• Penrith and Eden Museum

Most Magical Object - The Dobbie Stone

Updated: May 18



This is a perforated square stone, probably a line or net sinker, but which could also have been used as a ‘dobbie stone’ also know as a 'holed stone'. The latter was thought to protect livestock against disease, accidents and predators by averting ‘the evil eye’. Tied to a stable door for instance, it would guard against beasts being found tired and sweaty in the morning, this being blamed on witches or fairies riding them hard during the night. For this reason it was sometimes called a ‘hag’s stone’. If it were hung on a bed-post it would also protect against nightmares which were thought to be caused by the hag sitting on the stomach of the sleeper. A small holed stone, if you found one, might bring good luck if you first spat upon it then threw it backward over your head saying: 'Lucky stone! Lucky stone! Go over my head, And bring me some good luck before I go to bed.'

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