A West Country path of Cunning

The West Country of Britain (the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset), was at one time the home to many Cunning Folk, healers, fairy doctors, and the like. One kind of cunner was known as the Pellor; they were known to be powerful workers of magic.

Standing Stones and Fogous

Many people associate standing stones, barrows and fogous with "witches," (more correctly known as Cunners or Cunning Folk) and some assume that old lore stretches back into the dim reaches of pre-history when such things were erected.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Although much folklore and many traditional tales involve such places, and although cunning folk certainly made use of such locations, such things are not directly related.

Traditions, lore, old healing, and secret knowledge were handed down from generation to generation. Little was written down, both for fear of persecution and because the folk who held and kept such folkways alive were often illiterate.

In the minds of such people, the old monuments, built by their distant ancestors, were part of the landscape of memory. They laid claim to them, not because they had built them, not because they had that much in common with those who erected them, but because their individual and collective memories recognized such places as "home."


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