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

Moelfre

Cairn(s)

Folklore

That's right, of all the many prehistoric remains up here, why not destroy the very one that has some decent folklore.
A short distance from [Meini Hirion] is a smooth round hill called Moelfre, upon which is a carnedd, covered with turf, about seventeen feet in diameter. I allude to it chiefly for the sake of introducing the following very curious unpublished notice of it which occurs in the [17th C] manuscript of Sir John Wynn..

.."and in the top very plain and pleasant upon this hill there is a circle marked, whereupon stood three stones about a yard and a quarter above ground, the one red as blood, the other white, and the third a little bluer than the white stone, standing in a triangle.

What should be the reason of placing such three stones in such a place upon so high and so pleasant a mount, and to place there stones of such colours, I cannot express otherwise that we have it by tradition.

The tradition is this, that God Almighty hath wrought in this place a miracle for increasing of our faith. And that was thus. Three women, about such time as Christianity began to creep in amongst us, upon a Sabbath day in the morning went to the top of this hill to winnow their corn, and having spread there winnowing sheet upon the ground and begun their work, some of their neighbours came unto them and did reprehend them for violating and breaking the Lordes commandment by working upon the Sabbath day.

These faithless women, regarding their profit more than the observing of God's commandments, made slight of their neighbours' admonition, and held on in their work; whereupon it pleased God instantly to transform them into three pillars of stones, and to frame these stones of the same colour as the women's clothes were, one red, the other white, and the third bluish, and to transform their winnowing sheet and corn into earth, and so to leave them there in example to others.

This is a tradition we have and believed by the old people in that neighbourhood, and however, whether it was so or no, the tradition is wholesome, and will deter others from working upon the Sabbath day.

These stones, being worth the seeing as they were placed, have been digged up by some idle headed youths within these six years, and were rolled down the hill, and do now lie together at the foot of the hill.
p162 of 'Notes of Family Excursions in North Wales', by J. O. Halliwell, 1860.

With old-fashioned, and possibly slightly hammed-up spelling turned into 21st century English.

John Wynn lived from 1553-1626.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th July 2007ce
Edited 25th January 2014ce

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