A ” ‘lec’h (or lech’ ”) is a Gaulish megalith of hemispherical or oblong form. It is found in particular in Brittany, in the Massif Central and Maine. It is also found in England, Wales.
“Lec’h” is a Breton word, which means “flat stone”. It is close to the word “cromlech”. This name of lec’h is found in the old Welsh poems to designate a burial place.
The lec’hs are carved stones, taking one of two forms: semi-spherical terminal or oblong stele.
The raised stones, or ” lec’hs high ”, are presented as stele carefully carved, very slender, sometimes with cut sides, at least 80 centimeters or 1 meter, and which do not exceed two to three meters of height. They should not be confused with precinctic menhirs, much larger in size (up to 10 meters in height).
These squat shells are no more than one meter in height.
In Gaulish times, the tombs probably played a funerary role, perhaps to indicate the presence of a tomb or a necropolis. Many of them have been changed and reused as a result of Christianization led by Charlemagne. In his Admonitio generalis of 789 renewed in article 41 of the capitulary of the missi dominici developed towards the year 800, the emperor orders the destruction of the pagan stones that venerate the populations. In order not to discourage them too much, it is accepted that many megaliths are christianized by the addition of a cross, various motifs illustrating the new religion or transformed into a font, milestone, pedestal cross of stone or iron. They are most often located near churches and chapels.