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

Hembury Castle



Certain spots on Dartmoor are more commonly haunted by the Wish Hounds more than others: and on its borders there are many long narrow lanes, closely overgrown with thorn and hazel, through which they pass in long procession on particular nights, - of which St. John's Eve is always one.

A person who was passing at night over the moors above Withecombe, heard them sweep through the valley below him with a great cry and shouting; and when he reached the highest point of the hill, he saw them pass by, with the "Master" behind, - a dark gigantic figure, carrying a long hunting pole at his back, and with a horn slung round his neck. When they reached the ancient earthwork of Hembury Fort, - which rises on a high wooded hill above the Dart, - the Master blew a great blast upon his horn, and the whole company sank into the earth.
From an article about 'The Wish or Wisked Hounds of Dartmoor' in the Athenaeum (March 1847).

St John's Eve is the 23rd of June, the evening before the traditional Midsummer Day, so (somewhere around) the shortest night of the year.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
2nd March 2012ce
Edited 2nd March 2012ce

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