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Dunadd (Sacred Hill) — Folklore

Old chestnuts, the Stone of Destiny and Scotia, came up as they often do. We have a little history to work with and a bit of archaeology to go on . . .
The foundation stone or rock of faith is the point where ascension takes place in Christianity and Islam. They routinely have a footstep in them.
However, this is much older - Scotia is a personification of the Cailleach, properly translated as the Veiled One. We find her at Callanish in 2,600 BC and Callanish was part of the ancient Orcadian civilisation at Ness of Brodgar. Brodgar is built from stones brought from all the islands in the manner of a Moot Hill where stones or soil were carried by nobles to medieval coronations such as Robert I's.
The community or land is brought together/ assembled, then it is built up . . . all of which connects to early Scottish sovereignty where the people and the land are considered indivisible. The king marries the land at coronation in an act of epiphany wedding the community together and building upon that through the road to Damascus connect . . . the laying down of a pillow/ stone which in early translations becomes pillows using the same platform and ladder/ tree metaphors as in the biblical tale.
So we have an original Scottish Stone of Destiny in place at Dunadd and an earlier model of the same concepts going much further back. Consequently, we can consider the Stone of Destiny, (in it's Christianised form Foundation Stone or Rock of Faith), as largely an investiture in a system of understandings and beliefs, a philosophy. This investiture is expressed in the actions of bringing together 'the land' or assembling 'stones' to form a Stone of Destiny, which can then be stacked/ raised upwards.

From Scottish Media Lab.
tjj Posted by tjj
22nd November 2017ce

Ashmore Down (Long Barrow) — Folklore

I've found Grinsell's source about the Gappergennies:
There was another barrow, over which the road to Fontmel now runs, by Folly Hanging Gate, near Washer's Pit. In this lonely place, till within living memory, strange sounds were made by creatures in the air called Gappergennies, or however else the name may be spelt.* Of the nature of these sounds I have not been able to learn anything, ecept that they could be successfully imitated by human lips.

When, perhaps fifty years ago, a metalled road was made to Fontmel instead of the old cart-track, this barrow, which lay close to the old road and on the line of the new one, was dug up, and the bones it contained buried in the churchyard. As there is no entry of the fact in the register, this was no doubt done without the burial service.

On the down, by the roadside, a cross had always been kept cut, opposite the barrow. This has been neglected since the reinterment; and since then, also, the strange sounds have not been heard.

The low mound and the cross on the turf are well remembered. On the common below Sandpits Field is a line of small barrows, which seem to have been opened at some remote date. No exploration of any of these Ashmore remains has in recent times been attempted...

* Otherwise called Gabbygammies. The late Mr Stephen Hall, of the Manor Farm, who had often heard the sounds, thought they were made by badgers. (E.H.)
God what a let down. But also in the book:
With the hollow below the Folly, where the road to Fontmel crosses the bottom, a legend is connected, well known in Ashmore, into which the name of the Barbers has been introduced, though the story must be far older than their time. It runs that a Squire Barber, or perhaps his daughter, for the tale is variously told, was warned in a dream on three successive nights, or else three times on the same night, that some one was in distress at Washer's Pit.

The person warned woke the household and asked for a volunteer to go down to the place. No one would venture, except the cook. Her master gave her his best hunter for the ride, and she went forth to find a lady in white hanging by her hair from an ash tree over the well, now closed, at Washer's Pit. She released the victim and carried her back on the horse to Ashmore [...]

Connected with the same ground as this legend and that about the barrow at Folly Hanging Gate, is another of a woman in white, who has been seen and felt brushing by them, within the last fifty years, by travellers between Spinney's Pond and Washer's Pit. I have heard it connected with the barrow, but the true form of that story is the Gappergennies; and the affair at Washer's Pit ended too happily to generate a ghost. This must be some third and independent legend.

It is curious that in a parish full, as Ashmore is, of dark and lonely places, no other neighbourhood than these few yards on the road to Fontmel should have its story.
Pp 3 and 20 in Ashmore, Co. Dorset: A History of the Parish, by E W Watson, 1890.

Washer's Pit is actually the other side of Ashmore and nowhere near the longbarrow. But as an example of excellent local barrow folklore I hope this is the best place to record it.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
22nd November 2017ce

Cleeve Toot (Hillfort) — Folklore

Doubtless there is not a single jot of evidence for the following. But if you want to experience a thrill about those savage Ancient Britons then it's just the thing. Also, it's always nice to involve the Phoenicians in some way, don't you find.
Some months since a query was asked in these columns as to the derivation, &c., of the word 'toot'. Much interesting information was given, but I don't think the derivation as given below was hinted at. This derivation I found in a book published in 1888, written by Theodore Compton, and called "Winscombe Sketches of Rural Life and Scenery."

Speaking of Cleeve Toot, "a remarkable crag or conical rock, the top of which can be seen above the Brockley Woods from the railway between Nailsea and Yatton," we are informed that this is supposed to be one of the Toot Hills used by the Ancient Britons for sacrifices to the Celtic god Teutas. Also there are several other Toothills in different parts of England, as well as other places supposed to be named from the same deity - Tottenham, Tutbury, Tooting, to which might possibly be added Chewton Mendip and Chew Magna, near which is the Druid Temple of Stanton Drew. The Celtic deity Teutas was identified with the [Roman] god Mercurius, the Greek Hermes, the Egyptian Thoth and the Phoenician Tautus. Finally, reference is made to the human sacrifices which used to be made on Cleeve Toot. -- F.F.
In the Notes and Queries section of the Taunton Courier, 13th May 1936.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
22nd November 2017ce

Hinton Hill (Hillfort) — Folklore

Derham, or Durham, is remarkable for certain huge Ramparts and Trenches, which shew, that it has antiently been the Scene of some Military Action; and here Ceaulin the Saxon, in a bloody Engagement, slew three British Princes, and by that Means dispossessed the Britons from that Part of the Country: 'Tis likewise noted for many fine Springs, which supply the Boyd.
From The Natural History of England, volume 1, by Benjamin Martin (1759).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st November 2017ce

Wales (Country) — News

Cadw to remain in Government


The Welsh Government’s historic environment service Cadw will remain part of Welsh Government for the foreseeable future, Culture Minister Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas confirmed today.

As a government division, Cadw has put a greater focus on diversifying its appeal over recent years, becoming more economically sustainable and improving its ‘big 10’ attractions – something which has paid dividends, with record attendance numbers in 2017, up 8.4% on the previous summer.

Earlier this year a steering group report (Historic Wales – A roadmap towards Success, Resilience and Sustainability for the Heritage of Wales) included a specific recommendation relating to the future governance of Cadw. A robust business case was then taken forward to identify the best option.


The business case considered the steering group’s recommendations that Cadw should become ‘a charitable body or an executive agency outside of Welsh Government’. This was measured against the status quo, undertaking an in depth analysis of the functions of Cadw and the drivers for change.


The case was taken to Cabinet colleagues in October, with Dafydd Elis-Thomas happy to implement the decision to accept its core recommendation that the successes of Cadw are best built on and developed from within Government.


The Culture Minister said:


“I have long admired the good work done by Cadw in showcasing some of the magnificent heritage we have here in Wales, opening it up for all to enjoy.


“This has been done largely from within Government, and whilst it was appropriate at this juncture to explore all avenues as to how we can build on this success, I’m pleased to implement Cabinet’s decision to accept the business case’s clear recommendation that Cadw should remain part of Welsh Government.

“But it is also imperative that Cadw looks to evolve and progress, keeping up with best practices and having the flexibility and courage to make the best decisions for all its stakeholders and for the thousands of historic sites that comprise our unique historic environment.

“On this basis, I’m equally pleased to accept recommendations relating to increased autonomy for Cadw in certain aspects. These include establishing a formal system of delegation and internal freedoms, making best use of strategic partnerships between national organisations and establishing an internal operating board.

“These recommendations will maximise the contribution that Cadw can make to an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales. In particular they will help ensure that the public continues to have the best possible quality monuments, attractions and events to enjoy.”

Cadw is the Welsh Government’s Historic Environment Service, working for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales. It looks after and opens to the public 129 monuments across Wales. Of these, 29 are staffed sites and the remainder are free open-access sites.

http://gov.wales/newsroom/culture-tourism-sport/2017/171121-cadw-to-remain-in-government/?skip=1&lang=en
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
21st November 2017ce

Sancreed Holy Well (Sacred Well) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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21st November 2017ce

Carn Brea (Causewayed Enclosure) — Images

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21st November 2017ce

St. Lythans (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

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21st November 2017ce

Bosigran Cliff (Cliff Fort) — Images

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20th November 2017ce

Gurnard's Head (Cliff Fort) — Images

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20th November 2017ce

Achany (Chambered Cairn) — Images

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20th November 2017ce

Linsidemore (Cairn(s)) — Images

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20th November 2017ce

Wiltshire — News

6,000-year-old monument offers a glimpse of Britain’s neolithic Game of Thrones


This summer, the University of Reading Archaeology Field School excavated one of the most extraordinary sites we have ever had the pleasure of investigating. The site is an Early Neolithic long barrow known as “Cat’s Brain” and is likely to date to around 3,800BC. It lies in the heart of the lush Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire, UK, halfway between the iconic monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury.

https://theconversation.com/6-000-year-old-monument-offers-a-glimpse-of-britains-neolithic-game-of-thrones-87730
A R Cane Posted by A R Cane
20th November 2017ce

Fox Tor (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

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19th November 2017ce

Carbeans Rocks Luxulyan (Natural Rock Feature) — Images

<b>Carbeans Rocks Luxulyan</b>Posted by Crazylegs14 Crazylegs14 Posted by Crazylegs14
19th November 2017ce

Carrigcleena (Natural Rock Feature) — Folklore

In the parish of Glantane formerly called Kilshannig, and six miles distant from Mallow is the place called Carrigcleena or Cleena's Rock. It is a townland and gets its name from the conspicuous rampart of rock that is situated in it and pointed out as the entrance to the dwelling place of Cliodhna, the Fairy Queen. Many are the stories told about Cliodhna around this locality.

Cliodhna's father was called the Red Druid and generally regarded as the last of the druids. He, it is said, was made prince of the territory which now embraces the town of Fermoy and its neighbourhood by the reigning King of Munster, whose life he had saved in battle when the latter was fighting with the High King of Ireland. On this occasion the Red Druid raised a great storm by his magical powers and compelled the High King's forces to retire from the engagement.

Cliodhna and her sister Aeibhill are famous figures in Irish fairy lore, and their period is believed to have been the middle of the eighth century. Cliodhna, the elder daughter of the Red Druid, seems to have inherited strange powers like her father. She fell in love with a young chieftain named O'Kieffe, who was lord of the territory adjoining that of her father. But, unfortunately, the younger sister, Aeibhill, also became enamoured of the same chieftain, and this aroused the wrath of Cliodhna, who was of a proud, passionate and haughty disposition. Full of jealousy, Cliodhna resolved to make her own union with the chieftain secure at all costs, and to this end, as the story goes, she changed her sister Aeibhill with a magic wand into a beautiful white cat, after the latter had refused to renounce her affection for the man to whom Cliodhna was betrothed.

When the Red Druid and his wife learned of the fate of their daughter, they both took the sad news so much to heart that they died shortly afterwards. The Druid was buried on the summit of a hill about three miles from Rathcormac since called Carn Thierna, and his wife was laid to rest near Glanworth.

(N.B.: We read of some interesting finds recently, including the bones of a woman, in the great dolmen called Leaba Chaillighe, near Glanworth, Co. Cork. Were these the remains of the Red Druid's wife, who, according to tradition was buried beneath this dolmen!)

But to return to the story, Cliodhna married the chieftain O'Kieffe, and all went well until he came to hear of her sister's fate at her hands. They became estranged as a result and Cliodhna retired to an underground palace, having been discarded by her husband. This palace is, according to many accounts in the townland above mentioned viz., Carrigcleena, so called by the natives "the Rock." This palace was long believed by the peasantry to be the scene of the general assembly of the fairies throughout Ireland, where they met to consider important matters relative to their race.

Aeibhill, after being enchanted by her sister took up residence, as local tradition goes, in an underground palace also, situated at Castlecor, near Kanturk, Co. Cork, beneath an old cave hidden by trees. It is also said that she resumes her natural form for a week each year at midsummer, appearing as a beautiful maiden of twenty. She was regarded as the guardian spirit of the Dalcassian race, and Queen of the Fairies of North Munster. The King of Ireland, Brian Boru, is reported as saying on the evening of the Battle Clontarf, that Aeibhill came to him the previous night and told him he should fall that day.


The last account of Cliodhna, as told by local residents around Carrigcleena, runs as follows:
Situated about two miles north of Carrigcleena, and on the road to Mallow, is a cross-roads called Pindy's Cross, Pindy being a corruption of pente, Greek for five. There are five roads branching off at these cross-roads. It seems there was a smithy or forge at this spot long ago, no trace of which is to be found now. Cliodhna, mounted on a white horse, appeared before the forge and asked the smith to put a shoe on one of horse's legs. This the smith promptly did. When leaving Cliodhna is reported to have called the smith's attention to a clump of bracken that was quite green-looking and growing nearby. She said that she was leaving the place, but did not disclose where she was going, and gave the smith a sign whether she would return again or not. The sign was the green bracken. If, on the following day, the bracken was green as usual, she would return, but on the other hand, if the bracken was withered, then never again would she come back. The smith next day saw the bracken shrivelled up and withered, and Cliodhna has never been heard of since.
Written by Donal Archdeacon, a teacher at Carrigcleena More, for the 1930s Schools Collection of folklore. You can see the original document at Duchas.ie.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
19th November 2017ce

Klibreck (Standing Stones) — Images

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17th November 2017ce

Torbreck (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Why is it that I look at the pictures of circles on this website but then what I actually encounter sometimes ends up looking quite different? I'm thinking Lundin Farm, Lamlash and Gunnerkeld to name but three and now here's another one, the reason being the same in all four cases, namely that they've all turned out to be much more overgrown in the flesh (so to speak) than on the screen. I guess I've just been unlucky in each case, the respective custodians of the circles just not having got round lately to a bit of cutting back of the shrubbery/undergrowth and that's a particular shame in the case of this delightful little ring upon whose merits others have better held forth than I can probably manage. It's also particularly surprising given the care which has obviously been lavished on cultivating the field in which it stands on its little mound, a local walker who I spent a few minutes chatting with aptly describing the surrounding area as being populated by 'The Good Life' types with much evidence of small-scale self-sufficiency going on. Anyway, it's still well worth a visit and I daresay if I come back again I'll find it shorn of all its encroaching foliage. ironstone Posted by ironstone
17th November 2017ce

Achnagarron (Standing Stones) — Images

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16th November 2017ce

Louden Hill (Cairn(s)) — Images

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15th November 2017ce

Achinduich (Stone Circle) — Images

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15th November 2017ce

Ord North (Chambered Tomb) — Images

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15th November 2017ce

Ord South (Chambered Tomb) — Images

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15th November 2017ce
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