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bits and pieces on Brighton and thee beyond…..

Lucky Stones!

Posted by Sara on May 15, 2009

Pebbled beaches, who’d have them? They hurt your feet and are rubbish for making sandcastles. However, from this day forth I will complain no more, since I have recently discovered that, crunching beneath my poor tortured tootsies, these shingled shores hold an ancient and forgotten secret – the secret of the Lucky Stones.

So what’s a Lucky Stone ? Well, it’s a stone with a hole right through it and there are more found along the Sussex coast than anywhere else in the world. Collected and treasured as talismans from as far back as the Neolithic ages, these holy flints where considered to have magical powers and believed to be able to ward off illness and misfortune. Fishermen would not sail without them, keeping them on board to increase their catches and farmers would nail them to their barns to protect their livestock. In the Victorian days it was considered especially lucky to spit on the stone, and toss it over your left shoulder  chanting:

Lucky stone lucky stone bring me some luck
Today or tomorrow at Twelve O’Clock.
lucky horseshoe

It’s good luck to find a stone, even better to be given one and extra lucky to steal one from someone else. Rub them over any afflicted area of your body to relieve pain and sickness, or wear one for luck and to ward off witches, the devil and the evil eye. It was also believed that a stone hung over the bed of a woman in labour would make the birth go much smoother.

If all this is beginning to sound a bit Finbarr – fear not, for this isn’t something I’ve just hastily scribbled off the back of some  dodgy new age cereal packet. In fact, I recently stumbled across an amazing book at the bookstall down by the West Pier called Lucky Sussex by John Behague. This wonderfully entertaining and informative book contains everything you need to know about flint and Lucky Stones and is a treasure trove of  information and anecdotes on local characters, history and superstition. I loved this book and had great fun reading it. The book was published by Pomegranate Press in 1998 and might be out of print.

luckysussex

Of course if you aren’t lucky enough to find a copy for yourself or if you don’t live anywhere near any lucky beaches, you can always fall back on that old comic book classic and just Rub the Buddha for money.

Good Luck!

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One Response to “Lucky Stones!”

  1. rosie said

    hi i have just come back from a short holiday near whitstable in kent and on a small beach in hampton bay and i found 9 stones with holes in one afternoon,how mad is that 9 in one go.

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