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be desired that this object should be rescued from its present position, and put within the church, or in some place of security; otherwise it may be destroyed at any moment.
4. CARNANTON, CORNWALL.—The fourth stoup is found in Cornwall, and is preserved carefully in the hall of Humphrey Willyams, Esq., of Carnanton. It is of white stone, probably granitic, and is rather deeper than the stoup at Llangefni. It is commonly called a Roman mortar. It has four handles, but one of them is broken ; and it is devoid of water-channels. It most probably came from one of the neighbouring churches; but whether from the parochial church of St. Mawgan, close by,—now so admirably restored,—is not known.
I confess that, looking at an isolated object like this, and unaware of the existence of similar ones, I should be much puzzled to conceive its true destination; nor could I fully resolve my doubts with regard to any of these stoups until I had an opportunity of making an architectural tour in Picardy and the Boulonnais a few years ago. Then, especially in the latter district, and in churches of various dates, I frequently found stoups of this kind fixed in their usual places, just within the entrance doorway, and still serving their original sacred purpose. They were very similar in size and ornamentation ; but though they had projecting ribs, were fixed within small niches, and evidently were not intended to be removed. At one place in particular (Clari?), the small church just north of Etaples, where the old port once was, and where traces of the Roman station have been observed, a stoup occurs which may well puzzle an antiquary, for it is almost impossible to distinguish it from a common apothecary's marble mortar ; and, in fact, it seems as if it were quite modern. It is just within the west doorway; while the old font of the church is pitched out into the graveyard, to make room for a debased, semi-classic one of no interest, either ancient or modern.
II. L. J.
ALIGNMENTS IN WALES.
If it is allowed that the ancient inhabitants of Brittany were of the same race as those who occupied Devonshire, Cornwall, Wales, and other parts of Great Britain, we should expect to find a similarity in the monuments they have left. But instead of such similarity we find a remarkable contrast; for while on this side of the British Channel we have circles of various dimensions, on the other side, and especially in Brittany, they are not usually found. On the other hand, numerous alignments exist in that country, but are unknown in these islands, except on a small and irregular scale. In speaking, however, of circles, it is necessary to confine the term to such as cannot have been the remains of carns or similar structures; for in many cases where the carns have vanished, all but the outer rings of stones, which limited the base of the carn, remain; and these stones being usually larger and more unwieldy than the small ones, and not adapted for building walls or houses, have been left when the earth and the smaller and more useful stones have been removed. By circles, therefore, should be understood those of some size, and composed of isolated blocks or pillar-stones. Some difficulty also arises as regards what the French call“ cromlechs,”—a term as unfortunate and objectionable as it is when used, in the English sense, of another kind of monument, viz. the denuded chamber. To illustrate the confusion of ideas in such a matter, we may quote M. Mahé's description of what he calls cromlechs, which he always speaks of as particularly rare in a country, where stone chambers or dolmens abound in great numbers, and yet does not perceive that the instances he gives are nothing more than ruined stone chambers, the supporting stones of which are arranged more in a circular than rectangular form. He describes one in Arradon, about nine feet (French) in diameter, as still retain
1 The term “cromlech” is unknown in Ireland.
ing its cap-stone; another, in the commune of St. Maurice, about sixteen feet, has also its covering ; while a smaller one, of seven feet in diameter, in the Ile d'Arz, has lost that appendage. Even without the proof of the existing covering stones, it is evident that his cromlechs are chambers more or less circular, which, no doubt, are much rarer than the rectangular ones.
M. Du Caumont, in his Cours (vol. i, p. 87), describes them as enceintes druidiques, including under the term “cromlech," circles composed of stones, and those composed of earth; and seems to mean a very different monument from those of M. Mahé: in fact, he reckons among them our Wiltshire, Cornish, and Scotch circles, and therefore means what is ordinarily meant by a stone circle. But of such circles he hardly knows of any in France; at least he only refers to one of twelve stones in the Chartrain district, and having a diameter of sixty feet.
In his own country, Normandy, he does not know of a single instance, although that district is rather rich in other megalithic remains. In the departments of Eure and Seine Inférieure, circles appear to be wanting ; but he speaks of the remains of one near Aigle, in the department of Arne. He gives, however, no particulars. There was formerly, he informs us, near Saumur an eminence consisting of twelve stones and a central one, which may possibly have been one of the supporters of a chamber. If, however, circles were to be found anywhere, it would be in that district, where the most numerous and the grandest monuments exist; but even in that district, Lower Brittany, with one exception, they are not found. That one exists, or rather did (for we believe the stones have vanished), on the small peninsula of Kermovan, a few miles from Brest. An account of it is recorded in the Transactions of the Royal Society of French Antiquaries (vol. iii, p. 16), and no doubt was contributed by M. Fremenville, a member of the society, and is probably the same as the one he has printed in his Finisterre. As he saw Druid
work in almost every monument, he, of course, makes this an enceinte druidique, and thus explains the details. The circle, or rather the ellipse, of 120 feet one way, and 90 feet another, consists of twelve stones; the highest, about 8 feet, placed at the eastern extremity; and the next highest, one about 6 feet, at the opposite end. Under the highest sat the archdruid; but we are not informed who occupied the next seat of honour. Just beyond the ellipse are two dolmens, which he converts into altars, where the mystic ceremonies were performed in presence of the Druidic convocation. no doubt, a burial-place, for under one of the stones a stone celt has since been found. In his Cotes du Nord (p. 331) he finds another enceinte druidique near Begars, but which looks more like a defensive earthwork. This was an ellipse, 1,300 feet from north to south, with a raised kind of esplanade at the northern end. He mentions some stones (nineteen in all), which he thinks lined the chord and arc of the raised part; but he allows they are not in their original place, and may, therefore, have formed part of the defences. But he mentions one fact which may be recorded, namely, the existence of a menhir, 24 feet high, at the extremity of the enclosure opposite the esplanade. Half way up, on the face of it, are cut three circles, placed nearly one above the other, and of different sizes. In these circles he recognises the sun in the highest, the earth in the middle one, and the moon in the lowest and smallest. But whatever the nature of this enclosure, it does not look like a stone circle; so that we may conclude this writer, who traversed Brittany on foot with some care, could only discover one such stone monument, viz. the one near Brest.
At the meeting of the late Bretonne Association, held 1852, at St. Brieuc, mention was made of a stone circle at Trebeurden, which, if really a circle, was unusually gigantic. There are, however, only eight stones, of which the average height is not given; but they are described as “ disposés en cercle à un kilomètre de distance."
If this means they were placed at a kilomètre apart from one another, the circle must have had a circumference of five miles, putting the kilomètre at 3,288 English feet. If it is meant that the diameter is a kilomètre, it would still be a very large circle, greater than our own Avebury circle. It is simply mentioned as one of a list of Celtic remains of the department; but as it does not appear to be elsewhere noticed, there may be some misconception on the subject, and the stones are probably not parts of a circle at all.
With the exception of a circular enclosure on the high narrow ridge by which the peninsula of Crozon is connected with the rest of the department, and which is said to be more of a military character, there does not appear to be any circle except those which have been mentioned. Had they ever existed to the same extent as they are found in this country, we might have expected to have found at least traces of them in the wilder and uncultivated districts. We find alignments in abundance, of which the most important are the three or four separate groups, which have generally been confounded together, as the great Carnac alignment; but that these are separate and distinct alignments is shewn, not so much by the intervening void spaces, as by the fact that each group, as one proceeds westward, commences with smaller stones, which increase in size until they reach a certain point where there appears to be an enclosure generally rectangular. The same is observed in the succeeding groups, and finally in the grandest of them, near the village of Carnac, which terminates with a semicircular enclosure. This is the group near St. Michael's Mount that is usually visited. Proceeding westward, the large Plouharnel chambers (in one of which the two curious gold collars were found) are passed on the route to the Erdeven groups; beyond which, again, at some little distance, is the Plouhinec alignment, consisting of several rows of massive blocks rather than the ordinary menhirs. These include what may be called the great alignments of Brit