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


Ruborough Camp


Nearest Town:Bishops Lydeard (7km SW)
OS Ref (GB):   ST228335 / Sheet: 182
Latitude:51° 5' 42.12" N
Longitude:   3° 6' 9.24" W

Added by Rhiannon

Discussion Topics0 discussions
Start a topic

Show map   (inline Google Map)


Add folklore Add folklore
It is traditionally supposed that beneath the surface of this camp vast stores of gold and silver are hid in an iron castle, the door of which is guarded by spirits and can only be found at the full moon.

It is stated that many years ago some labourers dug there with the hope of finding the treasure, but were obliged to desist because of the mournful sounds they heard, caused no doubt, by the howling of the wind among the trees.

A story is also told of a Dr Farrer, who lived in the parish and was learned in books and who found out from them how to get into the castle. The day before the full moon he went over the field with a hazel rod, and when he came over the door, the stick stood upright in the ground. The doctor returned at night with his servant and tools for digging and also took his bible with him. He set his servant to work, giving him particular instruction that whatever he saw or heard he was not to utter a word for his life.

The man went on digging, and at last his spade struck on the iron door of the castle, when horrible groans and cries were heard, and spirits began to come out of the door. The man was so frightened that he forgot his master's instructions, and cried out "Lord, have mercy on my soul," when one of the spirits caught him by the leg and would have carried him off, but the doctor put the bible on his head and dragged him out with the other hand.

The pit was closed up, the door banged together, and its position was changed so that no one has been able to find it since.
In the Taunton Courier, 12th April 1958. It rather served him right, expecting his servant to do all the dangerous work. I have a vision a bit like 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'. Also, the castle being made of iron rather discounts the involvement of the fairies in this case.
There is a story told locally of two men, who, many years ago, lived on the Quantock Hills. One day, finding themselves in financial difficulty and not knowing where to obtain any money, they decided to go over to Ruborough Camp, Broomfield, to try to discover some of the money and treasure supposed to have been buried there. As soon as it was night-time they left their homes and with picks and shovels on their backs, proceeded on their way. As they entered the tree-covered lane leading to the camp, they walked with caution in case they disturbed the stags and foxes resting there, but all was well and at last they reached the Camp.

It was a clear moonlit night and no doubt they could see the old castle at Enmore and further away the town of Bridgwater. They found the mound of earth where money and treasure were supposed to have been buried and after removing their coats, started to dig. Suddenly the ground gave away from beneath them and they disappeared.

After some hours had elapsed their relatives at home became alarmed at their not returning and decided to go to look for them. On reaching the old Camp they discovered to their amazement two coats beside a very large hole, but there was no sign of the two men. Being superstitious people they hastily returned to their homes saying that the pixies had captured the two men, who were never seen again.

This story may not be true, but it was told to me by old people living in the district years ago.
In the Taunton Courier, 29th March 1958.
These stories seem pretty similar to the ones written down with even more elaboration by the Rev. J W Collins in 1857.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th February 2020ce

This fort makes use of a natural triangle-shaped promontory of the east Quantocks. Today it is swathed in trees and doesn't look very accessible. But it does come with some creative folklore (as recorded by Grinsell, in his 'Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain'). His source was from 1857 and gave the following fairy-tale like details:
The fort is said to conceal an iron castle, which is guarded by gnomes and spirits (gnomes aren't very British, surely?). They're closely guarding their treasure – mounds of silver and gold. Now, they're tricky and it'll be impossible to even see them, let alone their treasure – unless you follow this prescription. You must dig for the iron gateway into the castle at noon, and be sure you dig in silence. I'm afraid there's no guidance about what to do when the angry gnomes and spirits turn up. Still, some people must have had some luck – Grinsell also mentions that a nearby field is called 'Moneyfield' because of the coins that have supposedly been found there.
There is also supposed to be one of those mysterious underground passages in the hill – the EH record on MAGIC mentions an 1890 source saying that 'a subterranean passage, 100 yards long, now
filled in, gave the occupants of the camp access to a spring of water on the side of the hill'.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th September 2004ce