21 August 2023 – British Rock Formations Folklore

By | September 2, 2023

We continued the topic of features associated with the British Landscape.

In the session we carried on with our discussion of folklore associated with stone circles, standing stones, burial chambers etc; petrification legends, stones that are impossible to count, stones that have the ability to move.

Many standing stones and stone circles are said to be able to move, to drink from nearby streams or to dance. It is suggested that originally it would have been the people who visited the stones who danced, or poured water over the stone as an offering.

Long Meg and her Daughters are said to be a coven of witches who were turned to stone by the Scottish magician and alchemist Michael Scott.

Callanish Stone Circle on the island of Lewis is said to be giants who were turned to stone by St. Kieran. There is also a folktale concerning a white cow that appeared out of the sea at a time of famine. She gave milk to all, until a malignant witch milked her dirty and the cow vanished.  Possibly offended by the greed and disrespect that the witch had shown.

We also began to consider folklore connected to inland water, and legends that connect Celtic goddesses to rivers as the sprits of the water; Boann and the River Boyne, Sinnan and the Shannon, Deva and the Dee, Sabrina and the Severn etc.

Last Updated on September 2, 2023