Men-an-Tol (Cornwall)

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men an tol

The Men-an-Tol stone has been associated with cures since, at least, the nineteenth century. ‘Patients’ are passed or crawl through the hole.

A man stands on the one side, a woman on the other, a boy is passed from the woman to the man, a girl from the man to the woman… Scrofulous children are passed naked three times through the Men-an-tol near Penzance, and then drawn on the grass three times against the the sun… Burne and Gomme, 24-25

Evans-Wentz carries a specific fairy legends, which seems to be without parallel. Compare with the Troll of Tolcarne.

At the Men-an-Tol there is supposed to be a guardian fairy or pixy who can make miraculous cures. And my mother knew of an actual case in which a changeling was put through the stone in order to get the real child back. It seems that evil pixies changed children, and that the pixy at the Men-an-Tol being good, could, in opposition, undo their work (179).

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