Legendary Rock: OS Grid Reference – SO 3723 7958
Also Known as:
- The Devil’s Stone
Archaeology & History
The Fairy Stone, on the south-west corner of Clunbury Hill, measures some 3ft by 2 ft 3 in and is some 2ft 6 in high. Local lore tells that it was once a standing stone, but this may not be the case; it’s thought more likely to be a simple glacial erratic. The stone is granite with quartz veins and stands very close to the local boundary line.
Local researcher Jonathon Mullard found this stone, not surprisingly, to have “had a long tradition of fairy lights associated with it; they were said to appear at certain times of year.” And Mullard found one very intriguing encounter of these supernatural forms, later narrated in Paul Devereux’s (1990) excellent tome, which told:
“The legend would seem to relate to actual folk knowledge of the site, because Mullard was informed by an elderly woman living locally that she recalled her grandfather telling of an encounter with the lights. Returning home one evening across Clunbury Hill, he saw the whole area around the stone filled with small lights of a gaseous appearance bobbing up and down a short distance above the ground. Not wanting to go out of his way, the man walked through them. He found that any lights he happened to touch against adhered to his trousers. He briskly brushed them off, but found when he got home that the fabric was scorched. The woman had actually kept the trousers up until a decade or so before talking with Mullard!”
- Devereux, Paul, Places of Power, Blandford: London 1990.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian