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Dane's Graves (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

From the Genuki website, information written in the 1820s.

"DANES DALE, in the parish of Great Driffield, and wapentake of Harthill; 3 miles NW. of Driffield. There are within one mile of this place a great number of Tumuli, amounting to about five hundred, which from time immemorial have been called " Danes Graves." History is silent concerning their origin, but it is highly probable that the Danes who appear to have had a fortified camp near Flamborough, may have issued from thence to ravage the country, and have fallen victims to Saxon valour. Each tumulus is three or four feet high, and from twenty to thirty feet in circumference at the base. Many of these ancient depositaries of the dead have been recently opened, and found to contain each a human skeleton, which from the dry calcareous nature of the soil has been kept in excellent preservation upwards of a thousand years."
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th March 2005ce

Leacet Circle (Stone Circle)

Haunted Britain by Elliot O'Donnel, prints a letter from a correspondant about a 'druidical circle' in Westmorland

"The only personal experience I have had happened at a druids circle. The phenomena consisted of a sickly sweet death-like smell, and the sense of some 'presence' approaching. I hastily retreated to a distance and saw a figure clad in white or light grey, glide from the adjoining wood and vanish near the largest stone of the circle. I may say that the circle is half in pine wood, and that a stone wall has been built across the circle, cutting it into two parts. The cause of the phenomena probably is that the largest stone was dug up in the late 70s of the last century. An urn was found, and is now in a museum."

This is a smashing example of the symptoms associated with 'Temporal Lobe Lability', which has been touted as a possible mechanism by which ambient electro-magnetic fields can initiate experiences of high-strangeness. A good spot for any future rounds of the Dragon project maybe?

A Brooks 1998 'Ghosts and Legends of the lake district' places this as possibly Oddendale, presumably due to the wall by Oddendale Cairn1, though another contender could Iron Hill Cairn North , but as the letter mentions a circle bisected by a wall, with pine plantation, I suspect Leacet is the actual spot being referred to. In fact, now I come to think about it, I did get some anomalous jpegs on me camera at Leacet… Electromagnetic fields, memory cards, hmmm…
Hob Posted by Hob
13th March 2005ce

Devil's Stone (Natural Rock Feature)

The Reader's Digest book 'Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain' mentions that the stone was said to have been quarried on the other side of the River Torridge at Henscott, apparently intended as a foundation stone for a church there. But the devil rolled it away to Shebbear - and continued doing this every night (though the villagers repeatedly rolled it back) until presumably the villagers got fed up of it. Which would have been pretty soon if they had to get it through the river and up the hill, I would imagine. From the map, Henscott still doesn't appear to have a church - so I guess the Devil won that round. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th March 2005ce

Carn Kenidjack (Natural Rock Feature)

A tale about Carn Kenidjack, from R. Hunt's 1903 edition of Popular Romances of the West of England. By way of introduction he mentions that 'Cairn Kenidzhek' is pronounced 'Kenidjack' and means 'Hooting Cairn, from the sound of the wind around the rocks. (I admit it's a bit long-winded, but sometimes it's nicer to have the original language than a summary..)
Two miners who had been working in one of the now abandoned mines in Morvah, had, their labours being over, been, as was common, "half-pinting" in the public-house in Morvah Church.. town. It was after dark, but not late; they were very quiet men, and not drunk. They had walked on, talking of the prospects of the mine, and speculating on the promise of certain "pitches," and were now on the Common, at the base of the Hooting Cairn. No miner ever passed within the shadow of Cairn Kenidzhek who dared to indulge in any frivolous talk: at least, thirty years since, the influence akin to fear was very potent upon all.

Well, our two friends became silent, and trudged with a firm, a resolved footstep onward.

There was but little wind, yet a low moaning sound came from the cairn, which now and then arose into a hoot. The night was dark, yet a strange gleaming light rendered the rocks on the cairn visible, and both the miners fancied they saw gigantic forms passing in and about the intricate rocks. Presently they heard a horse galloping at no great distance behind them. They turned and saw, mounted on a horse ~'hich they knew very well, since the bony brute had often worked the "whim" on their mine, a dark man robed in a black gown and a hood over his head, partly covering his face.

"Hallo! hallo!" shouted they, fearing the rider would ride over them.
"Hallo to you," answered a gruff voice.
"Where be'st goen then?" asked the bravest of the miners.
"Up to the cairn to see the wrastling," answered the rider; "come along! come along!"

Horse and rider rushed by the two miners, and, they could never tell why, they found themselves compelled to follow.

They did not appear to exert themselves, but without much effort they kept up with the galloping horse. Now and then the dark rider motioned them onward with his hand, but he spoke not. At length the miners arrived at a mass of rocks near the base of the hill, which stopped their way; and, since it was dark, they knew not how to get past them. Presently they saw the rider ascending the hill, regardless of the masses of rock; passing unconcernedly over all, and, as it seemed to them, the man, the horse, and the rocks were engaged in a "three man's song," the chorus to which was a piercing hoot. A great number of uncouth figures were gathering together, coming, as it seemed, out of the rocks themselves. They were men of great size and strength, with savage faces, rendered more terrible by the masses of uncombed hair which hung about them, and the colours with which they had painted their cheeks. The plain in front of the rocks which had checked the miners' progress was evidently to be the wrestling ground. Here gathered those monstrous-looking men, all anxiety, making a strange noise. It was not long ere they saw the rider, who was now on foot, descending the hill with two giants of men, more terrible than any they had yet seen.

A circle was formed; the rider, who had thrown off his black gown, and discovered to the miners that he was no other than Old Nick, placed the two men, and seated himself in a very odd manner upon the ground.

The miners declared the wrestlers were no other than two devils, although the horns and tail were wanting. There was a shout, which, as if it indicated that the light was insufficient, was answered by the squatting demon by flashing from his eyes two beams of fire, which shed an unearthly glow over everything. To it the wrestlers went, and better men were never seen to the west of Penzance. At length one of them, straining hard for the mastery, lifted his antagonist fairly high in the air, and flung him to the ground, a fair back fall. The rocks trembled, and the ground seemed to thunder with the force of the fall. Old Nick still sat quietly looking on, and notwithstanding the defeated wrestler lay as one dead, no one went near him. All crowded around the victor, and shouted like so many wild beasts. The love of fair play was strong in the hearts of the miners; they scorned the idea of deserting a fallen foe; so they scrambled over the rocks, and made for the prostrate giant, for so, for size, he might well be called. He was in a dreadful strait. Whether his bones were smashed or not by the fall, they could not tell, but he appeared "passing away." The elder miner had long been a professor of religion. It is true he had fallen back; but still he knew the right road. He thought, therefore, that even a devil might repent, and he whispered in the ear of the dying man the Christian's hope.

If a thunderbolt had fallen amongst them, it could not have produced such an effect as this. The rocks shook with an earthquake; everything became pitchy dark; there was a noise of rushing hither and thither, and all were gone, dying man and all, they knew not whither. The two miners, terrified beyond measure, clung to each other on their knees; and, while in this position, they saw, as if in the air, the two blazing eyes of the demon passing away into the west, and at last disappear in a dreadfully black cloud. These two men were, although they knew the ground perfectly well, inextricably lost; so, after vainly endeavouring to find the right road off the Common, they lay down in each other's arms under a mass of granite rock, praying that they might be protected till the light of day removed the spell which was upon them.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th March 2005ce
Edited 23rd May 2007ce

Chapel Carn Brea (Entrance Grave)

It seems that Carn Brea is still the home of seasonal celebration. This from the West Cornwall Festivals and Events list 2005 at http://www.penwith.gov.uk/media/adobe/s/4/Events_List_2005.pdf
Midsummer Eve (evening): Bonfire, Chapel Carn Brea, Nr Land's End. Organised by the Old Cornwall Society. Prayers etc spoken in Cornish and lighting of the bonfire torch. For more information tel. 01736 368153.

Presumably this tradition of bonfires has lasted a long while. The Reader's Digest 'Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain' has this to say: that the first of a chain of beacon fires is lit here - then at Sennen, Sancreed Beacon, Carn Galver, St Agnes Beacon.. Each fire is blessed by a local clergyman in the Cornish language; herbs and wildflowers are burnt. When only embers remain, young people leap across them to drive away evil and bring good luck. Good job they involve the church, eh, or the whole thing would sound suspiciously pagan.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th March 2005ce

St. Michael's Mount (Natural Rock Feature)

Pure Joy may be pleased to hear that there was a sequel to his story about the idle misogynistic giant. He met his death at the hands of Jack the Giant Killer - no doubt hired by the local people who were fed up. He snuck onto the mount one night and dug an enormous pit, covering it with sticks and straw to disguise it. Then, tooting loudly on a horn, he woke the giant. Cormoran, stumbling about (like you do when some idiot wakes you up in the middle of the night) fell straight into the hole, and Jack cracked him over the head with his axe - the giant died instantly. The local people were so grateful they gave Jack a magnificent sword and a belt embroidered with gold.
(story noted in the Reader's Digest 'Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain').

By the way, it is said the you may still see the greenstone Mrs Giant dropped from her apron, on the causeway. And while you're crossing, apparently you may see the remains of a fossilised forest around you - Michael's Mount is known as 'Carrick luz en cuz' in Cornish: 'The ancient rock in the wood'.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th March 2005ce

Hurdle Stone (Natural Rock Feature)

Is this a genuine site? It merits a place in the Somerset sites and monuments record. Their website info says:
"In Hurdlestone Wood is a very erect large boulder of millstone grit, in a line with several but smaller ones. It measures about 18ft by 4ft by 20ft high and seems to have been placed on end artificially, though perhaps in the course of quarrying. The group seems to have been given the name "The Hurlers" and the large stone "The Hurdle Stone", though these could be inventions of Skinner who first drew attention to the group [c.1820]. H.E Balch compares the big stone to a stone at Avebury. "

They are also mentioned in the lavishly-illustrated 'Reader's Digest Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain' - they are the result of a game of quoits between the giant of Grabbist and the Devil. Predictably the devil started cheating (well, what can you expect?) so the giant picked him up by his tail and hurled him into the Bristol Channel. There's another story that suggests it was thrown from Redhill.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th March 2005ce
Edited 2nd August 2005ce

Banwell Fort (Hillfort)

The cross on Banwell Hill apparently stands 2ft proud of the ground's surface, with compass-bearing pointing arms four feet broad. The local explanation is that people tried to raise a cross on the hill, but the Devil repeatedly blew it down by raising huge gales every night. Eventually they figured out the solution - to build one on the floor (this is mentioned by Ruth Tongue in her 'Somerset Folklore' 1965).

You can read more about the cross in an extract from "The Birthplace of St. Patrick in Somerset"
by Harry Jelley, at Vortigern Studies.
http://www.vortigernstudies.org.uk/artgue/guestjelley.htm
.. which, as you can tell, also expounds the theory that Banwell is where St Patrick was born. The plot thickens.

Other explanations have the construction as a warren (dismissed due to the effort digging out the bedrock) or a windmill base (but it would be a very big windmill with 20m arms of the cross).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th March 2005ce
Edited 2nd August 2005ce

The King Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Edwin and Mona Radford's 1948 'Encyclopedia of Superstitions' also makes mention of the Witch Elder tree.

Their version states that the Elder is held to be the same witch who petrified the King and his army, and that at each year at midsummer, prior to the ceremonial cutting (and bleeding) of the Witch Elder a feast was held next to the stone, which would later indicate it's approval with a nod.
Hob Posted by Hob
8th March 2005ce

Picked Hill (Sacred Hill)

I can't help wondering if the name of this hill implies that it was supposedly thrown from somewhere - pick or peck are apparently both old words for pitching or throwing, and the hill is known by both versions. Maybe thrown from Knap Hill or somewhere else along the nearby escarpment? This is pure unfounded speculation but the shape of the hill cries out for a mythological explanation. It seems a natural inspiration for a barrow or even for Silbury.

On second thoughts, I suppose the name sounds a bit like 'peaked hill'.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th March 2005ce

Harold's Stones (Standing Stones)

In a continuation of the Kentchurch woman's story posted at the Skirrid, she mentions another stone at Trellech which Jack O'Kent threw after he'd pitched the three that are famous:
".. and he threw another, but that didn't go far enough, and it lay on the Trelleck road just behind the five trees until a little while ago, when it was moved so that the field might be ploughed; and this stone, in memory of Jack, was always called the Pecked Stone [pecked meaning thrown]"
Quote in J. Simpson's 'Folklore of the Welsh Borderland' (1976) noted from B.A. Wherry "Wizardry on the Welsh Border" in Folklore 15, 1904.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th March 2005ce

Ysgyryd Fawr (Hillfort)

Ysgyryd Fawr - the Skirrid - is the easternmost of the Black Mountains. It has a distinctive shape - the great cleft in its side was allegedly split open in an earthquake at the moment of Christ's death.

This is an extract from Mary Trevelyan's 1909 'Folk-lore and folk-stories of Wales':
It was formerly the custom of Welsh farmers and peasants to obtain earth from certain important places, for the purpose of sprinkling through their stables, pigsties, gardens and even their house, to avert evil. Portions of this earth were also strewn over the coffins and graves of their relatives and friends.

Earth from the fissure of the Skyrrid Fawr, in the parish of Llantheweg Skyrrid, Monmouthshire, was used [in this way]..

A Kentchurch woman told this story in 1903 about Jack O'Kent, giving a non-Christian explanation for the Skirrid's scar:
"Jack did some wonderful things in his time. Why, one day he jumped off the Sugar Loaf Mountain onto the Skirrid, and there's his heel mark in the Skirrid to this day. An' when he got there he began playing quoits; he pecked [threw] three stones as far as Trelleck (and there they stand to this day).."
(from B A Wherry's 'Wizardry on the Welsh Border' in Folklore 15).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th March 2005ce
Edited 26th June 2007ce

Harold's Stones (Standing Stones)

As an alternative, it is said that Jack and the Devil met and quarrelled on Trellech Beacon - the hill directly to the East of Trellech. The Devil challenged Jack to a throwing match - Jack threw first.. the Devil threw a bit further.. Jack (probably with eyes closed and one hand behind his back) threw that bit further - and the Devil ran off in disgust.

(mentioned in Folklore 48 - Davies, the Folklore of Gwent)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th March 2005ce

The Four Stones (Stone Circle)

In WH Howse's 'Radnorshire' of 1949, the author mentions that at the time of writing many farmers still felt in awe of the stones. The hay was left unmown around them and some people avoided going near them after dark. Well you wouldn't want to risk it - they'll be lumbering off to the Hindwell pool when they hear the Old Radnor bells.

Mentioned by Simpson in her 'Folklore of the Welsh Border' (1976).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th March 2005ce
Edited 28th July 2005ce

Wibdon Broadstone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

The Broad Stone is mentioned in Waters' 'Folklore and Dialect of the Wye Valley' (1973). It is is said to have been chucked here from Tidenham Chase (maybe somewhere here? c. ST557959) as part of a stone-throwing contest between Jack O' Kent and the Devil. (Yes, they were always having stone throwing contests. But this was before the advent of television and you had to make your own entertainment then).

Another stone is supposed to have landed at Thornbury (I'm assuming that's the Thornbury across the Severn - an especially good throw, though I can't see the stone on the map. Do you know where it was supposed to have landed?

Hmm perhaps it was at the nuclear power station?
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th March 2005ce
Edited 16th August 2010ce

Gaer Llwyd (Burial Chamber)

Gaer Llwyd means 'Grey Fort'. According to Leslie Grinsell's 'Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain' (1976), the site was until recently known as Y Garn Llwyd ('Grey Cairn'). Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th March 2005ce
Edited 24th September 2006ce

Shortwood Hill (Round Barrow(s))

The barrow is mentioned in Phil Quinn's 'Holy Wells of the Bath and Bristol Region' (1999) - it lies in a field called Bridewell. Was this spring, we ask ourselves, a reason for the barrow's location? Or maybe alternatively, the presence of the barrow helped gain the spring its helpful reputation? The water now goes into a reservoir - but once the water was renowned as being "very good for sore eyes and Diet drinks." (one assumes this meant good for your stomach, rather than a helpful slimming aid).

Etymology fans may see something interesting in the name of the nearby settlement: Pucklechurch (Puck's church? - but of course it may come from something quite different). Pucklechurch is also infamous for being where the second king of England, Edmund, was stabbed to death.

The 'Puckleweb' site (below) contains the local wisdom that "if a Pucklechurch boy is looking for a wife, he should look no further than Shortwood Hill". So if you think the locals look inbred, remember it wasn't me that said so.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd March 2005ce

Arthur's Stone (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

There was a local belief that the stones were gradually sinking and shrinking. When the Rev. Francis Kilvert visited the site in 1878 he noted in his diary:
Joseph Gwynne told me that when he was a boy the great stone called Arthur's Stone was much longer than it is now. A hundred sheep could lie under the shadow of it. Also the stone stood much higher on its supporting pillars than it does at present, so high indeed that an ordinary sized man could walk under it.

Across the green lane and opposite the stone was a rock lying flat on the ground on which were imprinted the marks of a man's knees and fingers. These marks were believed to have been made by King Arthur when he heaved the stone up on his back and set it on the pillars."
No, I don't think the last bit quite makes sense, but there you are. I suppose it does imply people thought it was originally part of the main tomb? Diary quoted in Jacqueline Simpson's 'Folklore of the Welsh Border' (1976).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd March 2005ce

Torberry Hill (Hillfort)

The fort on Torberry Hill is spoon-shaped. The reason why? The Devil scalded his lips sipping hot punch from his 'Devil's Punchbowl' and pettishly threw his spoon away, it landing heavily here.

The gold purejoy mentions was buried by Royalists. They obviously buried their treasure to avoid it being stolen by riff-raff: you need a golden plough to dig it up. Local rhymes are
"Who knows what Tarberry would bear,
Would plough it with a golden share."
and
"He who would find what Tarberry would bear,
Must plough it with a golden share."

And as purejoy suggests, Torberry is indeed a haunt of the fairies. In fact you can still see their bed. Well, actually the Fairy Bed is the cross-shaped base of a post-medieval mill. But that's just dull.

From David Staveley's Sussex Hillforts
http://www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/aspen/sussex/hillfort.html#main#
and the Scheduled Monument record on Magic.gov.uk, also
Sussex Local Legends
Jacqueline Simpson
Folklore, Vol. 84, No. 3. (Autumn, 1973), pp. 206-223.

The midsummer dancing by the fairies is (according to Simpson, above) mentioned by H D Gordon, in 'The History of Harting' (1877) p19.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd March 2005ce

Thor's Stone (Natural Rock Feature)

According to the Museum of Liverpool Life website, large numbers of the flint tools used by our hunter-gatherer forebears have been found in this area. Apparently there are fantastic views of the estuary from here - it's the highest point in the Wirral so perhaps it had good views in prehistory too. And perhaps its elevation explains the folklore connected with it - if you remember, when Thor struck his hammer there was lightning: a high spot like this would be bound to attract thunderbolts. Or maybe Thor's axe Mjollnir really is buried here.

The place is consequently rumoured to have been an altar on which those nasty Vikings offered sacrifices to Thor. Or maybe they really did - the rock is very red: maybe it's stained with all the blood. The woods and common nearby have a spooky reputation too. But this obviously doesn't put off the local Morris dancers, who use this as a Mayday dawn dancing spot.

From its description, the place does rather sound like Alderley Edge to me, with its red sandstone and 'edgey' quality.

(gleaned from all over the internet, and Hole's 'Traditions and Customs of Cheshire' 1937)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd March 2005ce

Llanymynech Hill (Ancient Mine / Quarry)

Llanymynech Hill is topped by a huge Iron Age fort - it is, afterall at a rather strategic spot near the confluence of two rivers. But probably more importantly, the hill has been the site of mining for a Very Long Time, at least since 200BC (and maybe longer - you know how new mining obscures older mineworkings). The metal here is copper (plus some lead and zinc) - which would have been invaluable for making bronze tools and weapons. The Romans certainly made use of the site when they arrived here.

The hill is swathed in metal/mine-related folklore. For example, this from Burne and Jackson's 'Shropshire Folklore' of the 1880s:
'The Giant's Grave' is the name giveen to a mound on the Shropshire side of Llanymynech Hill, where once was a cromlech, now destroyed. The story goes that a giant buried his wife there, with a golden circlet round her neck, and many a vain attempt has been made by covetous persons to find it, undeterred by the fate which tradition says overtook three brothers, who overturned the capstone of the cromlech, and were visited by sudden death immediately afterwards."
http://www.archive.org/stream/shropshirefolkl00burngoog#page/n28/mode/2up

There is also the underworld/cave-related folklore which you might expect (this from"Mines of Llanymynech Hill", by David Adams & Adrian Pearce, SCMC Account No.14)
It was explored by Dovaston in the early 19th century and he relates "... Superstition, ever prone to people in darkness with the progeny of imagination, has assigned inhabitants here, such as Knockers, Goblins and Ghosts; and the surrounding peasantry aver, with inflexible credulity that the aerial harmonies of Fairies are frequently heard in the deep recesses. ... Tradition says this labyrinth communicated by subterraneous paths with Carreghova Castle; and some persons aver that they have gone so far as to hear the rivers Vyrnwy and Tanat rolling over their heads, and that it leads down to Fairyland".

"... A writer in Brayley's 1878 'Graphic and Historical Illustrator' .. claimed of the Ogof Cave on Llanymynech Hill "...the main passage is said to extend beneath the village, passing near the Cross Keys {Guns} Hotel cellar. An old blind fiddler is said to have penetrated thus far, and was heard from the cellar, performing upon the violin".

[..]

The final written record of legends appears in 1896 and refers to Ned Pugh "... Ned then asserted that he could walk from the Ogo to the Lion Inn at Llanymynech. He was not believed, and then he made a wager that he would on the following Sunday, play a tune, at the usual time that the choir sang, that he should be heard by all the congregation in church. His boasting challenge was taken up. On the following Sunday Ned went to the entrance of the Ogo on the hill carrying with him his harp and he disappeared into the Ogo. As the time came on for the choir to sing, everyone was intently listening for the sound of the harp, and sure enough out of the earth proceeded it's sounds. The people distinctly heard a tune, which the singers took up and when they had finished the harpist too ceased. The poor man though never emerged out of the Ogo. The tune in consequence was called 'Farewell Ned Pugh'.
(Ogof - or 'ogo' as is put here, is Welsh for cave). These latter quotes are part of a long article about the mines and the artefacts that have been found there. This is on The British Mining Database, at http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~lizcolin/llanymyn.htm
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st March 2005ce

Moll Walbee's Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

I admit upfront that this sounds like a red herring - a stone in a church with a cross on it?? But the Glasbury & District Community Council Website (http://www.wiz.to/glasbury/page1.htm) suggests that besides the church being very old (having been established by St Meilig around 540, and with a circular churchyard, for what anyone makes of that) say the "great stone 'Cross of St Meilig' was brought down to the churchyard from nearby Bryn-yr-Hydd Common in the 12th century, and moved into the church itself in 1956. If you look at the map the Common has remains of an Iron Age settlement. The general location would perhaps be great for a standing stone too, perched as it would have been over the wide Wye valley. It is nine feet tall. I will of course remove this post if people vehemently deny its ancientness!

From Marie Trevelyan's "Folk-lore and folk-stories of Wales" (1909):
A stone in Llowes Churchyard, in Radnorshire, has a story attached to it. Maud of Hay, the wife of William de Breos or Bruce, Lord of Brecknock and Abergavenny, was the daughter of Fitz-Walter, Earl of Hereford. The story goes that she built the castle of Hay in Breconshire in a single night, and without assistance. Owing to her occult powers, gigantic stature, and mysterious deeds, people thought she could accomplish any feat, however difficult. In the folk tales and nursery stories of Wales she is known as Mol Walbee, a corruption of her father's surname, Waleri. While carrying stones in her apron for the purpose of building Hay Castle, a "pebble" of about nine feet long fell into her shoe. At first she did not heed the discomfort, but by-and-by, finding it troublesome, she indignantly threw it over the Wye into Llowes Churchyard, in Radnorshire, about three miles away. It remains there at present. [Hoare, "Giraldus," vol. i., p 91]
There is another story explaining the stone, set in the 12th century, which was in The Herefordshire Magazine of 1907 -"Sir Ralph accused Lord Clifford of unjustly seizing the property of Colwyn castle, and challenged him to single combat in the churchyard of Llowes, where Lord Clifford was killed. Sir Ralph Baskerville obtained a pardon from the Pope, who was very angry that the churchyard had been desecrated. There is a curious upright stone in Llowes churchyard, which tradition points out as having been erected on the spot where Lord Clifford fell".
Found at the Baskerville Family History http://www.moonrakers.com/genealogy/baskerville/baskerville_family_history.htm
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st March 2005ce

Fairy Stone (Cottingley) (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

You may have heard of the fairies of Cottingley already - the photographs of surprisingly fashionable fairies that convinced Arthur Conan Doyle? (His book can be read here.) They were from Cottingley Beck (and the girls who saw them insisted they were real until they died, although they admitted the photographs were fake).

These (five?) cupmarked stones however are in the (privately owned) Cottingley Woods, which is a little to the NW. A tale is told by A. Roberts (in 'Ghosts and Legends of Yorkshire' 1992) of a 19 year old called Anne Freeman, who stopped to rest at the stones on a walk. She heard a loud chattering and allegedly saw two tiny figures about 25cm tall wearing red outfits and green hats looking like 'medieval peasant dress' (an earlier mention is apparently in our own Paul Bennett's 'Tales of Yorkshire faeries I' (Earth' 9: 3-4) which gives the date of the encounter as 1976).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
25th February 2005ce
Edited 22nd October 2012ce

Treryn Dinas (Cliff Fort)

Elsewhere in his 'Popular Romances...' Hunt mentions the regrettable incident alluded to by Mr H in his post. You can imagine the laddish larking about which led up to the stone being pushed off.
Up to the time when Lieutenant Goldsmith, on the 8th of April 1824, slid the rock off from its support, to prove the falsehood of Dr Borlase's statement, that "it is morally impossible that any lever, or, indeed, force, however applied in a mechanical way, can remove it from its present position," the Logan Rock was believed to cure children, who were rocked upon it at certain seasons, of several diseases; but the charm is broken, although the rock is restored.

When this great natural curiosity was, as it was thought, destroyed, the public wrath was excited, and appeased only' by the conciliatory spirit manifested by Mr Davies Gilbert, who persuaded the Lords of the Admiralty to lend Lieutenant Goldsmith the required apparatus for replacing it. Mr D. Gilbert found the money; and after making the necessary arrangements, on the ad of November 1824, Goldsmith "had the glory of replacing this immense rock in its natural position." The glory of Goldsmith and of Shrubsall, who overturned another large Logan Rock, is certainly one not to be desired.
Well at least Goldsmith was made to replace it!
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th February 2005ce
Edited 8th August 2013ce

Yet another story associated with the promontory! How much folklore can one tiny place contain? This is from 'The Small People's Gardens' in Hunt's 'Popular Romances of the West of England' (online at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/prwe/index.htm).
If the adventurous traveller who visits the Land's End district will go down as far as he can on the south-west side of the Logan Rock Cairn, and look over, he will see, in little sheltered places between the cairns, close down to the water's edge, beautifully green spots, with here and there some ferns and cliff-pinks. These are the gardens of the Small People, or, as they are called by the natives, Small Folk. [...] To prove that those lovely little creatures are no dream, I may quote the words of a native of St Levan:

"As I was saying, when I have been to sea close under the cliffs, of a fine summer's night, I have heard the sweetest of music, and seen hundreds of little lights moving about amongst what looked like flowers. Ay! and they are flowers too, for you may smell the sweet scent far out at sea. Indeed, I have heard many of the old men say, that they have smelt the sweet perfume, and heard the music from the fairy gardens of the Castle, when more than a mile from the shore."

Strangely enough, you can find no flowers but the sea-pinks in these lovely green places by day, yet they have been described by those who have seen them in the midsummer moonlight as being covered with flowers of every colour, all of them far more brilliant than any blossoms seen in any mortal garden.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th February 2005ce
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