This week, Gary takes us to Marlborough and its enigmatic mound, a place Stuart and I have visited.
Within the grounds of Marlborough College, Wiltshire is an artificial hill which has been landscaped over the centuries. The Normans used it as a motte for one of their castles. Some Roman coins extended its life back until at least then. Although some recent tests have put the date back to 2400 BC, around the same time as nearby Silbury Hill. The mound is said to house the grave of King Arthur’s conjurer, Merlin. Others say that the Lady of the Lake imprisoned him in there.
Before the true origins of Stonehenge were discovered, a lot of people thought that he had built it. So it is not too unusual to have other sites associated with him in the same county. Some people say that “Marlborough” originally meant, “Merlin’s Barrow”. Although it is now thought that the etymology of the word is Anglo Saxon.
Sources: Noticeboard in St. Peter’s Church, Marlborough
About the author
Gary Stocker graduated from Coventry Polytechnic in 1991 with a degree in combined engineering. He worked in civil engineering for nearly twenty years. For the last six years he has worked in materials science and currently works as a test engineer. His hobbies and interests include voluntary work, conservation work and blacksmithing. He is also interested in history, mythology and folklore and he says, “most things”.
How did your granny predict the weather? What did your great uncle Albert tell you about the little green men he saw in the woods that night? What strange creature stalks the woods in your area?
So many of these old stories are slipping away for want of being recorded. legendary creatures, odd bits of folklore, folk remedies and charms, and all the old stories that brought our landscape to life…
Tell me a story, share memories of the old ways that are being forgotten, share the folklore of your home. I am not looking for fiction with this feature, but for genuine bits of folklore, old wives tales, folk magic and local legends. Why not share what you know and preserve it for the future?
Email me at email@example.com and put ‘Living Lore’ in the subject line. All I need is your article, bio and links, along with any of your own images you would like me to include and I’ll do the rest.
Oh, I wish Merlin was truly buried there and that Marlborough meant Merlin’s Barrow. What a cool place regardless. Thanks for sharing, Sue.
It is a fabulous place… and almost entirely hidden within the college grounds.
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