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Tolven Holed Stone

Holed Stone

Folklore

I was told that some remarkable cures had been effected [at the Holed Stone at St. Constantine] only a few weeks since. The ceremony consists of passing the child nine times through the hole, alternately from one side to the other; and it is essential to success that the operation should finish on that side where there is a little grassy mound, recently made, on which the patient must sleep, with a six-pence under his head. A trough-like stone, called the 'cradle', on the eastern side of the barrow, was formerly used for this purpose. This stone, unfortunately, has long been destroyed. That holed stones were not originally constructed for the observance of this peculiar custom is evident, for in some instances the holes are not more than five or six inches in diameter.

A few years ago, a person digging close to the Tolven, discovered a pit in which were fragments of pottery, arranged in circular order, the whole being covered by a flat slab of stone. Imagining that he had disturbed some mysterious place, with commendable reverence he immediately filled up the pit again.
From Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall by William Bottrell (1873).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
20th November 2012ce

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