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Hoghton Tower

Dating from 1560-1565, Hoghton Tower is a Grade I listed fortified manor house situated on the highest hill in the Hoghton area. The following tale by John Roby was published in his ‘Traditions of Lancashire’ in 1872. He refers to it being left to decay and by the middle of the 19th century it was derelict. Read More »

How Masakuni Regained His Sight

The following story by Richard Gordon Sith was published in his 1918 book 'Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan'. SOME seventy years ago there dwelt in Kyoto a celebrated swordmaker, a native of the province of Awa, in Tokushima. Read More »

Ince Hall, Ince-in-Makerfield

Ince Hall, wigan

John Roby in his 'Traditions of Lancashire' (1872) relates the following tale which he entitled 'The Haunted Manor House', which he identifies as being Ince Hall in Wigan. As Roby acknowledges, there are a few buildings known as Ince Hall which leads to confusion when trying to identify the exactly where this tale is said to be based. Read More »

Irish Folklore

From Newgrange - a reminder of a great age of monument building and ritual - through to natural wonders such as the Giant's Causeway, Ireland is a land of legend and mystery. The landscape is full of echoes of history interwoven with a rich mythology that forms an impressive and colourful heritage. Read More »

IRISH FOLKLORE COMMISSION 1935-1970 : History, Ideology, Methodology

Irish Folklore Commission

IRISH FOLKLORE COMMISSION 1935-1970 : History, Ideology, Methodology [Micheal Briody] Between 1935 and 1970 the Irish Folklore Commission (Coimisiún Béaloideasa Éireann), under-funded and at great personal cost to its staff, assembled one of the world's largest folklore collections. Read More »

Ivar And Matilda

"In the year 1249 Reginald began to reign on the 6th May, and on the 30th May of the same month was slain by the Knight Ivar and his accomplices."--Chronicon Manniæ. There was a young and gallant knight, named Ivar, who was enamoured of a very beautiful maiden, named Matilda. He loved her ardently, and she reciprocated his affection. Read More »

Jack o' Legs

This folktale was kindly brought to our attention by Alma Oakley of Weston in Hertfordshire.

Weston churchyard is reputed to be the final resting place of the Weston Giant: Jack o' Legs. Two stones mark his grave. One is positioned at his head and another at his feet, a distance of eight feet apart. Read More »

Jamie Freel and the Young Lady

The following story from' Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry' by William Butler Yeats (1888) takes place in Fannet, which is now known as Fanad, a peninsular by Lough Swilly. Although the tale includes a trip across the length of Ireland, according to the story the hero states he is nearly home when approaching Tamney, so I have used this village for my map reference below. Read More »

Jedburgh Castle

Jedburgh’s original wooden motte and bailey castle dated back to the 12th century and was founded by King David I of Scotland (Born 1084 – Died 24 May 1153). The Scottish demolished the castle in 1409, which by then was a stone fortress with a pele tower, gatehouse and courtyard. In 1823 a Howard Reform prison was built on the site of the castle which was then closed in 1868. Read More »

John Jenkin Devil Summoner

Wirt Sykes in his British Goblins (1881) gives the following account of a devil summoning ceremony performed by a schoolmaster and renowned conjurer named John Jenkin in Pembrokeshire. Read More »

John MacInnes And The Each-Uisge

According to Mr. J. Calder Ross in 'Scottish Notes and Queries' (1893) "John MacInnes found the labour of his farm sadly burdensome. In the midst of his sighing an unknown being appeared to him and promised a horse to him under certain conditions. These conditions John undertook to fulfil. Read More »

Joseph Hempsall's Ghost

Here's an interesting piece of Cambridgeshire folklore I found in a book called "Folktales of the Fen Country". Joseph Hempsall was a true born "Fen Slodger". He lived in a small cottage on the Soham side of Wicken Fen during the late 17th century. Every evening Hempsall would cross the fen, known locally as "Big Bog" to drink with his friends at tavern in Wicken. Read More »

Kentish Longtails

The inhabitants of Strood in Kent were once nicknamed Kentish Longtails. Though this could relate to the belief in medieval mainland Europe that the English had tails, there is a folk tale relating a curse placed on the people of Strood by Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Read More »

Kersal Cell

Kersal Cell (2)

The Grade II listed Kersal Cell which dates from 1563 is the second oldest building in Salford and was the home of the English poet John Byrom (also known as John Byrom of Kersal and John Byrom of Manchester) (Born 29 February 1692 – Died 26 September 1763). Read More »

Kilhwch and Olwen or the Twrch Trwyth

The following is the tale of Kilhwch and Olwen or the Twrch Trwyth as told by Lady Charlotte Guest in her 1877 translation of The Mabinogion. Read More »

King Herla

In this tale Herla was the King of the Britons in ancient times. The tale seems to date from the medieval period but may have had earlier origins.

One afternoon after a hard days riding, Herla, the wise King of the Britons took leave from his men, and rested for a while among the ancients trees, part of the great forest that had stood in his kingdom for millennia. Read More »

Knurre-Murre

The following Danish story was published in ‘Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales’ by J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps (1849). ‘An analogous story is found in the people-literature of Denmark. Near a town called Lyng is the hill of Brondhoë, inhabited by the trold-folk, or imps. Read More »

La Llorona, The Weeping Woman

Stories of La Llorona, the weeping woman are told all over the Hispanic world, with versions coming from Venezuela to Spain and from California to Puerto Rico, but the legend is perhaps most associated with Mexico. The tales differ slightly from place to place but the basic elements are always the same. Read More »

The Lambton Worm and Penshaw Hill

The Lambton Worm

Around the time of the crusades (in some accounts) in the area around the river Wear, there is a tale told about a fearsome dragon, which terrorised the area and was dispatched with cunning by a brave warrior. Read More »

Leddy Lister

The following account of the story is extracted from‘Legends Superstitions of the County of Durham’ by William Brockie (1886). 'A retired farmers wife at Hedworth, who went by the name of Leddy Lister, was commonly held by the people round about to be a witch. Read More »

Lee Green Scar, Extwistle

According to Leslie Chapple 'Romantic Old Houses and Their Tales', ‘In 1902, in a lecture to the Burnley Literary and Scientific Club, Mr. Read More »

Leeds Town Hall

Leeds Town Hall

Beneath the front steps of Leeds Town Hall is the old Central Charge Office or Bridewell (a general term for a small prison), the reputed haunt of the ghost of the notorious burglar and murderer Charles Peace. Read More »

Linn of Dee

According to an article by W Gregor in Folklore [A Quarterly Review Of Myth, Tradition, Institution & Custom] Vol III (1892). ‘At one time there lived near the Linn of Dee, in Mar Forest, a man named Farquharson-na-cat, i.e., Farquharson of the wand. He got this name from the fact that his trade was that of making baskets, sculls, etc. Read More »

Llangar Church, Corwen

The white washed Llangar Church can be found about a mile from Corwen and can be dated from the late 13th century though it could possibly be as old as the 11th century. Its original name of 'Llan Garw Gwyn' (The Church of The White Deer) possibly alludes to a legend dating back its initial erection. Read More »

Llech Lafar, St Davids

Llech Lafar, a speaking slab of marble by the River Alun is referred to by Wirt Sykes in his ‘British Goblins’ (1881). 'The Talking Stone Llechlafar, or stone of loquacity, served as a bridge over the river Alyn, bounding the churchyard of St. David s in Pembrokeshire, on the northern side. Read More »



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