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

The Spinsters' Rock

Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech


Folklore on the stones and some surrounding landscape features:
This interesting old monument derives its name from a whimsical tradition that three spinsters (who were spinners) erected it one morning before breakfast; but "may we not,"* says Mr. Rowe (Peramb. of Dartmoor), "detect in this legend of the three fabulous spinners the terrible Valkyriur of the dark mythology of our Northern ancesters - the Fatal Sisters, the choosers of the slain, whose dread office was to 'weave the warp and weave the woof of destiny.'"

Polwhele informs us that the legend varies, in that for the three spinsters some have substituted three young men and their father, who brought the stones from the highest part of Dartmoor; and in this phase of the legend has been traced an obscured tradition of Noah and his three sons.

.. The hill on which it stands commands an excellent view of Cawsand Beacon. About 100 yds. beyond the cromlech on the other (N.) side of the lane, is a pond of water, of about 3 acres, called Bradmere Pool, prettily situated in a wood. It is said to be unfathomable, and to remain full to the brim during the driest seasons, and some regard it as artificially formed and of high antiquity - in short a Druidical pool of lustration connected with the adjacent cromlech..

.. The country-people have a legend of a passage formed of large stones leading underground from Bradmere to the Teign, near the logan stone..
p65 in 'A Hand-book for Travellers in Devon & Cornwall' by John Murray (1851).

*[ooh go on then].
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
11th April 2007ce
Edited 11th April 2007ce

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