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

Morbihan (56) including Carnac



We pursued this [rough track] until the extreme ruggedness of the plain rendered further advance almost impossible.. I was [pleased] that my drive was at an end, and was not less pleased to find that no garrulous guides pounced on me when I alighted from the carriage.. I was happily alone; for Carnac is one of those places where solitude becomes a luxury, and consequently where guides would be more than usually vexatious and troublesome;

for what could they tell the visitor respecting the mysterious ranks of obelisks, the purposes of which have baffled speculative investigations and learned inquiries?

Nothing beyond the whimsical legend current among Bretons, that the stones of Carnac are the soldiers of a mighty army petrified by St. Cornely, who, being hard pressed by them, took the effectual method of frustrating their murderous purposes by turning them into stone.

The skeletons of the soldiers, adds the legend, may be seen on certain occasions at midnight, in the churchyard at Carnac, performing penance for the sins committed in the flesh against the saint, and listening reverently to sermons preached by Death himself.

If you are curious to know more, you will be shown the pulpit of the grim preacher, a dilapidated stone Calvary, and, if you have sufficient courage, you may even hear the sermon; though, if accounts be true, the penalty of intrusion, on being detected by the ghastly congregation, is far more severe than that with which Tam o' Shanter* was threatened.
p246 of Charles Richard Weld's "A vacation in Brittany' (1856) - now digitised at Google Books.

*of Robert Burns' poem.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
11th October 2007ce
Edited 11th October 2007ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment