Merlin the Wizard and the Fairy Vivian
The Tombeau de Merlin is nestled in a little clearing in the northern section of the Forêt de Brocéliande.
Merlin the Wizard is a character featured in the Celtic mythology.
He is heir to the Druids’ traditions and stands halfway between mortals and deities.
Merlin is therefore known by many names:
Merlin the Master of Time, Merlin the Hermit, Merlin and the worship of Cernunnos, Merlin the Bard, Merlin the Wizard, Merlin the character from the Arthurian tradition and the founder of the Round Table, Merlin the Lover of the Fairy Vivian and Lady of the Lake.
His spirit haunts Brocéliande!
Legend indeed has it that the Fairy Vivian fell in love with Merlin and used all her charms to retain him forever.
She therefore sent him to deep sleep after seducing him and took him away in a cloud.
She then placed him in a tomb of air, which she closed with two large stones.
Tombeau de Merlin
The Tombeau de Merlin indeed exists, however its origin is not entirely magic!
In 1820 Mr Poignant, Judge at the Court of Montfort, discovered an alignment of megaliths nestled in the deep of the forest.
Mr Poignant believed so much in the existence of Merlin the Wizard, that he decided that this alignment was his grave.
He therefore named it Tombeau de Merlin – Merlin the Wizard’s Tomb.
Sadly, his statement triggered the interest of treasure hunters who vandalized and looted the site in the months that followed.
Mr Poignant would have been devastated to learn that the Tombeau de Merlin is in fact a gallery-grave type burial chamber erected during the Neolithic.
In 1889, the archaeologist Felix Bellamy indeed conducted professional excavations and described the Tombeau de Merlin as “a gallery grave of which only six stones remained”.
He also discovered that there were originally two galleries.
No visible vestige was left of the first one, which he symbolically named Tombeau de Viviane.
However, the Tombeau de Merlin, though in advanced state of ruins, had retained a few stones.
Six square blocks of red schist still delineated 3 of its sides.
The cover slabs, however, had all been dislodged.
According to him, the Tombeau de Merlin was 10.50m long by 1.50m wide.
The vestiges were restored in 2008, and three stones replaced in the centre of a circle of flat stones.
The other megaliths were distributed around the site in the manner of a magical circle or cromlech.
Discover the magical Forêt de Brocéliande the other sites
Fontaine de Jouvence, Chêne des Hindrés, Château de Comper, Chêne d’Eon or Chêne à Guillotin, Fontaine de Barenton, Jardin aux Moines, Eglise du Graal in Tréhorenteuc, Miroir aux Fées and Arbre d’Or in the Val Sans Retour, Hostié de Viviane or Tombeau des Druides, Tombeau des Géants ou Roche à la Vieille, Abbey of Paimpont, Forges de Paimpont and Pierres Droites
Department of Ille-et-Vilaine
Directions: At the junction of D71 and D59, by the hamlet of La Ville Moisan and Etang de la Marette. Follow the country lane (D2) until you reach a small car park where the path leading to the site originates. Walking shoes compulsory.
Coordinates: Lat 48.080414 – Long -2.110255