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Godshill Church

The Norman church at Godshill is associated with a legend that is common throughout Britain with slight variations.

Tradition tells that the original site of the church was towards the Southwest, but each night the stones of the church were moved by an unknown agency on to the hill where the church now stands.

The builders of the church wanted to discover who was moving the stones and posted a watch of two guards during the night. While keeping vigil they were astonished to see the stones move up the hill of their own volition.

This was taken to be a sign from God that the church should be built of the hill, and the site was named Godshill afterwards. In other traditions it was actually the fairies who moved the stones.

The meaning of this folklore motif is obscure, but it has been suggested that it has its roots in the fact that many churches were built on top of older places of worship.

Image Copyright: 
Simon Topham
Daniel Parkinson

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