British Folklore
Fairy Lore & Prehistoric Sites in Britain
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Fyfield Down

Fyfield Down

West of Marlborough on Fyfield Down there is positioned the remains of a large prehistoric chambered tomb.  The capstone is said to weigh 17 tons. This place is called the Devil's Den. There is a standard tradition associated with it that it is immovable, and that any chains that horses or oxen harnessed to it pulled, would be broken by the attempt.  However a less typical tale is also said that if one fills the hollows on the top of the capstone with water, overnight the water will disappear, it having been drunk by demons that come at night.

A more recent story has been collected that turns these stories on its head. Instead of wanting to keep it or build it, the Devil instead wants to demolish it instead of defend it from humans. He comes at midnight with a train of four pure white oxen to drag the capstone away and he labors at this to no avail. While he works at this, a large white dog with glowing red eyes observes from inside the tomb.