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MEN AN TOL

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Men-an-Tol consists of one holed stone, three standing stones, six recumbent stones, one possible stone and a possible cairn. The recumbent stones are both visible and buried. The 'cairn' exists as a low stony mound just to the southeast of the holed stone and it should be noted that there are two other early Bronze Age barrows/cairns between 120 and 150 metres to the north. The holed stone and flanking standing stones have been present in folklore for centuries, as people believed the holed stone exuded healing properties. It is thought to date to either the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age, depending on the interpretation preferred.

Plans of the positions of the recumbent stones in particular suggest that the monument as it is known is actually part of a stone circle, up to 18m in diameter. Although hole stones are not generally associated with stone circles they have been shown to form part of these monuments in Scotland. The holed stone may be naturally shaped rather than sculpted hence the larger size of the hole compared to others known in the region. It has also been suggested that it could have been a capstone for the 'cairn' originally, before being moved to its present position. If it was part of a stone circle it was likely to have been turned by a 90 degree angle, however as it has been cemented in with concrete at the base any evidence of this movement has been lost.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.