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British Folklore- Buried Treasure
Great Britain is home to some intriguing local legends of vast riches in the islands soil. These local tales have roots in thousands of years of invasions, in the spoils of religious turmoil and the ancient customs of our ancestors. Although the legends do not have the same level of recorded fact as the more recent lore and legends like the Aztec cities of gold, or the missing sunken treasure ships of the old Spanish Main.
The British legends are tied to the identity and mythological been given a mythical history of a small but culturally rich collection of kingdoms. Over the passage of time great treasure has been won, lost and buried by invaders who took trophies from their tribal conflicts.
In the parish of Shillington, Bedfordshire lies the local landmark of Knocking Knoll. It is also known to its locals as Money Knoll, due to modern ploughing the earthworks look different to how it originally looked in Neolithic times. For as long as the local's could recall, the earthwork is rumoured to hold large amounts of gold and coins left there by an ancient warrior or old man.The long barrow was excavated in the mid 1850's but no record of treasure found at the dig. The earthwork is named the Knocking Knoll due to the sound of an old man or ancient warrior, banging on a treasure chest to make sure his mortal goods are still were he left them and intact. Before the influence of Christianity on English burial practices, many people of high standing or great legend were buried in grave mounds with their trophies and wealth.
Caistor St Edmund
Caistor St Edmund's or Caistor-by-Norwich has a local legend about buried Roman treasure. Modern day Caistor is the site of the former Roman walled town of Venta Icenorum. Venta Icenorum was the administrative centre for Norfolk. The folklore of the area tells of golden gate's buried in the area surrounding the present day town. It is highly unlikely that a Romano-British settlement would have gate's of solid gold, although it is plausible that the area would have been home to great riches. The farmland around Caistor has turned up a number of Roman artifacts including gold coins.
Castle Neroche in Somerset is home to another legend of buried treasure, who put it there is unknown. It is entirely likely that the "castle"( which are presumed to be either medieval earthworks or maybe an ancient burial mound ) has no treasure, and the legend arose from the local's creating their own folklore. Achaeologist's have dug the site and have found little evidence of treasure or who was responsible for the earthworks. Local legend speaks of a group of workmen who uncovered the treasure in the 1920's, upon trying to remove the treasure chest one of the workmen swore. As soon as the workmen cursed the treasure hoard sunk deeper into the earth, and the workmen took it as a sign that the devil was involved.
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The British Isles was a wealth of both mythical and historical treasure buried in the ground or lost in the sea. Over the year's we have uncovered Roman gold, Viking silver, Celtic jewellery, Spanish wealth from the New World and trinkets from the ancient world. What lies under the wave's on the sea that surrounds us, and under the British soil is still waiting to be discovered. Perhap's the treasure out there for us to find is more rediscovering our heritage rather than how much loot we can find with metal detectors.