British Folklore
Fairy Lore & Prehistoric Sites in Britain
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Adlestrop

Adlestrop

There was once a woman who was driving a flock of geese to pasture when she met an old witch who asked for money for one of the geese. The woman refused. The witch then cursed the flock, turning them all into stones on the hillside. And there the Grey Geese of Adlestrop remained.

This story is first put down in 1808, in the gentleman's magazine 'Lycidas'.  It was called then a humorous ballad and it was inspired by the coincidental fact that the farmer governor general of the East India Company, Warren Hastings, who had recently retired to England, had those exact stones uprooted and set up in his own garden in a manner 'to form the rock work which adorns his grounds' at Daylesford House.