Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/198

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164 Folk-Lore of the Wye Valley.

takes its name: stones which were flung from the top of Trelleck Beacon to their present position by Jacky Kent and the Devil, as Miss Wherry told us in her paper on Monmouthshire Witchcraft.^ The distance is about 2\ miles, but that was nothing to Jacky; "He were always a' flinging stones," I was told, and some of his stray shots used to be found in our own neighbourhood. Legend said his stones could never be moved, but alas ! gunpowder has accounted for one at least on the English side of the Wye.

But there is another Trelleck tradition. If you ask your way to the three stones you will be answered, " The way to Harold's Stones ? Yes, Miss," and then directed. Specially will you be so answered if your informant is at all above the labouring class, and the information will be added that " Harold he did set them up because of a great battle he did win, and if you goes on, Miss, you'll see the great mound where they did bury all the dead." The facts of that battle and that victory are real enough. The late Professor Freeman, in the second volume of his Norman Conquest, under the year 1063, quotes the chroni- cler Geraldus Cambrensis to this effect, that " Each scene of conflict was marked with a trophy of stone bearing the proud legend, ' Here Harold conquered.' "

It is quite possible that Earl Harold may have taken to himself stones obviously not of his own raising, though there is no trace of an inscription on any of the menhirs at Trelleck. But so definite and detailed is the tradition that one at once suspects a literary source. Prof Free- man is not likely to have lectured at Trelleck — is an acquaintance with Giraldus possible } If so, it is not of recent date. There stands in the church a very curious sundial, bearing the date 1671, which was formerly in the old school-yard. On one face of the pedestal is carved an excellent representation of the three stones, ^Vol. XV., p. 75.