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

Uffington Castle



Oh yes we used to make our own entertainment in those days. None of these computer games and ipod things. We knew how to have a good time. If you were wondering what 'backsword play' was, mentioned in Hughes' poem here

"In backsword play, two men fought with short cudgels, the winner being he who first drew blood from his opponent's head. In this game the men of the Berkshire-Wiltshire border used to fight the men of Somerset, and it was a complaint of the Berkshiremen that the Somerset heads were hard to draw blood from, since 'there's no 'cumulation of blood belongs to thay cider-drinking chaps, as there does to we as drinks beer. Besides, they drinks vinegar allus for a week afore playin', which dries up most o' the blood as they has got; so it takes a 'mazing sight of cloutin' to break their heads as should be."

From Hughes's 'The Scouring of the White Horse' (1859) p132. The 'pastimes' were usually held inside Uffington Castle.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th October 2006ce
Edited 15th October 2006ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment