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

Folklore Posts by IronMan

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Ashleigh Barrow (Round Barrow(s))

Many superstitions were attached to the barrow and its destruction in the 1860s, with the country people speaking of the place being haunted by boggarts and children having been known to take off their clogs and walk past barefoot at night.

Grubstones (Stone Circle)

"Local folklore attributes Grubstones 'to have been a Council or Moot Assembly-place' in ages past (Collyer and Turner 1885). Considerable evidence points to the Freemasons convening here in medieval times and we are certain from historical records that members of the legendary Grand Lodge of All England (said to be ordained in the tenth century by King Athelstan) met here, or at the adjacent Great Skirtful of Stones giant cairn 400 yards east."
'Circles, Standing Stones and Legendary Rocks of West Yorkshire' Paul Bennett

Carreg Leidr (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Carreg Leidr, the "thief stone", is said to be a thief who, having stolen a bible from the local parish church, turned to stone as he carried it away on his shoulders.

"At Llandyfrydog, in Anglesea, there is a curious stone, resembling a humpbacked man. It is said that a man who had stolen several valuable articles from the parish church at last desired to obtain the Bible from a cupboard under the altar, where it was kept locked up when not in use. The sacred volume was contained in a special cover made of carved wood, inset with precious stones and gold. It took the man several hours in the night to secure the Bible, and, under cover of the darkness, he ran away with it on his back. For this shameful theft he was turned into stone. [Rev. Elias Owen, "Welsh Folk-lore," p. 260]"

Llety'r Filiast (Burial Chamber)

This is one of a few tombs in North Wales to have a name from folklore. 'Llety'r Filiast' means 'Lair of the Greyhound Bitch', a name shared with several other tombs in Wales. There is no surviving story to explain it.

Croes Faen

Local tradition says that this stone was used in some way (?) to rid the place of a fiery dragon! The stone may have been moved in 1840, only to be returned to it's original setting.

Notgrove (Long Barrow)

Local legend says that the Notgrove long barrow contained a golden coffin.

Drombeg (Stone Circle)

This well known site has long had a sinister reputation for human sacrifice. Excavations which took place in the late 1950s found offerings of human remains, suggesting this may well have been the case.

From Burl's 'Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany':

"In September, 1935, Boyle Somerville returned to Drombeg with a psychic, Miss Geraldine Cummings. She did not like the place. She felt it was a centre of nature and sun worship conjoined with the moon, a place where animals, if not small children, were sacrificed at each winter solstice. She 'saw' a priest in blue and saffron robes standing at the altar of the recumbent about to kill his human offering.
There were weekly ceremonies but 'the great Day of the Blood Sacrifice was near the end of December. Then horrible things were practised in the twilight. There were strange dances in which men and women stabbed each other in a frenzy. There was an abandonment in action and behaviour which I may not describe.' Drombeg was cursed. It was 'guarded by the spirits of darkness'."

Boat Howe (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Running along the side of Boat Howe, the track from Boot to Burnmoor Lodge and beyond, is a corpse road in use until as late as 1901.

Legend has it that a packhorse carrying the body of Thomas Porter of Wasdale took fright, and bolted (the body still strapped to it's back) over Boat Howe never to be seen again. There are those who have heard the sound of hoofbeats when the mist descends.

Another tale of the Wasdale corpse road involves the Rowan, a tree sacred to Vikings, and still held to have restorative properties among the more superstitious locals. On one occasion a coffin was jolted violently against a Rowan growing beside the track, and either the shock or, as some say, the peculiar properties of the tree, revived the seemingly dead woman who was carried home with much excitement by those who had come to bury her. A while later the woman died and was, for a second time, carried in her coffin over the moor. As the little procession approached the tree, the widower, who obviously did not relish a repeat of the previous journey, was heard to exhort his son leading the horse 'Take care o'yon Rowan, John'.

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