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Ty Newydd (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Ty Newydd</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Henblas (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Henblas</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Old Sarum (Hillfort) — Folklore

I'd not thought of this, but the trouble with putting your cathedral in a fort is that all the soldiers get in the way. Apparently.
One its short sheep-bitten turf may yet be traced, in dry weather, the outlines of the foudation walls of its ancient and once splendid cathedral, built by Bishop Osmond - the Conqueror's nephew - but transferred by Bishop Poore in 1220, from that bleak and barren position, into the sheltered vale and fertile meadows of the fishy Avon beneath. Old Aubrey gives the following version of the cause of its removal, which he says he had from Bishop Seth Ward, who extracted it from the musty records of the cathedral.
The old church in the castle of Old Sarum being seated so high was so obnoxious to the weather that when the wind did blow they could not heare the priest say masse. But this was not the only inconvenience. The soldiers of the castle and the priests could never agree; and one day when they were gone without the castle in procession, the soldiers kept them out all night, or longer. Whereupon the bishop, although much troubled, cheered them up as well as he could, telling them he would study to accommodate them better. In order thereunto he rode several tymes to the Lady Abbesse at Wylton to have bought or exchanged a piece of ground with her ladyship to build a church and homes for the priests. A poor woman at Quidhampton that was spinning in the street, sayd to one of her neighbours, "I marvell what the matter is that the bishop makes so many visits to my lady; I trow he intends to marry her." Well the bishop and her ladyship could not conclude about the land, and the bishop dreamt that the Virgin Mary came to him and told him she would have him build his church at Merrifield, and dedicate it to her. Merrifield was a great meadow where the city of New Sarum now stands and did belong to the bishop, as now the whole city belongs to him.
From an article about books on Wiltshire in 'The Quarterly Review' for January 1858.

Perthi Duon (Burial Chamber) — Images

<b>Perthi Duon</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Bodowyr (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Bodowyr</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Grimspound & Hookney Tor — Images

<b>Grimspound & Hookney Tor</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Spinsters' Rock (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>The Spinsters' Rock</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Greywethers (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Greywethers</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Scorhill (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Scorhill</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Kerloas (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Kerloas</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Knockeen (Portal Tomb) — Images

<b>Knockeen</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Trethevy Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Trethevy Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>Trethevy Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Cheesewring (Rocky Outcrop) — Folklore

Quarrying operations at one time threatened to destroy this far-famed natural curiosity, but the Duchy of Cornwall has wisely limited the scope of their destructive efforts. [...] Immediately outside the rampart of the stone fort above the Cheesewring is a large natural block of granite, hollowed out by the weather into a rude seat called the Druid's Chair. It is said that whoever sits in it is destined shortly either to become a poet or go mad - in fact, the Laureateship or Colney Hatch!
From a report about an excursion to the Cheesewring in Archaeologia Cambrensis, July 1896.

The Cheesewring (Rocky Outcrop) — Images

<b>The Cheesewring</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>The Cheesewring</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Trethevy Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Trethevy Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Kilmar Tor (Rocky Outcrop) — Miscellaneous

The Kilmarth Rocks are a lofty range of half a mile in length, running east and west, about two miles northward from the Cheesewring, and in the parish of Linkinhorne, Cornwall. The westernmost pile, represented in the sketch, stands on the summit of this elevated ridge, and is in itself about twenty-eight feet high. It overhands at least twelve or fifteen feet towards the north, and when viewed from the east appears so slightly based, that a man or a strong gale might suffice to shove the whole mass over the tremendous precipice; but when surveyed from the western side its foundation appears more solid, and it will require perhaps many ages to subvert the wonderful pile.

The immense size of many of the granite rocks of which this ridge is formed, and the rude and heterogeneous manner in which they lie one upon another, together with the wildness and extent of the surrounding panorama, overpower the mind with awe and astonishment at the grandeur of the operations of Nature. Towards the north is seen the top of Launceston Castle, also, in clear weather, the Bristol Channel and Lundy Island; to the south-east Plymouth, its Sound, and Mount Edgcumbe; and towards the south-west the Deadman Point and the English Channel, with the bleak midland hills of Devonshire and Cornwall.

A large rock-basin, of about three feet diameter and one foot deep, is on the summit of one of the eastern rocks of Kilmarth.
I would go for the rock basin alone, I love a rock basin.

The Cheesewring, Kilmarth Rocks and Trevethy Stone, Cornwall. Penny magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Jan 23, 1836, 28-29.

Kilmar Tor (Rocky Outcrop) — Images

<b>Kilmar Tor</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Cheesewring (Rocky Outcrop) — Images

<b>The Cheesewring</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Brimham Rocks (Rocky Outcrop) — Images

<b>Brimham Rocks</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Four Stones (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Four Stones</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Four Stones (Stone Circle) — Folklore

The notion of [another writer], that the stones once formed some of the supports of a covering stone of a large sepulchral chamber, appears probable. The prevalent local tradition which he and the author of the History of Radnorshire record, that the font in Old Radnor Church was hewn out of one of the missing stones, shows that the supposed removal took place at a remote period, and is so far valuable; but an examination of the four stones does not support the tradition of the use which was made of one of their missing fellows, for they are clearly erratic boulders from the adjacent volcanic rocks of Hanter or Stanner, of which a very truthful and picturesque sketch is given in Murchison's Silurian System. Any local stone mason would, on examination, at once say the four stones could not be dressed or hewn into a regular form, as they would shatter into irregular fragments when broken or dressed.
From 'The Four Stones, Old Radnor' by Richard W Banks, in Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club 1886-1889.

Cae-yr-Arfau (Chambered Tomb) — Images

<b>Cae-yr-Arfau</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Tinkinswood (Burial Chamber) — Images

<b>Tinkinswood</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Merry Maidens (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Merry Maidens</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Zennor Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Zennor Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Lanyon Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Lanyon Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Chûn Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Chûn Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Penllech Coetan Arthur (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Penllech Coetan Arthur</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Tolven Holed Stone — Miscellaneous

...I propose to give a few hitherto unpublished particulars [of the Tolven stone]. It stands at the back of a small farmhouse in Tolven (or Tolvan) Cross, about half a mile from Gweek, on the road from Helston to Truro, and just at the intersection of that road, with a less important one connecting Constantine and Wendron.

The farmhouse was built in 1847 by a John Moyle, whose descendants still occupy it. At the time the house was built the surrounding countryside was wild moorland, overgrown with furze and bracken, and this was cleared by Moyle to make the present Tolven Cross Farm. The two adjoining farms - Upper Tolven and Lower Tolven - were already in existence at the time Moyle commenced to reclaim his little corner of moorland.

When he built the house the Tolven Stone was lying flat upon the moor at the intersection of the roads, and a few feet only from the back wall of the house, and the old man was struck with the idea that by raising it up on one of his edges he would be spared the necessity of building some three yards of the wall separating a little patch of garden from the farmyard, or rather, a pathway from the farmyard to his back-door. This he did, and the stone stands today in the place where the old man put it.

John Moyle died thirty years ago, but his daughter-in-law, who lived in the same house with the old man for some years previous to his death, is still living there with her daughter and grandson, the latter farming the land attached to the house.
One can't help thinking that the weirdness of the stone is the reason people walking on the ancient roads crossed at that spot (because it was an interesting and obvious landmark). But I'm not sure Mr Beesley would go for this theory. His theory is that the holed Men-An-Tol and this stone are holed because they're cross bases. That's a big stone to pick for a cross base though, you have to admit. He says I therefore leave my case in the hands of my readers, who, if they cannot accept my solution of the mystery, will, I feel sure, be tolerant. Ah if only there'd been the TMA Forum in those days. But no, you had to go and find a goose for a quill and boil up some ink, write it in your best handwriting and pop your exasperated response in the post. By which time you probably did feel quite tolerant. Ah they'd have loved the forum wouldn't they.

From 'What is the Men-an-tol?' by George J Beesley, in The Antiquary 8 (April 1912)

Tolven Holed Stone — Folklore

I have shown (in the Antiquary for April, 1912) why the Tolven Stone was set up on edge, and although this was done as recently as the middle of the nineteenth century, it had long ago acquired a reputation as a "crick-stone."

Four years ago I had a chat with the daughter-in-law of the man who built the house at the back of which the stone stands, and who raised it to its present position. She told me that, quite recently, children had been passed through the hole in order to strengthen their backs, and added, "our old dog (a collie) ought to be strong enough in the back, for he's backwards and forwards through it forty times a day."
From Correspondence in 'The Antiquary' v10 (April 1914), our correspondent being George J Beesley. The reputation had to have been developed after it was put up, because otherwise, how would you shove infants through it? Or is he conceding that it already had the reputation (suggesting it had already been standing at some point)?

Tolven Holed Stone — Images

<b>Tolven Holed Stone</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Lanyon Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Lanyon Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Treryn Dinas (Cliff Fort) — Images

<b>Treryn Dinas</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Castlefarm (Rath) — Folklore

There is an old lios in the townland of Castlefarm, the next village to Clooneen. It was generally known that the owner of the land on which the lios was, would never remain too late at work and that he would not go out to work early in the morning. His neighbours asked him what was the reason of this and he told them that one morning he went out at day-break and began to plough near the lios, and a friend of his who had been dead for years told him to cease working at such early hours. He did as he had been advised, went back to bed for a few hours and when he returned he found that half the field had been ploughed in his absence. He then yoked in his horses, began to plough and did an ordinary day's work. A few weeks later his cow strayed from him one evening and he could not find her.
It was near midnight when he went to the lios in search of her and he had a lantern in his hand because the night was very dark. As he came near the lios he heard the nicest music he ever heard played. After a while it changed into a kind of "caoining".
He became very much afraid of this strange sound and he left the field and returned home and told his wife and family. Very soon after he became ill and he lived only six weeks.
Ever since people take care that they do not enter this field at a late hour.
From the Schools Collection of the 1930s, now being transcribed at

St Columkille's Stones (Cup Marked Stone) — Folklore

In Gartan Co Donegal there is a huge stone which is kept in remembrance of St Colmcille. Long ago some Protestants were removing this stone and trying to hide it on the Catholics. When they had it some distance away a plague of black rats surrounded them so they thought they would leave the stone back again and when they did so the rats disappeared. The Protestants never interfered with the stone again.
From the Schools Collection of the 1930s, now being transcribed at

Ho Stone, Balcunnin (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Folklore

Another story which I'm hoping applies to this stone. You get a lot packed in - fairies, Finn McCool, special tree species and petrification.
In a field at Balcunnin two miles from Skerries, there is a tall stone shaped somewhat like a man. It is said that a fairy queen was going to Fionn Mac Cumhail when a man leapt out of a hedge and tried to seize her. Like magic a hazel rod appeared in her hand and she turned her man into a rock.
From the Schools Collection of the 1930s, now being transcribed at

Clogher (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Folklore

There is a great stone in Clogher till the present day and there was a giant buried under it. One day a man from Eglish was over there and he lifted one of the stones. He looked down and saw a bottle. When he was about to lift the second stone a voice called to him to get away from that grave. He left that moment and for a long time he never was seen about Clogher. About seven years after that he was after sheep about the same place. When he came near the grave he saw a man sitting on the stone which lay over it. He heard him singing a song about if any man would lift that stone that he would be put to death before the end of that week. From that day to this no one went near these few stones. It is to be found on the farm of Kathleen Kelly of Clogher.
From the Schools Collection of the 1930s, now being transcribed at Perhaps this is the stone at Clogher (or perhaps there's another).

Rocking Stone Hill (Golcar) — Miscellaneous

The first druidical remain which I shall mention, is called the Rocking-Stone, and two different views thereof are exhibited at No. 1 and 2 of the etched plate attending these remarks.

It is situated so as to be a boundary mark between the two town-ships, Golcar and Slaighthwait in the parish of Huddresfield, on what is called Golcar-Hill, and gives the name of Hole-Stone Moor to the adjoining grounds.

The size of it is about ten feet and half long, nine feet four or five inches broad, and five feet three inches thick. It rests on so small a center, that at one particular point, a man may cause it to rock, though it has been damaged a little in this respect by some masons, who endeavoured to discover the principle on which so large a weight was made to move.
From 'Druidical Remains in or near the Parish of Halifax in Yorkshire, discovered and explained by the Rev. John Watson, MAFSA and Rector of Stockport in Cheshire', read at the Society of Antiquaries, Nov. 21, 1771. (Archaeologia v.2).

The grid reference is where the stone is marked on the 1880 map.

Rocking Stone Hill (Golcar) — Images

<b>Rocking Stone Hill (Golcar)</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Ravenstone Rocks (Rocking Stone) — Folklore

Hmm imagine being glowered over by those rocks on the hill above. And they can look after themselves (to a point):
On the edge of Ravenstone precipice, in Greenfield, there formerly stood a large rocking stone (by the rocking of which the Druids tried their criminals for minor offences), but this stone was ruthlessly destroyed by the miners engaged in excavating the Standedge canal tunnel. These worse than Celtic barbarians assembled on this spot, and blew this time-honoured memorial into countless fragments, one of which, however, struck one of the men and killed him on the spot.
From Saddleworth Sketches by Joseph Bradbury, 1871.

Ravenstone Rocks (Rocking Stone) — Images

<b>Ravenstone Rocks</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Pots and Pans Stone (Natural Rock Feature) — Folklore

There are more curious stones a mere 500 metres away at Alderman's rocks, and the old maps have the "Fairy Hole" at SE01520469 - surely what this must refer to?
On the hill of Alderman, but nearer to Greenfield than is Pots and Pans, is a long fissure in the earth, about 14 yards in length, each end of which terminates in a cavernous hole in the rock. Tradition says that into one of these holes
A fox and dog, once on a Whitsun morn,
Entered in chase, but never to return
From Saddleworth Sketches by Joseph Bradbury, 1871.

Besides the basins already mentioned, there is a long uneven hole on Pots and Pans rock, which Borlase supposes was made to receive the bodies of diseased persons, in order that the god of the rock might heal them.

In confirmation of this opinion, I have often heard it said that the water of the basins on Pots and Pans rock "will cure sore eyes," which superstition has in all probability been transmitted to us from the Druidical period.

Butterworth mentions a stone called Pancake, and on which, he says, was the "long uneven hole" just mentioned, but he has evidently confounded the two stones. At the time the canal locks were being made, Pots and Pans narrowly escaped destruction, and Pancake was destroyed, together with the Giant's Stone - so called from having the impress of a gigantic hand upon it,

- and a "rock idol" (?), thus described by Butterworth and others who had seen it:- "A little west(?) of Pancake (Pots and Pans he means) is a stone about twenty feet in height, but much narrower at the top (than bottom (?), from whence proceed irregular flutings down one side of about two feet in length, by some supposed to be the effect of time, and by others the workmanship of art.
In all probability if you wash your eyes in the water you may then require the use of the long uneven hole. From Saddleworth Sketches by Joseph Bradbury, 1871.

Kit's Coty (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Folklore

From [a mansion called The Friars] we bent our way towards the hills, over the spot where the Saxons, under their first landing, were routed by the British king Vortimier, after a long and bloody battle, in which Horsa, and Catigern, Vortimer's brother, fighting hand to hand, slew each other.

Tradition says, that Horsa was buried at a place near Chatham, now called Horsted from that circumstance, and that Catigern was interred where he fell. The spot, according to the general opinion, is marked by a monument named Kit's Coty House, composed of four immense stones, which many, however, suppose to have been a druidical altar.

[...] As my reader may possibly object to the word Coity, I beg to remind him that this cromlech is variously designated by different writers: Camden calls it Keith Coty House; Lambarde and Philipott, Citscotehouse; and Kilburne, Kits Cothouse.

The height of the pile is between nine and ten feet, and the upper or largest stone weighs about ten tons and a haf; but, as it is most accurately represented in the print [...] and from its vicinity to the road is too well known to require a minute description, I shall only notice the art shown in the placing of the stones, which, I believe, is not generally observed.

The two blocks which form the sides, stand about six feet apart, and lean a little towards each other, so that they could only fall inwards; but they are secured from doing so by the third set transversely between them; and the three are bound firmly together by the fourth and largest, which is placed on their tops as a roof.

At a short distance below Kit's Coty House, towards the south-west, there are several large stones, which lie in such a confused heap that their number cannot be correctly ascertained; we judged it to be about twenty: and on the hill side, to the north-east by east of Kit's Coty House, there are several more lying near to each other; both these collections seem to have formed circles resembling, on a small scale, that of Stonehenge, and like Kit's Coty House, were reared by the Britons either for a sacrificial altar, or a monumental trophy. Besides those already mentioned there are several large stones scattered about the fields in this neighbourhood, some of which have names given to them.
From A brief historical and descriptive account of Maidstone and its environs by Lampreys, 1834. I like his easy style of writing. Though I'm not quite sure why he thinks I might take offence at Coity.. maybe because it sounds like saying if a house is made of coits it must be coity? which is a bit too silly and slangy.

Kit's Coty (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Kit's Coty</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Rathdonnell — Folklore

This was told to me by Mick Carbry, Socker. In Rathdonell house there was a man who lived there, his name was Staffard. There was a big fort around the house. Staffard had a horse which he liked very much. Staffard died, and the minute he did, the horse came to the door step and died.
The people put the 'trace' of the horse on Staffard's tombstone. He is buried in Douglas. There was a fort round this house, and the Danes planted a lot of trees around the fort. There was a fight and the trees hid and saved the Danes from being shot. There was supposed to be a ghost seen in Rathdonell house ever since.
From the Schools Collection of the 1930s, now being transcribed at

Garrans Lodge (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Folklore

There is a large stone in a field on the road to Galway from Oranmore, and beside Gurrane Lodge. Its position and size would lead one to believe that it was once used as a ceremonial stone of some kind.
The following story is told concerning this stone:-
There was once a great giant living in Oran Castle (see the story of the History of Oran Castle in this book). At one time another giant came to visit him. They decided that they would try to find out who was the stronger of the two. The local giant tore a huge rock up out of the ground. This rock is said to have been about fourteen feet long and ten feet broad. He threw the stone and in its flight it broke into two pieces. One piece (the rock in question) fell into a field near Gurrane Lodge on the Galway road. The second piece travelled so far that it was never traced.
From the 1930s Schools Collection, now being transcribed at

Dunwiley (Rath) — Folklore

Long ago there was a stone wall round Dunwiley fort. One time a man named Thomas Gallagher took the field in which the fort was situated for grazing. He sent his men to toss the wall. When the men put the stones on the carts the horses fell dead. It is said that this happened because the ground was "gentle."
Shortly after this Thomas himself died.
From the 1930s Schools Collection, now being transcribed at

Similar retellings here, here and here, and a different story about the fort is here..
There is a fort outside Stranorlar called Dunwiley Fort. Two men went to this fort to hunt one night about 12 o clock. They had two hounds with them. As they approached the top of the fort they noticed the hounds were afraid and looking round they saw a little woman who wore a red cloak. The men were afraid and ran away. After this one of the men took ill.
Previous 50 | Showing 51-100 of 4,014 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
This hill, it has a meaning that is very important for me, but it's not rational. It's beautiful, but when you look, there's nothing there. But I'd be a fool if I didn't listen to it.

-- Alan Garner.

...I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn...

-- William Wordsworth.

I'm currently mad on visiting Anglo-Saxon and Norman carvings and enjoy the process of drawing them:

and I've been helping digitise the Schools' Collection of the National Folklore Collection of Ireland... you can also at

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