Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Wedding Party

Location: Stanton Drew (Somerset) - Standing Stones
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Dressed as a fiddler, the Devil convinced all the guests from a wedding to dance on a Sunday - for the sin, the entire party were turned to stone. Another creation story for the site says a passing giant dropped the contents of his shovel that formed the circle of stones.

Giant's Gold

Location: Stokesay (Shropshire) - Stokesay Castle
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Two giants stored their gold in a large locked chest under the castle. One giant managed to drop the key in the castle moat, where it is said to remain to this day. The chest has to be approached with the key in hand, to do so otherwise invites an attack from a large raven.


Location: Tilney All Saints (Norfolk) - Churchyard
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Eleventh Century?
Further Comments: Tom Hickathrift, the Cambridge giant and hero, is said to have been buried here; his grave marked by a stone eight foot long.

Gog and Magog

Location: Totnes (Devon) - General area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Gog and Magog were giants (or one giant, depending on the source) who once lived in this area before Brutus, leader of the Trojans, fought them. Brutus either spared their lives and used them to guard his palace, or killed them by throwing them into the sea.

Jack's Grave

Location: Tweedsmuir (Borders) - The Giant's Stones
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: These stones mark the final battle between Jack the giant killer and one of his mortal foes - they managed to kill each other in the fight. The body of either Jack or the giant lies under one of the stones.

Cursed Motorway

Location: Twyford (Hampshire) - Twyford Down (now area of the M3)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: 1992
Further Comments: A week after a motorway construction team disturbed the graves of eighteen men, some two metres tall, two of the men suffered fatal heart attacks and a night watchmen dropped dead at his post. People protesting against the construction of the motorway pronounced the incidents 'the curse of the giants'.

Saxi and Herman

Location: Unst Island (Shetlands) - General area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Saxi and Herman, two giants who were brothers, once lived on the island. They both fell in love with a mermaid who said she would marry whoever would swim to the North Pole with her. Both brothers began the trip, but neither returned.

Giant Grave

Location: Warbstow (Cornwall) - Warbstow Bury hillfort
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: A local giant, murdered by another large fellow, is said to be buried here. A storm is reputed to blow up if the grave is disturbed.

Troll Home

Location: Whaness (Orkney) - Dwarfie Stane
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: Several stories exist around this stone. One says it was thrown into location by an angry giant and became the home of a passing troll. Another says it was the home of a giant and his wife, while a third names the occupant as a dwarf named Trollid.

Thrown Stone

Location: Williton (Somerset) - Battlegore tumulus
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Battlegore was the landing site of a stone thrown by a giant from West Quantoxhead, competing with the Devil. Old Nick failed to throw his rock as far, and was banished from the area.

Long Man of Wilmington

Location: Wilmington (Sussex) - Windover Hill
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: This tall hill giant, cut into the soft chalk base, stands around seventy metres in height and is thought to represent any one of several legendary figures. A phantom black dog is also reputed to lurk above the figure, and a local legend says that Arthur fought one of his battles nearby.


Location: Winterborne St Martin (Dorset) - Maiden Castle (hill fort)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s?
Further Comments: Phantom soldiers have been reported in this area, while legend says this Iron Age hillfort was built by a race of giants.

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