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Torberry Hill


<b>Torberry Hill</b>Posted by A R CaneImage © A R Cane
Nearest Town:Petersfield (3km WNW)
OS Ref (GB):   SU779203 / Sheet: 197
Latitude:50° 58' 34.51" N
Longitude:   0° 53' 25" W

Added by pure joy

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<b>Torberry Hill</b>Posted by A R Cane <b>Torberry Hill</b>Posted by A R Cane


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Tarberry corner, where four roads meet, and where for many generations those who laid violent hands upon themselves were buried, is a famous haunt for ghosts. Some years ago a man returning from Petersfield in the dusk, saw an apparition here which made him quake. He groaned, fell on his knees, "said his prayers sharp," and when he came to the end of the Lord's Prayer, to his horror the spectre advanced to meet him. It was a jackass!

On the summit of Tarberry are "Pharisees'" (fairies') rings, the simple folk say; and the "Pharisees" dance there on Midsummer's night. These blundering superstitions are veritable specimens of old Sussex folk-lore.
From The History of Harting by the Rev. H.D. Gordon (1877). The crossroads seems to be just at the north foot of the hill.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th April 2015ce
Edited 4th May 2015ce

The fort on Torberry Hill is spoon-shaped. The reason why? The Devil scalded his lips sipping hot punch from his 'Devil's Punchbowl' and pettishly threw his spoon away, it landing heavily here.

The gold purejoy mentions was buried by Royalists. They obviously buried their treasure to avoid it being stolen by riff-raff: you need a golden plough to dig it up. Local rhymes are
"Who knows what Tarberry would bear,
Would plough it with a golden share."
"He who would find what Tarberry would bear,
Must plough it with a golden share."

And as purejoy suggests, Torberry is indeed a haunt of the fairies. In fact you can still see their bed. Well, actually the Fairy Bed is the cross-shaped base of a post-medieval mill. But that's just dull.

From David Staveley's Sussex Hillforts
and the Scheduled Monument record on, also
Sussex Local Legends
Jacqueline Simpson
Folklore, Vol. 84, No. 3. (Autumn, 1973), pp. 206-223.

The midsummer dancing by the fairies is (according to Simpson, above) mentioned by H D Gordon, in 'The History of Harting' (1877) p19.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd March 2005ce
Edited 18th December 2006ce

It was believed that the fairies would dance on this hill at midnight on Midsummer Eve. Gold was supposed to be hidden underground. Little trace apparently remains of the Iron Age hillfort on the summit. pure joy Posted by pure joy
21st March 2003ce