The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Get the TMA Images feed
Rhiannon's Latest Posts

Latest Posts
Previous 50 | Showing 51-100 of 4,165 posts. Most recent first | Next 50

Mam Tor (Sacred Hill) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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

Cleeve Cloud (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Cleeve Cloud</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Castle Naze (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Castle Naze</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Clontygora - Court Tomb — Images

<b>Clontygora - Court Tomb</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Blowing Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Links

Simon Chadwick (You Tube)


This is a very British (i.e. a somewhat awkward, but rather endearingly so) trumpeting of the stone. The besuited Mr Chadwick is an accomplished musician in his other videos, so it must be nice for him to add Blowing Stone to his list of instruments.

I was struck by how similar the sound is to the carnyx - like those on the Gundestrup cauldron (you can hear some on this video ) - or is that just me overthinking things :)

Blowing Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Miscellaneous

Summary of Proceedings of the Bath Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club for the years 1865-6.
[...] The first [Excursion] of the season, to Wantage, the Berkshire White Horse, and Uffington, was a success in every way, due chiefly to the admirable arrangements made by Mr. Wasbrough for the transit and conveyance of the members. Under this gentleman's guidance the chief points of interest in the birth place of King Alfred were visited [...]. Leaving Wantage the members proceeded in carriages to the foot of the Downs, and essayed a blast upon the blowing stone (a mass of perforated silicious sandstone, said to have been formerly used for sounding an alarm over the neighbouring country).

The united efforts of all Bath were unable to produce a sound from the trumpet shaped hole. A native trumpeter, however, being found was more successful, and satisfied all present that when in its original place on the top of the Downs a most effective alarm could be raised.

Weston Hill (Henge) — Folklore

The Hertfordshire HER says there is a (probable) henge here, with its entrances east and west, and a diameter of 85m. There used to be a dene hole inside it, in which Neolithic arrow heads were found. The hole was also known as being 'Jack O'Legs's Cave' (dully, it's now filled in). But you can't help thinking that a henge with built-in cave would be a rather marvellous thing.

On Jack O'Legs:
At Weston, two stones in the churchyard, 14ft. 7 inches apart, are said to be the head and foot stones of the giant Jack o' Legs, who is there buried with his body doubled up. He lived at Baldock, - where, as he walked along the street, he would look in at the first-floor windows, - and thence he shot an arrow, saying that where it fell he wished to be buried. It fell in Weston Churchyard, and, in its flight, knocked away a corner of the church tower. (Told in 1883).
From 'Scraps of folklore collected by John Philipps Emslie', C.S. Burne, in 'Folklore' v26, no. 2 (June 1915).

Likewise he's mentioned in 'Handbook to Hitchin and the neighbourhood' by Charles Bishop (1875):
On the Great North Road, near the village of Graveley, is a considerable elevation which goes by the name of "Jack's Hill," from its having been the scene of depradations on travellers by a noted highwayman called "Jack o' Legs." [...]
In fact if you're interested, there's a whole book about this character by W.B. Gerish (1905). It suggests the cave was filled in around 1850.

Norton Henge — Links

Heritage Daily


You won't see much of a henge here now. But this comprehensive article will help you imagine the early henge here (and some of the surrounding prehistoricness) if you visit.

Manton Down (Long Barrow) — Miscellaneous

Manton Down Barrow Destroyed.
Discovery by Youth Hostel Party.
From our correspondent, Swindon, April 27.

The Long Barrow at Manton Down, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, which is believed to date from about 2,200 B.C., has been destroyed. Its destruction was discovered yesterday when a party of Youth Hostel Association members were taken to inspect the tumulus by Mr. N. Thomas, curator of Devizes Museum, and Mr. L.V. Grinsell, curator of the Department of Antiquities, City Museum, Bristol. Trees in the area had also been cleared.

Large stones which composed the barrow are scattered over a fairly wide area. Gathered around a solitary small tree are big sarsen stones at the point which was probably the burial chamber. Some now stand on edge. In a half circle from the rubble which originally composed the mound are groups of uprooted bushes and trees.

Mr. Thomas said to-day: "Mr. Grinsell and I are reporting the matter to the chief inspector of monuments at the Ministry of Works." The title of the barrow, he said, was something of a misnomer. It was, in fact, one of the shortest of the barrows, of which there are several in the locality. He put its length at about 80ft., and it would, he thought, have been about 3 ft. to 4ft. high. It was scheduled as an ancient monument.
Featuring my favourite folklore icon, Mr Grinsell. From The Times, April 28th, 1953. Can you imagine their faces (or the language). The next part of the story is in another post below.

Sudbrook (Cliff Fort) — Folklore

The Camp At Portskewett.
(From a Correspondent).

[...] Thanks to the members of the corps - about 20 in number - who, under the command of Captain Williams, proceeded to the camp on Saturday last, a sufficient number of tents had been pitched for our accommodation before our arrival en masse on Monday.

[...] There is nothing which indicates the whereabouts of the "soldiery" until one is as it were in the midst of them. The tents are completely hidden from view by the high ramparts which extend from the north-east to the south. The piece of ground enclosed within the ramparts is of a triangular form, the eastern line being formed by the waters of the Severn. Coming suddenly into a deep moat without the ramparts, one is as suddenly confronted by a sentry, marching with a soldier-like air, a guard-room, or rather a guard tent, and a number of the guard lounging about.

Immediately in front of the guard tent, there is a gap, cut right in the angle of the encampment, and looking through this the whole of the tents and their occupants within are at once visible, presenting to the visitor a lively and picturesque scene, of which, two minutes before, he could have had no perception.

[...] The weather has been glorious throughout the week, but the heat, which would be exceedingly oppressive in town, is rendered delightful here, with a stiff fresh breeze flowing across the water. Each day the men have worked and drilled with a subordination that would be creditable even to a soldier of long service, and order has been maintained night and day. Heavy gun drill has been gone into most zealously, and some good practice has been made [...]

Ghost stories are not wanting in the guard room, for one good reason. On the north-east are the ruins of an old Roman chapel known as the chapel of the Holy Trinity, and no doubt was connected with the Roman encampment. Sundry remains of the genus homo in decay have been found in this spot, although the outline of the graveyard which adjoined the chapel has been effaced. A sentry is posted in the vicinity of the old chapel, and more than one have felt a chill creep over him during the still hours; but it is unnecessary to mention the little rumours which have currency during the last couple of days.

I have forgotten to mention that the immediate vicinity of the camp is called Sudbrook, and also that the advantages of the spot were utilised as a place to land, conceal, and protect his soldiers by Oliver Cromwell before he stormed Caldicott Castle. The place is in the highest degree classic and historic ground, and is well worth visiting.[...]
From the Western Mail, 4th August 1871.

Randwick Long Barrow — Links

Internet Archive


G B Witts' article about the excavation of the barrow. In 'The Proceedings of the Cotteswold Naturalists' Field Club' 1881-82.

Carreg Samson (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Miscellaneous

The Longhouse Cromlech, Pembrokeshire.

Mr. E. Owen Phillips, of the Cathedral Close, St. David's, writes thus to the Times:- I have just returned from visiting the celebrated Longhouse cromlech, which, I am glad to say, remains in its integrity, untouched by the rude had of the destroyer, and I am thankful to believe likely to remain so.

Mr. Griffiths, the owner of the farm on which the Cromlech stands, accompanied me to the spot, and I have his authority for stating that he takes the greatest interet in this magnificent monument of prehistoric archaeology and in its preservation. His father-in-law, a former tenant of the farm, spent much time and labour, in clearing away obstructing rubbish, in order to bring the cromlech into bolder relief and afford a better view of it all round - a great improvement, as it certainly presents a more grand and striking appeance at present than it did when I saw it some years since.

On my asking Mr. Griffiths for an explanation of the statement which appeared in a letter to The Times of September 6, that a labourer who was engaged in grubbing up stones near the monument to fill in a gap in a fence, said that he, the owner, "threatened to overthrow and demolish the monument altogether in order to construct a new bank across an adjacent field!" Mr Griffiths replied that "there was not a word of truth in it, nor any foundation for the statement, and that very probably the man was hoaxing the stranger."

Mr. Griffiths complains and feels aggrieved that, assuming the statement to have been made, Mr. Greville Chester did not call on him to ascertain the truth or otherwise of it; the more so as Mr. Chester must have passed within a few yards of his house on returning from the cromlech. The disturbance caused by the stones, which are now to be seen filling up a gap in a fence, does not in the slightest degree interfere with the stability of the cromlech, which the public will be interested to know the present landlord is as anxious to preserve as carefully as it has been in the past.

At the same time, I agree with Mr. Greville Chester that it was an oversight, at least, on the part of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners "not to insert a proviso in the deed of sale for the preservation of so important a monument of prehistoric archaeology;" since the farm might have found a purchaser in one whose conservative interest in this grand old monument was less than that of the present owner.
In The Cambrian newspaper, 19th September 1890.

Mother Anthony's Well (Sacred Well) — Links

Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society


Geophysical survey of the area of the well, by Jan Dando (2012?). There seems to have been late Bronze Age or early Iron Age settlement nearby.

Beltany (Stone Circle) — Folklore

The Druid's Circle is situated two miles from Raphoe at Beltony. It is composed of sixty seven stones all standing erect in a circle.
South of this circle there is a large stone where all the victims were hung for there is a trace of a chain on it.

From this circle a giant threw a large stone to Nagherahane where a giant's grave now lies. Another grave is to be found in Mrs Craig's land. On top of it there is a large stone standing erect.
There is gold to be found at the Druid's Circle. Many tourists came from Derry to dig for the gold but found none.

Adjacent to this circle there is the 'Old Wind Mill' where a number of giants were buried.
The druids worshipped the sun or fire Bael teine - "fire of Bael".

Giants' graves are numerous in Ireland so that shows us there were a great many giants in olden times.

Molly McClean (age 14)
Collected for the Schools Collection of the 1930s, now being transcribed at Duchas.ie.

Ballyglass (Court Tomb) — Folklore

Within 20 perches of where I live in Ballyglass is a Druidical circle formed of a big pile of stones each about 10 cwt. To the North of this circle is something like a rude altar composed of stones and also to the South end of the altar is another one.

Antiquarians who visit this place describe it as where the Druids offered up their sacrifice to their Gods in pre Christian times. Outside the Northern end of the circle are huge stones sunk in the earth and separated from each other. Antiquarians describe them as graves which are marked by these huge stones. Notwithstanding that it is of Druidical Origin the local people hold it very sacred and wouldn't interfere with it for their untold lives.

An old man who once lived in the vicinity of the Druidical Circle found himself on a Sunday morning without a razor to shave himself to go to Mass. It been on a fine Summer's day instead of going to Mass he entered the Druidical Circle and knelt down on a cromlech which is supposed to be the grave of some chief and said his prayers as he could not attend Mass. When he had his prayers said he lay down on the cromlech and fell asleep. When he awoke he found a razor by his side. It was so good that it would shave all the people in Mayo without an edge.

For about a hundred years it was an heirloom of the family until some young man stole it some years ago.
Collected by Thomas Pryal from Andrew Pryal in the 1930s, for the Schools Collection (now being transcribed at Duchas.ie.

Wardstown (Rath) — Folklore

Tlachtga is an important site in many early Irish sources, incorporating several strands of Irish mythology. The site is reputedly named after a druidess, the daughter of the quasi-mythical sun-god figure Mog Ruith, named in another tale as the executioner of John the Baptist.

According to Geoffrey Keating's History of Ireland, Tlachtga was one of four great fortresses (along with Tara, Teltown and Uisneach) built by the high king Tuathal Techmar following the creatio of the kingdom of Mide in the early decades of the first millennium AD. Each of these fortresses was constructed from part of an existing kingdom: Uisneach from Connacht, Tlachtga from Munster, Tara from Leinster and Teltown from Ulster.

Tlachtaga was strongly associated with the festival of Samhain. It was reputed to be the site of the 'Fire of Tlachtga' which was used to summon 'the priests, the augurs and druids of Ireland' to assemble on Samhain eve in order to 'consume the sacrifices that were offered to their pagan gods'. It was decreed that all fires within the kingdom on that night were to be kindled from the Fire of Tlachtga, under penalty of fine. In recent times the tradition of a Samhain gathering on the hill has been revived, and fire once again burns on Tlachtga on Samhain eve.

In 1167 Tlachtga was the site of the last of the reform synods to be held under Irish kingship. Presided over by Ruiadri Ua Conchobair, the last high king of Ireland, 13,000 horsemen are said to have attended, along with provincial kings and key ecclesiastical figures of the day, including Gelasius of Armagh, St Laurence O'Toole of Dublin and Cadhla of Tuam. Five years later, in 1172, Tigeman Mor Ua Ruairc, king of Breifne for over 40 years, was slain on the hill 'by treachery' following failed negotiations with Hugh de Lacy regarding the succession of Meath to the Anglo-Normans. Later still, both Owen Roe O'Neill (1643) and Cromwell (1649) are reputed to have encamped on the Hill, accounting for some of the disturbance evident at the site today.
From 'Heritage Guide no. 63: The Hill of Ward: A Samhain site in County Meath.' (Archaeology Ireland, December 2013).

Hill Of Slane — Folklore

The Hill of Slane overlooks a key fording point of the River Boyne, with clear views of the Hill of Tara and Skryne to the south. Little is known of the hill's prehistory, although geological work suggests that some stone for the Bru na Boinne tombs came from here.

A large enclosed mound hidden in the wood on the hill's western edge is classified as an Anglo-Norman motte. The nature of its enclosure and its association with a possible ring-barrow suggest that it originated as a prehistoric monument. Herity has compared it to other large mounds, such as that at Rathcroghan, and has stressed its possible ritual significance.

The hill was first associated with a life of St Patrick written by the seventh-century hagiographer Muirchu, who described the saint's journey from the mouth of the River Boyne and the lighting of the paschal fire at Fertae Fer Feic ('grave-mound of the men of Feic'). A central figure in the story is Erc, first bishop of Slane, who was linked with an area containing Fertae Fer Feic and Slane.

Cathy Swift has shown that the antiquarian James Ware linked Fertae Fer Feic with the hilltop, although souces suggest that this place may have been elsewhere along the Boyne Valley. Swift stresses, however, that early medieval mounds, churches and forts were often connected with legal centres. The Hill of Slane contains both an enclosed mound and an important church site documented as an important legal centre from the eighth century AD, with links to French monastic sites. Therefore, while Slane is unlikely to have been the site of the legendary paschal fire, it has important links to the Patrician story.
From Matthew Seaver and Conor Brady's "Heritage Guide No. 55: Hill of Slane" (Archaeology Ireland, December 2011).

Lud's Church (Natural Rock Feature) — Images

<b>Lud's Church</b>Posted by Rhiannon

North Uist, Benbecula and South Uist — Folklore

There are several big Kairnes of Stone on the East-side this Island [ South Uist ], and the Vulgar retain the antient Custom of making a Religious Tour round them on Sundays and Holidays.
From 'A description of the Western Islands of Scotland' by M. Martin, 2nd edition, 1716.

Clach Mhor A'che (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Folklore

You can see some pictures of the stone on Canmore.
There is another [stone] at the Key, opposite to Kirkibast, 12 foot high: the Natives say that Delinquents were ty'd to this Stone in time of Divine Service.
From 'A description of the Western Islands of Scotland' by M. Martin, 2nd edition, 1716.

Callanish (Standing Stones) — Folklore

The most remarkable Stones for Number, Bigness, and Order, that fell under my Observation, were at the Village of Classerniss; where there are 39 Stones set up 6 or 7 foot high, and 2 foot in breadth each: they are plac'd in form of an Avenue, the breadth of which is 8 foot, and the distance between each Stone six; and there is a Stone set up in the Entrance of this Avenue: at the South end there is join'd to this Range of Stone a Circle of 12 Stones of equal distance and height with the other 39. There is one set up in the Centre of this Circle, which is 13 foot high, and shap'd like the Rudder of a Ship: without this Circle there are 4 stones standing to the West, at the same distance with the Stones in the Circle; and there are 4 Stones set up in the same manner at the South and East sides.

I enquir'd of the Inhabitants what Tradition they had from their Ancestors concerning these Stones; and they told me, it was a Place appointed for Worship in the time of Heathenism, and that the Chief Druid or Priest stood near the big Stone in the center, from whence he address'd himself to the People that surrounded him.
From 'A description of the Western Islands of Scotland' by M. Martin, 2nd edition, 1716.

Clach an Trushal (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Folklore

The Thrushel Stone in the Parish of Barvas is above 20 foot high, and almost as much in breadth. There are three erected Stones upon the North side of Loch-Carlvay, about 12 foot high each. Several other Stones are to be seen here in remote places, and some of them standing on one end. Some of the ignorant Vulgar say, they were Men by Inchantment turn'd into Stones; and others say, they are Monuments of Persons of Note kill'd in Battel.
'A description of the Western Islands of Scotland' by M. Martin, 2nd edition, 1716.

Yes Tor (Cairn(s)) — Images

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

Bellever (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Images

<b>Bellever</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Rippon Tor (Cairn(s)) — Images

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

Yellowmead Multiple Stone Circle — Images

<b>Yellowmead Multiple Stone Circle</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Vixen Tor (Cist) — Images

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

Wistman's Wood — Images

<b>Wistman's Wood</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Plague Market At Merrivale (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue) — Images

<b>The Plague Market At Merrivale</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>The Plague Market At Merrivale</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Brent Tor (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Images

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

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

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

Bowerman's Nose (Natural Rock Feature) — Images

<b>Bowerman's Nose</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Puggie Stone (Natural Rock Feature) — Folklore

If you had £3m you could have bought the house that owns the land this stands on. It would be nice to overlook the Puggie Stone from your windows. I wouldn't say no.
Scarcely half a mile above Holy-street, a tor rises near the river's brink on the south side, called, by the country people, the Puckie, or Puggie Stone, and celebrated for the large rock-basin, or pan, (as it is popularly called,) on its summit. The antiquary, trusting to local report, will be disappointed when after having succeeded in scaling the rock, he finds that the characteristics of the genuine rock-basin, as described [on p.29] are not sufficiently clear to enable him to pronounce, that this is not one of the examples, attributable exclusively to the operation of natural agencies. Although of large size, it is not of the usual circular form, nor do its sides display any decisive indications of artificial adaptation. But if disappointed in the main object of his research, the explorere will be repaid for his escalade, by the commanding view he will have gained of the wild-wood glen down which the Teign rushes, foaming along its rock-bound channel, in all the youthful vigour of a mountain-born torrent.

For the means of examining this basin, as it can only be reached by a ladder, I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. Nicolas Clampit, the hospitable occupier of the interesting old mansion at Holy-street, one of the Forest tenants.
Samuel Rowe's 'Perambulation of the antient and Royal Forest of Dartmoor and the Venville Precincts' (1848). You'd think he would like the fact the basin's not 'real' and natural. You'd think he might like that someone deliberately adjusted it (c.f. druid sacrifices). If anyone even did. I would like it either way, natural or artificial.

'Puckie' surely has to have connections with the piskies - like 'puck'. (Though a 'puggy' was a word for a squirrel far away in eastern England).

JLW Page (in his 'exploration of Dartmoor and its antiquities' 1889) says "This isolated stone is certainly the largest single mass off the Moor, though some of the blocks under Combe Farm, at the entrance of the Teign Gorge, rivals. It has a length of twenty-five feet, a breadth of eleven, and is no less than fourteen feet in height."

Bowerman's Nose (Natural Rock Feature) — Folklore

[There is] the tradition that "Bowerman" lived in the locality at the time of the Conquest. He must have had something peculiarly striking in the pattern of his nose! Still we like to keep our "Bowerman" as a personality, and feel hardly grateful to modern learning, which comes down upon us with ponderous weight and says we have ignorantly corrupted the Celtic name of Vawr Maen, the Great Stone.
From 'Dartmoor and its surroundings: what to see and how to find it.' by Beatrix F Cresswell, 1900.

Bowerman's Nose (Natural Rock Feature) — Images

<b>Bowerman's Nose</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Castallack Round (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Folklore

Historic England's website mentions the alternative name of Roundago, so I guess this is the place. It says 'the round was first depicted on the 1840 Tithe Map when it still had a massive stone outer wall with an entrance to the south and a colonnade of stones which led to an inner circular enclosure. When described by Blight in 1865, the inner enclosure could hardly be traced and the avenue had been removed. However, the ramparts were still massively constructed.'
Unfortunately, not a few of the hoary remains of an unlettered age have been wilfully or ignorantly destroyed, although some owe their preservation as much to the lasting superstitions of the people as to their remote positions, apart from the haunts of man. The following story will shew that some ojections still remain in the popular mind against interfering with these ancient stones. Farmers find the rude crosses, which are still very numerous in Cornwall, extremely convenient as gate-posts, and to that use many of them have been brought. Such an one set his labourer to sink a pit for a post, but when the pit was finished and the labourer weas told that the cross standing in the field, a little distance off, was to be placed in it, the man absolutely refused to have any hand in the matter; not, be it said, on account of the beautiful or the antique, but for fear of "the old people."

Another farmer related that he had a neighbour who "haeled down a lot of stwuns called the Roundago, and sold 'em for building the docks at Penzance. But ne'er a penny of the money he got for 'em ever prospered, and there wasn't wan of the hosses that haeled 'em that lived out the twelve-month; and they do say that some of the stwuns do weep blood, but" --reluctantly-- "I don't believe that."
From 'Cornwall Pre-historic and Present' by C G Harper in 'Architecture' v2, pp176-184 (1897).

Henry VIII Mound (Round Barrow(s)) — Folklore

In the grounds of the Lodge, which command a fine view of the Thames, St George's Hills and Kingston Vale, is a mound, marked as the King's Standinge on the oldest extant map of the Park, dated 1637, the year of its first enclosure. This quaint name, the real meaning of which cannot be determined, is supposed to have reference to the legend that Henry VIII. stood upon the mound to watch for the going up of the rocket which was to announce to him that the head of Anne Boleyn had fallen, and, in deference to this tradition, care was taken when Sidmouth Wood was planted not to intercept the view from the mound, by leaving a clear space, through which the dome of St. Paul's can be seen on exceptionally clear days, between two rows of trees that some years hence will form a fine avenue. Unfortunately, however, there is really no more historic foundation for the romantic story connected with the King's Standinge-- Henry having been far away from Richmond on the day of the unfortunate queen's death -- than for the even more improbable supposition that Oliver's Mount takes its name from Oliver Cromwell having witnessed from it a battle between the Royal and Parliamentary forces, no struggle having taken place that could possibly have been seen from Richmond Park.
From 'The Royal Manor of Richmond, with Petersham, Ham and Kew' by Mrs A G Bell (1907).

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

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

Whitcott Keysett (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Miscellaneous

At a distance of somewhat more than a mile from Clun, in a field to the right, near the hamlet of Whitcott Keysett, stands one of those extraordinary stones which are usually classed under the title of Druldical monuments. It is a flat, broad stone, of very irregular shape, placed upright in the ground, in which it is evidently inserted to a considerable depth. Above ground it measures eight feet three inches in height by seven feet broad.
From 'Wanderings of an Antiquary' by Thomas Wright, 1854. (It's curious that I added this site to the database myself, a million years ago - it must have a bit of folklore to go with it?).

Painswick Hill (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Painswick Hill</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Lud's Church (Natural Rock Feature) — Images

<b>Lud's Church</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Reynard's Kitchen — Images

<b>Reynard's Kitchen</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Wrekin (Hillfort) — Folklore

From 'Hell's Gate' we ascend to 'Heaven's Gate' and so win our way to the brow of the Wrekin, 1,335 feet above the sea. 'There is on the Toppe of this Hill a delicate plaine Ground, and in this plaine a fayre Fountaine,' wrote Leland, the antiquary, long ago. No water is to be found there now except such as collects, from time to time, in the 'Raven's Bowl,' a cup-like depression on the top of a conical outcrop of rock, know as the 'Bladder, (or Balder's) Stone.' At the foot of this rock there is a deep, narrow, crooked cleft, yclept the 'Needle's Eye.' Now the fable goes that, if any young maid dips her foot into the Raven's Bowl, and then 'threads the Needle's Eye,' by scrambling through the cloven rock, she will be married within a twelvemonth, 'so sure as there's acherns in Shropshire.
Acherns = acorns? From 'Nooks and Corners of Shropshire' by H T Timmins (1899).

The Great Circle, North East Circle & Avenues (Stone Circle) — Folklore

John Wood mentions in the 1769 edition of his 'Description of Bath' that -
The predominant Colour of that part of the Stone in the Works of Stantondrue, supposed to have been taken from Oaky Hole, is Red; and it is so exceedingly hard, that it will polish almost as well as some of the purple Italian Marble, and is as beautiful: The other Stone is of two Colours, White and Grey; the white Stone seems to have been the Produce of Dundry Hill, but the grey Stone resembles the Sand Rocks about Stantondrue, and seems to have been taken from them.
Oaky Hole , I thought... where can that be? I think he's determined to get oaks in there because it's the favourite tree of druids. And where would a druid and his disciples hang out - a cave, like (so he says) Pythagoras and his disciples did. He says that the cave is situated by the City of Wells - so it's Wookey Hole. Geologists probably have alternative theories, but it's interesting as a mythological explanation that gets the druids in there. Wood hypothesised that Stanton Drew itself was a druidical temple and college.

Maes Knoll (Hillfort) — Folklore

The stone called "Hawkwell's Quoit" is accounted for by a [...] legend. An ancient knight, whose name was Hawkwell, and whose effigy is preserved in Chew Magna church, is reported to have been a giant of immense strength and of a very wicked and malignant disposition. Amongst his other exploits he is reported to have dug a spadeful of earth out of the side of Dundry-hill and flung it from the hole (which is still to be seen in the hill side) to the top of a hill above Norton Malreward, two miles distant, where it forms a considerable tumulus, or barrow, visible many miles round. On his jumping to where the earth had fallen, and having the capabilities of "Spring-heel Jack," he did so at one bound, he scraped his feet on his shovel and so formed a second but smaller barrow; then being an excellent quoit player he threw one of his quoits from the top of the heap intending to knock down the steeple of Stanton Drew church, distant about two and a half miles; in this instance, however, his aim was deficient, and the stone quoit fell short of the mark.
'The Cheerful Visitor' writing in The Bristol Mercury, September 2nd, 1854.

Ffynnon Eilian (Sacred Well) — Folklore

WELSH SUPERSTITION

At the late Flint Assizes a man was indicted for extorting 14s. 6d. from another person under the pretence of rescuing him from "the well," Llaneilion.

It appears that a profitable species of incantation has long been practised by the wizards and witches in the neighbourhood of this celebrated well. It is customary, even at the present day for people at enmity with each other to write the names of those they wish to denounce on a piece of slate or paper, which they throw into the mysterious well; and it is implicitly believed, that so long as the name remains therein, the person is at the mercy of the evil genii, and consigned to ultimate perdition.

To escape from this worse than papal malediction, sums of money are given to have the name removed, and thus restore the party to peace. This indictment, it is hoped, will have the effect of finally destroying this ridiculous and superstitious custom. About twelve years ago, a poor tailor in Flintshire was charged with stealing a goose from an old woman; she was asked how she came to suspect the offender; when she observed that having threatened to "throw his name into the well," he confessed the crime!
From the Royal Cornwall Gazette, Falmouth Packet and Plymouth Journal, September 9th, 1818. Kind of reminds me of the lead curses thrown into the pool at Aquae Sulis nearly 2000 years before.

Guernsey — Links

Digimap Guernsey


Online mapping for Guernsey monuments. It's not brilliant - you don't seem to be able to filter by the age of the monument, which is a shame. And it won't give the grid reference. But it might help you a bit.

La Varde (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Folklore

"L'Autel des Vardes" at L'Ancresse.

This consists of five enormous blocks of granite, laid horizontally on perpendicular piles, as large as their enormous covering. Around it, the remains of a circle of stones, of which the radius is thirty-three feet, and the centre of which coincides with the tomb. Mr Metivier says in his "Souvenirs Historiques de Guernesey" that this "Cercle de la Plain," in Norse Land Kretz, on this exposed elevation, could not fail to attract the attention of the Franks, Saxons, and Normans, and thus gave its name to the surrounding district.

In it were found bones, stone hatchets, hammers, skulls, limpet shells, etc., etc.

It is perhaps to this latter fact that we must attribute the idea which is entertained by the peasantry that hidden treasures, when discovered by a mortal, are transformed in appearance by the demon who guards them into worthless shells.
From Guernsey Folk Lore by Edgar MacCulloch, edited by Edith Carey (1903).

Hitter Hill (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Hitter Hill</b>Posted by Rhiannon
Previous 50 | Showing 51-100 of 4,165 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:
http://wiltshirewandering.blogspot.co.uk/

and I've been helping digitise the Schools' Collection of the National Folklore Collection of Ireland... you can also at
http://www.duchas.ie/en

Some interesting websites with landscape and fairy folklore:
http://earthworks-m.blogspot.co.uk
http://faeryfolklorist.blogspot.co.uk

My TMA Content: