Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/197

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Folk- Lore of the Wye Valley. 163

Monmouthshire is to all intents and purposes Wales ; indeed, I have even heard Welsh spoken there. On the hilltops there the ancient Silurians are said still to be found, and the country is covered with moors and great woods, so that race peculiarities might well persist.

But I must in all honesty confess that, as far as folk- lore is concerned, I have been unable to discover any differences. Perhaps as time goes on my inquiries may lead to some result in this direction, but as far as I can at present see the same superstitions flourish — I use the word advisedly — on both sides of the river. And yet the people are not of the same type, and Offa's Dyke, stretching along the hither side of the Wye, still divides England from Wales.

The chief traces we find of " Racial Differences " suggest another sense of that term. We have many place-names, whose folk-etymology recalls the long-past border wars and commemorates real or imaginary battles. Such are Hewelsfield (Glos.), popularly derived from " Hew and slay " or " Human slay." Again, Beachly, near Chepstow, is supposed to come from the English cry of " beat and slay" as they drove their foes into the water off the narrow tongue of land now bearing that name. At Trelleck (Mon.) is the Bloody Field, on which no crops will grow, nothing but gorse. " Eh, but it have been ploughed again and again, but 'tis no use ; because of the blood spilt there, 'tis no use."

At Redbrook (Glos.) is found a piece of very mixed tradition. There is "a pitched road, all laid wi' hmestone, and stones set on edge ; they do say it was where the Turks, or Romans, or such, did travel, the way they did walk. Some calls it the Roman Road, to go somewhere. They calls it the Turks' Fields."

The village of Trelleck, in Monmouthshire, is specially rich in "Remains." There stand the Three Stones, upright monoliths, the " Tre-leck " from which the place