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

Goose Stones

Standing Stone / Menhir


More on the geese and their origin.. in the 1808 Gentleman's Magazine where the Ballad was originally? published (p341).
The following Ballad was written at Daylesford, the residence of Warren Hastings, esq. and was suggested by the circumstance of his having removed a number of large stones, which lay in the neighbourhood, to form the rock work which adorns his grounds, furnishing materials chiefly for a little Island, and the declivities of an artificial Cascade.

These stones which were situated on the summit of a hill in the parish of Addlestrop, in Gloucestershire, near the point where it borders upon the three adjoining counties, had stood for time immemorial; and whether they owed their position to Art or Nature, accident or design, has never been determined: hbut popular tradition, as is usual in cases of the like dilemma, has furnished a ready solution to this inquiry, by ascribing their origin to enchantment.

It is accordingly pretended that as an old woman was driving her geese to pasture upon Addlestrop hill, she was met by one of the Weird Sisters, who demanded alms, and upon being refused, converted the whole flock into so many stones, which have ever since retained the name of the Grey Geese of Addlestrop Hill.

In relating this Metamorphosis, no variation has been made from the antient legend; nor has any derivation from truth been resorted to in the narration of their subsequent history, farther than in attributing to the magical completion of a fictitious prophecy, what was, in reality, the effect of taste and a creative invention in the amiable proprietors of Daylesford House.
Next time you want to turn some stones into a water feature, just call it 'taste and creative invention', and it'll be fine.

So. Maybe these aren't the goose stones at all? and it is the story that has moved from Adlestrop Hill to the common.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
12th April 2007ce
Edited 12th April 2007ce

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