Tuesday, 22 April 2014

S is for Silbury Hill

I'll start with the local dialect words.  Do you know what shog means? How are you feeling if you are shrammed?  What does suffer mean?  

Today we are 20 miles north east of Trowbridge at Silbury Hill which is the tallest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe.  It is built from chalk and clay, covers approximately 5 acres and is about 30 metres high.  The circular base is approx. 160 metres in diameter and the flat topped summit is approx. 30 metres in diameter. It is huge!
Silbury Hill is part of the Avebury World Heritage Site, is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  As with Avebury, no one knows why Silbury was built although it is believed that it has evolved to its current size, being gradually built up over time.

Of course, with something this ancient there are legends!  One such legend is that Silbury Hill is the burial mound for a long forgotten king, King Sil, who is buried there in golden armour sitting on a horse also made of solid gold.
The other legend concerns the Devil who, so the story goes, was on his way to Marlborough with a huge lump of earth which he intended to use to bury the town.  The story is that he stopped on the way to ask a cobbler how much further he had to go. The cobbler is supposed to have recognised the Devil and told him that it was still a very long way and that he (the cobbler) had worn out all the shoes he was repairing by trying to walk there.  The Devil, on hearing this, decided to abandon his plan and dropped the lump of earth by the side of the road, so forming Silbury Hill.  One variation on this is that he was going to bury Avebury but the priests of Avebury prayed to be saved and the Devil was forced to drop his load just short of the village.

The answers to today's dialect words are:
  • shog - to sift ashes etc. by shaking a sieve
  • shrammed - cold, chilled to the bone
  • suffer - to punish someone, to make that person suffer (as in "I'll suffer him for doing that")
See you tomorrow for the letter T.


  1. I love your theme. I had to go back and read some more of your local history and dialect words.
    Visiting from A to Z ~
    Wendy at Jollett Etc.

  2. I remember passing it, it is so nice to learn the story. Nice to meet and connect through atozchallenge. http://aimingforapublishingdeal.blogspot.co.uk/

  3. I love stories about forgotten kings :) And also about tricking the Devil. Thanks!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
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  4. As I am reading this my daughter is behind me telling me about this mound. She already knew about it but I didn't.

    Blogging AtoZ "Things My Husband Has Broken"

  5. I like the sound of saying"shrammed", but don't like the meaning!