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Süntelstein (Standing Stone / Menhir)

The Legend of the Süntelstein according to J. Sudendorf (1853):

When the first church was built in Venne the devil still lived in Vehrte Bruch on the other side of the hills, where “Devils Baking trough” and “Devils Oven” are still to be seen. He disliked very much the sacred work of church building. In order to block the door to the church he got a big granite boulder around midnight, wrapped a thick chain crosswise around it and carried it on his back uphill. But the stone was so heavy that despite his enormous strength he started feeling the heat like hellfire. Sometimes he just stopped to catch his breath.

Time passed by and dawn approached. And just when the devil reached the top of the hill the first rays of the rising sun shot towards him from the east and a wakeful cock crowed from Venne valley its morning greetings. This put an end to the devil’s nightly deed. Furiously he took the boulder at the top end and slammed it with all his might into the hard soil of the hill.

Since then the devil has left the area. The stone is still in the same position where it had been rammed into the ground. The hard crash has left its traces though; where the chain surrounded the stone in the middle and from top to bottom cracks appeared and chain marks are noticeable at the outer rim s of the cracks. And the devils body imprinted visibly on the Venne facing side of the stone, because his infernal body heat melted the granite where he had touched the boulder.

Every morning ever since with the first rays of the rising sun the stone turns three times on its own axis. To commemorate the saving of the church in Venne by the sun which destroyed the devil’s nightly deeds the stone is named "Süntelstein".

Düwelsteene - Heiden (Passage Grave)

Today, the name of the Düwelsteene is linked above all to the legend of a cunning cobbler, to whom a monument on the market place of Heiden is dedicated. According to this, the devil carried a sack full of heavy stones on his back and was on his way to Aachen to destroy the cathedral of Charlemagne. Near Heiden he met a cobbler carrying twelve pairs of worn-out shoes. Asked by the devil, how far was it to Aachen, the cobbler pointed to the shoes: It was far away that he had torn all these shoes on his way from Aachen to Heiden. He had recognized the devil at once by his horse's foot and had suspected evil, so that he gave this clever answer. His information led the Devil, already worn out by carrying the heavy stones, to pour them out of the sack in the act of rage and then pull them away. These stones were called from then on the Düwelsteene.

taken from Kerstin Schierhold/Bernhard Stapel, Die Düwelsteene bei Heiden, Kreis Borken. Megalithgräber in Westfalen 3 (Münster 2018)

Visbeker Braut (Hunebed)

In the middle of the Ahlhorner Heide was in the old days a large farm. The owner was proud and greedy and would have liked to have his only daughter married to a wealthy farmer's son from the area. But the girl loved a poor shepherd who had been her teenage plays. The hard-hearted father did not care about the requests of his child, but set against the will of the girl's wedding day.

On wedding mornings, a procession of festively dressed people moved across the heath to Visbek. The bride and groom embarked on a walk with their parents, followed by the retinue of relatives and neighbors. The bride was deathly pale with tears in her eyes. Closer and closer she came to the village church; the bells of Visbek were already ringing. Then, in desperation, the girl turned her eyes to heaven and called imploringly: "Help, O God! I would rather turn to stone on the spot than belong to a man whom I can not love". As soon as she uttered these words, the bridal process froze. Where men of flesh and blood had just moved on their way, mighty stones rose in two rows next to each other. The myrtle wreath, the flowers and ribbons turned into gray lichen and mosses. The bridegroom's procession also suffered the same fate and turned to stone. The mighty boulders there give witness to it.

(taken from: Etta Bengen, O Wunner, o Wunner. Wat ligg hier woll unner? Großsteingräber zwischen Weser und Ems im Volksglauben. Oldenburg 2000)

Feaghna (Bullaun Stone)

The story of the Rolls of Butter is that a woman in the locality stole the milk of her neighbour's cows on May morning. She was making butter with the stolen milk when Saint Fiachna came upon her. The good Saint, being as adept at cursing as he was at praying, petrified (turned into stone) the butter rolls she had made. He then pursued the woman across a nearby river where she suffered a similar fate!

She still stands, as a large upright stone, in the townland of Gearhangoul, beside a bush that sprouted from a buairicín (wooden buckle) at the end of a short rope she carried for tethering the cows, intended by the Saint as a warning to sinners.

Taken from the Folklore and Legends section of the Bonane Heritage Park website
During my first trip to Ireland back in 2006, I was bitten by the 'megalithic' bug and since then I seek for every opportunity to visit as much sites as possible, with a bias for stone circles.

As I live in the southwest of Germany (not an area famous for megaliths), I rely on my holidays to be able to visit these sites.

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