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Monday, December 12, 2005

A Wiltshire Lass

I was born in the County of Wiltshire; this means I may call myself a Moonraker. The story goes that a group of smugglers were being chased by Customs men and hid their contraband of Brandy in a pond, the customs men caught up with the smugglers and when asked what they were up to they said that the Moon had fallen into the pond and they were raking it out! The customs men chortled at the country bumpkins as they rode away.

Ever since then people born in Wiltshire are known as Moonrakers.

There are many interesting places to visit in Wiltshire, the most famous being Stonehenge, which is on Salisbury Plain. When I was a child we would go for picnics to Stonehenge, this was in the days before it was fenced in, we would touch the stones, my brothers and I would climb up onto the central stones, the adults would be puzzled by our questions “Why?” and “How?”

These questions still puzzle us, I do know that in the summer the stones were warm to the touch, they seemed like big gentle giants and the atmosphere at Stonehenge is peaceful and calm.

There is a larger stone circle at Avebury which was another childhood haunt, again there are many legends as to why the stones were placed there but no-one knows for sure, the stones at Avebury always make me laugh because there are chunks missing where a long passed villager has cut a bit off to built a wall!

There is an ancient burial site called West Kennet Long Barrow, which dates back to 3500 B.C. It is thought to have been in use for a thousand years

Our local forest was Savernake Forest, which is beautiful ancient woodland. Referred to in a Saxon Charter from King Athelstan in 934AD, being called "Safernoc". The forest has been handed down a direct line for 31 generations and has never been bought or sold for a thousand years. It has links with Henry VIII and James, Earl of Cardigan who led the charge of the Light Brigade.

There are many, many legends regarding Savernake Forest, it is a known haven for Red Deer and is glorious with Bluebells in late spring. There is an Oak Tree known as the Big Bellied Oak, which is said to be a thousand years old. Legend has it that the Devil can be summoned by dancing naked around this tree.

When I still lived in Wiltshire there was a plantation on the edge of Savernake forest and we would always go to buy our Yule tree from there, it's strange how small a tree can look in a field and how big it turns out to be once it's home!


Blogger Tololy said...

Hello Mother Damnable, I enjoyed the pictures you posted. I know this is off-topic but I couldn't help but notice you are interested in belly dancing, I adore belly dancing. I was wondering if you actually "dance".. Great blog by the way.

Monday, 12 December, 2005  
Blogger Mother Damnable said...

Tololy, Thank you for visiting my blog.

Yes I love to dance, I lived in the Middle East for six years and first began to learn belly dancing in the homes of my friends and neighbours.

Thank you for your kind comments, you are welcome here anytime :>)

Monday, 12 December, 2005  
Blogger Granny said...

Oil fire - trust you are all okay.

Tuesday, 13 December, 2005  
Blogger Jenny said...

Hey, I'm a Wiltshire lass too - used to live within walking distance of Stonehenge - in the days before it was fenced off and surrounded by roads!

Tuesday, 13 December, 2005  
Blogger Gerry said...

Well, dancing naked round that oak tree would indeed summon up the devil I imagine... "the devil made me do it..."

Tuesday, 13 December, 2005  
Blogger Mother Damnable said...

Hi Jenny Wren :>)

Fie on those fences!

"They hang the man and flog the woman
That steals the goose from the common
Bur let the greater criminal loose That steals the common from the goose!"

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comments :>)

Tuesday, 13 December, 2005  
Blogger Mother Damnable said...


The Devil is a Christian invention, I am not Christain!

The Oak Lord will return to us at Yule (Celtic tradition) Perhaps we may dance to welcome him?

I always think of Pan in the forest, with his pipes :>)


Tuesday, 13 December, 2005  
Blogger Granny said...

sending a link to my son who is always talking about dancing through the trees. I wrote about him a while back wearing nothing but his sergeant's stripes and a smile.

He will love you as I do.

Tuesday, 13 December, 2005  

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