The Vikings are Coming!

02 The Bell in the Deep-Viking Boat

I’ve been taking a short break from Archaeological Oddities in order to finish a comic that I started a couple of months ago. Inspired by all the fuss over the opening of the British Museum’s Vikings exhibition, I decided to adapt my own retelling of the legend of the Bosham Bells and turn it into a comic.

After making one page Oddities for so long, this seven page comic has taken some time to finish.

01 The Bell in the Deep-004

I have to thank my friend – artist Lucinda Naylor; her artistic advice and encouragement gave me the push I needed to finish the comic.

Also many thanks to Dr A.

If you don’t know the story of the Bosham Bells you can read about it here, or you can wait until Friday when I’ll be posting the full comic.

Dr H

Folklore Fridays: Rollright Stones: Part 3

Not content with having Countless Stones and people turned to stone, the Rollrights are also associated with the following stories, all suggestive of the stones animacy and possible apotropaic qualities.

They’re Alive! The stones are said to be able to move of their own accord. One account clains that they once went down to drink from a brook at 12 –  at the very start of the New Year. In the early 1900s they suddenly aquired the ability to move whenever they heard the Long Compton Clock strike the chimes at midnight.

Dangerous to Move. When a tall stone from the King’s Men was taken to create a bridge over a stream, the tenant who moved it could not rest until it was returned to its rightful place. An elaborated version of this story tells how four horses and a wagon were needed to drag it down hill, and two men were killed in the process! Only one horse was needed to drag it back uphill on its return.

Talismans. Although moving whole stones was bad luck, chipping off small bits of stone was a common practice, as people believed that fragments of stone could keep the Devil away.

Dr H