Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Eildon Hills

Rhymer’s Glen, Thomas the Rhymer’s Glen

The Eildon Hills, also known simply as the Eildons, are a range of three prominent hills located in the Scottish Borders region of Scotland, near the town of Melrose. The hills are known for their distinctive triple peaks and have been the subject of various legends and folklore.

According to a local tradition, King Arthur did not die but was instead taken to a magical sleep or enchanted state. He is said to rest in a hidden chamber beneath the Eildon Hills, awaiting the time when he will awaken and return to lead his people once more.

The Eildon Hills have long been associated with fairies and other supernatural beings. Local folklore tells of the Fairy Queen and her court, who are said to reside in hidden chambers within the hills. It is believed that the hills were once the site of many fairy revels and enchanting gatherings.

According to legend, Thomas the Rhymer was a thirteenth century bard and prophet who was said to possess the gift of poetic prophecy. The story goes that Thomas encountered the Queen of Elfland (also known as the Fairy Queen) in Rhymer’s Glen, which lies in the Eildon Hills.

There is a legend that once upon a time, the Eildon Hills were home to a magical tree known as the Eildon Tree. This tree was said to be enormous and had mystical properties. It was believed that anyone who could climb to the top of the tree and make a wish would have their wish granted. However, the Eildon Tree vanished under mysterious circumstances, leaving only the three distinctive hills behind.

Eildon Hills Region | 0 to the 9th century

Prehistoric and Roman Periods
The Eildon Hills have evidence of human occupation dating back to the Iron Age. Eildon Hill North is known for its Iron Age hillfort, suggesting that the area was settled and fortified during this period. The Romans, who had a presence in southern Scotland, may have been aware of or interacted with communities in the Eildon Hills region. However, there is limited specific historical documentation for this timeframe.

Early Medeival Period | 5th – 9th centuries
The early medieval period in Scotland was marked by the transition from Roman Britain to the emergence of various kingdoms. The Eildon Hills region likely experienced the influence of different cultures and political changes during this time.

Anglo-Saxon and Viking Influence
In the later part of the early medieval period, the influence of the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings extended into parts of Scotland, including the borders. While specific details about the Eildon Hills during this period are scarce, the broader region experienced cultural interactions and potential political changes.

The spread of Christianity in Scotland had an impact on the landscape. While the Eildon Hills themselves may not have had significant religious structures, the broader region saw the establishment of monastic communities and churches during the early medieval period.

See also
Cave Legend | The Legend of King Arthur