Hag stones of Hillmoor

There is a tract of land which can be found on Hillmoor farm in the Dane valley located in the county of Cheshire. This tract of land is to be found on the far side of the river Dane and which I have written about previously, it is covered by trees and is known as Madam’s wood. This wood seems to have remained virtually untouched due to it being on private land and due in part to its inaccessibility.

Trees in Madam’s wood grow, mature and finally die, whereupon they fall and rot, returning to the ground that once supported them, and so the process seems to have perpetuated itself without the intervention of anyone, and only the infrequent visit from the occasional fisherman seems to disturb the tranquility of this unusual place.

Alongside Madams wood runs the river Dane which in itself is unusual as it is the fastest rising river in the country, and it also has a connection to the Goddess Danu from which it takes its name. I have seen this river change from being not much wider than a shallow brook, to a frightening powerful force capable of even changing its course!

It is along these river banks where I found my first Hag stone about twelve years ago, these stones are quite rare due to the fact that a hole has worn through them because of the constant flow of water which has probably taken thousands of years to form the hole.

These stones are thought to ward off the spirits of the dead, in Europe the stone is said to keep the “Evil Hag” spirit away to prevent her stealing horses and children. These stones have also been used in the past as a favourite talisman to keep the Evil Eye away from them, other people are thought to have hung them in their bedrooms to prevent the Succubus Hag from riding on peoples chests during nightmares.

It was during May 2007 that I came across my secong Hag Stone, this one is even more unusual than the first one I found as it seems to bear a resemblance to an evil Hag!

In Italian Witchcraft the stone is associated with Fairies and is often referred to as the Holy Stone. It is considered a doorway, or a key to a doorway into the Fairy Kingdom. In Italian Folklore it is believed that these stones are capable of binding a Fairy to a person, this would allow that person to have control over the Fairy for a length of time.

These stones are known by many different names, Fairy Stones, Dream or Mare Stones, Holey Stones, Eye Stones, Pledge Stones, Ephiates Stones, Witch Riding Stones, Odin Stones and Wish Stones.

Hag Stones are not the only unusual find I have made in Madam’s wood. I came across this strange piece of drift wood on the banks of the river Dane back in July of 2008. It bears a resemblance to a horses head so I have mounted it on a piece of wood and it now graces my mantlepiece in my living room.


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