From [a mansion called The Friars] we bent our way towards the hills, over the spot where the Saxons, under their first landing, were routed by the British king Vortimier, after a long and bloody battle, in which Horsa, and Catigern, Vortimer's brother, fighting hand to hand, slew each other. From A brief historical and descriptive account of Maidstone and its environs by Lampreys, 1834. I like his easy style of writing. Though I'm not quite sure why he thinks I might take offence at Coity.. maybe because it sounds like saying if a house is made of coits it must be coity? which is a bit too silly and slangy.
Tradition says, that Horsa was buried at a place near Chatham, now called Horsted from that circumstance, and that Catigern was interred where he fell. The spot, according to the general opinion, is marked by a monument named Kit's Coty House, composed of four immense stones, which many, however, suppose to have been a druidical altar.
[...] As my reader may possibly object to the word Coity, I beg to remind him that this cromlech is variously designated by different writers: Camden calls it Keith Coty House; Lambarde and Philipott, Citscotehouse; and Kilburne, Kits Cothouse.
The height of the pile is between nine and ten feet, and the upper or largest stone weighs about ten tons and a haf; but, as it is most accurately represented in the print [...] and from its vicinity to the road is too well known to require a minute description, I shall only notice the art shown in the placing of the stones, which, I believe, is not generally observed.
The two blocks which form the sides, stand about six feet apart, and lean a little towards each other, so that they could only fall inwards; but they are secured from doing so by the third set transversely between them; and the three are bound firmly together by the fourth and largest, which is placed on their tops as a roof.
At a short distance below Kit's Coty House, towards the south-west, there are several large stones, which lie in such a confused heap that their number cannot be correctly ascertained; we judged it to be about twenty: and on the hill side, to the north-east by east of Kit's Coty House, there are several more lying near to each other; both these collections seem to have formed circles resembling, on a small scale, that of Stonehenge, and like Kit's Coty House, were reared by the Britons either for a sacrificial altar, or a monumental trophy. Besides those already mentioned there are several large stones scattered about the fields in this neighbourhood, some of which have names given to them.
Posted by Rhiannon
17th April 2016ce