Friday, September 14, 2018

Normandy Megalith The Young Lady of Bracqueville

The Demoiselle de Bracqueville
© Paintwalk Sep 2018
To visit this stone, find your way from Bény-sur-Mer to the south along small tracks to Bracqueville farm. Park near to the farm, and walk about 500 metres along the track which passes in front of the farm until you get to a junction of track ways. Then take the grassy track to the left, and the Menhir is a further 500 metres along and just into the field on the left. (Google Maps link)
According to the locals, the Demoiselle was so called because of the nocturnal appearances of young ladies dressed in white, around the Menhir. It is a fact that by the beautiful moonlight, the silhouette and the light gray coloration of the Menhir simulate a person covered with a long veil. It is said that there were once several Menhirs in the area.
© Paintwalk Sep 2018
In 1906, one Monsieur Leon Coutil noted the Menhir and its old names in his report to the Prehistoric Congress of Vannes. In the chapter, Fairy Stones: "Bény-sur-Mer. the stone was known locally as "The Stone planted, the Squirrel or the Demoiselle without legend."   © Paintwalk Sep 2018
The Menhir is about 1.4 metres tall, 0.7 metres wide and 0.3 metres thick, and is leaning towards the North. The farmer has left very little room around it, and it has some recent scrapes and damage done to it. It is likely that this Menhir often gets obscured by crops in the summer so spring and autumn would be the best time to visit and also less likely to annoy the farmers.  © Paintwalk Sep 2018
Like some others in the area and certainly in the UK there is a small artificially dug cup in the top of the Menhir. This was noted in a 1909 report interested in the variations of the cult of the cupules.

"The top of the Menhir is irregularly cut, and presents a plateau of 0m18 in length, about 0m15 wide, having on the north-west side a kind of semi-circular bulge in which is hollowed a basin."
© Paintwalk Sep 2018
"This very curious bowl measures 16cm in diameter by 15cm in depth. The outer edge is only 2cm thick. The bottom of the cuvette is placed in communication with the outside by a horizontal perforation opening on the northwest face of the Menhir, a few centimetres above a small crack which seems to me due to an accident or disintegration of the rock, but slightly notched."

"The shape and position of this basin remind me of my first interpretation, and it seems to me very plausible that this basin is of megalithic cultic origin."
© Paintwalk Sep 2018
  This unusually angled Menhir is set in a quiet and non built up area and if you can get to it is well worth the trip for the ambience.
© Paintwalk Sep 2018

Going to normandy this year?
If you're interested in stone circles, standing stones and megaliths in general check out this index. Directions and locations available on each page.

Normandy Megalith The Young Lady of Bracqueville 

Normandy Megalith Galerie Couverte de la Petite Roche

Normandy Megalith - Pierre au Rey

Normandy Megalith Pierre Butée

The Devil Stone Bere Regis Dorset Megalith

The Fairy Tree and the Devil of Rabey Wood

Normandy Megalith The High Man of Hacouville

Normandy Megalith the Long Man of St Pierre Eglise 

Normandy Megalith - Allée couverte de Bretteville

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