Probably the most common legend associated with megalithic monuments
is divine petrification as a punishment for doing something fun on
the Sabbath. Stone circles, in particular, seem attract this kind of
legend which can even extend to the naming of monument.
Typically, the offenders are young girls dancing on the Sabbath, off
the top of my head I can think of:-
The Merry Maidens in Cornwall, also known locally as "The Dawn's Men"
which is a corruption of Dans Maen, which means "Stone Dance".
Long Meg and her Daughters in Cumberland, Sabbath dancing, with
Nine stones In Devon, Sabbath dancing again, with a parole element.
The Hurlers in Cornwall, in a bit of a twist the offenders here were
all male and were stonifed for engaging in a local ball game known as
"Hurling" on the Sabbath.
The Merry Maidens and the Hurlers both have two prominent outlying
stones, known in both cases as "The Pipers", these are said to be
pairs of men pertified for accompanying the aforesaid
cavorting/gameplay with music.
The Men an Tol holed stone in Cornwall has a virtual compendium of
legends ranging from curing ricketts in children to foretelling
"material incidents of love or fortune".
W.Borlase describes many of these legends in his "Antiquities,
Historical and Monumental, of the County of Cornwall" 1769.
> a colleague in France has asked me for help regarding the myths and legends
> surrounding megalithic monuments in Britain and Ireland. Not really my
> field, and when I tried Googling I just get page after page of loony tunes.
> Can anybody out there help? Any folklore surrounding particular megalithic
> sites, ideally with some decent scholarly (or at least sober) references
> would be marvellous.
MEGALITHICS - VR Panoramas in, on, and under megalithic sites in the
British Isles, Eire and Europe. http://www.megalithics.com