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

Latest Posts — Folklore

Showing 1-25 of 3,181 folklore posts. Most recent first | Next 25

Castletimon (Standing Stone / Menhir)

From the Castletimon Heritage Trail sign:

Legend says that the Ogham stone was once picked up by the Castletimon Giant and was thrown down the hill and the scratches on it were left by his fingernails.

Also... There was once a man who lived near the Ogham stone who took it from its place to use it as a hob stone. The fairies got so angry they made his cutlery dance and jiggle. After a week of this he got so annoyed he took it back to its original place.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
28th September 2019ce

Castletown - Standing Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

According to tradition (OS memoranda 5439 C) this is the 'Lia Lingadon', the stone of Lingadon, herd of the cows of Dictoire, Cu Chulainn's mother.

from The Archaeological Survey of Co. Louth
ryaner Posted by ryaner
14th September 2019ce

Craig Hasten (Natural Rock Feature)

The Sithchen in stories are often seen from the entrance of there dwelling having a Ceilidh inside their knolls. Craig Hasten, a castle-like knoll to the south of the village of Baile Mòr in Paible, North Uist, is known locally as a dwelling place of fairies.

Wikipedia

(Sithchen = fairies)
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
9th September 2019ce

Clach Mhor A'che (Standing Stone / Menhir)

One of the largest and most impressive stones is that known as Clach Mor an Che – The Big Stone of The World – which stands at the edge of the seashore. This stone stands eight feet high and is about two and a half feet across. On the first occasion that I visited the stone the sun was just setting and small waves were lapping on the seashore – an idyllic scene if ever there was one. And yet folklore has it that local miscreants were tied to the stone for their wrongdoings. Some punishment! Although it was during the summertime, the Hebridean midges, known for their ferocity, would no doubt have inflicted their own form of punishment upon the wrongdoers! Not far from the stone are the remains of a chambered cairn called Dun na Cairnach, and at least one historian has suggested that the cairn and the stone were monuments to Che, one of the seven sons of Crithne, an ancestor of the Picts who is said to have been buried there following his death in battle.

Alan Pratt, North Uist
The Celtic Planet
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
27th August 2019ce

Beinn A' Charra (North Uist) (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Clach Bharnach Bhraodag, means ‘The Limpet Stone of Freya’. The name Freya is indicative of the strong Norse influence in the Outer Hebrides. According to Norse legend it was Freya who taught Odin a form of shamanistic magic called seidhr – and it was Odin who was able to communicate with two ravens who gave him the ability to have ‘knowledge of all things, in all places’. There is a Gaelic saying Tha Tios Fithich Agad, which means ‘you have more knowledge and understanding than is natural’. The literal translation however is ‘you have the raven’s knowledge’.

Alan Pratt, North Uist
The Celtic Planet
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
27th August 2019ce

This chunky standing stone sits on the slope of Beinn a' Charra, just east of Committee Road, North Uist. The stone is canted at a considerable degree, about 2 metres off centre, leaning to the south. From tip to toe the stone measures 9' 3" high and is 6' 6" wide.

The alternate name Clach Barnach Bhraodac means Limpet Stone of Freya (Freya being the Norse goddess of love and beauty).

Passionate about British Heritage
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
27th August 2019ce

Eire

With the steamy hot weather over with for the time being and the rainy season upon us once more, I found myself indoors, taking strange turns on YouTube and I finally arrived here.

https://youtu.be/FIrYD7djFH8

Passage graves were "aerial bombardment shelters for the Telepaths", while souterrains were blast shelters for the lower orders. All the other members of Ben McBrady's secret ancient order of Ancient Druids are dead, so only Ben McBrady can pass on the real history of Ireland.

Apologies if this has been posted before... but I had never seen this treasure before. 50 minutes of your time... Unmissable!
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
8th August 2019ce

Carn Liath, Kensaleyre (Chambered Cairn)

A piece of pasture land enclosed with an old dyke. the site of a bloody contest between the Macleods & Macdonalds, a large cairn situated close to the east of it is said to contain the bones of the slain. it is situated a little to the west of Kensaleyre Inn Property of Lord Macdonald It means Bloody Fold.

Revd. John Darroch & Revd A. Martin Angus MacPherson - Scotland's Places
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
31st July 2019ce

Eyre (Standing Stones)

The most interesting feature of the Kensaleyre stones, apart from their superb location by the loch, is the story told about them in Skye folklore.

The stones are also known by their Gaelic name Sornaichean Coir' Fhinn. The name relates to an old legend that the mythical warrior Finn, or Fingal, and his band of hunters used the stones to suspend a cooking pot over a fire. The pot was so large that it held a whole deer, which Fingal used to make venison stew.

Kensaleyre Standing Stones, Skye
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
30th July 2019ce

The Table, Quiraing (Natural Rock Feature)

It's certainly not labouring the point to assert that fairies play a significant role in the myth, legend and folklore attributed to the wondrous Isle of Skye. From 'The Fairy Bridge' (on the approach to Waternish).. to Dunvegan's 'Fairy Flag'.. to the 'Fairy Pools' at the head of Glen Brittle.. to Uig's 'Fairy Glen', the wee folk appear to hold the island in their thrall, even in today's space age of digital communications. Neither must we forget supernatural creatures at the other end of the scale, such as The Old Man of Storr standing proud - if a little ragged these days - beneath The Storr (appropriately enough), summit peak of the Trotternish Ridge.

But what of The Quiraing, arguably the most 'other-worldly', bewitching landscape of shattered, Jurassic rock formations in the whole of the UK, forming the eastern flank of the otherwise ordinary Meall na Suiramach at the northern extremity of said ridge? Created by an immense landslip during time immemorial - and (apparently) still a work in progress upon Mother Nature's 'to do list' - this is a place to let your mind run riot, a secret rock garden of gigantic proportions... or a mountainous topography in miniature? Guess how you view it depends upon your point of view. Whatever, The Quiraing is just the locale to potentially spy all sorts of enchanted goings on.

Consequently, it comes as rather an ironic surprise, if not disappointment, to discover the paucity of such intriguing tales that still pervade the very essence of this island elsewhere. No giants, fairies, elves or goblins. However, all is not lost. Assuming cows dispensing UHT milk are your thing? If so, literary scholar/poet Nevil Warbrook relates the following (never underestimate the power of a milk-white cow, as they say):

"'Quiraing’, so I am informed by the owner of the Staffin Guesthouse, the one-time Staffin Inn that appears in volume one of Acts of the Servant... [by Sir Tamburlaine Bryce MacGregor], ... approximately translates as ‘Pillared Fortress’, which seems appropriate. Among the pillars are several with their own names, such as The Prison, a towering mass of stone evocative of a castle keep complete with turrets, and The Needle, a jagged one-hundred and twenty foot spire. At the centre of the Quiraing, and perhaps most extraordinary of all, is a steep-sided miniature plateau named The Table. Perfectly level and grass covered it was used once to hide cattle during clan wars and more recently has hosted games of Scottish hockey, or ‘shinty’. Winding between the pillars of rock are chasms filled with boulders and scree which make ascending into the Quiraing not for the faint-hearted.

The only tale I can find concerns a milk-white cow said to graze on the grassy Table at dawn on Mid-summer’s day and who would only yield milk to a virgin maiden over sixteen years of age.

Her milk was said to taste exactly as the drinker wished and never soured and for many decades the cow appeared once a year and was milked by the fairest virgin maiden of the surrounding parishes. It all ended badly when a tinker up from Glasgow heard the tale while selling his wares in Portree and lay in wait on Midsummer night to claim the milk for himself. After ravishing the maiden and leaving her for dead on the slopes, he disguised himself with a wig and climbed into the Quiraing. There he found the cow but as soon as he tried to milk her she caught him on her horns and tossed him into Staffin Bay where he drowned. The maiden recovered but the cow never appeared again. Exactly which year this was no one can say. In some accounts it was in the time of King James the First of Scotland and in others it was ‘before my father drew breath’ but all agree the tinker was a Glaswegian."
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
26th June 2019ce

Oliver's Castle (Hillfort)

At the weekend we were up on Westbury White Horse getting some fresh air. It rained of course, but before the drizzle set in, we got right round the ramparts. And on the far corner, you can look out and see Oliver's Castle quite clearly, so I pointed it out to my companions. My sister said, "Do you remember when we were up there and I heard that cannon?" (Insert my somewhat bewildered expression). "Yes, we were walking up there and I heard it and you didn't."

Clearly I had blanked this (lack of) experience at the injustice of it.

It's the very sort of place you'd expect ghostly cannonfire of course. But I can't remember if she already knew that or not, when we were actually there. Mr Rh immediately put her anecdote down to someone shooting pheasants. The rationalist spoilsport.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th June 2019ce

Körbelitz (Chambered Tomb)

taken from Heimatheft der Gemeinde Körbelitz, 1997

From the giant lineage based in Nisselheim
At Körbelitz, two giants arrived.
They built two castles nearby,
so that they see each other quite often.
They lived in peace and unity,
Until a while ago, a giant woman entered.
Since they did not have any women yet,
Both committed themselves as spouses.
Now the cause was given to the fight,
Which should embitter their life.
Gone was the unity
Immediately the wild quarrel began
And the warriors, the brave ones,
Were very strong as a giant.
The one throws a boulder into the castle,
The other one also used such stones.
So they hurled the stones from castle to castle,
Smashed the towers, through the walls.
One of them was hit and fell down
And soon afterward struggled with death.
Then the remorse returns to the other,
With compassion, he enters the castle,
He still meets his friend alive
Give him the hand as a noble man
And promises, as the friend had told him,
The last honor to prove him.
When he gave up his spirit,
First he digs a shallow grave for him.
Then he brings huge stones,
To cover the bones of the dead.
He erects the stones to a chamber,
Put in jar and hammer,
Rest the dead in it '
And cover them with big stones.
The castle sites are empty and desolate,
The tomb still exists today.
And whoever makes a stop in the village,
Can still hear from this legend.
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
12th May 2019ce

Steinfeld (Chambered Tomb)

The Hunebed near Steinfeld

In the distant past lived in Kläden and Steinfeld ever a giant. They were so comfortable with each other that they even had a communal oven, in Kläden. On the agreed days, the Kläden giant had taken charge of heating the stove, and if it was hot enough, he simply struck the baking trough with his dough knife. As often as the giant from Steinfeld heard this, he took his baking trough on his shoulder and went to Kläden. For a long time, the baking had gone quite well, until suddenly "de Pott broke," as they say. Once again, the certain baking day was there, the giant from Kläden wanted to clean his oven before heating.
In the course of his work, a fly always tormented him, which always came back, even though he drove it away so often. Finally he sat down quietly on the baking trough. "Wait," thought the giant, "now I want to take revenge," took his dough knife, took out and beat the fly with a heavy blow dead. But the stroke had been so strong that the giant from Steinfeld believed his huge colleague in Kläden have given him the agreed sign that the oven was hot. Although he was just about to knead the dough, he hurried, quickly picked up the bread and then hurried in huge steps for Kläden.

But how was he amazed when he saw that the giant baker from Kläden was still sitting comfortably at his breakfast, still had not put his hand on his dough and had not put a single firewood in the oven. As the giant from Steinfeld thought nothing else than giant from Kläden had wanted to fool him, he became angry, overwhelmed him with the greatest slanders, and there was nothing wrong with having put his baking trough with the bread dough over his head. Full of anger he ran back to Steinfeld; but the giant from Kläden, who did not want to put up with the rascally, always in the back, to take revenge. Shortly before Steinfeld, the two giants began to beat each other terribly, and when they had brawled each other, they began throwing each other with big stones that suited their huge hands. From this stone fight the huge stone blocks of the Hunebed have remained in Steinfeld, where they can still be seen today.
This megalith tomb is the largest in the Altmark and measures 50 meters in length. The capstone of the stone chamber is known as the "sounding stone" because it gives off a bright, sonorous sound when struck.
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
30th April 2019ce

Dun Bhuirg (Broch)

By the Rev. Thomas Hannan.

The recent announcement that the proprietor of the small estate of the Burg has given or bequeathed it to the National Trust for Scotland recalls to my mind many journeys which I have made from my summer quarters at Lochbuie, on the south shores of Mull, to the wild and interesting peninsula on the west side of the island which bears the name of Ardmeanach. The western end of that peninsula is easily the wildest part of Mull - rugged in the extreme, in many parts terrifying in aspect; the last and almost inaccessible home of fairies, glaistigs, and grugachs. The Burg is on the southern side of the peninsula, very near the western end; Tavool or Tapul, another house famous in fairy lore, is on the way to Burg from Tiroran, the residence eastward of Brigadier General Cheape; and the wonderful fossil tree is about the middle of the western end of the peninsular.

... At Tavool the farmer's wife was much troubled by the officious help of the fairies, who seem to have lived at Dun Burg; and "the rhyme of the goodman of Tapull's servants" - that is, the fairies - is a testimony to their desire for work -
Let me comb, card, tease, spin;
Get a weaving loom, quick;
Water for fulling on the fire;
Work, work, work.

Of course, all that is in Gaelic, which is the language of the fairies as well as of the people, and the results of their work were seldom equal to their zeal.

An example of this unfortunate trait is associated with The Burg, which is nearer than Tavool to Dun Burg. The good lady of the house had seen her husband and family to bed, and had sat up to do some weaving in the quiet of the night. But she had already spent a busy day with the farm and the cows and the hens and the children, and was tired. So she sighed and said - "Oh that some one would come from land or sea, from far or near, to help me with the work of weaving this cloth." This was quite enough, for the fairies are inveterate eavesdroppers.

A knock came to the door at once, and a voice said - "Tall Inary, good housewife, open the door to me, for so long as I have, you will get." Inary opened the door, and a woman in green entered and sat down at the spinning wheel and got busy. That was satisfactory enough; but knock after knock came, and fairy after fairy entered and set to work, until the room was full of fairies, all making the most awful noise. Then they wanted food, and the more they ate the hungrier they became, so that Inary was veritably being eaten out of house and home. At last, when she had baked the last of her flour and meal, she went and stood on a hillock outside the door, and cried - "Dun Burg is on fire." That fetched the whole tribe out of her house to save their own.

As they rushed out, she rushed in and barricaded the door. But they came back, very angry; and she had a terrible business to prevent the spell-bound spinning wheel, distaff, wool cards, fulling water, and other things which the "good people" had used, from admitting the crowd again. As fully told it is a very long story.
In 'The Scotsman', 2nd April 1932.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
29th April 2019ce

Winterfeld (Passage Grave)

taken from the information board:

When Christianity finally found its way into the area of ??Salzwedel and took root, churches were to be built in the two villages of Jeggeleben and Winterfeld. When the two communities had agreed with a competent and busy church architect on the costs, he gave the construction of the church of Jeggeleben his journeyman and the church to Winterfeld his apprentice. Both the journeyman and the apprentice understood their craft and immediately began to build in sacred competition, according to their master's commission, each of them animated by the desire to do their best and most beautifully execute their church. The apprentice had a clever mind and far exceeded the journeyman in the construction. So it could not fail that the Winterfeld church received a much more beautiful appearance than that of Jeggeleben, and the church tower to Winterfeld soon surpassed that of Jeggeleben by a considerable amount.
When the journeyman saw to Jeggeleben at his work the beautiful church tower of Winterfeld, and he had to hear how people could not sufficiently praise the apprentice because of his church architecture, the envy stirred in him, and he threw a grim hatred on him young master builder to Winterfeld. The evil thoughts were halfway to action: When one morning the journeyman again saw the towering Winterfeld church tower, he could no longer restrain himself, but he reached for the large blocks of granite which he still wanted to obstruct, and hurled them furiously high in the air in the direction of the church of Winterfeld, in order to smash it and, if possible, to crush the apprentice whom he hated. The journeyman possessed enormous physical strength, and so it was not difficult for him to throw away the big stones.
When the apprentice saw the first stone from Jeggeleben approaching the church he had built, he could easily imagine by whose hand and in what way he had thrown it. For his part, he was not lazy either, and at once began to throw stones, as those of his structure were left, and selected the little ones he could lift and throw. Thus a fierce stone battle arose between the journeyman and the apprentice, and large and small granite stones rushed, hurled with force and fury, meeting each other through the air. If the apprentice was also considerably overrun to the journeyman in the art of church construction, the journeyman was far superior to the apprentice in terms of physical strength and thus also in the skid of the stones. The apprentice's stones flew well in the direction of the Jeggeleber church, but they fell down a long way before the village.
On the other hand, the large stones thrown by the journeyman's massive fists flew all the way to Winterfeld; but fortunately they did not meet the church and the apprentice, but rather did not fall far from the church, in the garden of the local parish. In the parish garden of Winterfeld, the large granite blocks are still united to the Hunebed today as a beautiful monument from ancient times. Many parishioners have already played on the Hunebed stones and will still play there; because that ever a pastor will destroy the monument, is probably not to be feared.
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
17th March 2019ce

Nettgau (Chambered Tomb)

There used to be an exceptional stone on this megalithic tomb, the "Hexenstein" ("Witch stone"). The following legend has been handed down:

A beekeeper from Gladdenstedt wanted to bring his bees into the heath and had his boy with him to help him unload. When both came with their team to the witch stone, the horse was suddenly quiet and was unable to get out of the spot. When his father got off the carriage, to his astonishment, he saw that the horse was getting a foal. The boy was now also curious, got off the carriage and looked. At that moment, the horse struck and hit the boy so badly in the forehead that he fell dead to the ground on the spot. As a reminder, the father had the hoof of a horse and a foal and a cross cut in a large stone.

Alfred Pohlmann: Sagen aus der Altmark. Stendal 1901
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
17th March 2019ce

Stöckheim (Chambered Tomb)

When the giant Goliath was no longer able to endure it in his grave in the holy land, where he was teased there as a bigmouth, which had ultimately been defeated by a small shepherd boy, he decided to look for another resting place. At some point he came to Stöckheim, where he liked it quite well. He collected a few large stones, which he set up to fit his grave. He then went back to retrieve his tombstone and his golden coffin. He took the coffin under his arm, wrapped a golden chain around the big stone and tied it to his back. On its long way back, the chain was constantly rubbing itself deeper into the stone. That's the reason for the rill, which is still visible on the stone today. Arrived in Stöckheim he put the big stone on the prepared support and lay down to rest under it. But he did not really get any rest either, because on every New Year's Eve the giant Goliath climbs out of his golden coffin and scrapes three round holes in the stone, which are just as big as the wounds the shepherd boy David caused with his slingshot. The village has long held the opinion that the three holes formed on New Year's Eve form the shape of a triangle and close again when new holes are formed next year.

Alfred Pohlmann: Sagen aus der Altmark. Stendal 1901
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
10th March 2019ce

Bierstedt 1 (Chambered Tomb)

Many years ago a maid named Ilse served on a farm in Groß Bierstedt. Despite the pleadings of her mother, a poor widow, she was seduced by the farmer's oldest son with the help of a false wedding vow. When the consequences became apparent, the farmers chased the girl out of the house. Ilse, however, was so desperate that she hanged herself. The farmer family buried her near a well and rolled three large stones on her grave. The farmer's son was killed in the same night by an accident, Ilse, however, is said to have haunted for years as a ghost at the well.

A. Pohlmann: Sagen aus der Altmark. Stendal 1901
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
10th March 2019ce

The Paps of Jura (Sacred Hill)

John Francis Campbell’s ‘Popular Tales of the West Highlands’, concerning “the Old Woman or Witch of Jura” and her “magical powers.

There was a Caileach (old woman) in Jura who had a magic ball of thread by means of which she could draw any person or thing towards her. MacPhie (or MacDuffie) of Colonsay was in her clutches, and was not allowed to leave Jura; on several occasions he tried to escape to his native Colonsay in his boat, but always the Caileach would spot him, throw the magic ball of thread into his boat, and so bring him back to shore. Eventually MacPhie found out that the magic of the Caileach’s thread could be broken, but only if it was cut by an equally magic hatchet; thus he pretended to be content with his bondage until he found the chance to steal the Caileach’s magic hatchet, and then he made his escape from Jura in a small boat. When the Caileach noticed his absence, she rushed as usual to the top of Beinn a Chaolis, [the tallest of the Paps] and … hurled the magic ball of thread into MacPhie’s boat, but he cut it with the Caileach’s magic hatchet and made his escape. She was distraught … [and] in despair she slid down the mountain to the sea shore, pleading with MacPhie to return. But he would not, and the marks left by the old woman’s heels as she slid down Beinn a Chaolis can still be seen. They are called Sgriob na Cailich – the slide of the old woman.” The best view is from the ferry from Port Askaig to Colonsay.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
2nd January 2019ce

Carragh Chaluim Bhainn (Standing Stone / Menhir)

One of the stones at Tarbert (presumably this one) is called "Carragh Chaluim Bhain", i.e. the standing stone of Calum the fair, almost certainly a reference to St Columba.

H C Gillies 1906
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
22nd December 2018ce

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".
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
12th November 2018ce

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)
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
12th November 2018ce

Dun Fhinn (Stone Fort / Dun)

The earliest story of Ardtalla stems from the the origins of Gaelic Scotland, featuring the semi-legendary warrior Fionn MacCumhail, (Finn McCool). Earl’s ‘Tales of Islay’ records that the great warrior’s headquarters were in Skye, but he was fond of coming to Islay to relax:
Fionn was said to be the son of an Irish father and a Norse mother. His father’s name was Cumhal and his mother’s Morna. Not only was he a hero in Ireland but his adventures were told in Scotland, especially in the west, and many place names are called after him. If the great Fionn MacCumhail was so fond of Islay and visited it so often, surely there must be some indication somewhere that this was so. At Ardtalla there is Dun Fhinn up in the hills opposite Trudernish. Even from a distance it looks quite imposing. In the same area there is what was once an ideal township, Creag Fhinn, with many interesting features. It is a fascinating place and can be reached after a short climb, though it is not so very easy to find as the old tracks leading to it have disappeared. If only it could come alive again!

Fionn grew up big and strong, good at running, swimming and leaping: in fact he was a real giant, and being the type of person he was, naturally legends grew up round about him. He had a son called Ossian. Fionn was said to have much wisdom, which he got from eating the Salmon of Knowledge, which was given to him by an old man who was fishing nearby. He was called Fionn because he was so fair, and he became the leader of the Fienne, a band of warriors renowned for their bravery and war-like deeds.

At one time the people in Islay were being harassed by the Lochlanners and appealed to Fionn to come to their aid. This Fionn did, and he and his men soon cleared Islay of the invaders. A bloody battle took place on the Big Strand called Lathan a Tunnachan, the Battle of the Staves. The warriors fought with staves or short sharp sticks which they threw at their enemy with great force. They carried supplies of these staves under their arm or in a sort of quiver, as was used to carry arrows. Fionn is said to have died in AD283, which places the battle long before the Norse occupation.

https://www.ardtallacottages.co.uk/about/ardtalla-tales/
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
7th November 2018ce

Visbeker Braut (Long Barrow)

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)
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
1st November 2018ce

Garth y Foel (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Back at Croesor, where you parked, is the spring Ffynnon Elen. It's named after Saint Elen, who features in the Mabinogion. She was Romano-British, and noted for founding churches in 4th century Wales. Since Garth y Foel looks like something out of Welsh mythology, here's some local folklore.
The following story is handed down, generation after generation, in this parish, of Cidwm and Elen Lleuddog. When Elen was marching with her army from the south to Caer Eryri, her youngest son marched his men from Segontium to meet and welcome her. One of her sons, whose name was Cidwm, - the Welsh for wolf, - was an impulsive and prodigal fellow; he was filled with a deep rooted jealousy toward his youngest brother, and was ever planning to take away his life.

He had heard of this march, and had hid himself on the high and precipitous cliff on Mynydd Mawr, close by Llyn Tarddeni, beneath which ran the Roman road. He had watched his opportunity, bent on shooting his unsuspecting brother as he passed with his men.

In the meantime Elen had marched as far as the hills which join the hills of Nanmor, and was resting herself and her men by a sweet, clear spring on the roadside, in the parish of Llanfrothen. In marching through Nant y Bettws, her son had taken the rear of the regiment, and walked behind them all.

Cidwm's opportunity had come, but as he emerged from his hiding-place, one of the soldiers saw him and recognised him. His bow was bent, and his arrow aimed, before his cruel intention flashed upon the mind of the soldier, who, as soon as he could collect himself, shouted, "Llech yr Ola'" (Last man, hide). Quick as lightning was the cry taken up by the whole regiment; but before the last man had time to take in the warning, the arrow of the fratricide had dealt him a deadly blow.

The sad news was immediately conveyed to his mother by a batch of soldiers, and when she heard it she threw down her sword, lifted up her hands, and cried, "Croes awr, croes awr i mi!" ("Sad hour, sad hour for me!").

The well at which she sat is called "Ffynon Croesor" (Croesor Well) to this day, and the village which has grown within a couple of hundred yards of it has been named "Croesor" from it.
From Bedd Gelert: its facts, fairies and folk-lore. by D E Jenkins, 1899.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
28th October 2018ce
Showing 1-25 of 3,181 folklore posts. Most recent first | Next 25