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Quick Facts on Merry Maidens

Short URL
Dawn's Men Merry Maidens
Cornwall  county
England  country
United Kingdom  country
Europe  continent
Main date(s)
c. 5500-3500 BCE
50.065137° N, 5.588731° W

Description of Merry Maidens

The Merry Maidens are named for the local legend that they were created when 19 girls were turned into stone for dancing on the Sabbath. The stones are also known as the Dawn's Men, from a corruption of Dans Maen, "the stone dance."

The Merry Maidens consist of 19 stones of local granite, which form a perfect circle 78 feet (23.8m) in diameter. The stones are spaced about 12 feet apart from each other, with a 20-foot gap at the east end that is probably the entrance. The stones average about 4 feet high and are arranged from shortest to tallest; the tallest stones are on the southwest side of the circle.

There are also two standing stones to the north of the circle, which are dubbed the Pipers, and one to the west called the Fiddler. Like the Maidens, these were named for the legend of the wicked Sabbath dancers.

The stone circle is easy to access. From a small pull-out parking lot along highway B3315, it is a short walk along a grassy path across a field to the stones.

Holly Hayes
November 6, 2011

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