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Thursday, 14 May 2015

I Hir'd It Through The Grapevine


Wonderful article about Cornish folklore and a really scary discovery, nice work from our own Pirate King...

Across the British Isles you will see some stunning megalithic sites, none more so than In my home county of Cornwall. Cornwall is full of stone circles, stones like Men’an Tol in Madron, which supposedly has magic qualities and is a source of many tales of lore.For centuries there has always been much dispute as to what these stones actually are and who or what put them there.

Speaking recently with Vent Spleen’s big boss, we discussed the amazing scenes in British independent horror film Evil Aliens (starring the wonderful Emily Booth. Go watch it) in which the standing stones in Wales were used by the alien spaceships to power the craft’s engines almost like a megalithic phone charger. Unfortunately, I don’t think that is their true purpose.

Anyway, I digress.

Across Cornwall you will see many lone standing stones, and in a variety of weird and wonderful places. A few miles from where I live there is a lone standing stone in the middle of a marsh.These lone standing stones are known as Menhirs which If I’am correct in saying means, long stone.As previously mentioned, their function has been of much debate, from Druid sacrificial stones, to territory markers, and also some sort of calendar system. One very well known tale tells the story of the Merry Maidens of St Buryan Cornwall. This complete nineteen stone circle is said to be that of maids who defied the rules of the Sabbath, and all nineteen were turned to stone.



Not a long ago I heard a really interesting story from a gentleman who wishes not to be named and nor does he want any other personal details revealed.This Cornish gentleman’s family have owned a working farm for several generations. In one of the family’s fields there was a large Menhir in the centre. The knowledge of this stone’s function had been passed down from generation to generation it was said that the standing stone was a marker for a natural well, and it was only ever to be used If absolutely necessary and the field was always to be grazing land only.Years passed until one summer there was a really bad drought and the farm was somewhat in crises.

It was spoken and decided that whilst they were under the restraints of the drought and subsequent hosepipe ban, they would investigate this alleged natural well.With picks and shovels they started to dig.The idea being that once the Menhir was removed they would drill into the ground and then build a construct around the circumference as so to easily obtain the water beneath.
It was then discovered that the standing stone went deeper into the ground than they had first assumed.So, after hiring a JCB and a few more workers they made another attempt and this time progress seemed to be at hand.

The stone was eventually removed and it was approximately 12ft. What’s more is that along the stone, weathered markings could be seen in different places. Markings that almost looked like runes.Then something really peculiar happened.

There was no well.

To the surprise of everyone on the site. At the bottom of the hole in which the stone stood for aeons, was a skeleton, and it was certainly neither equine or bovine.It was a human skeleton, but not just any human skeleton.Upon being measured, this skeleton would have stood at approximately fifteen feet, and the size of the cranium was almost three times that of an average human’s skull. The worker’s shovels were almost the same size as the hands, although the hands were slightly larger. Some bones were missing mainly the bones in the toes, and some other smaller bones.

What’s really interesting is that there was a massive chunk missing from the incredibly large right femur.Could this be how this individual died? Or was it was it something that happened postmortem? I asked the gentleman whether it could have been an animal, and his reply was, “No animal I know of could have done that.” The remains were then taken away and studied by Osteologists and Archaeologists. There were several smaller pits dug around the grave site by archaeologists to see if there were more remains, and anything else that could be connected to the skeleton. However nothing else was ever found.

Days, weeks, months passed without a word. The family tried to find out what had happened to the skeleton but no answers were ever given to the family. It was eventually discovered that the remains of the very large humanoid were lost, and no records of it’s discovery and excavation were ever found.


So did the family really find the remains of a giant? After all, Cornish folklore is full of stories of roaming giants. Which begs the question if this particular stone was a grave stone of sorts, are other Menhirs the same? What about the markings* on the stone itself, perhaps an epitaph for the giant that lived, Or a binding rune, carved into the stone to appease the superstitious? 

And of the giant, who were they and how did they live? Personally I keep coming back to the chunk taken out of the femur, and my imagination races with what could have happened to this person.

Maybe we will know the answer one day, and maybe not. Maybe it is all hogwash, but It is food for the imagination either way.

I do like a good mystery.

*There was a rubbing of the runes taken but this also went missing from the family’s home.

Romeo Kennedy is a blogger at 
http://sleeplessmusingsofawellgroomedmoustachedman.wordpress.com an aspiring SFF Writer and Folklore enthusiast, specializing in Cornish Folklore and Mythology. He tweets at @RomeoRites


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