Men-an-Tol

Men-an-Tol

The Men-an-Tol (Men an tol) is a unique Ancient monument that is situated in far West Cornwall near Madron and not too far from Lanyon Quoit or Chysauster. The name means literally stone with hole and is thought to date back to the bronze age 3-4000 years ago.

As you can see from the pictures it currently comprises of 2 standing stones and 1 middle holed stone each of which is around 1 metre high. Holed stones do exist in Ancient structures, but not usually in alignments such as this. The symbol of the holed stone often signified a burial chamber, but this is not evidenced here.

There has been some debate as to whether these stones were part of a stone circle, but when they were first evidenced by William Borlase (see entry for Pendeen) there were no signs of this, although there are stones in the vicinity that could have been used for it.His documentation of it showed it being in a triangle shape, so there is a strong possibility that it was not always aligned in it's current shape.

The Men-an-Tol has some strong superstitions attached to it with stories of it's healing powers if children were passed through the holed stone a certain number of times. Other possible theories for its use include fertility rituals, or its alignments in terms of certain sunrises and sunsets.

Men-an-Tol close

What is without doubt is that this is a unique monument in a secluded beautiful setting and you cannot view it without reflecting on it's history and the the people who have built it and witnessed it for thousands of years.

Although there are roads nearby, this has to be reached on foot with a mile walk or so next to private property, so please respect this and the monument.

Men-an-Tol