Edward Hunt's Forest of Dean Miscellany

Fact, Fiction and Fantasy

St. Dubricius

It may be noted firstly that pigs wild and domestic played a very important rôle in the lives of the Celtic peoples. The boar was clearly the cult animal par excellence of the Celts, and pork their favourite food. Joints of pork were placed in the graves of the Marnian tribe, the Parisii of East Yorkshire, doubtless because ‘the Celtic chief was to take with him on his journey the favourite food of the Celt.’

The robbers who kidnapped St Patrick are said to have sacrificed part of the meat of pigs they had caught ‘to their idols’ for which reason the Saint declined to join the meal in spite of his hunger.

Pigs were credited with what to us may appear surprising qualities. They frequently acted as guides indicating where churches and other settlements should be established. The town of Glastonbury, for instance, was said to owe its site to the choice of a wandering herd of swine, and St Dubricius employed a similar method of surveying the site of his church by the Wye.

  The above text is from:
                "The Quest for Merlin"
                by Nikolai Tolstoy
                publisher: Sceptre 1985

Edward Hunt