TAYLOR STEPHENS, lately deceased, who was for some time the rural postman of Zennor, sought, in his poem, "The Chief of Barat-Anac," to embody in a story some descriptions of the Zennor coits and other rock curiosities.
I employed this man for some weeks to gather up for me all that remained of legendary lore in Zennor and Morva. He did his work well; and from his knowledge of the people, he learned more from them than any other man could have done. The results of his labours are scattered through these volumes.
C. Taylor Stephens wrote me on the subject of the cromlechs as follows:--
Superstitious Belief respecting the Quoits.
"I was in the neighbourhood of Zennor in 1859, and by accident came across the Zennor cromlech, and was struck with the mode of its construction (not having heard of its existence before), and thinking it bore some resemblance to the Druidical altars I had read of, I inquired of a group of persons who were gathered round the village smithery, whether any one could tell me anything respecting the heap of stones on the top of the hill. Several were in total ignorance of their existence. One said, 'Tes caal'd the gient's kite; thas all I knaw.' At last, one more thoughtful, and one who, I found out, was considered the wiseacre and oracle of the village, looked up and gave me this important piece of information,--'Them ere rocks were put there afore you nor me was boern or thoft ov; but who don it es a puzler to everybody in Sunnur (Zennor). I de bleve theze put up theer wen thes ere wurld was maade; but wether they was or no don't very much mattur by hal akounts. Thes I'd knaw, that nobody caant take car em awa; if anybody was too, they'd be brot there agin. Hees an ef they wus tuk'd awa wone nite, theys shur to be hal rite up top o' th hil fust thing in morenin. But I caant tel ee s' much as Passen can; ef you 'd zea he, he 'd tel he hal about et.'"
In one of the notes received from the poet and postman he gives a curious instance of the many parts a man played in those remote districts but a few years since:--
"My venerable grandpapa was well known by all the old people, for he was not only a local preacher, but a charmer, a botanist, a veterinary surgeon, a secretary to a burial and sick benefit society, and, moreover, the blacksmith of the neighbourhood."