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




There are four round cairns near Netherwitton, three between the River Font and a nearby tributary. Some contained a stone cist. I can't help thinking that the following story is set specifically in Netherwitton because of the presence of these mounds.

A cottager and his wife residing at Nether Witton were one day visited by a fary and his spouse with their young child, which they wished to leave in their charge. The cottager agreed to take care of the child for a certain period when it had to be taken thence. The fary gave the man a box of ointment with which to anoint the child's eyes; but he had not on any account to touch himself with it, or some misfortune would befal him. For a long time he and. his wife were 'very careful to avoid the dangerous unction; but one day when his wife was out curiosity over-came his prudence, and he anointed his eyes without any noticeable effect; but after a while, when walking through Long Horsley Fair, he met the male fary and accosted him. He started back in amazement at the recognition; but instantly guessing the truth, blew on the eyes of the cottager, and instantly blinded him. The child was never more seen.
The book also contains this anecdote:
many years ago a girl who lived near Nether Witton, as she was returning from milking with her pail on her head, saw the fairies playing in the fields, and though she pointed them out to her companions they could not see them. The reason it seemed was her weise or pad for bearing the pail on her head was composed of four-leaved clover, which gives the power of seeing fairies.
From 'The Fairy Mythology' by Thomas Keightley [1870], online at the sacred-texts archive.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th June 2005ce
Edited 8th June 2005ce

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