The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Giants and their Legacies from around the Isles

One Eye

Location: Dalton (Yorkshire) - The Giant's Grave and mill (no longer standing)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A one-eyed giant once resided in the mill, using the building to grind his human victims into bread. One of his prisoners, a young lad named Jack, managed to escape by plunging a knife into the Cyclops's eye, killing the creature. At least that was the story which was told to explain the long mound which really existed close to the mill.

Sitting Giant

Location: Dunster (Somerset) - Grabbist Hill, the Giant's Chair
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Earthwork still present?
Further Comments: A giant was said to sit here, using the nearby river to cool his feet and Dunster Castle as a drying rack for his clothing.

Isir

Location: Eamont Bridge (Cumbria) - Cave by the river
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This natural dwelling was once home to a giant named Isir, who enjoyed the taste of human meat. His fate is unknown.

Mount of Frogs

Location: East Brent (Somerset) - Brent Knoll
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Ider the Arthurian knight killed three giants on this hill, known at the time as the Mount of Frogs.

Hugh Cesario

Location: Edenhall (Cumbria) - Isis Parlis cave system
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Caves still present
Further Comments: This cave system was once the home to Hugh Cesario, a giant who either fought on the side of good, or took local men, women and farm animals back to the cave to snack on.

Resting Giant

Location: Edinburgh (Lothian) - Arthur's Seat
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The rocky outcrop known as Arthur's Seat was once used as a resting place for a passing giant. In 1836 a group of schoolboys discovered seventeen tiny coffins hidden in the area, each containing a small carved figure inside. Their purpose is unknown.

Ella

Location: Elsdon (Northumberland) - General area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Legend says the town is named after Ella, a Danish giant who terrorised the area and reduced the city to the village it is now.

Built by the Devil

Location: Exmoor (Devon) - Tarr Bridge (also known as Tarr Steps), River Barle
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: A local giant made a wager with Old Nick that that a bridge could not be built across the River Barle overnight. Old Nick rolled up his sleeves and promptly proved him wrong. The Devil then took ownership of the bridge, refusing to let anyone cross safely until a priest drove him away.

Finn's Bridge

Location: Giant's Causeway (County Antrim) - Rock formation
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Rock formation still present
Further Comments: Finn McCool, a hero of Ireland, created this rocky causeway to enable a Scottish giant to cross the sea so they could fight. MacCool won the duel after dressing as a baby; the Scottish giant fled home, tearing up the bridge to prevent the Irish giant from following. Also, the ghost of a boy who drowned here in 1910 is still seen playing on the rocks - he wears a soaking wet sailor's suit and vanishes if spoken to.

Dead Husband

Location: Glanworth (County Cork) - Labbacallee (aka The Hag's Bed), wedge tomb
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: Sheela, a giant's wife, killed her husband after throwing their bed at him - he had argued with her and struck her shoulder with an axe. His body still lays under the tomb, and Sheela can be heard in times of national crisis calling out her husband's name. Another story says four treasure hunters arrived at the stone and started to dig beneath it. Before long, a cat appeared with a burning tail. The light blinded the men and they staggered off, one falling into the River Funshion and drowning.

Arrival of Hercules

Location: Hartland (Devon) - Hartland Point
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Mainland Britain was once ruled over by a giant known as Albion, who named the island after himself. Albion the giant was defeated by Hercules, who landed in upon these shores at this location.

Overnight Construction

Location: Hay-on-Wye (Powys) - Hay Castle
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Twelfth century
Further Comments: The giant Moll Walbee, known also as Maud de Breos, built this castle in a single night!

Giant Saxon Warriors

Location: Heydon (Cambridgeshire) - Heydon Ditch. Five foot high at its highest point, runs from Heydon to Fowlmere (3.5 miles in length)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Accounts of warrior ghosts seen at this sight date back hundreds of years, and during the 1950s (or 1920s, according to other sources) several Saxon graves were found around the area.

Goram

Location: Holcombe (Somerset) - Giant's Grave
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Known as either Goram or Gorm, this giant was buried in the area.

Bel's Grave

Location: Leicester (Leicestershire) - Belgrave
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The area is said to be named after a giant who died in the area - he tried to travel between Mountsorrel to Leicester in three leaps but failed.

Gold Guardians

Location: Lelant (Cornwall) - Trencrom Hill
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This hill was formed when a giant buried his treasure, leaving a troupe of warrior fairies to protect it. They have been called into action at least once, appearing as a would-be treasure hunter arrived armed with pick and shovel.

Devil's Cheese

Location: Linkinhorne (Devon) - Cheesewring (granite tor)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still standing
Further Comments: An old piece of folklore says the Devil would make his cheese using this stack of stones. The tor was created when Saint Tue engaged in a stone tossing contest with Uther, one of the local giants. One of Uther's stones missed the target; Saint Tue picked the rock up and an angel carried it to the top of the tor. Most of the giants promptly converted to Christianity.

Moll's Stone

Location: Llowes (Powys) - Churchyard
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present?
Further Comments: The giant Moll Walbee (also known as Maud de Breos) picked this stone from her shoe and threw it to one side - even though she was three miles distant, the rock landed in the churchyard where it remains to his day.

Thrown Stone

Location: Llowes (Powys) - Moll Walbee's Stone (aka St. Meilig's Cross, on display in the church)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Moll Wallbee, also known as Matilda de Braose and Maud de Braose, was said to be a giantess who married William de Braose, the Forth Lord of Bramber. While carrying stones in her apron (to rebuild a castle), one fell into her shoe. She picked it out and tossed it into the churchyard of Llowes, some three miles from where she stood.

Red Hand

Location: Loch Morlich (Highland) - Shores of the loch
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A giant warrior, Red Hand reportedly walks along the shoreline.

Roman Legion

Location: Longdendale Valley (Derbyshire) - Bleaklow Mountain
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: First full moon of spring
Further Comments: This long dead legion is said to march across the moor, carrying glowing torches; they set off from Melandra, old roman fortification near Glossop. Another report states that the area is haunted by a giant grey man, standing at least 10 meters tall.

Giant's Home

Location: Lythe (Yorkshire) - Mulgrave Castle
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Castle still stands
Further Comments: This castle was said to be the home of Wade, the giant. He is also held accountable for a road and two large 'graves', marked by standing stones.

Finn's Kitchen

Location: Machrie, Isle of Arran (Ayrshire) - Fingal's Cauldron Seat
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Created by the giant Finn McCool as a place for his cauldron, this set of standing stones remain intact ready for the next passing ogre...

Table & Chair

Location: Madron (Devon) - Lanyon Quoit
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Legend states that this location was once home to a giant - the stones that remain were his table and sitting stone. Other reports say that Arthur used the location

Giant Grave

Location: Marazion (Cornwall) - Chapel Rock
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Rock still present
Further Comments: The giant wife of St Michael's Mount was accidently killed when struck by a carelessly tossed hammer. The rock was lifted by her husband and her body placed beneath.

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