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Dodman Point (Cliff Fort)

Hunt also said:
Merlyn is said to have pronounced the following prophecy, standing near St German's Grotto on the shores of Whitsand Bay:--

"When the Rame Head and Dodman meet,
Man and woman will have cause to greet."
Rame Head is near Plymouth, so I reckon it won't be any time soon. The old misery.

Quote from the online version at the Sacred Text Archive
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th November 2005ce

This Iron Age cliff fort has been reused for defensive purposes over the centuries, during the Napoleonic and First World wars. But the IA earthworks (presumably referred to in the folklore below) aren't the first signs of the place's significance - there are also Bronze Age barrows which survive.
In the parish of Goran is an intrenchment running from cliff to cliff, and cutting off about a hundred acres of coarse ground. This is about twenty feet broad, and twenty-four feet high in most places.

Marvellous as it may appear, tradition assures us that this was the work of a giant, and that he performed the task in a single night. This fortification has long been known as Thica Vosa, and the Hack and Cast.

The giant, who lived on the promontory, was the terror of the neighbourhood, and great were the rejoicings in Goran when his death was accomplished through a stratagem by a neighbouring doctor.

The giant fell ill through eating some food--children or otherwise--to satisfy his voracity, which had disturbed his stomach. His roars and groans were heard for miles, and great was the terror throughout the neighbourhood. A messenger, however, soon arrived at the residence of the doctor of the parish, and he bravely resolved to obey the summons of the giant, and visit him. He found the giant rolling on the ground with pain, and he at once determined to rid the world, if possible, of the monster.

He told him that he must be bled. The giant submitted, and the doctor moreover said that, to insure relief, a large hole in the cliff must be filled with the blood. The giant lay on the ground, his arm extended over the hole, and the blood flowing a torrent into it. Relieved by the loss of blood, he permitted the stream to flow on, until he at last became so weak, that the doctor kicked him over the cliff, and killed him. The well-known promontory of The Dead Man, or Dodman, is so called from the dead giant. The spot on which he fell is the "Giant's House," and the hole has ever since been most favourable to the growth of ivy.

From Hunt's 'Popular Romances of the West of England' (3rd ed. 1903), online at the Sacred Texts Archive.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th November 2005ce

St. Michael's Mount (Natural Rock Feature)

Do giants always have to reach a sticky end?
The giant on the Mount and the giant on Trecrobben Hill were very friendly. They had only one cobbling-hammer between them, which they would throw from one to the other, as either required it. One day the giant on the Mount wanted the hammer in a great hurry, so he shouted, " Holloa, up there! Trecrobben, throw us down the hammer, woost a'?"

"To be sure," sings out Trecrobben; "here! look out, and catch 'm."

Now, nothing would do but the giant's wife, who was very nearsighted, must run out of her cave to see Trecrobben throw the hammer. She had no hat on; and coming at once out into the light, she could not distinguish objects. Consequently, she did not see the hammer coming through the air, and received it between her eyes. The force with which it was flung was so great that the massive bone of the forehead of the giantess was crushed, and she fell dead at the giant's feet. You may be sure there was a great to-do between the two giants. They sat wailing over the dead body, and with their sighs they produced a tempest. These were unavailing to restore the old lady, and all they had to do was to bury her. Some say they lifted the Chapel Rock and put her under it, others, that she is buried beneath the castle court, while some--no doubt the giants' detractors--declare that they rolled the body down into the sea, and took no more heed of it.
From Hunt's 'Popular Romances of the West of England' (1903 - 3rd ed) - online at the Sacred Texts Archive
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th November 2005ce

Carn Galva (Natural Rock Feature)

More about the giant who lived on Carn Galva:
Holiburn, according to tradition, was a very amiable and somewhat sociable gentleman; but, like his brethren, he loved to dwell amongst the rocks of Cairn Galva. He made his home in this remote region, and relied for his support on the gifts of sheep and oxen from the farmers around--he, in return, protecting them from the predatory incursions of the less conscientious giants of Trecrobben. It is said that he fought many a battle in the defence of his friends[...] I once heard that Holiburn had married a farmer's daughter, and that a very fine race, still bearing a name not very dissimilar, was the result of this union.
So if you meet any exceptionally tall people in the locality, perhaps they could be a relation. From Hunt's 'Popular Romances of the West of England' (1903, 3rd ed), online at the Sacred Texts Archive

Hunt also heard from a man named Halliwell that ""Somewhere amongst the rocks in this cairn is the Giant's Cave" where the giant lived.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th November 2005ce

Trencrom Hill (Hillfort)

Trencrom Hill was also used as a spot from which to throw stones at St Michael's Mount:
In several parts of Cornwall there are evidences that these Titans were a sportive race. Huge rocks are preserved to show where they played at trap-ball, at hurling, and other athletic games. The giants of Trecrobben and St Michael's Mount often met for a game at bob-buttons. The Mount was the "bob," on which flat masses of granite were placed to serve as buttons, and Trecrobben Hill was the "mit," or the spot from which the throw was made. This order was sometimes reversed. On the outside of St Michael's Mount, many a granite slab which had been knocked off the "bob" is yet to be 'found; and numerous piles of rough cubical masses of the same rock, said to be the granite of Trecrobben Hill, [a] show how eagerly the game was played.
Also from Hunt's book, online at the sacred texts archive.

Hunt mentions that "Trecrobben Hill still exhibits the bowl in which the giants of the west used to wash." - so you may wish to keep your eyes open for this if you visit. This is presumably 'The Bowl Rock', on the stream to the NE, judging from the OS map.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th November 2005ce

On the summit of this hill, which is only surpassed in savage grandeur by Cam Brea, the giants built a castle--the four entrances to which still remain in Cyclopean massiveness to attest the Herculean powers by which such mighty blocks were piled upon each other. There the giant chieftains dwelt in awful state. Along the serpentine road, passing up the hill to the principal gateway, they dragged their captives, and on the great flat rocks within the castle they sacrificed them. Almost every rock still bears some name connected with the giants--"a race may perish, but the name endures." The treasures of the giants who dwelt here are said to have been buried in the days of their troubles, when they were perishing before the conquerors of their land. Their gold and jewels were hidden deep in the granite caves of this hill, and secured by spells as potent as those which Merlin placed upon his "hoarded treasures." They are securely preserved, even to the present day, and carefully guarded from man by the Spriggans, or Trolls, of whom we have to speak in another page.
From Hunt's 'Popular Romances of the West of England' (3rd ed 1903). He mentions that Trencrom was also known as Trecrobben Hill.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th November 2005ce

Paviland Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter)

The vulgar belief is that the Red Lady was entombed in the cave by a storm while seeking treasure there - a legend the truth of which no one can dispute with authority, since the bones are certainly of a period contemporary with the Roman rule in this island.
From 'British Goblins' by Wirt Sikes (p387) 1880.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th November 2005ce

Treninnow Stone Monument (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

A large amount of space is given over to this "destroyed" monument in "The Romance of the Stones". In the Broderick Index, which is kept at Plymouth Local History library there is a account from a Mr West (born about 1900) who remembers his mother telling him about how she walked under a large stone supported by three others that leaned inwards. She went on to say that her father later pulled the stones down to make a haedge and covered the site with soil.
The CAU looked into this story in 1978 and confirmed this site after looking at aerial photos and the old tithe map which quoted a Borrow park at this point. A distinct circle, about 25 mters accross could be seen on the photos.
Mr Hamhead Posted by Mr Hamhead
10th November 2005ce

Dyffryn Ardudwy (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

According to C. Grooms (The Giants of Wales. Cewri Cymru Welsh Studies Vol. 10 (Lampeter, 1993)) this stone was one of three quoits thrown by Arthur from the top of Moelfre, and is said to have his fingermarks upon it.

Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th November 2005ce

Bron y Foel Isaf (Burial Chamber)

According to C. Grooms (The Giants of Wales. Cewri Cymru Welsh Studies Vol. 10 (Lampeter, 1993)) this stone was one of three thrown by Arthur from the top of Moelfre.

Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th November 2005ce

Penllech Coetan Arthur (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

"[A]cromlech named 'Arthur's Quoit' is found in Myllteyrn parish, Caernarvonshire (SH22973456). Professor Grooms (1993, pp.118-9) translates the following from Myrddin Fardd (writing in the 19th-century), which is worth repeating for its illustration of the local folkloric traditions surrounding these stones:"
A multitude of tales are told about him [Arthur]. Sometimes, he is portrayed as a king and mighty soldier, other times like a giant huge in size, and they are found the length and bredth of the land of stones, in tons in weight, and the tradition connects them with his name - a few of them have been in his shoes time after time, bothering him, and compelling him also to pull them, and to throw them some unbelievable distance... A cromlech recognized by the name 'Coetan Arthur' is on the land of Trefgwm, in the parish of Myllteyrn; it consists of a great stone resting on three other stones. The tradition states that 'Arthur the Giant' threw this coetan from Carn Fadrun, a mountain several miles from Trefgwm, and his wife took three other stones in her apron and propped them up under the coetan.
Borrowed from Thomas Green, the writer of "A Gazetteer of Arthurian Topographic Folklore" at
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th November 2005ce

Arthur's Bed (Natural Rock Feature)

Dr William Borlase, writing in 1754 , said:"Round Arthur's Bed, on a rocky Tor in the parish of North-hill, there are many [rock-basins], which the country people call Arthur's Troughs, in which he us'd to feed his Dogs."

lifted from The Arthurian Resources pages at
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th November 2005ce

Slaughter Bridge Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

The bridge is said to be haunted by 'weary looking phantoms' - they cross the bridge in the gloaming, looking misty and depressed as though they've just staggered from the battle, and then 'pouf' melt into the dusk. Or so says Marc Alexander, in his completely unreferenced 'Companion to the folklore, myths and customs of Britain' (2002). He also calls the stone 'Arthur's Gravestone'.

Apparently there are two stones though?? Which is a bit confusing? One in the stream and one by the stream? The following from the Celtic Inscribed Stones doesn't exactly clarify things.
There is some confusion about the exact history of this stone as it appears to have occasionally been mixed-up with a second, probably uninscribed stone which now lies in the stream.

Okasha/1993, records that the stone was first mentioned in 1602. By 1754 it had been used as a footbridge and then as part of a early 18th landscape folly. The stone is unlikely to have moved since at least 1799.

..the first recorded location of the stone was its use as part of a footbridge at Slaughterbridge. We do not know the original location.

..Nearby, in the early 18th century, Lady Dowager Falmouth created a kind of hill with spiral walks to which the stone was removed as decoration.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
7th November 2005ce

Ardcroney (Burial Chamber)

The same farmer I met that told me about Ard Croine also told me that about 30 years ago before this cairn was bull-dozed this was the main landmark in the area being up to 30ft high and much wider. However most of this was removed as fill for the roads in the locality.
The area around Ardcroney is called Carney and there seems to be many hillocks in the area that could be natural or maybe manmade.
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
7th November 2005ce

Ashley Park (Burial Chamber)

While looking for the whitstone cairn I stopped to talk to a local farmer. As luck would have it we had a friend in common and he also knew a little about the local folklore attached to this site.
He told me that the mound was originally capped "like a pyramid" by the stones that are lying around the field and that a local man bull-dozed the lot for fill. It was also much bigger than its present size.
However it was when he got to the capstone of the burial chamber that he stopped. When it was open 3 skeletons were found, one 7ft tall, the next 6ft 6inchs and the third 6ft. He also reckons that the 7ft tall skeleton was on the Late Late Show! As you can see in my field notes the official report mentions 2 skeletons.
Also he pointed out that the name for the area Ardcroney means Ard being Big, Croine. And locally that is believed who was found in the mound Ard Croine.
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
7th November 2005ce

Long Meg & Her Daughters (Stone Circle)

Some modern folklore from 'The Ghostly Guide to the Lake District' by Tony Walker

"In the early 1990s, a local girl called Paula Thompson and her friends decided to do a bit of ghost hunting at Long Meg. Friends had gone there in their cars late at night to sit and talk and do what teenagers do. They reported seeing flashes of light outside the car, coming from the
stones. They told Paula and they all decided to go back another night as a group.
It was late, after midnight and at first Paula wouldn't get out of her car. Her friends teased her and so, reluctantly she opened the door. By that time the others had spread out round the circle. There was some light from the moon, and so she walked over to Long Meg, the tallest stone. She saw a dark shape in front of her. As she got closer, it started to move towards her very quickly. She thought it was a male friend having a laugh and called out jokingly for him to stop. He didn't stop and she saw that he was going to run into her. As it got closer she saw the shape wasn't her friend. To her horror it ran right through her. She says she felt cold and frightened and rushed back to the car.
Another time a group of people went there late, they met a coven of witches. When you visit Long Meg, you will more often than not see offerings of flowers or suchlike around Long Meg herself, or hanging in the tree nearby. My advice would be to stay away from Long Meg after dark. These people probably mean no harm, but they don't like to be disturbed".
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
6th November 2005ce

Devil's Stone (Addlebrough) (Natural Rock Feature)

Legend has it that Addlebrough was once the home of a giant who had a feirce row with the devil. Perched on the top of the crag, the rough ridge to the west, the giant hurled boulders down at the devil, but they fell short and landed at the side of Semerwater. The devil's response landed high on the flank of Addlebrough.
The giant granite boulders thrown by the giant can be seen on the edge of Semerwater and are known as The Carlow and Mermaid stones.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
3rd November 2005ce

Graves of the Leinstermen (Standing Stones)

This legend seems to have numerous different versions. The local legend being that they were buried on the hills because it looks east to leinster. However the stones are actually on the western side. These stones have been confirmed as being Bronze Age so this is a much a more recent story.

I've also thought this legend may have something to do with the movement of the sun, it rises in the east (this being the king of leinster) and dies looking to the west over the Slieve Beragh in Co. Clare.

This is the legend i took from the website
Sometime during the years when Brian was King of Munster, a royal wedding was to be held near Limerick. The King of Leinster, allied with the Limerick Vikings, was invited to attend, and, with a small contingent of his army set out to cross northern County Tipperary about 30 miles of Munster—enemy territory—to reach Limerick and the wedding. The route selected would avoid towns as much as possible, to avoid detection and confrontation with Brian's Munstermen. It was to cross the highest of the Arra Mountains, Tountinna, 1,500 feet high, where there were some old slate mines and a few farms, but no villages until reaching the River Shannon at Ballina, not far from the Limerick border.
Brian Boru's castle was atop the hilly town of Killaloe just across the Shannon from Ballina. The view from the castle looked across the river toward Ballina and the Arra Mountains. Gormlaith, bride of Brian, was at home in Killaloe when she received word of the wedding guests underway from Leinster. It so happened that Gormlaith was none other than mother of Sitric Silkenbeard, Viking King of Dublin, mortal enemy of Brian Boru and the Irish of Munster. Although Brian was at that moment away from Killaloe, Gormlaith knew an opportunity when she saw one, and proved to be no shrinking violet. Calling on her loyal friends in Dublin, Gormlaith ferreted the travel plans of the King of Leinster and his militia and planned a surprise welcome for them when they neared the end of their journey.
As the tired wedding guests traversed the heights of Tountinna and came into sight of Lough Derg, the great lake of the Shannon, and the Slieve Bernagh mountains to the west, they were set upon by the murderous attack of a superior force led by a fierce woman. No mercy was shown. The entire wedding party—including the King of Leinster—was slain on the slopes of Tountinna. They were buried on the spot, and the graves marked with several medium sized blocks of native stone.
This story doesn't make complete sense to me and seems to contradict itself, but I will find out more about it.
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
3rd November 2005ce

Bowerman's Nose (Natural Rock Feature)

The stones of Hound's Tor are meant to be the Bowerman's hunting hounds. wideford Posted by wideford
30th October 2005ce

Louven Howe (Round Barrow(s))

This barrow (now marking a boundary) is said to contain a pot of gold. But don't be getting any ideas. It is guarded by a 'big hag-worm or adder', and if that isn't enough to see you off, then the inevitable thunderstorm that will roll up when you start meddling will soon scare you away.

(recorded by Grinsell in 'Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain' 1976 - will have original source noted but I forgot).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
28th October 2005ce

Russell's Cairn (Cairn(s))

Russell's Cairn at Windy Gyle is supposed to mark the site of the mysterious death of Lord Francis Russell in 1585. He was in a truce meeting with the Scottish Warden Thomas Ker at the time. It's thought that he could have been bumped off as part of an English plot to remove Ker and other Catholic supporters of Queen Mary from their positions of power by implying they murdered him. The cairn's thought to be Bronze Age though, and there are others along the ridge.

Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th October 2005ce

Ashmore Down (Long Barrow)

A round barrow near Ashmore was once haunted by little 'gabbygammies' or 'gappergennies' who made strange noises. Funnily enough, the strange noises ceased after the barrow was opened and the bones allegedly found inside reburied in the village churchyard. Poor gabbygammies. There probably aren't any in the longbarrow near Ashmore but if you hear any strange noises while you're there..

(mentioned by Grinsell in 'Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain, 1976, not sure of original source he quotes)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th October 2005ce

Bartlow Hills (Round Barrow(s))

There seem to be various traditions relating to skipping in Easter week, from various places around the country. In Cambridgeshire, Good Friday seems to have been the day singled out. "An eighty year old woman of Linton recalled in the 1930s that in her youth the villagers of Linton and Hadstock used to skip on Good Friday to Bartlow Hills to join in the fun of the fair held there."

p107 in 'Cambridgeshire Customs and Folklore' by Enid Porter (1969).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th October 2005ce

The Godstone (Christianised Site)

A little further info from Witches, Fairies and Things That Go Bump

It's origins lie in pagan times when the recently deceased would be carried around it three times.

Early Christians carved some steps, a cross and a circle to demonstrate that the way to Heaven was through the Christian Church.
jimmyd Posted by jimmyd
20th October 2005ce

Garth Hill (Round Barrow(s))

Mind out for the ferns on Garth Hill.
A very amusing story about fern-seed came from the neighbourhood of the Garth Mountain, Glamorgan. An aged Welshman said that when he was a small boy he heard his grandfather gravely relating the experience of a neighbour who chanced to be coming homeward through the mountain fern on Midsummer Night between twelve and one o'clock. At that hour fern-seed is supposed to ripen, to fail off directly, and be lost. Some of the fern-seed fell upon his coat and into his shoes. He thought nothing of this, but went home.
At this point he totally freaks out his family, because they can't see him, but they can hear him talking - he remains invisible until he inadvertently shakes the seeds from his clothing.
The man who told this story said that when he was a boy not a person would wear a fern of any kind - first, because it caused men to lose their paths; and secondly, because adders were likely to follow you so long as it was worn.
From Marie Trevelyan's 'Folk lore and folk stories of Wales' (1909).
Of course, really boring botanists would tell you that ferns don't have seeds.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th October 2005ce
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