Megalithic remains around Carnac

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Most people visit Carnac for the alignments and don’t bother to visit the other megalithic remains. This is a shame as there are some equally splendid ones to be found. Apart from Kercado where there is an honesty box there is no charge for any of these. They are open all day light hours. Access is mostly good although wheelchair users may have difficulty entering some of the structures.

TUMULUS DE KERCADO is signed off the rue du Tumulus. Coming from Carnac it is a right hand turn just after the lake. The tree lined road road takes you down to a gateway (locked) into the Chateau and there is a small restaurant. There is a small stone entrance hut with information leaflets and an honesty box. Entry is €1 which helps pay for the electric light in the tumulus.

It is a short walk to the tumulus which is a large earth covered mound with a menhir on top and another facing the doorway. Dating from 4800BC it is one of the oldest megalithic site in Europe. It was used as a hiding place by the “chouans” (insurgent Breton royalists) during the Revolution. It was exposed in 1863 and excavated in 1925 when the remains of a chief were found with 147 callais beads (sea green precious stone), decorated pottery, flint implements and human teeth. The large entrance leads to a low doorway (mind your head and back) and long passageway to the big chamber at the far end, lit by an electric light.

Tumulus de St-Michel is just to the north of Carnac Ville and there is parking at the bottom of the road. A small chapel has been built on top of a tumulus. It was a dull day with poor visibility so we gave this a miss.

Coming from Carnac, the DOLMENS DE MANE KERIONED are reached by a right turn onto the D68, Auray road. They can be seen from the road. There is a small car park opposite and it is a short walk to the three dolmens. There are two large dolmens with upright stones and massive capstones. The third dolmen is underground and there are steps down into it. It has a massive end chamber with a carved end stone. There is no electricity and only a limited amount of day light reaches the end chamber. Unfortunately we had forgotten to take a torch. It was too dark to focus for photographing with flash so Michael had to use manual and guess the distance. With the eye of faith the stones along the passageway could also have had carvings.

There is a big dolmen in the hamlet of CRUCUNO, reached from a side turning off D781. A sign in the village pointing to “Cromlech” Takes you along a rough track to the ‘QUADRILATÈRE’, a large rectangle of stones surrounded by smaller menhirs, in a field. The purpose of this is unknown. It was restored in 1882 as only nine of the stones were still standing. It lies exactly along the cardinal points with the diagonals orientated towards the rising and setting sun. However it is not known whether this was intentional or the result of enthusiastic and over inspired restoration.

MANÉ CROC’H is a bit further along the road beyond Crucuno. There is a large park on the left side of the road with a signed walk to Mané Braz and Kerzerho, with a smaller park on the opposite side of the road for Mane Croc’h. This is a long T shaped dolmen with side chambers.

The ALIGNMENTS OF KERZERHO are on the main road from Carnac, just before Erdeven. The road cuts through the alignments and there is a large car park. The stones are arranged in several lines but there aren’t as many as at Carnac. Few people get this far and the stones are unfenced and you are able to wander freely around them. At the left hand corner is a small sign pointing to the giant menhirs. A track took us to about 20 massive menhirs among the trees. Some had fallen. A sign said the tallest were 6-7m high. The day we visited, star shapes made from maize heads, Russian vine and hawthorn had been arranged on the ground by some of the menhirs – it had a definite pagan feel.


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