The King and Queen, and Bambury Stones on Bredon Hill

  • 24 Jun 2019
  • Folklore
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Long before Christianity, the Celts worshipped at curiously shaped rocks, not in temples, but in the open air, and on hill-tops. These stones were believed to have magical properties, and on Bredon Hill two groups of stones, of great antiquity, were used for religious and super superstitious purposes.The Bambury Stone, on the edge of Kemerton Camp, now split into three parts due to a landslide, was an 'Ambury' stone, denoting an ancient, sanctified place, of which there are many of that name remaining, but here the name has been consonated into Bambury. People in Kemeron still remember the custom on Good Friday to climb the hill and kiss the Bambury Stone.

The King and Queen Stones have a fissured passage between, and crawling through was a very ancient observance. People troubled with disease or damaged limbs crawled through, and it was the custom to pass rickety children through the cavity. It was also used to counter the effects of a witch's enchantment, and by pregnant women sitting on the stone, to help their pregnancy. For centuries until about 1870, the Court Leet of the Manor of Bredon was held before the King and Queen Stones. It was the custom to whitewash the stones as a kind of consecration, but after the proclamation of the Leet, and bowing to the stones, the court was immediately adjoined to the Royal Oak Inn  down the hill in the village of Bredon.