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Hill of Health

Round Barrow(s)


Ah, the Hill of Health. You can just imagine sitting on this barrow, breathing in the fresh air. Or is that really what it means? T C Lethbridge, in his 1956 article "The Wandlebury Giants", suggests that the name actually comes from 'Hill of Helith' - Helith being another name for Baal / Gog, and relating to sun worship - and maybe he was right.

But you'd imagine there must be some local folklore to explain such a name? The 'Hidden East Anglia' website says the sometime owners of the house in whose garden the mound stands said 'Saxons were buried there', and also that Lethbridge heard a local legend about a Dane skinning a shepherd boy there. Neither of which sound very healthy.

The barrow is immediately east of a track that the Magic SMR record describes as a route of the Icknield Way. Although it has a dent in where antiquarians dug into it long ago, it is still quite intact and stands 2.7m high.

The Wandlebury Giants
T. C. Lethbridge
Folklore, Vol. 67, No. 4. (Dec., 1956), pp. 193-203.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th November 2006ce

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