Yesterday my daughter, who's staying with me in her van-come-weaving studio, took me out to this menhir, which I've wanted to visit for a while. It's the menhir de Kerampeulven, bordering a hamlet. The name as far as I can make out means 'the house/town/settlement (ker) by the (am) tall stone/megalith/stone column ('peul' plus 'ven', which is 'men', as in 'menhir', 'longstone')'. As in Cornish and Welsh, in Breton 'm' mutates to 'v' or sometimes 'b' depending on the preceding word-ending. Got that??
It's a beautiful stone in a little glade, with apple trees to one side. It must be 18 or so feet tall – between 5 and 6 metres, I'd guess. There are others in Brittany that are more than twice that height: for instance, the menhir de Kerloas in Plouarzel, which is more than 11 metres tall. Brittany, of course, especially in the Morbihan area in the south, has one of the most dense concentrations of megalithic monuments in Europe.
It will date from the Neolithic; so at least 3500/4000 years ago, probably more. Who knows what our ancestors 'meant' with these monuments: ceremonial/ritual? Astronomical/calendars for marking the year's turning points? Both? Neither?
On one side, probably much later, have been inscribed some figures: a strange cupped cross, a house-like structure, what looks like a goose (not dissimilar to the Pictish goose), and a pig with a curly tail: