Sliding (la glissade), the best-preserved of the pre-megalithic forms of worship, is characterized by the contact, at times brutish, of a part of the person of the believer with the stone itself. The most typical examples which have been preserved (and as the rites have no doubt generally been carried on in secret, much has escaped the observer) are in relation to love and fecundity.
In the north of Ille-et-Vilaine are a series of large blocks, at times, but not always, worn into cups, which have received the significant name of "Roches Ecriantes" because the young girls, that they may soon be married, climb to the top of them and let themselves slide (in patois ecrier) to the bottom; and some of them, indeed, are to a certain extent polished because of the oft- repeated ceremony, observed by numberless generations, which we are assured has been practised there.
At Mell( (Ille-et-Vilaine) the " Roche Ecriante " was worn full of basins; on the rock of the same name at Montault, a neighbor- ing parish, inclined at an angle of 45 degrees, there were visible evidences of numberless girls who had there ecriees. After the sliding it was necessary to place on the stone, which, however, no one must see done, a little piece of cloth or ribbon.
The Worship of Stones in France
Paul Sébillot and Joseph D. McGuire
American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1902), pp. 76-107
According to Celtic mythology, the island was a sea tomb for the souls of the dead.
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A Giant from the legends of King Arthur. This Giant killed and abducted the niece of Brittany, Helena. He took her to his cave in the mountains known as Mont Saint Michel. He had plundered the nearby villages spreading fear among the locals. There was no man or woman who had not fled the land where the Giant dwelled. Hearing this, King Hoel then asked for the help of King Arthur and his knights to kill the Giant. King Arthur ventured with Sir Kay and Sir Bedevere, and two squires. They rode through the deserted forests until they they were within site of Mont Saint Michel. Upon the mountain range they saw two fires burning one to the east and one to the west. King Arthur could not decide which one to investigate first and so he sent Bevidere to the smaller fire. Bevidere journeyed across the rocky terrain and drew his sword when he heard movements. When he came to the fire he met an old woman mourning next to a tomb. She told him that she cried for the death of a girl that she had nursed since childhood who had been killed by the Giant. She told Bevidere to leave this place now before the devilish beast killed them all. Bevidere reported back to King Arthur who decided to travel to the other larger fire alone. King Arthur with sword and shield in hand, approached the Giant in an attempt to catch him off-guard. The Giant lept up immediately and took a club of oak which he put in the fire. The two fought ferociously until King Arthur cut the Giant between his eyebrows. Blinded by blood the Giant thrashed about with his club and eventually caught King Arthur’s arm. The King wrestled free and after exchanging blade against wood, the King thrusted his sword under the Giant’s crocodile skin armour and killed him. He then called for assistance and Sir Kay beheaded the enormous man to prove to the locals that the Giant had been slain.
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Legend says that a mythical giant named Cormoran once lived on the Mount, and he used to wade ashore and steal cows and sheep from the villagers to feed his gargantuan appetite.
One night, a local boy called Jack rowed out to the island and dug a deep pit while the giant was asleep. As the sun rose, Jack blew a horn to wake the angry giant who staggered down from the summit and – blinded by the sunlight – fell into the pit and died.
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In the year 708, the town of Avranches, which is very close to the Mont, was ruled by a bishop named Aubert. One night, Aubert saw the Archangel Saint-Michel in a dream. The Archangel gave him the order to build a place of worship in his honour on the mount lost in shifting sand. Aubert did nothing about it, thinking his imagination had got the better of him. The Archangel grew impatient with him, and when he appeared the third time, he poked a hole in Aubert's skull to make him believe him. Aubert began to construct the sanctuary in the shape of a cave which could receive hundreds of pilgrims.
Having just come from Champ Dolent menhir we had by necessity to get round the town of Rennes, this proved to be a challenge of considerable size, I have since become convinced that the French have arranged there road system in such a manner as to utterly confound the foreign traveler, perhaps in response to the conflicts of the previous century. But in the end we found our way out of Rennes and going in the right direction, then we got lost again. How i HATE DRIVING IN FRANCE.
After much, no, prolific growling, swearing and head smacking we got to our destination.
The car park has, since my last visit 11 years ago, shrunk by half, in order to erect a none necessary visitor shop and information hub. Really not needed, but at least they haven't started to take money off us.
There was only one car in the car park and the owner was in the shop, so, superbly we had the monument to ourselves.
This was my favorite place last time we came here and it was highly essential that I come back next time I was here.
It really has it all, the stones used seem to be perfect for the job, the size of the whole construction is massive to say the least. The inside is high enough for Masai warriors to do their bouncy dance, heck it's big enough to drive a car through. The entrance stones are stunning, I sat against a tree for some time staring in disbelief at it's perfection. Then some people came, just about the only buzzkill that I find it hard to cope with, then a load came all at once. Bugger, that'll be time to go then.
Winter solstice is the time to be here, at sunrise the the sun shines through the entrance and illuminates the interior, and presumably the gaggle of amazed megalithiticians as well, I hope to be one some day.
When first arriving into Brittany the natural first place place to go to is Mont St Michel, it is a magical Hogwarty dreamy kind of place. But when the hoards of tourists (and I cant stress the word hoards enough) choke the only street, it is time to come here, to the Menhir, thee menhir, of Champ Dolent.
At 32 feet, it is just over 6 feet taller than the Rudston monolith, Britain's tallest stone, but hey, it's not a competition, is it ? It is so big it just giddies the mind and it becomes impossible to look at its height and girth with out smiling, they were a bit bonkers in Brittany weren't they ?
There were a few people here today, but none of them stayed long, when ever someone comes we take a seat on a nearby table and watch them take the inevitable selfie, sorry to use such a contemporary term, I am in no way a modern man.
It was harder to find the stone this time, don't know why, and the bushes that lined the short path to the stone have gone, opening the whole place right up.
Burl says the Granite monolith was taken from a massif 4 km to the south, and erected on the Schist plateau, it's name is sometimes translated as "the field of sadness" which is interestingly samey as Kerloas "The heath of sadness".
The Menhir of Dol is said to be related to the Menhir De Noyal, 17km south east, related by the Devil throwing them both from Mont St Michel.
Menhir de Champ-Dolent is essential viewing for any stone hunting trip to Brittany. It is a true marvel.