The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Devil's Den

Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech


There are various traditions connected with it. I was told some years since, by an old man hoeing turnips near, that if anybody mounted to the top of it, he might shake it in one particular part. I do not know whether this is the case or not, though it is not unusual where the capstone is upheld by only three supporters. But another labourer whom I once interrogated informed me that nobody could ever pull off the capstone; that many had tried to do so without success; and that on one occasion twelve white oxen were provided with new harness, and set to pull it off, but the harness all fell to pieces immediately! As my informant evidently thought very seriously of this, and considered it the work of enchantment, I found it was not a matter for trifling to his honest but superstitious mind; and he remained perfectly unconvinced by all the arguments with which I tried to shake his credulity.
An atheist might find the latter section quite ironic, coming from the Rev. A C Smith as it does. It is part of his (excellent) 'Guide to the British and Roman Antiquities of the North Wiltshire Downs' (1884).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
13th March 2006ce

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