British Folklore
Fairy Lore & Prehistoric Sites in Britain
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Llanymynech

Llanymynech

The hill behind this village straddles the border between Shropshire and Wales, and is the setting for two legends current in the 19th century. The first is a tale of buried treasure, linked, as so often, with a prehistoric monument and with the belief that such ancient sites should never be disturbed:

'The Giant's Grave' is the name given to a mound on the Shropshire side of Llanymynech Hill, where once was a cromlech, now destroyed. The story goes that a giant buried his wife there, with a gold circlet round her neck, and many a vain attempt has been made by covetous persons to find it, undeterred by the fate which tradition says overtook three brothers, who overturned the capstone of the cromlech, and were visited by sudden death immediately afterward.

The second tale concerns a cavern known as the Ogo Hole, running deep into the hill on the English side; it is probably part of some ancient Roman copper mine, but it was sometimes thought of as an entrance to fairyland. There were said to be mysterious and virtually endless tunnels leading from it:

An old blind fiddler once wandered into them by accident, and journeyed on and on underground, playing his violin as he went, til the people in the cellars of the village inn at Llanymynech heard the strains of the instrument far in the depths below. He was never to return.