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Hetty Pegler's Tump

Long Barrow


Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Rhiannon's folklore speculations. I've never been that convinced by the 'Hester Peglar' school of thought when it comes to the name of this long barrow, and recently found some solid(ish) confusion about it (see 'Misc'). And now I have a no less incredible alternative..

I came across mention of 'Heg-Peg Dump', which is a suet pudding made with plums and damsons. It was made, in Gloucestershire (where the Tump is), on the occasion of St Margaret's Day (hence the 'Peg' part of the name, which was her nickname) - which is the 20th July.

Then I read this, which relates the pudding to the specific area of Gloucestershire near the Tump:
Village Feasts.--Many Cotswold parishes keep their annual Feast in the autumn, usually on the Sunday after the church dedication festival, which is sometimes observed on the date according to Old Style. There are family gatherings, a special dish for the occasion, and often open house, especially at the smaller public-houses. [..] at Nympsfield, puddings or dumplings are made of wild plums or "heg-pegs." There is a local rhyme, twitting the Nympsfield folks, who are very sensitive on the point:-

Nympsfield is a pretty place,
Built upon a tump,
And what the people live upon
Is heg-peg [or "ag-pag"] dump.

Nympsfield lies between "Hetty Pegler's tump," - i.e. Uley Bury tumulus, --and Lynch Field; but there is a Barrow field, of which only the name remains, in the village itself.
Cotswold Place-Lore and Customs (Continued)
J. B. Partridge
Folklore, Vol. 23, No. 4. (Dec., 1912), pp. 443-457.

Whaddya reckon. Surely not coincidence?? Could the tump have reminded them of the pudding in shape? Or did they connect St Margaret with the tump.. is St Margaret a christianisation of another protective goddess? Or am I going too far now. Shall we just stick with the pudding theory. Or indeed consign the whole idea to the back burner. The question still remains of whether / when the local people were aware of the barrow - how old is the name??
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd October 2006ce
Edited 3rd October 2006ce

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