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A Changeling In Nithsdale

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 »

A Man Carried Through The Air By The Fairies

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 »

A Visit to Fairyland

Llyn Cwellyn

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 »

Alloway

The Old Kirk Church

Alloway, the birthplace of Robert Burns, provided inspiration for one of his most famous poems Tam o' Shanter. Read More »

An Underground Woman in Labor

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 »

Archibald Boyle and The Glasgow Hell Club

Archibald Boyle is said to have been the leader of ‘The Hell Club’ in Glasgow during the 18th century. There is a story associated with his death which has appeared in Catherine Ann Crowe’s ‘The Night-side of Nature’ (1848), and repeated again in ‘The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain’ by John Ingram (1897). Read More »

Aylesbury Black Dog

The following story which appeared in English Fairy and Other Folk Tales by Edwin Sidney Hartland [1890], concerns ‘a man who lived at a village near Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire. This man was accustomed to go every morning and night to milk his cows in a field, which was some distance from the village. Read More »

Ballad of Tam Lin

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 »

Bardney Abbey

Bardney Abbey

If visiting the home of a Lincolnshire family, someone leaving a door open might be asked the unusual question "Do you come from Bardney?" This is said in a similar tone and meaning to "Were you born in a barn?" elsewhere in the country. The saying has its roots in an old tale about a miraculous occurrence at Bardney Abbey. Read More »

Bearnshaw Tower and Lady Sybil

The 17th century Bearnshaw Tower (or Bernshaw Tower) is said to have collapsed in the 1860's when its foundations were dug away by people hunting for hidden treasure. This pele tower though is best known for its association with a witch, Lady Sybil, who's story below appeared in 'Lancashire Legends' (1873) by John Harland & T T Wilkinson. Read More »

Ben Bulben

Ben Bulben

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 »

Bessie Dunlop, The Witch of Dalry

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 »

Biddenden Maids

Biddenden Maids

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 »

Bomere Pool

The privately owned Bomere Pool was created through glacial action and is an example of a kettle hole mere. However, there is a story that would have you believe it was created another way. Edwin Sidney Hartland gives the following account of this tradition in his ‘English Fairy and Other Folk Tales’ [1890]. Read More »

Bowscale Tarn

Bowscale Tarn is 56 feet deep and during the Victorian era was popular with tourists. According to folklore two immortal fish live in this corrie tarn and depending upon which version of the story you read, they may, or may not have the ability to talk. Read More »

Branwen The Daughter Of Llyr

Branwen The Daughter Of Llyr is part of The Mabinogion. The following is taken from Lady Charlotte Guest's translation which was published in 1877. Read More »

The Buggane

Buggane

The Buggane is a fearsome supernatural creature from the rich folklore of The Isle of Man. It appears in literature in various forms, usually having the power to shape shift. In one of its forms it is associated with water, and is similar to the Cabbyl-Ushtey the Manx Water Horse. Read More »

Burscough Priory

Robert Fitz-Henry, Lord of Lathom (Born 1135) founded the Augustinian Burscough Priory around 1190. It was dissolved during the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII circa 1536 and today very little remains of the building. Read More »

Canobie Dick

This story relates to a legend common throughout Britain, namely that of a secret cavern containing sleeping warriors. Often a test is conferred to the person who is shown into the cavern. Usually the tests are failed.

Once upon a time in the Borders region there lived a horse cowper (trader) named Canobie Dick, he was widely admired and feared for his fierce courage. Read More »

Canrig Bwt

A famous Welsh witch, who used to sleep under stone at Llanberis, in North Wales, was called Canrig Bwt, and her favourite dish at dinner- was children's brains. A certain criminal who had received a death-sentence was given the alternative of attacking this frightful creature, his life to be spared should he succeed in destroying her. Read More »

Capel Garmon Church

There have been a series of churches in Capel Garmon, the latest of which is the now closed, this being  St Garmon's Church that was built in 1862. In his 'Welsh folk-lore' (1887) Elias Owen recounts the following legend he heard pertaining to the church in Capel Garmon from his friend Rev. Owen Jones of Pentrevoelas. Read More »

Castell Tomen-y-Mur, (a.k.a. Mur-y-Castell and Heriri Mons)

Tomen-y-Mur

Tomen-y-Mur (translated as ‘Mound in the Walls’) was originally an ancient Roman fort on the slope of Mynydd Maentwrog to the north east of Llyn Trawsfynyedd, with access from A470 although it is not signposted. Read More »

Chance To Be Part Of Project Albion

ASSAP (The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena) in partnership with Mysterious Britain & Ireland is opening up its long running Project Albion to enable members of the public to directly contribute towards it. Read More »

Changelings In The Borders

Edwin Sidney Hartland gives the following account of Dumfries and Galloway Changelings in his ‘The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891). ‘A Kirkcudbrightshire tale represents a child as once left in charge of a tailor, who "commenced a discourse" with him. "'Will, hae ye your pipes?' says the tailor. 'They're below my head,' says the tenant of the cradle. Read More »

Cherry of Zennor

The following story complete with footnotes was entitled ‘The Adventure of Cherry of Zennor (1)’ and appeared in ‘English Fairy and Other Folk Tales’ by Edwin Sidney Hartland [1890] Read More »



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