Further north from the Merry Maidens, not far from Liskeard stand another group of stones that also serve as a stern warning against fun and games on the Sabbath Day. |
The Hurlers are the remnants of three stone circles whose original purpose was probably Druidical but is now lost in the mists of time. Many centuries ago the game of hurling was popular in Cornwall, a sort of primitive rugby game with goals several miles apart. The folk of St. Cleer loved the game and would play it whenever the opportunity arose, even on Sundays. This was their downfall. Despite the disapproving lectures of the local saint and priest, St. Cleer himself, they continued to play for the honour of their village and a game was set for a Sunday against the villagers of nearby St. Ive. St. Cleer went in search of his errant flock and found them in the midst of a hotly contested match. He ordered them to cease their game and respect the Sabbath but they only told him not to be a spoilsport and to return to his prayers.
Angered, St. Cleer raised his staff and pronounced in solemn tones that since they preferred their game to the worship of God they must stay there forever more as a lesson to others. He lowered his staff and the players were instantly turned to stone, hurling forever on the wastes of Craddock Moor.
There is also a curious optical illusion connected with the Hurlers. Try counting them with the naked eye, invariably you will reach a different total every time