The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

The Merry Maidens

Stone Circle


The name
Pre-20th century descriptions of Cornish stone circles frequently refer to them as 'Dans Men' or 'Dawns Meyn', usually interpreted at as ritual places where ceremonies including dancing mayhave taken place. However, 'Dans Men' may be a mispronunciation of 'Zans Meyn' the Cornish phrase meaning 'stone circle'.

So, 'maiden' may be a simple misinterpretation of the Cornish word for stone: men, maen or meyn.

The word 'merry' may be a corruption of the word Mary, the name of an ancient goddess and nothing to do with Christianity. She was Ma-Ri, her name signifiying a fruitful or fertile mother.

From Ian Cooke's 'Antiquities of West Cornwall', 1990
Jane Posted by Jane
15th December 2003ce
Edited 15th December 2003ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment