The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




There is a curious mound by the side of the Blackadder, on the north of the stream, called "the King's Grave," which may be a natural eminence, or may have been formed by the debris of a rush of water through a ravine nearly opposite to it, but which certainly has the appearance of having been stirred - dug into - on a part of its extent, the tradition connected with which, seems to carry the mind back to the same stern times [of the sixth century].

The residence, according to this old tale, of a British Chief was surprised by Saxon assailants in his absence, and all who belonged to him were murdered or carried away, with the exception of one infant child who was a twin, who happened to have been carried out at the time in the arms of his nurse, and was by her concealed and preserved.

Many years afterwards this British Chief met a Saxon army, and the place of meeting must have been some where near to these lines. It was proposed by the Saxon leader and agreed to, that the matter in dispute between them should be decided by combat, one champion being chosen from each army. The Saxon champion was the Briton's stolen son, whose life had been spared by his enemies when they put to death the other members of his family who were in their power. It was his twin brother who represented the British host - and the two kinsmen both fell - mutually slain, and lie buried, as the tradition which I seek to give says, under the large and contiguous cairns on the "Twinlaw," a prominent eminence of the Lammermuir range, a few miles to the west. The armies having afterwards engaged in battle on the southern descent of the Lammermoors, near to Wedderlie, the British Chief was himself either mortally wounded or slain in the action, and, on the route of his dispirited army, was interred in that lonely mound by the Blackadder.
It's not very convincing is it? If I'd met my long lost twin I don't think I'd set to murdering him. But that seems to be the story. There is a ballad about it too, which you may read some of in the rest of the article by the Rev. John Walker, here:
in volume 2 of the History of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club (1864). There's also a version in vol 30
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th August 2011ce
Edited 31st August 2011ce

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