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Treryn Dinas

The Merry Maidens

OS grid ref:- SW 433 245

Merry MaidensThe Merry Maidens, a stone circle which dates from the Bronze Age, is the best preserved circle in Cornwall. The Merry Maidens is situated two miles south east of St. Buryan and stands in a field adjacent to the B3315, the Newlyn - Land's End road.

The circle is around 77 feet 10 inches (23.8 metres) in diameter and is composed of 19 evenly placed granite stones, the highest of which stands at around four feet (1.2 metres) high.

Three of the stones have been re-erected. Positioned exactly to the east there is a gap, it remains unsure as to whether this is an an entrance to the circle or the site of a missing stone. The tops of the stones have all been flattened and 18 of them have flat inner faces.

The Merry Maidens are also known as Dawn's Men, a corruption of the Cornish Dans Maen, which translates as Stone Dance. Local legend states that the stones are the forms of a group of nineteen maidens who danced on the Sabbath and were turned to stone for their transgressions! The two standing stones to the north-east are supposedly the pipers who played for them.

To the west lies Tregiffian Burial Chamber, a Neolithic to Bronze Age tomb.


The Merry Maidens stone circle lies adjacent to the B3315 Newlyn to Treen road, and access is from a lay-by at the western corner of the field.

Prehistoric Sites in Cornwall

The Hurlers