British Folklore
Fairy Lore & Prehistoric Sites in Britain
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Kit's Grave

Kit's Grave

At the crossroads where Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset meet there stands a burial mound which the Anglo-Saxons called Ceotelsbeorge which means, Chettle's Barrow. It is now called Kit's Grave. The local story is that a gypsy woman used to wander around Chalke Valley, or alternatively that she was a girl from Bowerchalke, either way she was found dead in a well near the Bowerchalke church and the idea was that she threw herself in.

This was a crime and also the most serious of sins. Until the 19th century, coroners regularly ordered suicides to be buried in the roadway as a mark of shame and crossroads were common places for this happenstance.  Even after it was ruled by law in 1823 that this should no longer be the practice, there was still much reluctance to bury suicides in holy ground.

Prehistoric mounds were often associated with these roadside burials and the actuality that this mound lies at a crossroads is likely significant to this story. It is said that no birds sing along the avenue of trees that lead to Kit's Grave.