Guernsey Folklore – Witches Seats

Witches’ Seats

A witches Seat on the side of an old granite farmhouse

Built into many old Guernsey cottages and houses you will often notice a curious granite plinth protruding from the Chimney on the inside over the roof ridge. These are said to be “Witches seats”

It was said that on Friday nights at low tide Guernsey witches congregate on Grande Greve to dance back to back across the sands. On such occasions it was wise to have your cottage protected by Witches’ Stones as a witch returning from the coven may wish to take a rest on one of these short chimney ledges. Failing to find one she could well slip down the chimney and take up permanent residence in your house.

Originally built to prevent rain water seeping through the join between the chimney and the thatched roof, these ledges provide a convenient perch for night time flyers, as do the fireplace corbels, supporting stones protruding through the gable wall. Although modern buildings no longer use thatch many of their chimneys still carry Witches’ Seats, just to be on the safe side.

Author: Robert

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