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Stanton Drew

44 45 legend And heAling spirit of the stones A legend attached to Stanton Drew tells of how the stone circles were formed when a party of wedding guests and their fiddlers were turned to stone as punishment for allowing the Devil to fool them into extending their Saturday night revels beyond midnight, and into Sunday morning the Sabbath. When dawn broke, everybody had been turned to stone thus the stone circles are the petrified dancers, the avenues are the fiddlers, and the Cove is the bride and the groom with the drunken churchman at their feet. This same tale is attached to various stone circles throughout the land the Hurlers, the Merry Maidens, the Nine Maidens and numerous others. Another feature of the site, shared with Long Meg and Her Daughters and many other megalithic monuments, states that the Stanton Drew stones are uncountable. In 1750, it is said that John Wood tried to count the stones, but immediately a thunderstorm broke out, preventing him from completing the task. Another superstition relates how, on the sixth day of the full moon, at midnight, the stones walk down to the River Chew to get a drink. Beware getting in their way There are other magical stories related to stone circles, not least that the stones possess inherent curative properties. Hence the superstition of climbing through stone rings in order to be healed. Some say this is due to the presence of quartz, which in some form or another appears in every kind of rock used in the construction of megalithic monuments. Indeed the tradition of using quartz in healing and initiatory ceremonies is very ancient indeed. Above Drawing by H. Underhill, 1895. Below Cornish healing stone, from Bottrell, 1870
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