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Folklore of Standing Stones & Circles

Dragon Death

Location: Sockburn (Yorkshire) - Area marked by the Greystone
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Sir John Conyers killed this worm by stabbing it under a wing, marking the spot with a stone and donating the used sword to Durham Cathedral.

Stones

Location: St Agnes (Cornwall) - St Agnes Beacon
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Stones still present
Further Comments: The stone formation at the top of the hill were carried up by either Saint Agnes or a giant's wife. Another account says that Agnes managed to turn the Devil into stone, where he remains to this day.

Giant's Stone

Location: St Andrews (Fife) - Large stone near Mount Melville
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown if still present
Further Comments: Outraged at having the steeple of a church at St Andrews ruining his view, a giant living at Drumcarrow Craig tried to throw a rock at the structure. He missed and the rock fell short, remaining on the mount.

Petrified Maidens

Location: St Buryan (Cornwall) - Stone Circle
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Stones still there
Further Comments: This stone circle and the surrounding monoliths were once maidens, two pipers and a fiddler (so the legends say) who were turned into stone.

Nine Maidens

Location: St Columb Major (Cornwall) - Standing Stones
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: These ten stones are said to be nine maidens and a fiddler who were turned to stone for making merry on the Sabbath.

Talking Stone

Location: St David's (Dyfed) - Marble footbridge over the Alun (no longer present)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Pre sixteenth century
Further Comments: A ten foot (three metre) long slab of marble used as a foot bridge spoke when a dead body was carried across towards the nearby cathedral. Future funeral routes ensured that the bridge was avoided.

Ringing Rock

Location: St Govan's Head (Dyfed) - St Govan's Chapel (and surrounding area)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: When the church bell was stolen and dropped into the sea, it was recovered by supernatural means and concealed within solid rock. When the rock is tapped, the ringing of the bell can be heard. Some have speculated St Govan was in fact Sir Gawain, who became a hermit after Arthur's death. Another legend says anyone who tries counting the steps which lead to the Chapel will reach varying totals depending on whether they ascend or descend. Finally, the chapel was home to an expanding, hollow stone that would change shape and size depending on who attempted to climb inside. Once inside, a wish would be granted.

Returning Bell

Location: St Illtyd (Gwent) - St Illtyd Church
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: In the forgotten past, an English king was said to have taken the bell from this church. He died soon after, but wished the bell returned from the original location. The horse carrying the bell immediately set off back to St Illtyd without human intervention, the bell's rings summoning other horses to aid in the quest. Once the horse reached the church, the bell fell from the horse's neck, breaking a stone which, it was said, remained in the churchyard for many years as a reminder that the miracle had really occurred.

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 this 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 while 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 these 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 was not 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 to knock over the towers. 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.

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.

Records 176 - 200 of 209

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