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In his The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891), Edwin Sidney Hartland gives the following description of a Changeling in Dumfries and Galloway. ‘In Nithsdale the elf-child displays a superhuman power of work. The mother left it on one occasion in the charge of a servant-girl, who sat bemoaning herself. Read More »
The following folk tale by Edward Hamer appeared in a publication entitled 'Parochial Account of Llanidloes' (1877) and repeated in Elias Owen's 'Welsh Folklore' (1973). Read More »
The following fairy folk tale takes place around Llyn Cwellyn, a 215 acre, 120 feet deep glacial lake which has now been dammed to create a reservoir. The tale is taken 'Bedd Gelert: Its Facts, Fairies, and Folk-Lore (1899) by D E Jenkins. Read More »
The tiny atmospheric parish church at Aldworth, contains numerous huge effigies of the De La Beche family. Read More »
Alloway, the birthplace of Robert Burns, provided inspiration for one of his most famous poems Tam o' Shanter. Read More »
A woman who died at Neu-Bukow in 1841 at the age of 118 told that when she was a child underground people lived in a mountain near her home town. She herself and other children often saw them, but they always ran away from them. One night an underground man knocked at their door and asked the mother to go with him. His wife was in labor. He also asked to borrow a kettle. Read More »
The Ankou was a grim harvester of souls from the dark side of Brittany folklore, once believed to ride the dark lanes of Brittany in search of unwary travellers and the benighted.
The Ankou came in many guises, most commonly as a gangling skeletal figure with long white hair and a revolving head so he could look in every direction, his features shaded by a long brimmed hat. Read More »
Associated with a 700 year old tradition of horn blowing. The horn was sounded every night during the autumn and winter months. It was once a guide to travellers, who may have become lost in the great forests that surrounded the area.
Directions: Off the A684 to the East of Hawes. Or just listen for the horn.
Oh, I forbid you, maidens all
That wear gold on your hair,
To come or go by Carterhaugh,
For young Tam-Lin is there.
There's none that goes by Carterhaugh
But must leave him a wad;
Either gold ring, or green mantles,
Or else their maidenhead.
Now gold rings ye may buy, maidens,
Green mantles ye may spin; Read More »
The Banshee is most commonly visualised as a female spirit who wails in the night to foretell disaster, either to an individual family or more generally. The tradition is the strongest in Ireland but many places with Celtic survivals have a variant of the Banshee. Read More »
The Churchyard of St Helen’s in Barnoldby le Beck and the fields and surrounding the village have been said to be haunted by a Shag-Foal, a rough coated goblin horse, described as a cross between a black dog and a horse. Read More »
The Bean Nighe is an example of the ominous 'Washerwoman at the Ford' rendered in the Highland tradition. The tradition of 'The Washerwomen at the Ford' seems to have its roots in Celtic legend and myth. She appears in the Irish stories and can be identified as the crone aspect of the triple goddess. Read More »
The Triads of Ireland or the Trecheng Breth Féne describe the Beast of Lettir Dallan as one of the three wonders of Glenn Dallan in Tirowen. Read More »
The chambered tomb called the Bedd Branwen, is said to be the resting place of Branwen, the legendary wife of Bran described in early Welsh stories.
Directions: To the East of Elim.
The fairy steps, West of the church are steps cut into the limestone rock. If you can climb them without touching either side you will be granted a wish by the fairies.
Directions: Reached from a footpath through woodland to the South West of Beetham and South East of Storth.
Legendary home of the Irish third century warriors known as the Fianna, Ben Bulben (or Benbulben, Benbulbin, Binn Ghulbain) is a large glacial rock formation in the Darty Mountains. Read More »
Ben Ledi rises above the plain of Stirling to the North of Callander, a prominent mountain with superb views over the surrounding countryside. It is not a munro but at 2884 feet has the feel of a much larger mountain, due to a number of false tops and the rewarding panoramic view. Read More »
Bendith Y Mamau means 'the mothers blessing' and is a generic name for the fairies, especially in Southern Wales.
In appearance the fairies are described as small and ugly, and are most readily identified with the Brownies, or the West Country Pixies, although they have the characterisations of most fairies. Read More »
Bessie Dunlop was known as the witch of Dalry (Ayrshire), she was burned at the stake in 1576 although she was seen as a white witch. Her story is interesting because it outlines some of the folk beliefs at the time. Read More »
Every Easter Monday the village of Biddenden, not far from Staplehurst in Kent, is the scene of old custom, called the Biddenden Maids' Charity. Tea, cheese and bread are given to local widows and pensioners at the Old Workhouse, while the celebrated Biddenden Cakes, baked from flour and water, are distributed among the spectators. Read More »
On April 2nd 1832 a landlord and his gamekeeper son were violently murdered at a remote pub on the edge of the bleak moorland above Greenfield near Saddleworth. Reported at the time as “one of the most diabolical murders ever committed” (1), the murders were never solved and have become a fascinating, if dark, part of the local lore of Saddleworth. Read More »
Bronze Age barrows on the down are known as the music barrows, and are traditionally thought to be home of the fairy folk. According to folklore it was possible to hear the fairy revelry if you placed your ear to the barrows at midday.
A public footpath runs near the down reached from the South West Coast Path. Read More »