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West Tump (Long Barrow) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>West Tump</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>West Tump</b>Posted by Rhiannon

High & Low Bridestones Dovedale (Natural Rock Feature) — Images

<b>High & Low Bridestones Dovedale</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Torberry Hill (Hillfort) — Folklore

Tarberry corner, where four roads meet, and where for many generations those who laid violent hands upon themselves were buried, is a famous haunt for ghosts. Some years ago a man returning from Petersfield in the dusk, saw an apparition here which made him quake. He groaned, fell on his knees, "said his prayers sharp," and when he came to the end of the Lord's Prayer, to his horror the spectre advanced to meet him. It was a jackass!

On the summit of Tarberry are "Pharisees'" (fairies') fings, the simple folk say; and the "Pharisees" dance there on Midsummer's night. These blundering superstitions are veritable specimens of old Sussex folk-lore.
From The History of Harting by the Rev. H.D. Gordon (1877). The crossroads seems to be just at the north foot of the hill.

Ladykirk Stone (Carving) — Folklore

There is (or was), in Lady Kirk, at Burwick, South Ronaldsay, Orkney, a large stone which, according to the Rev. G. Low, tradition says St Magnus used as a boat to ferry him over the Pentland Firth, and for its service laid it up in the church, where it is still preserved.

[...] John Bellenden, archdeacon of Moray [in 1529], states the legend to this effect:-- South Ronaldsay is an island inhabited by robust men; it has a church near the sea-shore, where there is a very hard stone called 'a grey whin,' six feet long and four broad, in which the print of two naked feet is fixed, which no workman could have made. Old men narrate that a certain Gallus, being expelled the country, went on board of some ship to find an asylum elsewhere, when suddenly a storm arose by which they were exposed to great danger, and at last were shipwrecked; he at length jumped on to the back of a whale, and vowed, humbly praying to God, that if he was carried safely to shore, he would in memory, &c., build a church to the Virgin Mary. The prayer being heard, he was carried safely to the shore by the assistance of the whale. The whale having become changed into a stone of its own colour, he placed it in that church where it still remains. (Barry's Orkney Islands, p. 443.)
From F.W.L.Thomas's article on Dunadd in PSAS, Dec 1878.

Carmyllie Hill (Burial Chamber) — Folklore

Near the summit of Carmylie hill is a large burrow or tumulus, which was believed at one time by the natives to be a favourite haunt of the fairies, where, with much splendour, they held their nightly revels. It still bears the name of "Fairy-folk hillock".
From Highland Superstitions by Alexander MacGregor (1901).
Canmore think the barrow was at NO 5445 4348, but that it's sadly gone now. It was named as "The Fairy or Fair-folk Hillock" in the New Statistical Account of 1845. Several rings of bronze wire were found there in 1835.

Norrie's Law (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Norrie's Law</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Oldbury Rock Shelters (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Images

<b>Oldbury Rock Shelters</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Men-An-Tol (Holed Stone) — Images

<b>Men-An-Tol</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>Men-An-Tol</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>Men-An-Tol</b>Posted by Rhiannon

West Kennett Avenue (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue) — Links

Internet Archive

Excavation by A.D. Passmore in 1922 of a stone by the main road, east of West Kennett village. In the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine.

Kenward Stone (Carving) — Images

<b>Kenward Stone</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Devil's Arrows (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>The Devil's Arrows</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Carwynnen Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Carwynnen Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Pawton Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Pawton Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Trethevy Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Trethevy Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>Trethevy Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Zennor Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Zennor Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Chûn Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Chûn Quoit</b>Posted by Rhiannon

St Breock Downs Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>St Breock Downs Menhir</b>Posted by Rhiannon

St Breock Beacon Kistvaen (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>St Breock Beacon Kistvaen</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Pridden (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Pridden</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Brane (Entrance Grave) — Images

<b>Brane</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Carnmenellis (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Carnmenellis</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Merry Maidens (Stone Circle) — Folklore

... it may be as well to remark that at this place there are most distinct traditions of a battle. The author, recently, spent several days in examining the ground, and collecting these traditions.

An old man informed him that the soldiers who died in the great fight, (which lasted several days), were buried in a long trench (not included in the plan) on the slope of a hill to the eastward of the village, but that when this trench was dug over a few years since, no bones were found.

Another story related that a vault immediately beneath the farm yard at Boleit contained the bodies of the slain, but "when this shall be discovered," added the old man,"'tis said that day will be the Judgment." The inhabitants were in consequence rather timid, when the author proposed to dig in search of the place.

The "Pipers", by the same tradition, represent the positions of the chieftains in front of their respective armies; and a "wise man," reported to be living in "Buryan church-town," has it on record, that their names were Howel and Athelstane.

In confirmation of the story of the battle, the word Boleit, pronounced Bollay, has been said to signify the "House of the slaughter," from Bo or Bod, "a house" or "a grave," and Ladh, "a killing." Bo-lait, "a milk house" looks perhaps a more likely derivation; but the name Goon Rith which designates the land to the west of the circle, and where a third great stone is placed, is, undoubtedly, the "Red Downs," a name which, as there is no appearance of that colour in the soil, looks strangely as if they had once been "bathed in blood." [...]
From William Copeland Borlase's 'Naenia Cornubiae' (1879).

The Merry Maidens (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Merry Maidens</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Tremenhere Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Tremenhere Menhir</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Nine Stones of Boskednan (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Nine Stones of Boskednan</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Three Brothers of Grugith (Cist) — Miscellaneous

Borlase's description from Naenia Cornubiae:
But the most interesting object in the parish of St. Keverne still remains to be described. It consists of a half natural, half artificial, dolmen or cromlech, situated on the estate of Grugith, on the Crowza downs, - a wild marshy tract, strewn with diallage rocks, each of them many tons in weight. In the locality it is known as the "Three Brothers of Grugith."

In the case of this monument, a natural rock in situ, 8 feet 8 inches long by six feet broad, and 2 feet 6 inches high, has been selected as the side-stone of the cromlech. At a distance of 2 feet 3 inches from it, and parallel to its northern side, a second stone 7 feet 4 inches long, and averaging from six to eighteen inches broad, has been set up on edge. A third stone, measuring 8 feet 3 inches by 5 feet 3 inches, has then been laid across the two.

A Kist-Vaen, open at the ends, has thus been formed, 2 feet 3 inches deep, i.e. from the under side of the covering stone to the natural surface of the ground around it. Having obtained permission from Lord Falmouth to search the sepulchral monuments on his property in this district, the author caused a pit to be sunk between the supporters of the 'Quoit.' Nothing, however, was discovered besides a small flint chip, and the fact that a similar pit had been sunk in the same spot to a depth of four feet from the surface, previous to the erection of the structure. This was, doubtless, a grave like that at Lanyon, which, if it had not been subsequently disturbed, had, at all events, lost all trace of its ancient occupant.

Three Brothers of Grugith (Cist) — Images

<b>Three Brothers of Grugith</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Wearyall Hill (Sacred Hill) — Folklore

Southwest from the town is WEARYALL-HILL, an eminence so called (if we will believe the monkish writers) from St. Joseph and his companions sitting down here all weary with their journey. Here St. Joseph stuck his stick into the earth, which, although a dry hawthorn staff, thenceforth grew, and constantly budded on Christmas-day. It had two trunks or bodies, till the time of Queen Elizabeth, when a puritan exterminated one, and left the other, which was of the size of a common man, to be viewed in wonder by strangers; and the blossoms thereof were esteemed such curiosities by people of all nations, that the Bristol merchants made a traffick of them, and exported them into foreign parts. In the great rebellion, during the time of King Charles I. the remaining trunk of this tree was also cut down; but other trees from its branches are still growing in many gardens of Glastonbury, and in the different nurseries of this kingdom. It is probable that the monks of Glastonbury procured this tree from Palestine, where abundance of the same sort grow, and flower about the same time. Where this thorn grew is said to have been a nunnery dedicated to St. Peter, without the pale of Weriel-Park, belonging to the abbey.
Besides this holy thorn, there grew in the abbey-church-yard, on the north side of St. Joseph’s chapel, a miraculous walnut-tree, which never budded forth before the feast of St. Barnabas, viz. the eleventh of June; and on that very day shot forth leaves and flourished like its usual species. This tree is also gone, and in the place thereof stands a very fine walnut-tree of the common sort.
It is strange to say how much both these trees were sought after by the credulous, and though the former was a common thorn, and the latter not an uncommon walnut, Queen Anne, King James, and many of the nobility of the realm, even when the times of monkish superstition had ceased, gave large sums of money for small cuttings from the original.
From John Collinson's 1791 History and Antiquities of Somerset.

Bomere Wood (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Folklore

Another version of the tales about Bomere is in Salopian Shreds and Patches, v1 (1874-5):
I am not aware of the existence of any legend about Bomere; but one or traditions are or were some years ago current respecting it. One is that it has no bottom. No end of waggon ropes have, it is said, been tied end to end with the view of ascertaining its depth, but in vain. Ergo, it has no bottom.

Another is that some two centuries ago, or less, a party of gentleman, including the squire, were fishing the pool, when an enormous pike was captured and hauled into the boat. Some discussion arose as to the girth of the fish, and a bet was made that he was bigger round than the squire, and that the sword-belt of the latter would not reach round the fish. To decide the bet, the squire unbuckled his belt, which was there and then, with some difficulty, fastened round the body of the fish. The scaly knight, for he no doubt felt himself to be one, being girt with the sword, began to feel impatience at being kept so long out of his native element, and, after divers struggles, he succeeded in eluding his captors, and regaining, at the same time, his freedom and his watery home. In later years he (so it is said) has been frequently seen basking in the shallow parts of the pool, with the sword still buckled round him, but he is too old a fish to be again caught. -- W.H.

Hetty Pegler's Tump (Long Barrow) — Folklore

Presenting an addition to my dubious theory of 2006. I found mention in Gloucestershire Notes and Queries v5 (1894), which is about 'Place Rimes', rhymes expressing local prejudice about neighbouring villages :)
Charles Hillier the ancient Corunna [Napoleonic battle of 1809] veteran who died at Uley some years ago, aged upwards of 90, added to the above [rhymes]:-- "Nimpsfield heg pegs," which the old man explained were "things" which grew in the hedges.
And Nympsfield is literally yards from the tump. Etymology eh, you can argue it until the cows come home and it doesn't really matter, but it is interesting I think.

Carlingwark Loch (Crannog) — Folklore

The loch contains six islands, one of which - known as the Ash Island - is evidently artificial. It has been formed, as a writer in the Statistical Account says, "by driving strong piles of wood into the moss or marl, on which were placed large frames of black oak." These were discovered in 1765, when the loch was drained for the purpose of procuring marl.

Tradition says that in early days it contained two large islands - one at the north end, which is now a peninsula, but still retaining the name of "The Isle," while the other, near to the south end, is called "The Fir Island," and appears to have been rendered famous in history as the spot where Edward I., on penetrating into Galloway in the year 1300, encamped, using the island as a place for shoeing his cavalry. To strengthen this supposition, we may state that near to this place many horse-shoes, of a form different to those now in use, have been found sunk deep in the mud [...]

The loch was formerly much larger than it is at present; and tradition narrates that there was a town which sunk, or was drowned, in its waters, and that there were two churches or chapels, one upon each of the large islands. The submersion of the town is in all likelihood a myth, although the truth of the story is believed by many of the old inhabitants; and we have heard that occasionally, during very dry seasons - that of 1826 being specially referred to - the roofs of houses have been discerned submerged in the loch. [...]
You can also read about the ancient Three Thorns of Carlingwark which grew near the loch. "From time immemorial they were used as a trysting-place by the lairds and yeomen throughout Galloway; and in history we find repeated mention of them made in connection with stirring events."

From 'Rambles in Galloway' by Malcolm McLachlan Harper (1876)

The Rollright Stones (Stone Circle) — Links


A striking comic strip of the legend.

Grime's Graves (Ancient Mine / Quarry) — Folklore

The mound called 'Grimshoe' is at TL8190289813. It gave its name to the Hundred of Grimshoe - the name coming from 'Grim's Howe', or the burial mound of Grim (Woden / Odin). It's probably a spoil mound from the quarrying, or maybe created especially from the spoil for the purposes of a special place for impressive Hundred Meetings. But don't let its mundane origin detract from its mythological splendour.

Devil's Den (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Devil's Den</b>Posted by Rhiannon

The Sanctuary (Timber Circle) — Links

Internet Archive

An article by Mike Pitts on 'Excavating the Sanctuary', from WANHM 94 (2001).

Uley Bury Camp (Hillfort) — Links


Nearby West Hill (between Uley Bury and Hetty Peglar's Tump) was the site of an Iron Age shrine, and after it, a Roman temple. It's even possible that there was a Neolithic monument beneath these. You can download EH's Archaeological Monograph about the excavations of "The Uley Shrines" by Woodward and Leach (1993) from the ADS website.

England (Country) — Links


You can download EH's Archaeological Monograph on 'The Neolithic Flint Mines of England' (1999) by Topping, Barger and Field, from the ADS website.

Kent — Links


You can now download Peter Clark's EH Archaeological Monograph about the Dover Bronze Age Boat (2004) from the ADS website.

Stonehenge (Stone Circle) — Links


You can download the EH Archaeological Monograph 'Stonehenge in its Landscape' by Montague, Cleal and Walker (1999) from the ADS website.

Hazleton Long Barrows — Links


The EH Archaeological Monograph 'Hazleton North: the excavation of a Neolithic long cairn of the Cotswold-Severn group' by Alan Saville (1990) can now be downloaded from the ADS site.

Cadbury Castle (South Cadbury) (Hillfort) — Links


You can download Barrett,Freeman and Woodward's (2000) EH monograph about the hillfort from the ADS website, which goes into great detail about the excavations. I particularly like the finds of beads and ammonites, and armlets of Kimmeridge Shale.

Brean Down (Round Barrow(s)) — Links


You can download the EH monograph 'Brean Down: Excavations 1983-1987' by Martin Bell from the ADS website. He calls the site "the best preserved Bronze Age settlement sequence in Southern Britain", with five prehistoric occupation phases amidst 5m of blown sand and eroded soil.

Stockton Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Miscellaneous

Just a snippet from History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk.. by William White (3rd ed, 1864):
At the side of the road, near the boundary of Stockton and Hales, is a large stone, weighing about two tons, called "Stockton Stone," and in the ancient Town Book, still preserved, is an entry, dated 1645, recording the payment of a small sum for "putting stulps to Stockton Stone."
A stulp is a support or post. So it sounds like they were looking after it.

Corn Ridge (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Folklore

Up here is a little cairn cemetery with two round cairns, two tor cairns and two ring cairns. They surround a large rock outcrop called Branscombe's Loaf. Tor cairns are only found on the higher moors of Devon and Cornwall and only about 50 are known. They date from the early-mid Bronze Age.
On the slope between Sourton Tor and Bronescombe's Loaf lies a large slab of granite through which a dyke of elvan has been thrust. In this elvan have been cut the moulds for two bronze axe-heads.*

Walter Bronescombe was Bishop of Exeter between 1258 and 1280, and he lies buried in the Cathedral under a fine canopied tomb. The effigy is of his own date, and gives apparently a true portrait of a worthy prelate.

One day he was visiting this portion of his diocese, and had ventured to ride over the moor from Widdecombe. He and his retinue had laboured through bogs, and almost despared of reaching the confines of the wilderness. Moreover, on taking Amicombe Hill [Kitty Tor] they knew not which way to take, for the bogs there are nasty; and his attendants dispersed to seek a way. The Bishop was overcome with fatigue, and was starving. He turned to his chaplain and said, "Our Master in the wilderness was offered by Satan bread made of stones. If he were now to make the same offer to me, I doubt if I should have the Christian fortitude to refuse."

"Ah!" sighed the chaplain, "and a hunch of cheese as well!"
"Bread and cheese I could not hold out against," said the bishop.
Hardly had he spoken before a moorman rose up from a peat dyke and drew night; he had a wallet on his back.
"Master!" called the chaplain, "dost thou chance to have a snack of meat with thee?"
"Ay, verily," replied the moorman, and approached, hobbling, for he was apparently lame. "I have with me bread and cheese, naught else."
"Give it us, my son," said the Bishop; "I will well repay thee."
"Nay," replied the stranger, "I be no son of thine. And I ask no reward save that thou descend from thy steed, doff thy cap, and salute me with the title of master."
"I will do that," said the Bishop, and alighted.
Then the strange man produced a loaf and a large piece of cheese.

Now, the Bishop was about to take off his cap and address the moorman in a tone of entreaty and by the title of master, when the chaplain perceived that the man had one foot like that of a goat. He instantly cried out to God, and signified what he saw to the prelate, who, in holy horror, made the sign of the cross, and lo! the moorman vanished, and the bread and cheese remained transformed to stone.

Do you doubt it? Go and see. Look on the Ordnance Survey map and you will find Bread and Cheese marked there. Only Bronescombe's name has been transformed to Brandescombe.
But the Bishop, to make atonement, and to ease his conscience for having so nearly yielded to temptation, spent great sums on the rebuilding of his cathedral.
I don't know if this is traditional or made up by the good old Reverend Baring-Gould, but I don't mind either way. From his 'A Book of Dartmoor' (1900).

*This sounds most intriguing, but I've not found out anything more. Only a slog across the moors will tell.

Roborough Beacon (Enclosure) — Folklore

The 'fortifications' surely refer to this site? Who knows. The author for all his long-windedness seems to know the lay of the land.
The Ghost of the Black-Dog.

A man having to walk from Princetown to Plymouth took the road which crosses Roborough Down. He started at four o'clock from the Duchy Hotel, and as he walked at a good swinging pace, hoped to cover the sixteen miles in about three hours and a half. It was a lovely evening in December, cold and frosty, and the stars and a bright moon giving enough light to enable him to see the roadway distinctly zigzagged across the moor. Not a friendly pony or a quiet Neddy crossed his path as he strode merrily onward whistling as he went.

After a while the desolation of the scene seemed to strike him, and he felt terribly alone among the boulders and huge masses of gorse which hemmed him in. On, on he pressed, till he came to a village where a wayside inn tempted him to rest awhile and have just one nip of something "short" to keep his spirits up.

Passing the reservoir beds, he came out on an open piece of road, with a pine copse on his right. Just then he fancied he heard the pit-pat of feet gaining upon him. Thinking it was a pedestrian bound for Plymouth, he turned to accost his fellow traveller, but there was no one visible, nor were any footfalls then audible. Immediately on resuming his walk, pit-pat, pit-pat, fell the echoes of feet again. And suddenly there appeared close to his right side an enormous dog, neither mastiff or bloodhound, but what seemed to him to be a Newfoundland of immense size. Dogs were always fond of him, and he of them, so he took no heed of this (to him) lovely canine specimen.

Presently he spoke to him. "Well, doggie, what a beauty you are: how far are you going?" at the same time lifting his hand to pat him. Great was the man's astonishment to find no resisting substance, though the form was certainly there, for his hand passed right through the seeming body of the animal. "Hulloh! what's this?" said the bewildered traveller. As he spoke the great glassy eyes gazed at him; then the beast yawned, and from his throat issued a stream of sulphurous breath. Well, thought the man, I am in for it now! I'll trudge on as fast as legs can carry me, without letting this queer customer think I am actually afraid of him.

With heart beating madly and feet actually flying over the stony way, he hurried down the hill, the dog never for a moment leaving him, or slackening his speed. They soon reached a crossway, not far from the fortifications. When, suddenly the man was startled by a loud report, followed by a blinding flash, as of lightning, which struck him senseless to the ground. At daybreak, he was found by the driver of the mail-cart, lying in the ditch at the roadside in an unconscious state.

Tradition says, that a foul murder was many years ago committed at this spot, and the victim's dog is doomed to traverse this road and kill every man he encounters, until the perpetrator of the deed has perished by his instrumentality.

There are similar legends of the doings of the Black Dog throughout the county, and many wayside public houses have "The Black Dog" for a sign.
From Nummits and Crummits by Sarah Hewett (1900). It's rather dramatised up, I'm sure most Black Dogs aren't so mean. It also reminds me of something I'm rather interested in at the moment, the 21st century tale of the Big Cat (which is also often black).

Trefignath (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Trefignath</b>Posted by Rhiannon
Showing 1-50 of 3,836 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
This hill, it has a meaning that is very important for me, but it's not rational. It's beautiful, but when you look, there's nothing there. But I'd be a fool if I didn't listen to it.

-- Alan Garner.

...I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn...

-- William Wordsworth.

I'm currently mad on visiting Anglo-Saxon and Norman carvings and enjoy the process of drawing them:

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