the texts

There are six larger stones, reclaimed Welsh slate panels around 1650mm tall x 600mm wide with the following inscriptions;


The myller lyfted the priest in the sacke, carried hym to the toppe of an hye hyll & caste hym downe that hys head had many shrewde rappes. ‘O good saynt Peter, whyther goe I now?’ ‘These bee the panges that ye must abyde before you come to heaven’. He caried him then to hys owne house. ‘Give thankes’ said the myller ‘for now thou arte goyng uppe into heaven’ & he tyed a rope aboute the sacke & drewe hym uppe & let hym hange. ‘O good saynt Peter, now where am I?’ ‘Marye, thou art now in the toppe of John myllers chimney’. From Merie Tales of John Skelton, anon


Then there shall come the King of Denmark and sixteen great lords. They shall land at Waborne Stone, they shall be met by the Red Deere, the Heath, the Hound and the Harrow.  Between Waborne and Branksbrim, between a forest and a church-gate, there shall be fought so mortal a battle that from Branksbrim to Cromer Bridge it shall run blood.  Then shall the King of Denmark be slain and all the perilous fishes in his company. From Strange Prophecies of Merlin, anon


The Fiddler danced the tunnel’s black shadow. The crowd followed the sound. Through graveyard earth came The Petticoat Hornpipe.  From Westgate Dairy’s brick floor Speed the Plough. From sheep pastures Bobbing Joan. Through Haystack Lane The Cuckoo’s Nest. Under Four-Ways England’s Glory. The crowd climbed the old green mound, pressed ears to turf. Silence.                                                                                                        From Norfolk Folktales, Hugh Lupton


At every severall time buying cheese he was grievously afflicted, & at the last either she or a spirit in her likenesse did appeare unto him & whisked about his face a wet cloth of very loathsome savour; after which he did see one cloathed in russet with a little bush beard, who told him he was sent to looke upon his fore legge, & would healle it; but rising to show the same perceiving he had cloven feet, refused that offer, who then (these being no vaine conceits, or phantasies, but well advised and diligently considered observances) suddenly vanished out of sight.                                                                                                                     From A Treatise of Witchcraft, A Roberts


That was a whull week that bloowed in about, an dret if he din’t then goo an wash up at Reedham in Narf’k. By’nby ‘long come young Edmund an fount im a lyin soshways acrost the gunnel. He were pretty nare did, what wi starwashen an could, an wet thru loike a mawkin arter a storm. “Whoi, whativers thes? ”Edmund say. “He’s a proper wrack poor davil, ain’t he? Ere,” he say, “tek im up to the little ould pallis an give im some drink an wittles” So they took im orf to the pallis, that was at Caister in them days, an so sune as he could spik he say “Look ere together,” he say “I’m Luddy an I’m king o’ the Deens”       From Suffolk Scene, Julian Tennyson


“A-why” he say, “I was out a-hunting today, an I got awa to a place in the wood I’d never sin afore, an’ there was an ol’ chalk pet, an’ I heerd a sort of a hummin’ kindo. So I got off my hobby, an’ I went roight quiet to the pet, an’ I looked down. Well, what should there be but the funniest little black impet yew iver set eye on. An, what was that dewin on, but that had a little spinnin wheel, and that were spinnin wonnerful fast, an a twirlin that’s tail., an as that span that sang: ”Nimy nimmy not, my name’s Tom-Tit-Tot”                                  From The Ipswich Journal 1878, Mrs A. Walter Thomas

The following excerpts were written by Hugh Lupton in response to me asking for some shorter inscriptions, Haiku like in their brevity, and concise. They have been carved as smaller plaques in limestone and slate. These seven relate to the rarest of things – East Anglian Hills, quite a big deal around here;

Ketts Hill, Mousehold;

Hobb, Dick and Hick
With Clouted Shoon
Kings of the Hill
– for an Afternoon

Soldiers hill, Garboldisham;

A Queen fell
On a hare’s turn
A red lock
A black bone
A cracked urn
In a green hill

Ken Hill, Snettisham;

Between soil
And plough
And old toil
The field reveals her yield of
Coiled gold

How Hill, Ludham;

Old Horney’s Hill
Mr Scratch’s patch
Clooties Climb
Grim Ground

Castle Hill, Thetford;

Magdalen Maria et Sanctus
Gabriel Jhesu Benedictus
Tongue tied
Clogged with clay
Ring old holy
Hours back
Into our day!

Castle Mound, Norwich;

The King
In the hill
We are
His Dream
He Wakes

Fiddler’s Hill, Binham;

under green lanes
– Lovely Nancy
under dairy floors
– Bobbing Joan
under Fiddler’s Hill
– Mary no more
no more

The following six inscriptions are inspired by more Norfolk stories;

St Edmund;

each of the martyr’s wounds                                                                                                                  a well of untainted water                                                                                                                       – again & again                                                                                                                                            the opened veins                                                                                                                                      of sainted ground

The Potter Heigham Drummer;

Tan-tan-tarra                                                                                                                              beneath creaking ice                                                                                                                           the hollow-eyed                                                                                                                        drummer beats                                                                                                                                        his own retreat                                                                                                                                                                 – & winter follows

Tom Hickathrift;

 axle-wielding giant-licker                                                                                                                       wheel-shielded Hickathrift                                                                                                      muck-booted, ale-witted                                                                                                         Heracles of the rooted field

The Pedlar of Swaffham

 the road is long                                                                                                                                    the journey hard                                                                                                                                 that leads to gold                                                                                                                                    in our own back-yard

Black Shuck

 Old Shuck runs again tonight                                                                                                                 – who will swallow                                                                                                                                       moon, stars, sun                                                                                                                             and all the hallowed light

The Babes in the Wood

 Cock Robin prays:                                                                                                                                      ‘Have mercy on our days’                                                                                                             Jenny Wren sings:                                                                                                                                     ‘So soon they pass away’                                                                                                                     Little Tom Tit brings                                                                                                                                  blossoms of may                                                                                                                                        & yellow whin                                                                                                                                         to lay upon the grave


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