Standing Stones & Monolith Folklore

 
End of the World

Location: St Levan (Cornwall) - St Levan's Stone, in village churchyard
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: St Levan hit the rock with his bare hands, and broke it in two large pieces. He declared that when the gap grew big enough to let a horse through, the world would come to an end. In another part of the graveyard, one can find the tombstone of Captain Wetherel, who can be heard ringing his ship's bell from within his coffin.


 
Strong Woman

Location: St Pierre du Bois (Guernsey) - Menhir
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local man hid behind a hedge after spotting a short woman walking up the hill towards him. She was knitting and also carrying something in her apron. She suddenly stopped and removed a five metre tall stone from her garment and planted it in the earth. The Menhir has remained there ever since.


 
Dancing Stones

Location: Stackpole (Dyfed) - Collection of prehistoric stones
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Stones still present
Further Comments: This collection of rocks is said to jig and jive at certain times of the day.


 
The Nine Ladies

Location: Stanton (Derbyshire) - Moor
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A small stone circle, it is said that a fiddler and nine women were turned into this stones for dancing on the Sabbath.


 
Wedding Party

Location: Stanton Drew (Somerset) - Standing Stones
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Dressed as a fiddler, the Devil convinced all the guests from a wedding to dance on a Sunday - for the sin, the entire party were turned to stone. Another creation story for the site says a passing giant dropped the contents of his shovel that formed the circle of stones.


 
The Devil's Game

Location: Stanton Harcourt (Oxfordshire) - Devil's Quoits
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Stones still present
Further Comments: Playing Quoits on Beacon Hill, some two and a half miles away, the Devil was informed he wasn't playing the game correctly. In a rage, he threw the stones to where they now stand.


 
Devil's Gold

Location: Staple Fitzpaine (Somerset) - Devil's Stone, near the church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: The stone was once thought to have gold concealed underneath, hidden by the Devil. However, when moved to make way for a new road, nothing was found.


 
Bleeding

Location: Staunton (Gloucestershire) - The Long Stone
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: If this stone is pricked with a pin at midnight, it is said to bleed. If bored, it is sometimes seen moving across nearby countryside!


 
Returning Stone

Location: Steeple Barton (Oxfordshire) - Hoar Stone
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present (though in fragments)
Further Comments: Pieces of this stone were removed after being broken up by a farmer, though the fragments soon rolled back into position on their own accord.


 
Mysterious Stones

Location: Stonehenge (Wiltshire) - Stone Circle
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Many strange properties and stories have been assigned to the most famous stone circle in the world, including rumours that it was built by Merlin the Wizard (or the Devil), and that it is impossible to count the true number of stones.


 
Missed

Location: Studland (Dorset) - Agglestone (aka Devil's Anvil, aka Devil's Nightcap)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Rock still present
Further Comments: The Agglestone came into being when the Devil, angered by Corfe Castle obstructing his view from Needles Rock (in the Isle of Wight), removed his nightcap and threw it in an attempt to knock the towers over. He failed.


 
Whistling Stone

Location: SW4 (Greater London) - Clapham Common
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Story circa early twentieth century, although stone removed around 1900
Further Comments: The whistling heard coming from the stone on the common was said to be quite sad, with one story saying the tune was made by a murdered pedlar.


 
Hooded Figure

Location: Tarland (Aberdeenshire) - Tomnaverie stone circle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: July 1992
Further Comments: Two people sleeping in a car at a field adjacent to the circle both woke suddenly as a cloaked and hooded figure passed by their window. The dark entity quickly vanished, and although the witnesses looked around, nothing more could be found.


 
Contest

Location: Tidenham (Gloucestershire) - The Broadstone, between village and Woolastaston
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: The Devil and the giant Jack o'Kent had a stone throwing contest - the Devil's stone landed here, while Jack's landed way over the river Severn, winning him the game.


 
Quoits

Location: Tredinnick (Cornwall) - Lanivet (or Lesquite) Quoit
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The capstone of this dolmen was thrown into position by the Devil whilst playing quoits.


 
Jack o'Kent

Location: Trellech (Gwent) - Harold's Stones
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Stones still present
Further Comments: The three standing stones present here are the result of Jack trying to prove his strength to the Devil - he threw them from Beacon Hill.


 
Witch Haven

Location: Trewa (Cornwall) - General area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 23 June (or Midsummer Eve) (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Robert Hunt wrote that once a year the entire local witch population would meet in the town and travel around the surrounding area to light fires on all monoliths and standing stones in the area. However, the 'town' does not appear to exist on modern maps.


 
Stoned Man

Location: Trotternish, Isle of Skye (Highland) - Old Man of Storr
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Turned to stone by a couple of antisocial ogres, the old man of Storr has remained a monolith for hundreds of years, and no doubt will forevermore.


 
Jack's Grave

Location: Tweedsmuir (Borders) - The Giant's Stones
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: These stones mark the final battle between Jack the giant killer and one of his mortal foes - they managed to kill each other in the fight. The body of either Jack or the giant lies under one of the stones.


 
Sheep Rustler

Location: Upper Lambourn (Oxfordshire) - Hangman's Stone
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A sheep stealer received his comeuppance as he rested on this stone - the cord that he used to lead this stolen sheep wrapped around his neck as he slept, strangling him. The man's phantom is said to walk the area.


 
Fire

Location: Vale (Guernsey) - L'Ancresse Bay - large stone (no longer standing)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown - pre twentieth century
Further Comments: Despite dire warnings from locals, Mr Hocart of Belval had workers cut this former monolith into stone for his new house. The day the building work had finished, a fire broke out, killing two servants. Two ships which carried spare stone to the UK sank within the year, and even though Hocart moved into a second house to Alderney, the fire curse followed him, destroying that dwelling also. Hocart finally returned to Guernsey, but just prior to landing, some rigging fell and landed on his head, killing him instantly.


 
Bird

Location: Verwood (Dorset) - The Verwood Stone (aka Hoarstone, aka Stephen's Stone)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: Under this stone is said to be a golden container. A large black bird protected the treasure, scaring away any tomb raiders. There have been reports of unnatural cold spots in the area.


 
Impending Pregnancy

Location: Warton (Lancashire) - Bride's Chair
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: A local rocky outcrop known as the Bride's Chair is said to bestow child to any newly wed woman who sits on it.


 
Treasure

Location: Wellington (Somerset) - Cockcrow Stone
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present?
Further Comments: This stone, animated by the sound of a cockerel's crow, is said to cover a secret treasure.


 
White Dog

Location: West Kennet (Wiltshire) - Long Barrow
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: 23 June (or Midsummer Eve), sunrise (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Appearing to mark the start of the longest day of the year, this pale hound has been observed at sunrise. Some reports say the dog is accompanied by a ghostly druid.


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