Mên-An-Tol, Cornwall

I never thought I’d find myself writing about a bunch of rocks.
Much less going to see a bunch of rocks on purpose.
But Mên-An-Tol proved that I can still surprise myself.

After I had finished exploring The Minack Theatre I went for a drive on a quest to find food and sate the hunger that was fast becoming the soundtrack to my road trip. I was driving along the most serene, almost-abandoned, coastal roads on the way to St Ives when I needed to stop to fix the sat nav and discovered something that caught my eye. So before I could change my mind, I hopped out of the car and roamed down the muddy track path towards Mên-An-Tol, or as I like to call them, the LOL rocks.

Mên-An-Tol is a small formation of standing rocks that, if you look at them from the side, spell LOL. I don’t know if it was planned that way, but it seems quite fitting considering nobody really has much of a clue about the stones purpose.

The name Mên-An-Tol quite literally means the holed stone and the LOL rocks that are the megalithic formation, have been there since the 1700’s although originally the stones were spaced out in a triangle formation.

The triangle formation, however, became a thing of the past when local farmers brought them closer together putting them in an almost horizontal line. Which I’m honest, I much prefer because it quite literally presents you with the LOLs.

The purpose of the stone remain a mystery, however that hasn’t stopped people from trying to assemble the stories of their past. Some believe that the stone was part of a burial chamber whilst others believed that the stone was part of the remains of a larger stone circle. A theory which later gained some traction when a site survey identified that there were a number of recumbent stones lying in the circumference in a circle which spanned 18metres in diameter, just beneath the modern turf.

The story of how the stones got there later moved on to theories of what they were used for, with many believing that the stones were aligned to be looked through as though they were windows, positioned to look either at the local surroundings, or into another world altogether.

But after all these years, the theories remain just that. I bet the people who moved/created structures such as these had no idea just how much confusion they would create!

It turns out that stones with holes as large as Mên-An-Tol were pretty rare in historic Cornwall and there’s only one other that bares any resemblance. The rest of the holes in the stones were tiny, but because of Mên-An-Tol’s spacious hole (lol) tales of folklore spread which lead many people to believe that passing through the rock’s hole, would cure an array of ailments.

Which in my opion is a load of poppycock.
Because it did not cure my ailment, just caused one.
You see it’s become apparent that one should not go exploring whilst wearing white jeans or said jeans will no longer be very white. But then they way I see it is you can always buy more jeans!

over and out,
Amy Morgan