Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/344

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3o8 Ham-pshire Folklore.

to be found entirely in mediaeval days, but partly in a dim survival of forgotten reasons.

Local tradition says that the church at Twyford stands on the site of an old Druidic temple, — there are some grey- wether sandstones in the vicinity, — and that the old yew is a survival of a grove. But its age, also by local report, is only five hundred years. This, however, is a detail in Hampshire, where I have more than once been told a church was " very ancient " and on further questioning elicited the answer, " Well, they do say 'tis as much as two hundred year."

Hampshire, having had much in the way of forests, has little or nothing to show in the way of prehistoric stone work. There is a wishing stone on the hill at the top of the Zigzag,^^ above Selborne, round which the villagers used to circle seven times, following the sun, and " wishing with all their might for that which they would fain have but had not."

In the Dean, i.e. the hollow, at Bramdean, there is a rough cromlech, and a man in another village told me that it was "older than Stonehenge, they do say," and the stones " can't be counted." " That's nonsense," my informant added, " for the're twenty-one." Well, I counted them, but I made the total twenty-three ! These stones were brought from the Downs about Petersfield by the late Col. Greenwood, whose favourite hunter is buried under a smaller cairn on the opposite side of the roadway. There is then nothing of magic about the erection but what the uninformed imagine, the more readily understood if you remember that in Hampshire " stones grow." If you doubt this, you have only to gather the flints off a field and see if a double crop will not face you shortly ! Besides, has not Shanklin Down increased one hundred feet in height.?--^

However this may be, three Hampshire stones have real claim to antiquity, and by a curious coincidence they are

'^Hampshire Notes and Queries, vol. vii., p. 152.

^^S. Tymms, The Family Topographer, vol. ii., p. 147.