Friday, 5 November 2021

5th November

[Pixabay]

There will, no doubt, be lots of people enjoying the whizz bangs tonight celebrating Bonfire Night. However, if you happen to be in the Devon village of Shebbear your choice of entertainment might be very different.

At 5.30 a number of strong chaps will be turning the Devil's Stone after the bellringers have let loose with as discordant a peal of bells as they can manage. Hopefully the cacophony of noise will be enough to keep the devil away, but if you want the next year to be lucky then the 6' long stone needs turning. It's rumoured to weigh a ton so it's quite a job....just as well there's a pub nearby to restore the flagging spirits afterwards eh😏

It's not clear how long this folkloric tradition has been going or how it started. The legend is that the stone was dropped by Old Scratch when St Michael booted him out of heaven. It is more likely to be a possible former standing stone and is referred to an erratic. The type of quartz is not found in the local geology so has either been brought here by humans [rather like some of the Stonehenge menhirs] or deposited here during one of the periods of glaciation.

Have a good weekend one and all. 

Arilx


7 comments:

  1. I love that you know these things about the culture and history on your island. We should all pay more attention to the little differences (and similarities) around us

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  2. I love these little stories. I haven't heard the devil referred to as 'old Scratch' in some time.

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    1. I find the stories from other countries fascinating too. Arilx

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  3. Well....when the custom flagged in modern times, the village did have bad news (WWI and WWII). Can't hurt to eat pork, drink beer, have a party and flip the rock.

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    1. If it brings people together in a positive way then I'm all for it! Arilx

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  4. I live and work rather close to this particular village...but do you know I have never once in my many moons upon this planet been to the ceremony. Dreadful...though I have frequented the pub a few times! x

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