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Copt Hill

Round Barrow(s)


This might not be the right site. If it's not the right site, then I think it must have been pretty close by (there are pits everywhere and perhaps it got swallowed up).
"In a field," says Surtees, "on the right-hand side of the road from Eppleton to Hetton, and only one field from Houghton-lane, is a remarkable tumulus, consisting entirely of field-stones gathered together. At the top there is a small oblong hollow, called the Fairies' Cradle: on this little green mound, which has always been sacred from the plough, village-superstition believes the fairies to have led their moonlight circles, and whistled their roundelays to the wind.
The subterraneous palaces of the fairy sovereign are frequently supposed, both in England and Scotland, to exist under these regular green hillocks:

'Up spoke the moody fairy king,
Who wons beneath the hill;
Like wind in the porch of a ruin'd church,
His voice was loud and shrill.'

But the Hetton fairies, of whom, however, there is no living evidence, spoke in a voice remarkably small and exile."
Quoted on p369 of 'An Historical, Topographical, and Descriptive View of the County Palatine of Durham' (1834).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th February 2008ce

Comments (2)

Hi Rhiannon,

This may have already been answered but yes, the text from Surtees is for a different site. Surtees is referring to the mound that used to be in Fairy Street in the middle of Hetton-le-Hole (hence the name "Fairy Street"). It's about a mile and a half from Copt Hill.
Posted by davbryma
11th January 2010ce
Oops - thank you for that, Davbryma, that's great. Fancy the fairies living the middle of the village. Do you think the implication is it wasn't a prehistoric mound? I suppose it still means people thought fairies would live in such mounds, at least. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
11th January 2010ce
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