Wednesday, May 30

The Giants Of Somerset

St Dubricius Church Porlock Somerset

The moors of Somerset and the south-west of England were once inhabited by giants - yes really, if you believe in magic that is. But there is proof.

Look at the photo of Porlock church, Somerset above and then the picture below of nearby Culbone Church and you'll see the work of one of the giants. It's all in the church spires.

One of the giants snapped the top off the spire of Porlock's 13th century St Dubricius church, tucked it under his arm, and plonked it on the top of Culbone Church. The size was just right as this is the smallest parish church in England.

So there you are proof that giants weren't all bad.

Culbone Church

Porlock's St Dubricius has another claim to fame. He was the guy who is said to have crowned none other than King Arthur at Caerleon in Wales and later married him to Guinevere.

Inside St Dudricius church Somerset
Inside St Dubricius Church Porlock Somerset England
And there's another story: a person from Porlock also had an effect on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's famous poem Kubla Khan. If this person hadn't have interrupted Coleridge the poem would be longer than 54 lines.

Coleridge dreamt the poem. These are his own words as to why he was unable to write all that he had seen in his sleep:

"In 1797 ... On awakening he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole (poem), and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his now small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone had been cast ..."

It is generally thought that Coleridge had an opium influenced dream and that the unwelcome intrusion of the person from Porlock was someone from the Ship Inn, the oldest pub in the town, wanting him to settle his overdue bar bill.

Somerset, like Cornwall where I live, is full of legends, myths and history.

Other Somerset Posts:
The Clapper Bridge Where The Devil Sunbathes
Dunster And A Reminder Of Carefree Days
Synchronicity Starts With Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Holy Well That Saved a Saints Head

Bookmark and Share


  1. Wow I believe you about the giant as the top of the spire fits the small church perfectly it's the same shape as well. Keep travelling and blogging about it!

    1. You have no reason not to believe me as it's true!!

  2. Love these travel posts. Intr iguana about the spires and the legends!

    1. Showing my ignorance here: Intr iguana what is that, couldn't find it on Google?

  3. Mike,Is that clock on Porlock church showing 11:11 ?
    If not it is pretty darn close.

    1. It looks like Porlock church got a little cross when the giant snapped off the steeple .-)

    2. Well spotted but it's 11:09.

      'a little cross' - nice one!

  4. " In Douglas Adams's
    (author of "Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Gallaxy")
    "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency", the title character saves the world, in part by time-travelling from the present day to distract Coleridge from properly remembering his dream; if Coleridge had completed the poem an alien ghost would have 'encoded' certain information within the completed work that would have allowed him to make repairs to his spaceship in the past at the cost of wiping out all life on Earth."

    from -

    Also -
    "In Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, a character checks into a motel under the pseudonym
    A. Person, Porlock, England."

    1. Interesting. I've just finished a post for Sunday mentioning the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

    2. I've never actually read,or seen
      "Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy"
      (only bits and pieces of it,like the 42 bit),but I have always
      (since I found out last year,that is)
      been amazed that Adams died of a heart attack on 11 May (my wife's birthday) 2001, aged 49,and his gravestone looks like the Monolith out of "2001:A Space Odyssey"

    3. Thanks for the link - hadn't seen that before.

  5. I also found this nice little You Tube of the inside of Culbone church;

    1. Thanks, just followed the link, nice reminder of the church.

  6. So what you're saying? Coleridge wasn't exactly a giant of a man, yet was 'stoned' in his finest hour?!!