Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Merlin’s Mound

Merlin’s Barrow

An ancient mound in Marlborough, Wiltshire, sometimes spelled as Maerla’s Barrow.

According to folklore, Merlin is said to be lie buried in the mound on which Marlborough College now stands. The mound is simply called Merlin’s Mound, and is said to be the origin of the city’s name.

The most famous mound associated with Merlin in this region is Silbury Hill, located near the town of Marlborough. Silbury Hill is a prehistoric artifical mound or earthwork, and it is the largest man-made mound in Europe. It dates back to the Neolithic period, making it over 4,000 years old.

The legend connecting Merlin to Silbury Hill suggests that Merlin himself was responsible for the construction of the mound. According to folklore, Merlin used his magical powers to transport a giant block of stone or a huge mound of earth from Ireland and placed it in the location where Silbury Hill now stands. He is said to have done this to create a lasting monument to honor fallen soldiers.

The legend suggests that Merlin was trapped or imprisoned in a crystal cave beneath the mound by the enchantress Viviane. Some versions of the story claim that Merlin’s magic was so powerful that he could not be killed, so he was instead intombed alive.