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

Michael Moorey's Hump

Round Barrow(s)


Local folklore would have us believe that a local man murdered his grandson in a nearby cottage and then set fire to the building in order to hide the evidence. He was later captured in a nearby cave and hung on the downs above. The gibbet was constructed on top of the ancient burial mound where he was left to decompose then buried in the mound. Those amongst you brave enough should visit the mound at midnight, circling it twelve times before calling "Michael Morey" three times, after which his ghost should appear.
The true story is far more gruesome as he lured the boy to a local wood where he cut off his head with a billhook, then hacked off his arms and legs before stuffing the remains jnto some old saddle bags and concealing them in the undergrowth.He was later captured and taken for trial in Winchester where he was found guilty and hung. His body was returned to the island to be hung in chains as a deterrent to others. The gibbet post which was erected on the burial mound can supposedly still be seen in the local pub (the 'Hare and Hounds' at Downend) along with a skull, which for many years was said to be Michael Moreys, recent evidence suggests that it is more likely to belong to one of the original prehistoric burials.
Information was taken from"For Rooks and Ravens" by Kenneth S. Phillips
Posted by bert
22nd September 2004ce
Edited 13th February 2012ce

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