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

Brown Willy Cairns



The Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould knew a lot about folklore but I think he made this story up for his novel 'Mrs Curgenven of Curgenven' (1909). It sounds as if it could be based on the discovery of the Rillaton cup. If you look at my notes on that page, you'll see that Mr Grinsell had an inkling he'd made that 'famous folklore' up too. But still, what's folklore anyway. Someone's got to make it up sometime (unless the fairies really do exist..).
Here rises an immense cairn above some ancient Cornish king. Here the dead man lies with a golden goblet in his hand, and he turns his cup from side to side. When he is thirsty, he turns the bowl to the west, and thereupon the wind blows from the ocean and brings up rain that pours through the chinks of his grave and fills the cup. The dead man holds it till full, and then drinks. If his tongue be slaked, he turns the bowl downward and the wind shifts, the clouds disperse, and the sun shines. But he has his thirsty fits full often, and when they are on him rain falls incessantly, and the fire that consumes him seems unquenchable.
p300 in the edition digitised at the Internet Archive.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
12th October 2007ce
Edited 12th October 2007ce

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