Two more from the Pueblos Blancos
‘Los Pueblos Blancos’ is the collective description given to a group of spectacularly attractive white towns and villages in the provinces of Cadiz and Malaga in Andalucia, Spain. The best known of these is Ronda, with its famous bull ring.
Most of the pueblos blancos occupy hilltop sites and historically were frontier posts in the battles between the Moors and the Christians. Several retain the suffix ‘de la frontera’ – as in Arcos de la Frontera. The Arabic influence is often apparent in the architecture and narrow winding streets.
‘Quoit’ is the Cornish word for a dolmen. A dolmen was constructed using three or more large stones supporting a huge capstone, as seen in this photo. The dolmen (quoit) formed the entrance to a tomb or burial chamber and was covered with earth and small rocks for protection
The Lanyon Quoit was probably originally built around 4000 BCE, but it was rebuilt in 1824. The original earth covering had already disappeared over the centuries and the exposed stone structure had collapsed during a particularly severe storm on 19 October 1819
The Men-an-Tol (‘Holed Stone’) is believed to have been constructed in the Bronze Age but not inits present form. Research suggests that the stones were once part of a circle
Like ‘The Merry Maidens’ a good deal of folklore surrounds this group of stones In particular the holed stone became associated with healing and with fertility rites. It was believed that a young woman who passed seven times through the hole (18″ diameter) would soon become pregnant. A child suffering from Rickets could be cured by passing it, naked, through the hole three times
The sculptor Barbara Hepworth lived and worked in Cornwall and the influence of the surrounding landscape and stones is apparent in in her sculptures. Indeed, a hole penetrating her sculptures is a trademark feature. (See my post Around the Barbara Hepworth Garden)