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


Standing Stone / Menhir


The great Menhir of Kerloaz stands on a dreary moorland, with no object near it to distract attention from the impressive mass. It consists of a single granite block, thirty-seven feet nine inches high, having a quadrangular base, with a curious round protuberance on two of its sides, about three feet from the ground.

Numerous conjectures have been hazarded respecting these bosses, none of which are supported by tradition. They are regarded with extraordinary veneration by the peasants. Villemarque states that newly-married people repair to this imposing Menhir at nightfall, and divesting themselves of a portion of their clothes, the husband goes to one boss, the wife to the other, and rub their naked bodies against the stone; the man believing that by this ridiculous ceremony he will be the father of male children only, while the woman hopes that she will have dominion over her husband.

The ground surrounding this Menhir is called in Breton "Kerglas," which means the field of grief or mourning -- traditionary evidence that the obelisk was erected as a funeral monument. In this case, Villemarque justly observes, the vast size of the stone denotes that the grave contained a mighty chief, for generally speaking, the bulk of the monument raised over the bodies of chiefs was proportionate to their rank and valour in war.
I just love it when these people call something 'ridiculous' and then come out with something equally spurious.

From p187 of Charles Richard Weld's "A vacation in Brittany' (1856) - now digitised at Google Books.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
11th October 2007ce

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