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

Murtry Hill

Long Barrow


Grinsell (Folklore of prehistoric sites in Britain) says the barrow associated with the stones is supposed to be immovable. Though I don't think there's much left bar the stones, so it can't have been that immovable.

The area is "said to be" haunted by a lady in white (a 'Lake Lady' more fairy than ghost, says Ruth Tongue). However I am not wholly convinced that this bit of folklore was originally attached to this site. In PSAS v21 for 1875, the Lady in White is mentioned - but in a paragraph about Parc-y-Meirw at Fishguard, casually thrown into the middle of a discussion about Murtry Hill. I felt confused when I read it and I wonder if some people have got the wrong end of the stick from this very bit of writing. The idea is repeated in the 1912 'highways and byways in somerset' by Hutton - but perhaps he just read it in the PSAS journal. I suppose the only way to know is to find someone who's seen a white lady at Murtry Hill! Otherwise, it seems like the idea's stuck anyway.

Ruth Tongue also mentions how some men were once employed to dig up the stones. They got down ten feet - but the stone was still going and it was still 'rock' solid. Suddenly it fell and squashed a man - and immediately (to the astonishment of the onlookers) returned to its original position. So do show the stones some respect should you visit - you never know...

(in 'Somerset Folklore' 1965. The workman's fate was told to her in 1909 by a school friend. The 10ft anecdote was from the 1933 Somerset yearbook)

The stones are also mentioned in 'The Sun and the Serpent' (by Miller and Broadhurst) as one of the sites on the cross-England ley line of St Michael/Mary. If you go in for such things. It connects Glastonbury, Avebury and many other esoteric spots.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd May 2002ce
Edited 29th July 2006ce

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