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

Willy Howe

Artificial Mound


The 12th century version of the story, in William of Newburgh's "History", book 1, chapter 28, 'of certain prodigies':
In the province of the Deiri, also, not far from the place of my nativity, an extraordinary event occurred, which I have known from my childhood. There is a village, some miles distant from the Eastern Ocean, near which those famous waters, commonly called Gipse, spring from the ground at various sources (not constantly, indeed, but every alternate year), and, forming a considerable current, glide over the low lands into the sea: it is a good sign when these streams are dried up, for their flowing is said unquestionably to portend the disaster of a future scarcity. A certain rustic belonging to the village, going to see his friend, who resided in the neighboring hamlet, was returning, a little intoxicated, late at night; when, behold, he heard, as it were, the voice of singing and reveling on an adjacent hillock, which I have often seen, and which is distant from the village only a few furlongs. Wondering who could be thus disturbing the silence of midnight with noisy mirth, he was anxious to investigate the matter more closely; and perceiving in the side of the hill an open door, he approached, and, looking in, he beheld a house, spacious and lighted up, filled with men and women, who were seated, as it were, at a solemn banquet. One of the attendants, perceiving him standing at the door, offered him a cup: accepting it, he wisely forbore to drink; but, pouring out the contents, and retaining the vessel, he quickly departed. A tumult arose among the company, on account of the stolen cup, and the guests pursued him; but he escaped by the fleetness of his steed, and reached the village with his extraordinary prize. It was a vessel of an unknown material, unusual color, and strange form: it was offered as a great present to Henry the elder, king of England and then handed over to the queen's brother, David, king of Scotland, and deposited for many years among the treasures of his kingdom; and, a few years since, as we have learnt from authentic relation, it was given up by William, king of the Scots, to Henry II, on his desiring to see it.
Online at Fordham University's Internet History Sourcebooks Project.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
30th March 2013ce

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