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Frensham Common

Round Barrow(s)


Frensham is associated with the fairies' kettle, which you may now find in the church, apparently - it is three feet in diameter and made of copper. Aubrey wrote about it:
"In the vestry of Frensham church, in Surrey, on the north side of the chancel, is an extraordinary great kettle or caldron, which the inhabitants say, by tradition, was brought hither by the fairies, time out of mind, from Borough-hill, about a mile hence. To this place, if anyone went to borrow a yoke of oxen, money, etc., he might have it for a year or longer, so he kept his word to return it. There is a cave where some have fancied to hear music. In this Borough hill is a great stone, lying along the length of about six feet. They went to this stone and knocked at it, and declared what they could borrow, and when they would repay, and a voice would answer when they should come, and that they should find what they desired to borrow at that stone. This caldron, with the trivet, was borrowed here after the manner aforesaid, and not returned according to promise; and though the caldron was afterwards carried to the stone, it could not be received, and ever since that time no borrowing there."
It's a bit unclear where exactly the borough hill is/was - but it is very tempting to assume it was one of the barrows on the common. There's also the Devil's Jumps, two natural hills, which might fit the bill.

Anyway the story fits into a whole series of local myths (incorporating a cave, a witch called Mother Ludlam, the Devil, and a holy spring - how much more do you want); you can read Chris Hall's article at the Leyhunting website. Scroll down and there are details of a fieldtrip to all the sites too.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th February 2005ce
Edited 19th July 2006ce

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