|The Devil's Arrows are made of millstone grit, which suggests they might have been shifted from over a mile away near Knaresborough, across the River Ure, although it is possible they were found more locally, having been brought by glaciation. Then again, perhaps the traditional story is true: the devil stood on Howe Hill (near Fountains Abbey) to throw the stones at Aldborough. He shouted:
"Borobrigg keep out o' way,
For Aldborough town
I will ding down!"
As usual he messed up and the stones fell harmlessly short of their mark. You can still raise the devil using them though - if you walk round them at midnight 12 times (widdershins of course). I also read that the grooves on the stones were from his attempts to hang his grandmother. Ah, I didn't know the devil had a grandmother. She must have been a tough old bird because there are a lot of grooves on these huge megaliths.
Aldborough is the modern town where the Roman Isurium Brigantium used to stand, the civilian capital of Brigantium. On the unlikely webpage of 'Britannia: America's gateway to the British Isles' I found the following alternative story:
"The King of the Brigantian Celts, to weigh the merits of the Druids' lore against the newly-come teaching of the Christians, bade that both should be debated before him. At first the new faith made ground, until a late arrival among the Druids turned the tide by his strong personality and his ridicule. But a movement of his cloak showed that his feet were melting the rock he stood on, and sinking into it. Discovered, he rose into the air in a smother of curses. He moulded into bolts the masses of half-molten rock which clung to his legs and flew towards Iseur, the capital city, intending to destroy it. But the bolts were miraculously intercepted, and fell harmlessly to earth. "
A different interpretation of the stones comes from the modern leyline/earth energy fold, which suggests that the needle like shape of the Arrows was chosen deliberately because of how it can influence or control the movement of energy through the land.
Posted by Rhiannon
21st August 2002ce