The six giantesses who built The Stiperstones
Very early on in the time of the giants, the devil was striding across England when he saw that south of The Severn, the residents of the hill forts in this land, the Cornovii Tribe still worshiped the old gods. He decided that this would be his land and would build a vast castle as a holiday home on what is now The Longmynd which would be cooler than the fires of the earth.
He charmed six Welsh giantesses into carrying the rocks needed. Slowly they struggled with the heavy rocks across the Welsh Marches, lumbering toward their destination. Taking hundreds of years to wander to their destination.
But, a young Saxon warrior saw these huge, awkward giantesses with their boulders and stones. His name was Shrobe and just knew they were up to something bad. Well, wouldn’t you?
So, he tripped the first one and she dropped her massive cornerstone which is now The Rock. The next he lured into a stream and another he threw winberries so that she slipped up. One by one he tricked them into dropping their loads, which became the six great piles of rock now seen on The Stiperstones.
When the devil came to see his holiday home all he saw were piles of rocks. Furious, he wept tears of lead which burned their way into the ground. He scooped up some of the scattered rocks into a seat and waited to find whomsoever had foiled his plot and frightened his giantesses so. With spit and blood he swaore that he’d wait for all time till the miscreant came back.
Many years later the wise and now Lord Shrobe decided that he would visit the place where he defeated the giantesses. As he neared a young and gorgeous fairy who was taken by Shrobe’s kind face leapt out to stop and warn him that the devil was awaiting him. Being pig headed he wouldn’t listen. In desperation she offered herself to him, if he would give up his journey. He agreed and taken by her charm, he married her.
Together Shrobe and the fairy princess Mgwathean Rigantoni) had seven sons. Three of their sons were handsome, magical and wise. Three of their sons where ugly, deformed and cruel. Each of those that were tainted was killed by the princess on their seventh birthday. The seventh son was Eadric, the true son of Shrobe, and it was he who later became a great Prince of England.
Sadly, Shrobe aged but Mgwathean did not for to her kind the years of men last no longer than “Snowflakes in Summer”. When Shrobe was near death Mgwathean took him back to the Stiperstones and opened a portal in the rocks which would take her to her home. As they entered, and at the last moment, the Devil, still waiting in his chair, saw them and threw a bolt of fire. Rocks splintered and the ground slid to cover the doorway to Mgwathean’s world. But … it was too late for The Demon Master. On entering the Faerie realm Shrobe became as one of “Blessed Realm” and his youth and beauty returned although he could never again visit the world of mortal men.
The Devil, beside himself with rage, cast fire in all directions burning bare the hills around him so that only heath and heather could ever grow there. Finally, he departed back to Hell but with the promise that he would return once a year to see if the door to the Faerie realm had revealed itself so that he could pursue Shrobe and exact his vengeance.
It is true that even to this time there are several days in every year that a strange mist descends over the Stiperstones and even the most determined hill-walkers stay away. During these periods more than one sensible and rationale person has described a fog that pulls at your clothes and the overwhelming smell of sulphur.