THERE is another legend connected
with Linton of exceeding interest. It is sometimes interwoven with that of
the Worm, but I am informed that in its more correct form it stands alone.
The church is built on a little knoll of fine compact sand, without any
admixture of stone, or even pebbles, and widely differing from the soil of
the neighbouring heights. The sand has nowhere hardened into stone, yet the
particles are so coherent, that the sides of newly-opened graves appear
smooth as a wall, and this to the depth of fifteen feet. This singular
phenomenon is thus accounted for on the spot :—
Many ages ago a young man killed a priest in this
place, and was condemned to suffer death for murder and
sacrilege. His doom seemed inevitable, but powerful intercession was made
for him, especially by his two sisters, who were fondly attached to their
brother. At last his life was granted him, on condition that the sisters
should sift as much sand as would form a mound on which to build a church.
The maidens joyfully undertook the task, and their patience did not fail.
They completed it, and the church was built, though it is added that one of
the sisters died immediately after her brother’s liberation, either from
the effects of past fatigue or overpowering joy. Such is the version of the
legend, deemed the correct one at Linton. The villagers point to the sandy
knoll in confirmation of its truth, and show a hollow place, a short
distance to the westward, as that from which the sand was taken.