Merry Maidens (Dawn's Men)

Stone Circle - Cornwall

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SW 43272 24512 (GPS 35min) Diameter 23.4m (meas.)
Visits - August 1995 / June 2000 No magnetic anomalies

Standing in a field by the B3315, the Merry Maidens circle seems to have survived in very good condition, in fact, the circle was extensively "restored" in the 1860s. The circle is also known as The Dawn's Men, this is is a corruption of "Dans Maen" which means "stone dance", and yes, you guessed it, this is another alleged example of divine petrification. According to legend, a group of girlies received the old "instant statue" treatment for having a bit of a cavort on the Sabbath. The two pipers playing for the girls made a run for it, but were also zapped and now exist as The Pipers, two standing stones about 0.4km to the NE.
We counted nineteen stones standing, these are of grey granite and the tallest  (3 at 1.25m high), were in the southern arc. The stones are spaced about 3.5m apart, except for a gap of about 12m at the east, this may be an entrance, but could also be the result of a missing stone.  The Maidens may have been one of a pair of circles, a second circle is thought to have stood to the WSW within 200m, this was destroyed in the 1800s.
Over the road from the circle stands a holed stone, this has been pressed into service as a gatepost for a field entrance. The Tregiffian Entrance Grave is also quite close, just along the road to the west.

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