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

Hamdon Hill



A curious superstition (says a Somersetshire correspondent) has come to light in Mid-Somerset. It seems that the labouring classes in that locality, like those of most other rural districts in England, hold or held sacred certain supposed prophecies of "Mother Shipton," whose topographical knowledge, if we are to believe all that is said of her, must have been little less marvellous than her insight into the future.

Of these prophecies the most widely believed in had reference to the fate of Ham Hill, a large stone quarry in the neighbourhood of Yeovil, and a prominent feature of the landscape for miles around. It was to the effect that at twelve o'clock on the Good Friday of 1879 Ham Hill should suddenly be swallowed up by an earthquake, and that at the same time Yeovil should be visited by a tremendous flood. With such real anxiety was last Friday looked forward to, in consequence, that people actually left the locality with their families and went to stay with their friends in other parts of the county until the dreaded "visitation" should be over; others, whose faith was less robust, nevertheless thought it advisable to remove their pots and pans from the shelves of their cupboards and to stow away their clocks and looking-glasses in places where they were not likely to be shattered by the shock of the earthquake; others, again, suspended gardening operations for a day or two, thinking it mere waste to commit good seed to the earth that was likely to behave so treacherously.

On the morning of Good Friday itself large numbers of people - many of them from a distance - flocked to the spot, or as near to the spot as they dared venture, to await, half incredulous and half in terror, the stroke of twelve and the fulfilment of the prophecy. When, however, the appointed hour had passed, and Ham Hill still stood unabashed, they began to look sheepishly into each other's faces and to move away. At present in Mid-Somerset Mother Shipton and her prophecies are somewhat "at a discount."
Those crazy provincials. From the Pall Mall Gazette for April 14th, 1879.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st November 2012ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment