This was a site we somehow missed on our last visit, probably as we were already overwhelmed by the plethora of megaliths in Brittany, but today we find it easily, signposted off the D141 just north of the village of Trehorenteuc.
A large sized, but somewhat potholed and muddy, car park gives access to the site. After parking up just make sure you take the path to the west, directly opposite where you park the car, and not the wider dirt track to the south, and a short walk will bring you to the rectangular stone setting of the Jardin Aux Moines, the ‘Monks Garden’. According to the information sign this would once have been a burial mound, it is 27m long and consists of 26 stones on the south side, and 27 on the north, with a separate compartment formed at the east end of the setting. Briard's excavations in the 1980's suggested the moument may have been a multi-stage one, the eastern compartment being the earliest, before the western rectangle was later added.
Interestingly the stones alternate between white quartz and red schist, the contrast really noticeable in the low morning sunlight. Burl also states that the1983 excavations uncovered a pile of red and white stones covering the remains of two late Neolithic pots, so the ancient builders obviously placed great significance in this variation of colours.
Like so many Breton sites it is surrounded by pleasant woodland, and we have the place to ourselves. It’s a nicely restored and cared for site, an enigmatic place, and among the myths and legends of ancient Broceliande well worth seeking out, after all it’s easier to find than the grail.
The legend behind this site is that a group of monks from the area would gather for feasts and debaucheries with local lords in the forest. Saint Meen passing through the area encountered them and tried to encourage them to be more pious in the pursuit of a monastic life. Driving away the saint with derision and laughter divine retribution was swift in arriving, as the feasting party of monks and lords was pertified at the site of their revels.