so dramatically even over the course of a few years.8m Croix de Pasquiou (Vieux Bourg) 4m Dent de St-Servais 7m Kercoutois Menhir. day n M 9. es ta t B .2m Porzic (Vieux-Bourg) 6m Roc’h ar Lein (St-Mayeux) 4. s ll. m ore of K r. it di hu ov Th w ng ge er e ‘ as s pi 18 Gre 12 ton ec m a e. and from individual reports on the Internet. an ur od r.5m Pedernec 7.6m 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. in ela sto ton e n d ta d A nhir ne lle sto Co d’s ne e ho o ar st n . tia is a et li e re gh rlo ls m s tn a to on ta in s. It th i . g To s.3m & 3m Kerampeulven (Berrien) 5.MENHIR SIZES MENHIR SIZES It is hard to ever give an exact size for a menhir. in the book Bretagne des Megalithes.35m Roche Longue (Quintin) 7m Rossil (St-Nicolas-du-Pelem) 7m St-Jean (Scaër) 7m Trimen (St-Goazec) 4. that it would be impossible to give a precise figure. ne g ll. tallest (Vieux Bourg) 4m Caillouan (Plésidy) 8m Champ-Dolent (Dol) 9m Cloître (le) (Huelgoat) 6m Croas an Teurec. The following heights are mainly based on sizes given by the archaeologist PierreRoland Giot. 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. Otherwise they have been obtained from measurements quoted by Gwenc’hlan Le Scouezec in Bretagne Megalithique. t tc fC Br m mo Kild alle an ha idl en n s ing hir oli are t di m da pto . ro ke ee To p. tallest (St-Goazec) 2. (St-Servais) 3.
with more coming on-line all the time. www. London. Glossary Breton . Éditions Ouest France.megalithes-breton. tools. koat) forest korrigan pixie kroaz (croaz) cross lein height MuSEuMS: More Information Musée de Préhistoire. Closed Tuesdays. 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. A collection of twenty-seven traditional Breton fairy stories.net. Published 2007.fr Breton megalith site. now out of print. La Bretagne des Mégalithes. Traditional Fairy Stories of Brittany. Megalithic Brittany.shadowsandstone.GLOSSARY Modern Breton words associated with traditional names for megaliths. 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. www. whose finds and research form the core of the museum’s exhibits.nezertbooks.megalithic. Bethan Lewis.com Musée d’Histoire et d’Archéologie de Vannes. www.montcocher. A selection has been included below. 2. Tel: 02 97 52 22 04. A unique collection of megalithic jewellery. and artifacts.information and maps for Europe’s megaliths. Aubrey Burl. goat. 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. tumulus kastell (kastel) castle kazh (has) cat kêr (ker) village koad (c’hoat. coat.hir (menhir) long stone mane (mané) hill.museedecarnac. in French. Pierre-Roland Giot. Unfortunately. and southern Brittany. The first English guide to Brittany’s megalithic stones.com A photographic guide to the megaliths of Ireland and elsewhere. coet. A fascinating collection of exhibits mainly from the Morbihan megalithic monuments. The museum is dedicated to the two great archaeologists . CARNAC. www. Excellent French guide to almost every one of Brittany’s menhirs and dolmens. Menhirs and other Megaliths of Central Brittany WEBSITES: BOOKS: 71 . mein stone(s) maen .co. Rue Noé 56000 VANNES.English leskiñ (lescan) burning lok (loc) hermitage maen.James Miln and Zacharie Le Rouzic. www. Thames and Hudson. 10 Place de la Chapelle. www. There are numerous websites about Brittany’s stones .com This site features some of the stones near Carnac. menhir plou parish porzh (pors) farmyard roc’h rock taol (dol) table.uk The megalithic portal .
64. Pasquiou 47. 29 Saint-Mayeux 56-58 Saint-Nicolas-du-Pélem 44 Saint-Renan 15 Saint-Servais 33. forest 33-35. Crucuno 65. 34. forest 60-61 Le Cloître. 19 Solstice. covered alleys 52 Locarn 39 Locmariaquer 9 Loge aux Loups 61 Lohuec 40 Lostmarc’h. glossary 71 Breuil du Chêne 59 Cailouan Menhir 43 Cairn 8. Vieux-Bourg 49. Rocheaux-Fées 68-69 Duault 38 Duault. 70 Tombeau du Gaulois 57 Toul an urz 38 Trédion 60. Kerzerho 62-64. Liscuis 52-53. 17. 50 Bot-er-Mohed 59 Brasparts 20 Brennilis 25 Brest 15 Breton. 70 Kernescop. Guingamp area 32. 28 Saint-Jean Menhir 28. Mougau-Bihan 24. Kernescop 40. 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 . Ty ar Boudiged 25. 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.INDEX Index alignments 8. Menez Du 26-29. around the world 7 Mein al Has Menhir 57 Menez Arez 20-25 Menez Bré 31 Menez Du 26-29 menhirs 8. forest 40 Bégard 30 Berrien 23 Botudo. 55 Champ-Dolent Menhir 67 Christianized menhirs 10. Loge aux Loups 61. Brittany 36-37 megaliths. 23 Jean Babouin 60 jewellery 10 Jumeaux. CoëtCorrec 54. 11. 63. Mané Braz 64. 19 Crucuno. 27. Toul an urz 38. Lostmarc’h 19. Roche-aux-Fées 68-69 Croaz an Teurec Alignment 27 Croix de Pasquiou Menhirs 46 Crozon 19. peninsular 18. 63. 8. 70 Dolmen 8. Chateau 42 Coët-Correc. Mané Groh 64. 38-39 Forest of Lanvaux 60-61 Gavrinis 6 giants 9. Barnenez 17 Camaret-sur-Mer 18 Carnac 10. Roc’h Toul 41. 70 Gorges du Corong 33. 32 Kerloas Menhir 14-15. Guingamp Area 30-32. 64 Lagatjar Alignments 18 Landes de Locarn 39 Laniscat 52-53 Lanvaux. Kernescop 40. Carnac 66 allée couvert see covered alleys Argoat 40-45 Babouin 60 Barnenez. 65 Essé 68 fairies 9. 46. covered alley 54 Commana 24 covered alleys 7. menhirs 49. 38-39 Erdéven 62. les 34 Kerampeulven Menhir 23 Kercoutois forest Menhir 33 Kergadiou Menhirs 15 Kergornec Menhir 45 Kerguezennec Menhir 30. 62-66 Carnac Alignments 66 carvings 6. 35 Glomel menhirs 42. 70 Trimen Menhir 26 tumulus 8. 28. 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. 24 Castel-Rufel 28 Caurel 54. 18. cairn 17 bears 38 Beffou. Botudo 49. Carnac Stones 62-66 Menhir du Bourg. Castel-Rufel 28. Daoulas & Poulancre 52-59. menhir 22 Les Jumeax 34 Liscuis. Bot-er-Mohed 59. covered alley 40 Kerzerho Alignments 62. Mané Groh 64. Liscuis 52-53. 54. MougauBihan 24. menhir 47 passage grave see covered alleys Pedernec Menhir 31. Bot-er-Mohed 59. 23 Finistère 14 . 15. Loge aux Loups 61. 39 Gouarec 52 Grand Menhir Brisé 9 Guardian of Locarn 39 Guingamp area 30-32 Huelgoat 22. Croaz-an-Teurec 27. Western Finistère 14-19. place names 12. Summer 29 tallest menhir 15. 50. la 51 Roche-aux-Fées 68-69 Rossil Menhir 44 Saint-Gilles-Pligeaux 45 Saint-Goazec 26. 67 Cléguérec 59 Coat-Couraval. Wedding Party 20.19 folklore 9 Forest of Beffou 40 Forest of Duault 33-35. Mané Braz 64. menhir 58 Roc’h Toul Dolmen 41 Roche Longue. 35 Scaër 29 sea 16. 24. Forest of Lanvaux 60-61. Menez Arez 20-25. dolmen 65 Daoulas and Poulancre 52-59 Daoulas Gorge 52-53 Dent de Saint-Servais 35 Dol-de-Bretagne 67. Forest of Duault 33-39. Argoat 40-45. 11. 58. CoëtCorrec 54. Castel-Rufel 28. 25 fertility rites 9. VieuxBourg 46-51. Ty ar Boudiged 25. Toul an urz 38. Lagatjar 18. alignment 19 Louargat 32 Maël-Pestivien 41 Mané Braz 64 Mané Groh 64 map.
29 .41 Vannes is one of the ancient centres of Breton culture. 42 . 1 .48 Types of Megalith Alignment: Standing stones arranged in lines. cairns.Brittany’s Megaliths Classified by Region Western Finistere well-formed menhirs.10 Many smaller stones and unusual alignments have survived in this area. 18 . Cairn: Stones piled up over dolmens or covered alleys.17 GUinGAMP AreA FOrest OF DUAULt ArGOAt The largest collection of menhirs in Central Brittany is clustered around the Forest of Duault.28 VieUX-BOUrG MenHirs A small commune in which an unusual number of menhirs have survived.14 The rich farmland around Guingamp is home to three unusually-tall menhirs. 35 .5 Map. often tapering towards the top.43 DAOULAs & POULAnCre FOrest OF LAnVAUX CArnAC stOnes Carnac is home to the most extensive collection of megaliths in the world. sometimes exceptionally tall. 23 . aligned with each other though several miles apart. 44 . dolmens. many of which are virtually unknown to the outside world. centre pages. 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.34 The high ground between these two rivers is home to some of the most important megalithic sites in Brittany. 11 . Dolmen: ‘Table stone’. Covered Alley: Series of dolmens arranged to form a covered passageway.22 ‘The Land of Woods’. is dotted with stones. covered alleys. 15 . the traditional name for Central Brittany. and single menhirs. and the megaliths in the forest to the north of the city have been well documented over the centuries. comprising thousands of standing stones in intricate alignments. . perhaps because of its relative remoteness in historical times. huge stones arranged in a ‘table’ shape. Table of Contents. Menhir: Single stone.
the world’s largest dolmen. A once-in-a-lifetime experience.including the world’s tallest menhirs. 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.Brittany is home to the majority of the world’s most significant megalithic sites . never to be forgotten. the world’s largest collection of standing stones. 5€ ₤4. Carnac A tour of Brittany’s megaliths gives a unique insight into an ancient civilisation about which we know virtually nothing. and the world’s largest cairn.50 . 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.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.