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

Dolmen de Coste-Rouge

Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech


Driving north and east of Lodeve up a very twisty-turny mountain lane we reached the Priory St Michel de Grandmont – our main attraction here is this fabulous dolmen in its private grounds.

The entrance fee of E4.50 entitles you to look round the abbey (which has got a nice cloister and worth a peep) but you also get a guided tour to the dolmen. They don't let you go on your own we think because of the resident herd of fallow deer roaming free and they don't want hunters taking potshots and poaching. Despite having to drive such a long way to get here from our gite in Arles, having to pay an entrance fee and having to be escorted to the dolmen, it's all worth it because its FAB.

A true Beauty. A capstone with exquisite flatness on its underside, such lovely stones leaning jauntily inwards are all surpassed by the charming catflap door in the portal stone. We had little time here (an elderly Belgian couple were escorted there at the same time as us) and so I immediately got to work drawing. It made me think about its picturesque loveliness of places like Poulabroune, combined with the startling wondrousness of the dolmens we'd seen on that hot Jordanian hillside two years before. This dolmen has been christianised - the monks at the abbey carved as small cross into one of the side stones.

In the middle ages the dolmen was used in a bizarre way to cure leprosy. The monks would burn the clothes of the afflicted person, who would then climb up on the dolmen and twice roll around and rub their skin on the capstone. Such hocus pocus! Is it any wonder that I put my faith in science and not witchcraft?
Jane Posted by Jane
21st September 2007ce
Edited 23rd September 2007ce

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