Mysterious Britain Forums

for the open discussion of all things paranormal.
 
HomeHome  Mysterious Britain mainpageMysterious Britain mainpage  Mailing ListMailing List  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Aprons & Stones

Go down 
AuthorMessage
Ian
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 771
Age : 45
Location : Carlisle, Cumbria
Registration date : 2007-08-24

PostSubject: Aprons & Stones   Sat 17 Nov 2007, 7:31 am

One of the reasons to put a gazetteer together on the Mysterious Britain website was to help draw comparisons between legends and folklore tales throughout the United Kingdom but also to highlight any regional variations. Some of the common tales found in many counties have either the devil or a giant/giantess carrying stones in an apron. The apron string would break or snap and the stones fall. This story is often used to explain cairns or some stone formations.
Another popular tale has a buried treasure that is guarded by a raven that sits on top of it.

Do you know of any other tales that are recounted in different counties and associated with different sites? How many do you think we can find and what if any regional variations are there?


Last edited by on Wed 21 Nov 2007, 6:07 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk
Ian
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 771
Age : 45
Location : Carlisle, Cumbria
Registration date : 2007-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Aprons & Stones   Tue 20 Nov 2007, 6:19 am

Here are similar tales from Wales, Shropshire, Yorkshire and St Michaels Mount. All show the same common theme but even though they are a great distance apart.

Barclodiad-y-Gawres Chambered Cairn (Anglesey)
This burial mound has five carved stones within its chamber, now capped by concrete to prevent their erosion. The stones are carved with a range of patterns including spirals cup marks and zig-zag features. The purpose of these marks is unknown, but they may have had some ritual function. According to local folklore the tomb was created by a giantess, who was carrying the huge boulders in her apron. The weight was too much for the apron strings and the stones fell to form the cairn.

The Giant Cormoran
Cormoran was the name given to the giant who is said to have built and lived on St Michael's Mount, he was killed by Jack the giant slayer. St Michael's mount used to be known as 'The White Rock in the Wood', it was believed that in ancient times the rock stood about six miles from the sea, and was surrounded by woodland (this may have relevance to the Lyonnesse legend). A giant called Cormoran lived in the area and decided to build a fortified home for himself, to raise it above the height of the surrounding trees so that he could see for miles around. He was meticulous in his task, and selected only the finest white granite from the local area, these he piled high in a huge mound. Helped in this work by his wife Cormelian, she was not as engaged in the toil as her husband, and wondered why he was using white granite, when there was an abundance of greenstone in the area. When Cormoran was sleeping, she picked up a huge boulder of greenstone and put it in her apron to carry, hoping to hide it in the foundations. Cormoran awoke as she was passing by, enraged at what she was doing he leapt up and kicked her firmly in the backside, sending her flying through the air. The greenstone dislodged from her apron and buried itself deep into the sand, so that it could not be moved. The stone became Cormelians grave, and is now known as Chapel Rock. In another story the giant of the mount although not named as Cormoran, kills his wife accidentally by throwing his hammer at her.

Wade and his Wife
Wade and his wife were two giants, said to have lived in the area around Whitby in North Yorkshire. As part of the old race they both had the most tremendous powers, and could lift mountains and throw giant boulders like pebbles. Their toils were held responsible for many of the landscape features around the Whitby area, including Pickering Castle, Mulgrave Castle, the connecting Roman road, and several other earthworks and stone circles. In ancient times before man had a proper hold on the world, and the veil between the world of magic was much thinner, two giants, Wade and his Wife Bell, ruled the area around Whitby. For giants they were relatively good souls and were responsible for many of the large features left in the landscape today. Wade and his Wife were a perfect team when building the many landmarks around the area. In every day life Bell had to cross the moorlands to milk her gigantic cow. Together Wade and Bell set about creating a road over the moorland to make the crossing easier. Bell carried huge mounds of paving stones in her apron and deposited them for Wade, who was engaged in the paving of the road. Once or twice the huge weight of the stones was too much for Bell's apron strings and they gave way leaving huge piles of stones. In this way Wade's Wife's Causey or Wade's Causey was built, although it has also been ascribed to the Romans

Striperstones, Pennerley
Whilst carrying an apron of stones which in this case he was bring over from Ireland. He sat to rest upon what is now called The Devils Chair and is the highest rock on this ridge. As usual, the apron strings break and he drops his load of stones. A cairn of stones upon the ridge is supposed to have been formed when a giantess who was stealing some stones from the Devil in her apron and dropped them. This time her apron string was cut by the Devil to prevent the theft. Another legend surrounding this area refers to a prophecy that should the Striperstones sink back beneath the earth, England would fall into ruin. In this case the Devils Chair is the stone on which the Devil sits whilst trying to push the stones back under the ground.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk
Ian
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 771
Age : 45
Location : Carlisle, Cumbria
Registration date : 2007-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Aprons & Stones   Thu 22 Nov 2007, 3:33 am

Another boarder crossing tale is that of the milk giving magic cow and the witch with a seive.

Mitchell’s Fold Stone Circle, Shropshire
Fourteen stones remain of this circle which probably numbered about thrity when it was built around 2000-1400BC. It sits on the ridge of Stapeley Hill in view of the Striperstones and the Welsh border. The circle is 27 meters in diameter and is 1000 feet above sea level. The remaining stones are fairly small, the tallest being about two meters. Close by is the Marsh Pool or Hoarstone or Blackmarsh Stone Circle and also the Whetstones .

On a sandstone pillar at Middleton-in-Chirbury Church, Rev Brewster carved an acount of the Mitchell’s Fold legend in 1879. There are a few versions of the legend but they all follow the same story line. During a time when food was hard to come by, a magical beautiful white cow appeared at Mitchell’s Fold. This cow could be milked by anyone who came to her and she would fill them a single bucket. The cow had a seemingly endless supply of milk and the local community were saved. Then a witch came along and milked the cow into a sieve which could not obviously be filled. The cow ran dry and vanished.

One version has the cow kicking the witch then running away when it realised it had been fooled and the witch was turned into one of the stones. Another version has the cow becoming the rampaging Dun Cow of Dunchurch which is then killed by Guy of Warwick.

It is also associated with the tale of Medgelly’s cow, where a giant kept a magic white cow at Medgel’s Fold which gave an unending supply of milk to the good folk of the neighbourhood. But it was milked with a sieve by an evil person and the cow disappeared.

A similar story is found attached to the Callanish Stone Circle on the Isle of Lewis. It was a time of famine and a magic white cow came out of the sea and allowed each local to take a single bucket of milk per night when they milked her at Callanish. Then a witch came along and tried to milk her with a sieve. She milked the cow dry and it vanished.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk
Ian
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 771
Age : 45
Location : Carlisle, Cumbria
Registration date : 2007-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Aprons & Stones   Thu 22 Nov 2007, 6:42 am

The following text is from http://www.hiddenea.com/norfolks.htm and again shows another take on the same cow story.

The Ox-Foot Stone, South Lopham

At O.S. map reference TM052809 is the 'Ox-Foot Stone', an oblong slab of weathered sandstone 4 feet long x 3 feet wide x 6 inches high. Although now just outside the door to the house of Ox-Foot Stone Farm, it used to stand in the meadow of the same name. There is supposed to be, on its upper surface, the impression of a cow's hoof print, but the stone is so pitted and wrinkled that all manner of patterns can be seen.

The legend connected with this stone has two well-known variants, the first being that of the fairy cow that came regularly to the village to be milked during a great period of dearth. When the drought was over, she stamped her hoof hard on the stone upon which she had been standing, and then vanished.

The second variant employs the age-old folk motif of milking with a sieve, the cow this time a quite ordinary (sic) creature that normally supplied the village. One night a local man drunkenly went to the cow armed with a sieve, and milked her until she gave blood. She then bellowed with pain and kicked the stone so hard that her hoof-print was left behind.

Often the villain in this old tale is an evil witch, but a local man's poem of 1893 says that this time it was a passing juggler.3 Another story says that an ox with a large thorn in its foot embarked on a rampage through the village before finally stamping its hoof so hard on the stone that it left a print.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk
Ian
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 771
Age : 45
Location : Carlisle, Cumbria
Registration date : 2007-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Aprons & Stones   Fri 15 Feb 2008, 4:53 am

Another Giant with a falty apron:

Peel castle, Isle of Man

There is a giant legend attached to the castles construction. A giantess was carrying the one of the bigger sandstone blocks used to build the castle in her apron with some other stones. The apron strings snapped and the collection of blocks she had fell into the harbour.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Aprons & Stones   

Back to top Go down
 
Aprons & Stones
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» help with crystals and stones
» Gods and Goddesses : Cernunnos
» Lake of fire
» Rock Stones falling
» Giant Stone gazebo on Temple Mount.

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Mysterious Britain Forums :: Mysterious Britain :: Folklore/Legends-
Jump to: