Painted from life on an unseasonably hot April day.
At the time of painting, I only knew this Wiiltshire dolmen (the closest prehistoric stone monument to where I live) by the name used on the Ordnance Survey map (and in Julian Cope‘s excellent gazetteer, The Modern Antiquarian): The Devil’s Den. There are several vague but colourful legends associated with it that reflect this name: hellish fiends will either prevent the removal of the capstone or attempt to pull the construction apart at midnight with the aid of suitably unearthly draught animals; the same, or similar, fiends are also said to drink water from cup-shaped hollows in the cap stone.
The gentler alternative name was revealed to me by the lovely lady who bought the painting. It is a peaceful place, and the second name (which specifically indicates a pause in a journey, but also alludes to the burial chamber that it may once have been) suits it well.
The Devil’s Den, or The Resting Place
oil on canvas, 46 x 38 cm