Monday, 13 February 2012

Gloucestershire Giants and serpents

Deerhurst carved animal head
Photo by David Ross
A long, long time ago the villagers of Deerhurst lived alongside a huge serpent that poisoned the men and cattle.They asked for help from the King who said that he would give land on Walton Hill to the person who could slay the beast. A labourer called Smith heard the story came to the rescue. He placed a trough of milk near the serpents lair and waited. After a while the serpent drank the milk and fell asleep under the midday sun.Quickly Smith picked up an axe and sliced off the serpents head. The Smiths owned the land until the 16th century. In the 18th century a Mr Lane married one of Smiths descendants and said that he family still owned the axe...I wonder where it is now ?
If you are passing the Saxon church at Deerhurst is worth a visit.

In Prestbury there is a field called Giants grave. In it was the remains of a Long barrow. I imagine at some time someone imagined that it was where a giant was buried.

Near the Teddington Roundabout is the Tibblestone. Once upon a time there was a Giant who lived nearby. One day he stood on Dixon Hill throwing stones at the ships sailing down the River Severn, when he slipped .The tibblestone is his stone that landed short of the river. Alfred Watkins wrote another story in a book called ''The old straight track''.
Dixton Hill
A long time ago, a giant lived in these parts,and he went up the hill (Dixton Hill ) to fetch a large stone to destroy his enemy's house. When he was carrying it down, his foot slipped, and his heel made a great furrow in the hillside, and you can See it to this day, and he had to drop the stone just where you see it. It is quite true because you can see for yourself he holes where the giant's fingers had hold of it !'
When my son was little we used to invent lots of stories. One was about a giant that lived and hid in Stancombe wood. Very early each morning he'd walk down into Winchcombe to collect an egg for his breakfast from the top of the tower of St Peters Church.....I know its a cockerel........but its a story !
St Peters Church by Katie Morgan


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