Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Celtic Tale From The Wood

Celtic History

Since the first arrival of Indo European Celts to Britain (or Albion as it was called),from Scythia and Egypt, many folklore tales have arisen within the rural countryside of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.

Many such tales were possibly originally invented in order to frighten visitors away or to conceal the truth about particular aspects of Celtic culture from others or possibly based on truth.

The King and The Witch

A little under 2,000 years ago a king set out with his army to conquer Albion (The British Isles -before the creation of England). At Rollright Hill, on the borders of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, he met a witch who told him that if he could see Long Compton after taking seven strides, he would be King of England.

Knowing Long Compton to be just over the brow of the hill, the King strode forward confidently. But a mound rose up in front of him and the witch exclaimed:-

"Rise up stick, and stand alone,
For King of England thou shalt be none;
As Long Compton thou ne'er didst see,
Thou and thy men hoax stones shalt be."

Stones they instantly became - and stones they remain. The mound (much reduced by ploughing) can still be seen in front of the "King" stone. There are said to be 72 stones in the circle, but legend maintains that no one shall live who counts the stones three times and finds the number the same.