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Swayne's Jumps

Standing Stones

Nearest Town:Street (8km E)
OS Ref (GB):   ST406373 / Sheet: 182
Latitude:51° 7' 52.76" N
Longitude:   2° 50' 56.43" W

Added by Rhiannon

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According to Berta Lawrence in her 'Somerset Legends' (1973) during the civil war there was a man called Jan Swayne who lived in Moorlinch. Found to be a 'rebel' he was dragged from his bed to be taken to Bridgwater where he was to be hanged. Somehow he persuaded the troopers who came for him to untie him to show his crying children a last entertainment of how far he could leap (the 'police' are always stupid in films today too, so no change). Naturally he took three immense leaps - a hop, skip and a jump - which took him into the impenetrable and swampy Loxley Woods where he could hide safely.

The site of his leaps is known as 'Swayne's Jumps' or 'Swayne's Leaps' and you may find four (or even five) small stones in a line. The Somerset Historic Environment Record mentions them being in the SMR records, but I don't see a mention on Magic. Perhaps they're old, perhaps not? In the distant past perhaps this area would have been even boggier. Take your wellingtons and have a look. Apparently an old sign designates the place 'Jan Swaynes Jumps'.

The folklore is similar to that attached to other pairs or lines of stones (eg the Deerleap Stones).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
30th August 2005ce


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‘Drive By’ 23.4.16

As far as I could make out Swayne’s Jumps stones are immediately to the south of the A39 within Loxley Wood. As you enter Loxley Wood (heading east) there is a minor road to the north (Wood lane) which leads to the village of Shapwick. Next to this turning is a layby – this is the closest parking spot to the stones.

The problem would then be finding them! The stones are very small – no more than a couple of inches high – and the woodland is very overgrown. Along with the usual long grass, bushes etc the woodland floor appears to be completely covered in ivy. I suspect it would be quite a challenge locating the stones. I couldn’t see the ‘old sign’ previously mentioned which was said to designate the location of the stones. A place to return when I have more time.
Posted by CARL
24th April 2016ce