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Odin's Hall



Much giant related folklore connected with the broch:
The Scottish Journal, 1847.
The distance of the Hall from the Whitadder on the north, was two hundred yards, down a very steep bank. There is a deep hollow on the west, with a small run of water in it. This place has been sometimes called Woden, or Odin's Hall, but for what purpose it was erected nobody can tell. It is now completely levelled with the soil, and most of the stones have been removed. In the tradition of the neighbourhood, Edin's Hall is said to have been the residence of a giant - and Cockburn-Law, on the northern slope of which it stood, is reputed to have been the last place where the Picts made a determined stand in Scotland! G.H.
Transactions of the Hawick Archaeological Society, 1863.
The country people in this neighbourhood call it Edin's Hold and Wodin's Hall, and ascribe its erection to a freebooting giant, who long carried on a successful system of depredation, and shut up in this his place of power, effectually screened himself from the hands of justice
Proceedings at Meetings of the Royal Archaeological Institute, 1869.
..Edin's Hall, which at that time present little beyond a green mound, with a little rough masonry visible here and there, in the centre of an extensive system of earthworks. Local tradition connected them with a certain giant who, "once upon a time," made it his abode, and lived, as giants were wont to do, on his neighbours. Returning one day with a bull over his shoulders, he was incommoded by a pebble in his shoe, and jerked it to the side of the opposite hill, where it is still to be seen in the form of a good-sized boulder.
From Chambers's Journal, v1 (1854).
The history of the building is totally unknown. The ordinary name is Eetin's Hald; though usually presented in books as Edin's Hall or Ha'. Antiquaries speculate on its having been a palace of Edwin, king of Northumbria in the seventh century - the same prince from who Edinburgh is supposed (altogether gratuitously) to have taken its name.

It is to be feared that here an obvious meaning of the name has been overlooked. The Etin, in old Scottish tradition, is a giant (from the Danish Jetten:) thus we hear in our early national literature, of the tale of the Red Etin. Sir David Lyndsay, in his Dreme, speaks of having amused the infancy of King James V. with 'tales of the Red Etin and Gyre-carling.'

Considering that the people of Lammermuir have a fireside story representing Eetin's Hald as having been anciently the abode of a giant, who lived upon the cattle of his neighbours, and did not always respect their own persons - whose leap, too, they shew in a narrow part of the streamlet near by - it is rather strange that the name of the place has not been detected as meaning merely the Giant's Hold.
From Robert Chambers' Popular Rhymes of Scotland (1826). There's more about this giant in a later edition here, as well.
The red-etin is a monstrous personage, supposed by the common people to be so named on account of his insatiable penchant for red or raw flesh. [...] He is still a popular character in Scotland, and is supposed to go about searching for what he may devour, and constantly exclaiming, as in the story of Jack and the Bean Stack,
Snouk Butt, Snouk Ben,
I find the smell of Earthly men.

Snouk signifies, to search for with the nose like a dog or hog, and here communicates a dreadful idea of the personal habits of the Red-etin.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th May 2013ce
Edited 15th May 2013ce

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