Around Brittany you come across standing stones quite frequently. They were erected in the Neolithic era which in this area dates from 5000 to 2000 BC. The Carnac alignments are probably the most famous and most impressive, with about 4000 stones spread over a four kilometre site.
The word for megalith in Breton is menhir- "men" = stone, "hir" = long or tall. In some places the stones are scattered and incomplete. In the past they were often removed for building materials or to make way for roads.
The stones vary in size and are roughly arranged according to size and volume.
A dolmen - "dol" = table, "men" = stone. The structure of stones protecting the burial chamber would have been covered by earth.
People are no longer allowed direct access to the stones during the summer months, hence the fences seen in the photos above. The ground was deteriorating rapidly, the plants trampled and the earth becoming bare. the stability of the menhirs was threatened. Sheep are allowed graze the enclosures and contribute to the ecological maintenance of the plant life.
Nevertheless, they remain an amazing sight, especially in the places where you can get a glimpse that gives you an idea of what the original extent must have been.