|The Hurlers stone circle - By Olaf Tausch (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
"The three circles, which are seen on the moors not far from the Cheesewring, in the parish of St Cleer, are also notable examples of the punishment of Sabbath-breaking. These are called the Hurlers," and they preserve the position in which the several parties stood in the full excitement of the game of hurling, when, for the crime of profaning the Sabbath, they were changed into stone...
... "With respect to the stones called the 'Hurlers' being once men, I will say with Hals, 'Did but the ball which these Hurlers used when flesh and blood appear directly over them, immovably pendant in the air, one might he apt to credit some little of the tale;' but as this is not the case, I must add icy belief of their being erected by the Druids for some purpose or other -- probably a court of justice; bog subsequent to which erection, however, they may have served as a goal for hurl-players."--Topographical and Historical Sketches of the Boroughs of East and West Love, by Thomas Bond.
May we not address Mr Bond, "O ye of little faith!" A very small amount of which would have found the ball, fixed as a boulder of granite, not as it passed through the air, but as it rolled along the ground.
That an ancient priesthood, endeavouring to reach the minds of an ignorant people through their sensations, should endeavour to persuade the old Celtic population that God's vengeance had fallen on the Sabbath-breaker, is not to be wondered at. Up to a very recent period, hurling matches usually came off on the Sunday--See "Hurling," in the chapter on Cornish Customs."