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Firle Beacon

Long Barrow

<b>Firle Beacon</b>Posted by CursuswalkerImage © Cursuswalker
Also known as:
  • Giant's Grave

Nearest Town:Newhaven (6km SW)
OS Ref (GB):   TQ483059 / Sheet: 198
Latitude:50° 49' 58.84" N
Longitude:   0° 6' 22.32" E

Added by pure joy


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<b>Firle Beacon</b>Posted by A R Cane <b>Firle Beacon</b>Posted by A R Cane <b>Firle Beacon</b>Posted by A R Cane <b>Firle Beacon</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>Firle Beacon</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>Firle Beacon</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>Firle Beacon</b>Posted by Cursuswalker

Fieldnotes

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I've been to this place many times. The barrow itself is a little difficult to make out as a long barrow, once you are actually standing on it, but the view will make up for this!

The visit that stands out is when I reached it from the east on my walk of the South Downs Way on 17th April 1999.

I had reached Bo-Peep Bostal car park just as a hail and thunder storm started, and waited there for it to pass. Thinking it had passed, I carried on on my way, only to hear more thunder approaching just as I was approaching the Giant's Grave. This meant I was in the middle of a thunderstorm and just about to reach the highest point for many miles around.

I stood there nervously, wondering whether or not to throw myself to the ground (This would have been very sensible I have since discovered!).

Eventually the thunder and lightening passed and I carried on. My photo of the Giant's Grave was taken just as the clouds parted and the sun came out. I had miles of downland all to myself, as the storm had cleared the whole South Downs Way for two miles either way, as walkers legged it back to their cars.

Standing there on top of the barrow, relieved and completely on my own, with melting hail glistening in the surprisingly warm sun, was an incredible time, especially with the views of the Way for miles to the west that had just come into view as I reached the summit.

To the east Windover Hill was white with hail, as the storm had reached it by then.

Truly a memory worth getting wet for…
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
25th January 2004ce
Edited 25th January 2004ce

Folklore

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"I was.. told that the giant on Firle Beacon threw his hammer at the Wilmington giant and killed him, and that the figure on the hillside marks the place where his body fell."
p162 of
Scraps of Folklore Collected by John Philipps Emslie
C. S. Burne
Folklore, Vol. 26, No. 2. (Jun. 30, 1915), pp. 153-170.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th December 2006ce

Fires were anciently lighted on the top of Firle Beacon, Mount Caburn and other eminences of the South Downs. They were last lighted on the day of the Queen's Jubilee, June 21st, 1887. On the top of Firle Beacon is a "round"; the woman who told me this did not seem to be certain what this "round" was, and was inclined to think that it might have been a haunt or habitation of the giant of Firle Beacon. (noted 1891)
from p164 of
Scraps of Folklore Collected by John Philipps Emslie
C. S. Burne
Folklore, Vol. 26, No. 2. (Jun. 30, 1915), pp. 153-170.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th December 2006ce

Another name for the long barrow locally is the Giant's Grave, not surprisingly. Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
25th January 2004ce

The long barrow on the hill was said to be the burial place of a giant who lived up here. he regularly quarrelled with another giant on Windover Hill and they would throw boulders at one another; one of them struck and killed the Windover giant, who can still be seen on the hillside (cf The Long man of Wilmington). there is also said to be a silver coffin buried somewhere on Firle Beacon. pure joy Posted by pure joy
21st March 2003ce