On the western coast of D’Iroise in Finistère between Argenton and the village of Landunvez sits a dolmen known locally as “Men Milliget” – The Cursed Stone. It is in fact the Dolmen of Saint Gonvel, not that the so called saint is interred here for this monument is a couple of a thousand years older that this evangelical man.
The monument, which is half buried in the sandy dune is dominated by a mound formed by a rock outcrop.
It sits behind a medieval chapel dedicated the saint. A huge 3.70 m by 2.30 m slab covers six vertical pillars, overflowing them very widely. Inside, the sepulchral chamber measures 2.30 m by 1.70 m. The table overflows the orthostates All the stones are of local pink granite. The entrance seems to have been very disturbed.
Most of the megalithic sites in the region have some saintly association. No surprises here, as Christianity took hold in Brittany saints floated in from the Celtic Sea and Ireland and Wales and Cornwall on mythical sea beasts and magical rocks and became associated with a pre-existing site.
Saint Gonvel was no exception and he quickly became highly venerated by sailors, fishermen, boatmasters and merchants. Now if you saw how treacherous the waters are here in this region and how quickly the weather whips in and changes, you’d be glad of all the help you could get too. Saint Gonvel, a Breton saint who, like many others, is not recognised by the Church. He is thought to have been a hermit from the Early Middle Ages who also lived in the Bois du Gars in L’Hôpital-
Camfrout. In the Iroise’s country, you can see his name in the the town of Plougonvelin.
It is thought that he chose the dolmen that now bears his name as a place of hermitage. It took me a while to find this Dolmen and as I walked up the tree lined avenue fork lightening struck the ground to my left followed very swiftly by a loud crack of thunder. To say it scared the bejaysus out of me would be an understatement. Taking comfort in knowing that lightening never strikes the
same place twice I persevered. It is a sweet site, if a little scary and I had no wish to linger there.
I paid homage, took my photos, and skipped back down the path again fairly lively.
I have no idea why the capstone of this dolmen is considered cursed and I have no urge to discover more about why that be so. Some things are best left alone. Nowadays the locals call it “an Dol Ven” The Coffee Table, an altogether more benign nickname.
GPS : 48°31’40 N 4°45’35 W