Category: Festivals

Guy Fawkes Night Tar Barrels, Ottery St Mary

There is a tradition dating back to the 17th century in Ottery St Mary, where tar soaked barrels lighted and carried through the Devonshire town. Only those who are born and lived within the town are eligible to carry one of the seventeen barrels which begin their journey from outside the local pubs.

The Ashton Gyst-Ale

The gyst-ale, or guising feast, was an annual festival of the town of Ashton-under-Lyne. It appears from the rental of Sir John de Assheton, compiled a.d. 1422, that a sum of twenty shillings was paid to him as lord of the manor for the privilege of holding this feast by its then conductors.

Rochdale Rush-Bearing

As far as I am aware Rochdale no longer celebrates the Rush Bearing festival, though nearby Littleborough revived theirs in 1991 and continue to celebrate it each year. Below is description of how Rochdale and its Rush-Bearing from Lancashire Legends (1873) by John Harland & T T Wilkinson.

Saddleworth Rushcart

Rushbearing dates back to the middle ages and is a festival where rushes were collected to be strewn out over the floors of churches, back when the floors were just earthen. The tradition died off when church floors started to be flagged by the 19th century, though in some villages and towns it was revived as a folk custom.

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Cobs And Knops

Cobs and knops were hobgoblins, much feared. They were originally demon horses, and it is clear that belief in them remained strong in Warwickshire, for in parts of the county on All Souls’ Day (2nd November) those brave enough went out carrying a simulated horse’s head covered with a sheet to frighten the timid.
[The Folklore Of Warwickshire (1976) by Roy Palmer]

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Strange Project Albion

Project Albion is part of one of ASSAP’s longest running and most successful research endeavours and it has been likened to a Domesday book of the paranormal. It is an attempt to record the full spectrum of anomalies, past and present, within their geographical, as well as historical, context.