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The Twelve Apostles of Hollywood

Stone Circle


Eleven stones, twelve stones? who knows.
The local name for the stones is " The Twelve Apostles." When the rustic believer in Druidism is asked, why so, when there are only eleven stones ? the reply usually bears upon the treachery of Judas Iscariot. Further inquiry is, of course, rendered useless. That there were a century ago really twelve stones I have already shown : that there are now only eleven is equally true. The oldest observer whose testimony has been accessible to me firmly alleges the removal of one stone, and within the memory of living persons eleven has always been the number. It was with the greatest surprise, therefore, that, on consulting the O.M. 25" scale, I found twelve stones marked—the extra stone being shown some 40 feet or so N.W. of stone F—its position is quite immaterial.

At a loss to account for this resurrection of a stone in 1850, which in 1837 was non-existent, I bethought me of writing to my friend Captain C. F. Mould of H.M. Survey, now stationed at Chester. His reply is somewhat startling' in its suggestiveness :— "There should only be eleven stones. The drawn plan shows only this number; but there turns out to have been an accidental blue spot on this plan which has been reproduced by the' zincography on the published plans."

On such trivial mechanical accidents may the most mystical theories in archaeology repose !
From Coles, Fred. R: "The Stone Circle at Holywood, Dumfriesshire." p84-90 in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Volume 28 (1893-94).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
11th November 2006ce

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