Menhir of Champ-Dolent, Dol de Bretagne, (Brittany). Image credit: Farz brujunet

Champ Dolent “Field Of Sorrow” Menhir – Largest Standing Stone Was Built By Fairies Ancient Bretons Said

A. Sutherland  – – Not far from Brittany’s medieval town Dol, the menhir of Champ Dolent has its location.

It’s northern Brittany’s most potent megalithic landmark among many other megaliths. It is the largest standing stone is about 10m high and 8.70m wide at its widest part.

Menhir of Champ-Dolent, Dol de Bretagne, (Brittany). Image credit: Farz brujunet

Menhir of Champ-Dolent, Dol de Bretagne, (Brittany). Image credit: Farz brujunet – CC BY-SA 3.0

In the distant past, gigantic megalithic structures were believed to have been built by supernatural spirits. In the beliefs of the Breton peasants,  the megaliths are not human efforts and actions.

The masters who created them in the form of menhirs, dolmens, and stand ing stones were – f

airy builders.

According to researchers who investigated many of these stone constructions,  these were undoubtedly human-made monuments (there is no doubt that it was necessary to be strong to erect this mass) and most probably associated with a sun cult.

But the question remains: how could these ancient people handle the stones’ weight and size? What kind of equipment they had at their disposal?

Or perhaps, the megaliths were already there, and people began using them for their purposes?

“…Many of the huge monoliths we see scattered around the countryside in Brittany were quite possibly phallic symbols promoting fertility, health, and male virility…” 1

What was their original purpose? Were they religious or funeral monuments?

The Champ Dolent Standing Stone is oval with a smooth surface, and it is made of pinkish granite, quarried about 4.0 km away, and its weight is around 100 tons.

Its name means -“Field of Sorrow.”

Excavations showed that the first traces of human occupation in Brittany date back to around 700,000 BC. The Neolithic people appeared in the region between 5500BC and 2000BC, but we know very little about them. The lack of oral tradition makes the Champ Dolent even more mysterious.

The Legend of Satan And Other Legends Related to Menhir of Champ Dolent

A long time ago, the menhir was surmounted by a large crucifix and was traditionally linked to the foundation of St. Samson Cathedral of Dol de Bretagne.

Legend has it that one day Satan stood on the top of Mont Dol, one of two hills. He suddenly saw  St. Samson building a cathedral atop the second hill – Dol de Bretagne. The thought that such a large, imposing Christian building should be built on a pagan site made him very angry.

Champ Dolent "Field Of Sorrow" Menhir – Largest Standing Stone In Northern Brittany

Background image – France – Province of Bretagne (Brittany) (1789) – Ty’s Commons  – CC BY-SA 4.0

So Satan took a ‘huge rock’ and threw it towards the cathedral. His action seriously damaged the top of the north tower of the cathedral. In the meantime,  the “rock” plunged into the plateau of the nearby village Carfantin, and this place became the field of little Dol (Champ du Petit Dol) -Champ Dolent.

In his “Notes of a Tourist,” 1854, Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle (1783 – 1842) French writer said about the mysterious Champ Dolent menhir:

“It should be noted that such granite is found only three-quarters of a league from the city, on Mont Dole, a hill surrounded by swamps, which was probably once an island. The … stone rests on a rock of quartz and plunges several feet into it. By what mechanism could the Gauls, who, in our opinion, were not versed in technology, transport a block of granite forty feet long and eight feet thick?

How did they install it?  2

Another legend says the Champ Dolent standing stone appeared during the terrible fight between the two brothers and their armies. Suddenly the gigantic rock fell heavily from the sky and stuck in the ground to separate the fighters. Heavenly powers took pity on the brothers and had to intervene. They shed so much blood that it ran down into the waters of the valley.

A third legend tells that the Champ Dolent has its own secret. Even though it looks solid and massive, it sinks into the ground – every time someone dies. In another version, the stone sinks a little more than one inch every century.

In one way or another, the end of the world and doomsday will occur when the prominent Champ Dolent has completely disappeared.

Written by – A. Sutherland  – Senior Staff Writer

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Expand for references


  1. Beeaff, Dianne Ebertt. Spirit Stones

Bonnerot, Jean. “Le Manuscrit Des ‘Mémoires d’un Touriste’ de Stendhal.” Revue d’Histoire Littéraire de La France 37, no. 4 (1930): 577–601.

Lancaster Brown, Peter., Megaliths, Myths and Men

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