|The cross on Banwell Hill apparently stands 2ft proud of the ground's surface, with compass-bearing pointing arms four feet broad. The local explanation is that people tried to raise a cross on the hill, but the Devil repeatedly blew it down by raising huge gales every night. Eventually they figured out the solution - to build one on the floor (this is mentioned by Ruth Tongue in her 'Somerset Folklore' 1965).
You can read more about the cross in an extract from "The Birthplace of St. Patrick in Somerset"
by Harry Jelley, at Vortigern Studies.
.. which, as you can tell, also expounds the theory that Banwell is where St Patrick was born. The plot thickens.
Other explanations have the construction as a warren (dismissed due to the effort digging out the bedrock) or a windmill base (but it would be a very big windmill with 20m arms of the cross).
Posted by Rhiannon
10th March 2005ce
Edited 2nd August 2005ce